The final phase of the design process is to evaluate the success of the design solution. This should be an ongoing procedure that, from time to time, analyzes various aspects of the implemented design. Often, the best way to evaluate is by observing the design over an extended period of time. What is learned through evaluation can be applied to subsequent designs that are created. The following questions can be asked periodically throughout the years:
• How does the design appear?
• How does the design function?
• What portions of the design are easy or difficult to maintain?
• Are all the plant materials doing well? Which ones are not, and why?
• How has the pavement material held up?
• Are there any problems with the wood structures?
As with maintenance, evaluation of a design project should be a continual effort. The designer should never stop looking, analyzing, judging, and questioning. From this viewpoint, the design process is a continuous, ongoing effort extending beyond the limits of a single project.