Category Archives: community

Attention as a skill (UX Magazine)

Yes, yes, I’m a little delayed in posting this. But I wanted to share an article that I wrote back in January for UX Magazine, about developing the skill of paying attention, and how it applies to UX research. I intended the article primarily for those of us who spend most of their time in a lab setting, working with a research script.

Read the article here: Paying Attention: The Most Valuable Skill in UX Research

The sneaky thing is that I really care a lot about attention, and my point in the article is for readers to take what they learn about attention in a research context and apply it to the rest of their lives. As I wrote, “Stay with the present moment with your participants through better attention and discover for yourself what you might have been missing.”

Mobile User Experience Research in Seattle

Next month I’m traveling to Seattle to speak at the first ever Web Directions Unplugged conference. I’ll be talking about research mobile experiences with a focus on remote methods.

Here’s the blurb:

Most user experience research takes place sitting behind a computer. And yet these days, most networked experiences are happening on mobile devices. Some common user experience research methods work well in a mobile environment; others don’t. In this talk, Juliette Melton will guide you through how to use some great existing research methods in a mobile context, how to incorporate some new (and fun!) methods into your arsenal, and propose next generation tools and services to make mobile user experience research even better.

Use the discount code WDMELTON for $50 off registration.

Quarterly Report

Quarterly Report

Hello there, internet! Things have been busy around here! The past few months have been a whirlwind, but I finally have time to catch my breath. Phew.

Here are a few of the adventures I’ve been stirring up lately:


In November I launched Deluxify, an independent user experience research practice. Since then I’ve worked on lots of awesome projects with companies including Adaptive Path, Digg, Answerlab, Punchcut, and LendAround. Like I said, it’s been busy!


Last week I spoke about remote user experience research at the UX Web Summit along with Daniel Burka, Cindy Li, Dan Rubin, and other smart folks.

In September I’ll be doing a talk and a workshop at an as-yet-unannounced conference. Will report more once details are available.


I’m excited to announce that I’ve started writing as a columnist for UX Magazine. My first article is Usabilla and Loop11: Taking remote research tools on a test drive. If you have ideas for UX tools you’d like for me to write about, or people I should interview, drop me a line.


I travelled to Atlanta in December, Austin in March, and New York, Boston, and Portland (Maine) in April. And then I’ll be in Atlanta again in June, and September, and December. Hopefully the next six months will also involve travel to places that are not Atlanta.

The Great Terrarium Zeitgeist

OK, so this one is particularly weird and awesome. My little terrarium project totally blew up on the internet in February. The tutorial I wrote got over 10,000 page views within a week and got picked up by the likes of The Huffington Post thanks to hundreds of tweets, blog posts, etc.

I created Tiny Terra to share terrarium photos and started a successful store on Etsy. But here’s the thing — when a project goes from the experimental “Hey, can this be done?” stage to the “Time to make the donuts…” stage something big and essential is lost. So I’m pondering what’s next for the terrarium project. I might shutter the Etsy store and go back to just making them for friends. I might try expanding my use of materials and do something really different; what would a paleo-terrarium look like, for example? What about terrariums that have clocks or robots or LCD lights? Or seamonkeys? Or miniature wave machines? Clearly it’s time to do some playing around.

That’s all for now. Follow along on for only slightly more frequent updates.

Adventures in Terrarium Construction

What started as a fun way to make Christmas presents has grown into something more interesting; over the past couple months I’ve been making lots and lots of very small terrariums inside of lightbulbs. I’ve experimented with different types of lightbulbs (some are easier to open and empty than others); different positioning angles (the metal part of the bulb needs to be relatively high to preserve balance); different substrates (small rocks are easier to work with than sand); different mosses (too much sheet moss leads to mold); and different types of tillandsia (they’re all working well).

To learn more about what I’m talking about, see this blog post, “How to Make a Tiny Terrarium in a Light Bulb,” that I wrote for the fantastic blog The Hipster Home. It describes how to get started with basic terrarium/light bulb endeavors.

In the past week my terrariums have started moving in a new direction because of a cat. While eating dinner with friends at their house, we kept leaping up to move their terrarium (I gave them this one) away from the inquisitive paws of their highly active teenager cat. I realized that building terrariums with a loose substrate, like what I wrote about in the Hipster Home post, was pretty risky. They are just too fragile.

So I started experimenting with ways to retain the organic feel of a terrarium while constructing it in a way that would be more stable. Many failed experiments with polyester resin later, I figured it out.

What looks like water in the terrariums above is actually resin. You can pick these up and shake them and they’ll stay intact. The tillandsia that I “rooted” in the resin is still doing well.

I realized that terrariums that are essentially all one piece can be safely shipped. I started an Etsy store thinking that maybe I could start funding this kind of weird hobby.

My next experiments will focus on resin; what is the right temperature for it to cure properly? How long should I wait after pouring the resin before I can water the plants? Will the tillandsia continue to grow happily despite being stuck in plastic?

I’m sure you’re waiting with baited breath for my findings, so I’ll be sure to report back. Also, I’ll be tracking my terrarium project over at Tiny Terra.