How Make the Dot transformed FIT's Sr Portfolio workflow by using 5 less tools, while boosting productivity
The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) New York is the world's number 1 ranked fashion school as of 2023, focusing on equipping it's 9000 students with the practical skills to succeed in the industry.
With notable alums including Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Carolina Herrera, FIT graduates have some of the highest employment rates in the industry at some of the largest brands.
In continuing the school's link to industry, students in the Senior Portfolio class are tasked with creating a final collection, with the final result doubling as a portfolio.
Which will be used for graduate employment applications.
Creating a collection relied on multiple tools that weren’t synced up, leading to time wasted and poor visualization
For the students, the Senior Portfolio is the final step of a four-year process that acts as the final bridge into the fashion industry.
The students must submit a physical collection, a concept design story, and a graduate-ready portfolio at the end of this process.
The final concept design story should include inspiration, market trends, competitor analysis, and concept designs.
It is important that the creation process is efficient and the presentation is visually appealing.
However, during the design development stage, both efficiency and visualization are often lacking as the students use multiple tools for the workflow.
The students struggled with this disjointed workflow that was out of sync and time-consuming, and they had difficulty organizing their work and conveying their design
Additionally, they faced challenges with the color selection in one of the tools, primary research on their local desktop, and secondary research on website tabs
This disjointed approach to research and design development left them with little time to focus on vital tasks such as primary research, improving their concepts, or generating new ideas for their final portfolio.
All of which could affect their final output and subsequent graduate opportunities.
One design canvas to collect, organize, and visualize all aspects of the collection, both online and offline, across devices
As this is a critical time for senior students, FIT incorporated Make the Dot into its course syllabus as a learning tool to assess its impact.
The students immediately experienced the benefits of having only one design canvas for their primary and secondary research, inspirations, color story, and concept designs.
This improved their visualizations and efficiency as they no longer had to switch between multiple tools.
The students reported that this increased their productivity and made it smoother and easier for them to visualize and convey their ideas, which helped them create a more coherent final concept and collection.
The students particularly appreciated our browser extension, which saved them time while doing secondary research.
It allowed them to save content directly to their boards instead of screenshots and re-uploading content.
This also helped them save inspiration whenever they saw it, rather than only when they were at their desks, thus improving the final output.
Moreover, our built-in Pantone TCX library with easy RGB and Web color extraction from images meant that color stories were in one place, and no further conversions externally in Pantone were needed, saving time and increasing productivity.
Additionally, the students reported that our built-in Fabric Library, linked to physical stores such as Mood, B&J, FabScrap, and QoR, brought the fabric visualization element earlier into the workflow and saved the students from buying a physical swatch.
This allowed them to get quick feedback from teachers earlier and the ability to purchase the swatches later on using their board's digital image and SKU number, joining up the online and offline workflow.
The whole workflow was multi-device, across desktop, mobile, and tablet.
Improved visualization and productivity, with final outputs used as graduate portfolios
After the classes, Make the Dot organized feedback sessions with the students.
Make the Dot helped students save time and be more productive.
They were able to receive better feedback earlier which improved their design direction and output.
In particular, they reported that the browser extension and fabric widget were the most helpful, as they saved time and improved productivity by automating a previously manual process.
The best part of the platform was how easy it was to use overall and how quickly I could add content. Honestly, I loved all the features, but the extension was my favorite.
Nitya Devgan - Fashion Design Student
The program also combined design concepts and physical product development and offered an online and offline experience across multiple devices.
Having a digital version of my moodboard for brainstorming and presenting my concept while collaborating as a group has been amazing. The collaboration features (inviting reviewers and commenting) are my favorite features
Anmol Bedi - Fashion Design Student
As a result, the students were able to improve the quality of output and visual storytelling, which enabled them to use their Make the Dot boards as their final design portfolio for graduate applications with brands.
This was a big win for the students, as portfolio creation can take months and can be a time-consuming process.
FIT's industry-focused nature provided the learning tools the students needed to succeed and saved them time in creating a separate portfolio.
This resulted in better-equipped students who were better positioned to find employment.