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UX/UI Case Study

Trade. Sell. Recycle.

How we created the perfect website to combat fast fashion. An easy way for people to get involved the way they want to.


Given the prompt of fast fashion we needed to first define what exactly it is and then we wanted to do research on how we could best help. We did some research on what “fast fashion” means, and the main issues that it is causing. To give you an idea of our findings here are some quick facts.

Fast Fashion is the fifth biggest polluting industry in the world. The goal of this project was to find a way to help solve the the fast fashion industry problem by raising awareness and and making textile recycling easier.

The requirements of this project was to design a fully interactive and responsive user interface website. Each week, we would do a step (or two) of the UX process and we would need to present a live working version of that at the end of around 6 weeks.


But what is fast fashion? The dictionary definition states fast fashion means “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers”.

80% of clothing ends up in the landfill or incinerator.

The average American will toss out 81 pounds of clothing every year.

26 billion pounds of textiles and clothing is ending up in the landfills each year.

Environmental impacts

The fashion industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world.

The production and distribution of the crops, fibers, and garments used in fashion all contribute to differing forms of environmental pollution,

including water, air, and soil pollution.

From this prompt we started by making assumptions and anti-assumptions about fast fashion in general.

We can assume:

  • it pollutes water

  • clothing is being thrown away

  • people in need don’t receive these clothes being thrown away

  • clothing fills up landfills

  • creates a large amount of global waste

  • companies are overshooting their quota

  • people have shopping addictions

  • clothes don’t get recycled

  • we are a society of buying products

  • people don’t research the cultures of the companies their buying from

  • there isnt a way to recycle clothing

  • companies loose money

  • companies bank off the culture of the buyers to buy their items

  • the US contributes to buying second hand clothing the most

  • theres not enough thrift stores

  • consumers aren’t thinking about the environment

  • not enough textile recycling locations

  • thrift stores requirements are too high

  • companies assume everyone wants their items

  • users are selfish

  • “no one is going to use this item anymore”

  • users are ridding clothes to clear space in their closet

  • no payout for users

And on the other hand we do anti-assumptions to


  • We are not wasting animal product

  • water is not being polluted

  • clothing is not

By exploring these assumptions and anti-assumptions it guided us towards finding creative solutions to the problem and helped us re-examine existing ideas.

What we need to know is:

Information to form a product. It is important to find these out to build a persona for empathy. This information will help keep me on track through the process.

Research Plan:

Setting up who to ask and where to go for our interviews. We ended up going to a hipster spot in Sugarhouse, Utah. We decided to interview Thrift store managers and basic consumers. Thrift store managers because


From the problem of fast fashion, and the environmental effects, we came up with some questions to find out what real people think and know about this situation. We had many face to face interviews, and received 91 responses on our survey.

Demographics of users

What products are being tossed most

Do users have transportation to donate clothing

Recycling services

Percentage of people who care about trends

Do users care enough to recycle

Are their benefits in the users eyes for recycling

Statistics w fast fashion

How does fast fashion contribute to the environment

Animal cruelty being wasted

We got a lot of information that we needed, but when looking back at our survey we asked a few questions that were probably not necessary as well as we were missing some important ones that would have been good to find our focus. For example, we asked people if they liked to shop, and where which didn’t really give us any insight that we were looking for. Some questions that we found very insightful are:

Interviews and Surveys

We did a lot of interviews with people to find out their perspective on thrift stores and recycling. Almost everybody we talked to wasn’t sure where to find locations of textile recycling. Generally people said they would recycle more if it was easily accessible.

I was definitely impressed that people donate to thrift stores this much especially compared to how often they throw things away. Though, this is still a lot of clothing being thrown away when you combine it all, and it could be more extensive in other areas. We need to make textile recycling more accessible, and more widely known if this problem is going to get resolved.









From our research we came up with “Raine the Recycler” to use as our persona. It was nice to have a specific user to concentrate on. It helped us to focus in on who we are designing for, what her focus would be, and what she would want to accomplish on our site.

Raine’s 3 Goals:

She wants to be minimalistic, and help the environment.

She wants recycling to be accessible to everyone.

To have a sense of fulfillment from helping the environment.

From Raine’s goals we came up with the following narrative. We took her 3 goals and figured out what each task would be to complete her goal. It made more sense on the actions that she would need to complete her goals. This is how we decided on the 3 actions of our site.

From the story-map we picked our main topics and focuses. We made a sitemap from our narratives. The story map helped us to see the exact steps Raine would be taking to best accomplish her goals.

This is the sitemap that I came up with.

After deciding some main topics of navigation on our sitemap I then took the subject categories I’d come up with, and had people organize them differently. It was interesting to see what people who didn’t have any insight on the topic thought. I started to understand how the user might organize the information in their mind, and how to improve the website to make it easier to navigate.

From our research about the user and from our personas goals, we decided to have 3 main actions on our website.

Search for a location of textile recycling.

Clothing swap events that people can come to trade their used clothing.

Submit a request to get a textile recycling bin near them.

We drew out thumbnail images of wireframes. We did lots of versions of the pages to figure out what direction we wanted to go. My partner and I each did some 10x10’s to get our ideas on paper, and then we compared, and focused in on an idea, and came up with several more from that. In the end our original drawings changed a lot, but we wouldn’t have solved some of the design issues if we hadn’t thought about so many different layouts.

Once decided on a layout on paper I took it into sketch-app and created a digital version. I pushed it onto invision to turn it into a prototype. Having a clickable prototype was so useful to me. I saw many flaws, and noticed things that I had not considered yet. I also found it so helpful doing my user testing. I loved talking to people about what they thought about the issues, and for them to use the site to accomplish things to help out with the problems.


Copywriting content

Having the topics and content decided to best help the user, I created content to fill the spaces and help get the purpose across.


HIFI / Prototype


Teams and Roles

Grace Havener and myself, Bailie Ewell are the team that has worked to solve this problem. My role is the researcher and designer. Grace as my partner is there to bounce ideas off of, and to help generate more creative thoughts.

Together we went through the beginning process. Starting with developing questions, conducting interviews, creating user story maps, conducting open and closed card sorting, thumbnails, and ending in low-fidelity wireframes.



Overall I learned a lot about solving a problem for the users needs, and how to focus on their goals.

Doing lots of research changed the perspective I had on the prompt initially. I felt like there was two directions we could go, corporate or personal. We felt like the personal one would resonate with the individual more. I originally was thinking we would be finding a way to stop fast fashion from happening, when we did more research we found that the problem with it was that is was polluting our surroundings, so we focused in on textile recycling.

I realized that I have a bias, and learned how to not have that as my focus. I do not want my own biases to be involved so I try to remember, I am not the user.

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