Author: Julie MeridianPage 2 of 3

Julie Meridian is the experience design consultant behind Make It Legit, where she helps companies hone their strategy, interaction, and visual design. Prior to that she designed for LinkedIn (member growth, Recruiter, Groups) and led design of the Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, and Illustrator. When away from the screen, she pursues fine art and illustration.

Enjoy the silence

We’re all time-constrained at work. In this kind of regiment we each track our own time and goals, and can feel the pressure to keep moving. Sometimes the best thing to do is to pause, and let others take the conversation forward.

Games designers (should) play

Beyond the skill, strategy, and chance, games shape your thinking. These are a few games I’ve come across that pose challenges that correlate, in some small measure, to the types of problem-solving I do every day.

Become your own user

A popular concept in understanding your product experience is “eating your own dogfood” (or “drinking your own champagne,” or any number of other food-or-drink metaphors). But are you really using it the way your users will?

Using the object at hand

The objects we can grasp in the real world can become a reference point for describing a number of things: a comparison, a structure, a volume, an interaction. Does that world ring true for your users?

Hand off that baton

Design is a relay race where the work you do now can affect your product after you have moved on. How are you planning on handing off that baton to the next designer?

Personas with personality

Personas are stand-ins for real people – abstractions that can be as specific or general as you need them to be. That kind of abstraction may seem unnecessary, but I’ve have come to realize that they are extremely useful for a particular type of project.

Choose the right problem to solve

Without a shared understanding of the goals and priorities, you may optimize towards the solutions that are easiest to measure. You may, in effect, game your own system.

Follow the money

How do you learn about the people you’re designing for? You may be overlooking teams that are just as invested as you are in understanding your users–those who sell and train users about your product.

Finding your voice

One of the misconceptions I see frequently is the idea that you must have a complete sense of who you are and what you do before you “present” yourself by participating. In fact, exercising your voice is one of the best ways to discover how you want to represent yourself.

Feedback and the reptile brain

Getting feedback can be revealing in more ways than you might expect. Listen for the emotional reactions, the ones that comes from that deep-seated “reptile” part of our brain, for cues that there is more to be understood.