Keep stakeholders involved always
While a majority of our testing happened in the second half of our project, we had a couple of professors who served as mentors and field experts throughout the process.
Don’t assume user behavior
The first iteration of our design was heavy on words, and there were detailed instructions given using high level English. Assuming that these were professors and academics, we thought that they would read every single word. It turned out to be the opposite. The users often skipped crucial instructions. Therefore, we vastly reduced the amount of text for instructions, as changed it to simpler and straightforwards words.
Define metrics for evaluation
At the start of the process, we defined what would entail a successful redesign. Metrics revolved around time, ease, pleasurability, etc. This helped us assess our design in the later sessions. Due to constraints put on us by our customers, we also defined what would not qualify as a metric. For example, the text content and the stories of each individual character were not to be changed. Therefore, if users had slight issues with them we had to overlook those.
I worked at the principal designer in the team, along with a developer, mentor, and another designer/marketing professional. At the beginning of our project we clearly defined our roles and veto powers. I was responsible for final decisions wrt design, ofcourse with taking into consideration all team members’ opinions. We set weekly meeting times and goals, and often met for secondary meetings during the week whenever needed. Lastly, we constantly kept each other updated on our work through Slack.