Author: Julie MeridianPage 3 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.

Put on your infosec hat

You’ve thought about the happy path your users will take — time to anticipate how it could break so you can build in some safeguards. Time to put on your infosec hat.

The proper use of beautiful imagery

No matter how well-arranged your interface is or how simple your flows are, the imagery you use in your designs will have a disproportionately large influence on how it will be received. Beautiful imagery, when done right, can be a powerful force for progress.

When (and when not) to DIY

If you do it yourself, how far should you go? If you’re feeling like you should do it yourself, especially if you have some skill or knowledge about it already, weigh the DIY option carefully.

Stories make it stick

Everyone loves a good story. While you may not remember all of the details of a story, you’ll remember enough of the setup and the emotion to recall it at a moment’s notice. Use that same stickiness as a way to keep other points of view in mind.

You’ll never be ready (and that’s okay)

The opportunities to be successful don’t necessarily come when you’re ready for them. Though going down a particular path will not necessarily lead you to your dream job, don’t discount where you’re at now – you may be more ready than you think you are.

Use sleight of hand with muscle memory

Designing for a product that’s been around means working within expectations. How do you (gently) break someone free from a timeworn path to discover a new one? Use a few cues from magic to shake things up.

The low before your breakthrough

Projects shown in the light of success – like portfolios, or client stories – will naturally emphasize the best, but this doesn’t mean it was a smooth process. Most projects will reach a point where something is off or not quite right.

Play off of supporting characters

Think about the lead characters in a story. They don’t go it alone, and neither do your users. In any story there are always other characters that support or challenge them.

The tripod for getting your ideas on the level

That DIY drive to get something made will get you to the practical puzzles quickly…which can cover limitations that may be far more subtle. You need other perspectives. You need the tripod.

Reasons to march forth

I can’t stand seeing designers hit walls. The nature of designing is creating a reality from the kernel of an idea…but a vision isn’t enough. This is my attempt to explain the techniques that I have seen work.