Approaching UX Design with a fashion designers eye

As a UX designer, I’ve found many parallels between fashion design and user experience design with the main difference being the tools used.

My design career started in fashion and has evolved to designing user and customer experiences.

Fashion design is my first love and design is the love of my life.

I like to say that fashion design is my first love and design is the love of my life. Most people remember their first love fondly. Fashion gave me my introduction into the world of design and has been an integral part of my life.

My formal training for fashion came from Parsons, The New School for Design, and was an excellent place to learn the basics and beyond of fashion design principles. My training for User Experience Design came from General Assembly, which, in my opinion is one of the best institutions around for teaching technology and business skills. It is also where I now get the pleasure of being an Instructional Associate for User Experience Design.

Both Parsons and General Assembly provided me with a good foundation to approach making a good experience for the user whether that be from the fit of the garment or ease of use of a web application. I had some great instructors who taught me the importance of sketching and experimenting things that inspired me. I also learned about the constraints that many of us have in our day-to-day working with clients.

My First time…

The first time I made a pattern for a patternmaking class at Parsons, I was my own fit model, I took my measurements and made a paper pattern, not just once, but 13 times. That’s how long it took before I could get the right fit. What that experience taught me was that no matter how much I plan, I may not get it right on the first try and I had to keep trying until the pant properly fit.

Fashion Design Process

UX Process

The process for UX varies, this is generally the process that I follow.

Like the process of UX design, fashion design is iterative and goes through many phases before you are ready to get it to your user or customer. How much goes into a website is often never seen by the user, but, it is acknowledged when someone is able to get what they need done in a usable way. In the end, when the pants fit right or when your website is easy to use and people are happy with the results, this is the ultimate job well done.

“Design is the process of expending considerable time, thought and energy into making something that looks and feels effortless.” Christopher Anton