How I learned to take advantage of an iterative process

Creation is an iterative process. This short thought is the biggest thing I learned throughout this class. This class was very open-ended with twists and turns of plenty of new ideas and experiences. I gained a vast wealth of knowledge on plenty of subjects I previously knew nothing about. Through this mass of information, the iterative process is what I am most glad I learned.

When my group first decided that we were going to do an augmented reality graffiti app, I started getting very nervous. How would we even start doing something like that with no knowledge of augmented reality? On top of that, we would need to implement camera use, location tracking, data storage, and countless other variables. I was overwhelmed and had no idea where to even start. It was soon after that I was taught the iterative process and all of a sudden our task did not seem nearly as daunting.

Instead of trying to finish 20% of our project using 20% of our time, why don’t we try to make 100% of a smaller version of our project. For example, let’s just make an app that tracks location to start. Now that seems like a task that is very doable and gives us a much clearer idea of where to start. Once we’ve finished that small “project”, how about we upgrade it to make an enhanced project that allows the user to drop virtual messages at their location? Once again, we already have the location tracking done so all we need to worry about is allowing the dropping and storing of messages. Once again, that seems very doable given what we already have done.

It wasn’t until we had a very sturdy, working foundation of an app before we started to implement augmented reality. With all of the other tasks already implemented, the only thing we had to worry about was augmented reality and so we could devote our entire focus on that task. All of a sudden all the things we needed to worry about was reduced to a very small subset of things that needed to be done. Using the iterative process, we took plenty of small steps that were all very doable instead of trying to take one large step that we most likely would not be able to make and proceed to fall flat on our face. With that process, we still arrive at the same end goal but with a much less daunting perception of things that need to be done.

This idea of an iterative process when it comes to projects is not something I will ever forget. The idea of doing plenty of simple tasks, each one resulting in its own artifact, and have these tasks add up to complete one complex task is incredibly helpful. Usually when I think of starting a big project, I have no idea where to start and as a result sometimes never begin. If I instead think of something much simpler which is doable in a fraction of the time, then I have no problem getting that done and using that artifact to help in future iterations. I now know how to approach large projects in a way where I can keep my confidence high and make the task ahead of me seem extremely less daunting.