Suggestions in the topic of: "Fashion in HCI"


I am working on a paper in the field of HCI. My goal is to explore the concept and role of fashion in interaction design. How would the field of HCI change if designs are driven by fashion? Does fashion-thinking brings opportunities/challenges to the HCI community? What can HCI designers learn from the fashion industry?
These are some of the main questions. I would really appreciate your opinion. I am looking for different and innovative perspectives.

Thank you!


Hey there,
Are you referring to fashion as in clothing, or as in fashionable ideas?


Thank you for replying.
The goal is how to create fashionable ideas. The concept of fashion can be related to the clothing fashion and I would like to see if HCI designers can learn from clothing fashion designers, in creating fashionable products.


I’m having trouble understanding this. Maybe you could give one example.

The first thing that comes to mind is maybe how some colors, or color combinations, seem to be very in for a while. So a few years ago, perhaps some computers could have switched from the primary colors to more of a mint and coral palette.

My main thing is, HCI is for human cognition. This tends to work well for interpreting information. I’m not sure how it would work for something more subjective, like fashion. I mean, some people would react to the same colors or trends differently. Some people love things to be fresh and fashionable, and other people reject that and wants things to be “classic” and not change.


What I want to find out is if fashion thinking is an appropriate approach for HCI. Is it better to find what users want (user requirements) or is it better to show them what they want or to make them want that product? The case of Apple for example. Apple design is not a user-centric approach, but apple products are fashionable products. So I would like to see challenges and opportunities of the fashion thinking approach in HCI, maybe by comparing HCi with the clothing fashion industry.


Selina I’m open-minded and would love to hear your argument further. However, I know for a fact that apple is very much a user-centered company. I’ve read their human interfaces guidelines for app developers. Yes, they sometimes make bold decisions that SOME or even MOST users think they don’t like, but users often wind up really liking their products. Do users like apple products BECAUSE they’re cool and fashionable, or are they popular BECAUSE they’re so user-friendly?


I :heart: how thoughtfully you worded this!


Hello @selinademi,

That’s quite an interesting combination, Fashion and Human-Computer Interaction !!

In both the field the user is at the center, in HCI the designer is trying to make the interaction between the computer and human as intuitive as possible, whereas in fashion the designer is designing clothes, accessories for the user. (debatable is fashion designing is about solving problems of users, depends on how you define fashion.

Eg. for me it could mean just being myself and not following a “trend” but wearing something which is comfortable and goes well in the social context I stay in.

I am particularly excited about Fabric/ Accessories User Interaction, wherein computing could be embedded in our clothes/ accessories itself which could help avoid attention seeking screen-based interactions which distract us from our end goal and use the concept of reality-based interactions and make this interaction more natural.


  1. Levis Commuter Jacket
  2. Xenxo S - Ring

I see fashion designers can play an important role in helping HCI designers to understand the naunces of designing for Fabric User Interaction or Accessories User Interaction and make interactions more natural for the users.

To read more about Fashion and HCI, here are some research papers:

  1. What is HCI became a fashion-driven discipline ?
  2. HCI as Fashion
  3. What can HCI learn from Fashion consumer industry?

Hope this post will give you more context around how HCI and Fashion could work together in conjunction for benefitting our end user. Will love to know your opinions as well.

Let me know if you want to collaborate on certain research projects in this field in future :smiley:


Hi Aurora,
Thank you for your reply. I am really interested. Could you please send me your email so I can contact you?

Thank you very much.


I worked in the eCommerce side of the fashion industry for a few years while I lived in London. High street fashion is very competitive, has a very fast turn around of work with very tight deadlines and is very much driven by numbers.

Some of the lessons I learnt and I saw other people learn while I was there:

  • Don’t give people too many choices.
  • Make the journey clear.
  • Check journeys across channels.
  • Every SKU has a fixed cost on top of the per item cost, don’t have too many SKUs with too few units.
  • Consistency of style
  • If it doesn’t work, move on quickly and don’t get attached.
  • Don’t try to do something that isn’t relevant or is diverting from the goal, it confuses and distracts customers.
  • Measure everything.
  • Competitors will steal your work. That’s fine, it’s actually funny when you see your work being stolen. It means you are being influential and are getting noticed.
  • Everybody/every department has their own agenda, you have to make sure they don’t conflict or cause problems.
  • Sometimes OK and works, is better than perfect, perfection can come after the concept has been proven (assuming it wont be gone again in a week).
  • Don’t get in a lift at 5 in the morning, take the stairs.

I’d like to go into the examples but I’d be here too long and the post would be TLDR.