UX | UI Designer

Jewelry Design


© 2019 Irene Inouye
Photography by Andrew Steinman


Jewelry Design and UX

As a jewelry designer in the corporate fashion world, I utilized UX Design practices before I was aware of the nomenclature. Actual time spent designing was a smaller percentage of the job. The majority was collaborating, problem-solving, and iterating with cross-functional teams comprised of stakeholders, directors, managers, merchandisers, product developers, production, and manufacturers. The following were duties performed that directly related to the user experience design process:

  • Research: Researching trends, conducting customer surveys for R&D

  • Empathy/Inquiry: Getting to know and understand the customer through asking questions and discovering the customer’s behaviors, motivations, and preferences

  • Insights: Gathering the data and with careful observation, synthesizing it

  • Crafting Key Questions: Through the acquired insights, establishing the right questions, which form the trajectory and theme for the season, line of jewelry, special project, etc.

  • Presentations: Presenting the findings to stakeholders, managers, directors (mood boards, slide decks, etc.); stating the questions and offering relevant, mindful solutions and options

  • Collaborating with Cross-functional Team: Meeting with merchandisers to discuss types and number of styles for each jewelry line

  • Sketching ideas (by hand)

  • Paper and Digital Prototypes: Descriptive drawings (by hand, Illustrator, and Photoshop) with instructions for sample makers to replicate

  • Building the Prototypes: Manufacturers, mainly overseas, e.g., China, fabricate the jewelry samples

  • Testing: Examine, wear, and test samples

  • Re-iteration: Making changes; discussing adjustments with design directors

  • Re-fabrication: Continued communication with overseas manufacturers; relaying required changes 

  • Re-testing: Testing quality, durability, and safety of jewelry

  • Reviewing: Presenting final-pass samples to VPs, stakeholders, creative directors

  • Meeting with product development team to discuss parts, materials, finishes, etc.

  • Meeting with production team: Cost is negotiated between designers, production, and manufacturers

  • Production/Delivery: Final products are manufactured overseas and distributed to the U.S. market