Connections & Inspiration: Impact

How do we evaluate the impact of our designs? How do we learn from our prototypes and make better design decisions? As designers become more focused on ‘creating impact’, we also have to mature our conversation around ‘impact’.

Impact evaluation is one established field that holds an interesting potential for design. Over the past decades, professions from development to investing have employed impact evaluation to predict and determine the effect of projects, programs, and policies. There’s a rich history from which to learn—when it comes to ‘impact’, designers don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

I’m particularly interested in practices that could be used during the design process. Are there methods or tools that could help designers better identify impactful opportunities and evaluate prototypes?

As I explore the existing practices, thinking, and research in impact evaluation, I’ve been collecting inspirational resources. Below is a visualisation of the research, you can see the major keywords and click on individual ‘nodes’ that represent resources.

Many thanks to Annelie Berner for inspiring me with her research visualisation and letting me user her code.

The complete research visualisation can be found here.
And you can access the full spreadsheet here.