Whether you’re working internally or with clients, using words to describe a visual concept can only take you so far. Saying “picture this” without an actual picture may leave members of a team seeing and thinking different things. And when we’re not on the same page, we spend time creating the wrong thing (and then correcting it).
Blog posts tagged with: User Experience
Anyone who has talked to me recently will be used to the refrain, “So, I heard on the radio/a podcast that…” and some astounding story goes from there. I am obsessed. As this obsession grows, I find myself streaming narrative audio wherever I can get it.
That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones. -- Raymond Carver
Lead Content Strategist
Lindsey Gates-Markel grew up on a corn and soybean farm in rural Illinois, reading books in the sunshine. When she was in middle school, a Gateway 2000 with a squealing modem moved in as well, sparking her longtime love of the web.
Lindsey earned an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University in 2012. She worked as a web copy editor at Wolfram and as the grant and technical writer at Girl Scouts of Central Illinois before coming to Pixo as the content strategist.
Lindsey is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer of short stories and nonfiction essays and member of the Celebration Company at the Station Theatre, where she once played Hamlet and won’t let anyone forget it. She lives in beautiful Urbana with her husband and their beloved cats, Festus and Isabella Rossellini Looka So Nice (Izzy for short).
Monmouth College – Bachelor’s in Arts, English
Lesley University – Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing
Pixo, 2015-Present – Content Strategist
Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, 2012-2015 – Grant and Technical Writer
Wolfram, 2010-2012 – Copy Editor
Volition, 2008-2010 – Receptionist
In August of 2015, Pixo started the discovery phase of redesigning the website for the College of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) at the University of Illinois Chicago. By the time we wrapped up Phase I of the project, Pixo’s director of UX, Melinda, and I felt like we knew the college really well. We’d talked to about 175 people associated with AHS through questionnaires, workshops, and a lot of interviews.
It’s that time again. I’m thinking about personas. Well, I guess, I’m always thinking about personas, but right now I’m thinking about creating them for a particular project.
Almost every Friday morning for the past few months Maya – our Creative Director – and I have been going over to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) with markers. Then we spend a couple hours drawing on the walls. You may be asking yourself, “Has Pixo staff taken to defacing the property of others while on the clock?” The quick answer is yes, the longer (totally justifiable) answer is below.
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." - Mark Twain
Director of Consulting
Melinda joined the Pixo staff full time in January 2012 after finishing her master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Melinda is intrigued by information problems and enjoys figuring out to effectively use words and design to solve problems.
A native of Macomb, Illinois, Melinda attended the University of Illinois and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. She moved to upstate New York, where she worked for 12 years in the newspaper industry in Elmira, Ithaca and Rochester. Melinda often got involved in side projects including redesigns, new product launches and system implementations, whetting her appetite to work on more complex information and technology problems.
In 2005, she joined Illini Media, a non-profit student media newsroom, and helped them transition into a multimedia operation and implement new publishing tools, including K4 and Drupal.
Information architecture, user experience design, content strategy, user research, usability testing, wireframing
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – M.S. in Library & Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – B.S. in Journalism
Pixo, 2018 – present – Director of Consulting
Pixo, 2013-2018 – Director of User Experience
Pixo, 2012-2013 – User Experience Designer, Information Architect
Illini Media, 2005-2010 – Editorial Advisor
Gannett Newspapers, 1993-2005 – Assistant managing editor, presentation editor, designer, copy editor
I spent a lot of time as a kid playing with Legos. Arguably, I think it was the perfect toy for someone who grew up to be a user experience architect/closet librarian/newspaper page designer. * I started thinking about my own history with organizing when I was reviewing a recent project and reflecting on how user research informed our recommendations.