The geometry and dimension design is the most critical part for the success in nano-photonic devices. The choices of the geometrical parameters dramatically affect the device performance. Most of the time, simulation is conducted to locate the suitable geometry, but in many cases simulation can be ineffective. The most pronounced examples are large-area randomized patterns for solar cells, light emitting diode (LED), and thermophtovoltaics (TPV). The large random pattern is nearly impossible to calculate and optimize due to the extended CPU runtime and the memory limitation. Other scenarios that numerical simulations become ineffective include three-dimensional complex structures with anisotropic dielectric response. This leads to extended simulation time especially for the repeated runs during its geometry optimization. In this paper, we show that by incorporating genetic algorithm (GA) into real-world experiments, shortened trial-and-error time can be achieved. More importantly, this scheme can be used for many photonic design problems that are unsuitable for simulation-based optimizations. Moreover, the experimentally implemented genetic algorithm (Exp-GA) has the additional advantage that the resultant objective value is a real one rather than a theoretical one. This prevents the gaps between the modeling and the fabrication due to the process variation or inaccurate numerical models. Using TPV emitters as an example, 22% enhancement in the mean objective value is achieved.