May 15, 2018 // 44 minutes

Meriah Garrett: scaling design with empathy and intention

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Meriah Garrett

Meriah Garrett

Chief Design Officer, USAA
About The Episode

Rapid growth doesn’t guarantee rapid success. When companies build out a more robust design practice, the emphasis is often on filling seats and getting things shipped—but what if the first deliverable was a balanced design team instead of a new feature?

In this episode, USAA’s Chief Design Officer Meriah Garrett talks about the company’s unique team balance. She also discusses her role in the C-suite, how being mission-driven affects product development across multiple offices, and the higher purpose of being a designer.

Listen as Eli and Aarron chat with Meriah about scaling with intention and ensuring that customer experience and a human-centered approach are always at the heart of design. If you enjoy this episode, we’d appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes.

Meriah’s bio

As Chief Design Officer at USAA, Meriah Garrett leads a diverse team of designers, researchers, and “experience owners.” She helps make sure the mission-driven company uses design to serve customers, meet business objectives, and provide leading digital experiences in the financial services industry and beyond. Prior to joining USAA, Meriah worked at the design firm Frog as a creative director after launching her career as a freelance designer in the 1990s.

Meet Your Hosts

Aarron Walter
VP of Design Education

Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Design Education at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He’s the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. Aarron’s design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capital firms.

You can find Aarron on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Eli Woolery
Director of Design Education

Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he has worked with companies ranging from startups (his own and others) to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his background in product and industrial design, he has been a professional photographer and filmmaker. He teaches the senior capstone class Implementation to undergraduate Product Designers at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Twitter and Medium.

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