01 Nov Pattern Testers
What would a designer do without them? A rhetorical question, of course. But what exactly do they do?
Mine do an amazing job at keeping me on point, concise, accurate, creative and motivated. This is a little bit of the process:
First things first ~ we have an ongoing dialog exchanging ideas ~ a think tank. Much of it is culled from conversations in the CloBird Group. Paying attention to what ladies are looking for and interested in sewing is vital. Once I’ve decided on which project to tackle for my next pattern, I get to work on doing a sketch or mock-up. My current pattern has 5 sketches and 4 mock-ups … it’s fascinating for me to watch what evolves from initial concept to final draft ~ sometimes they barely resemble one another! Once I’m satisfied with the direction I’m headed ~ I’ll post pictures of the mock-up and get feedback. It is at this point where I put the confidence in my testers and suit up in armor for their remarks. I must leave my ego behind ~ or why else would I bother having these collective minds working in my best interest?
Working only from photographs and measurements, this competent group then offer up their thoughts and observations. I might end up scraping the project at that time, modifying it heavily or begin writing the pattern. All three scenarios have taken place.
While writing the pattern, I don’t bother the testers for much of anything, other than to provide a status update with a timeline. Once I send them the first draft, their real work begins. Now the testers begin sewing and making notes. The feedback I receive runs the gamut from shoring up measurements; typos in the text; reworking a set of directions to be more concise and other bits to make the pattern as easy to follow as possible.
Once revisions have been made and the pattern is ready for release, the testers do their level best to get the word out. There are blog posts, sharing in groups and, most of all, playing a role in assisting with questions, since they are intimately familiar with the pattern. And then? We start all over again!
I want to give a HUGE shout out to my amazing group of testers. They really are the backbone of my patterns. Their experience and enthusiasm fuels me. Thank you. Thank you.
Wish to be a tester? I select 3 guest testers for each new pattern ~ primarily beginners, since that is my focus. Drop me an e-mail with your information, including your skill level, website (if applicable) and other designers you test for.