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Meriah Garrett is using design to improve life for the military

She is creating seamless digital experiences for more than 13 million active members and veterans of the armed forces.

Meriah Garrett is using design to improve life for the military
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Meriah Garrett is responsible for creating seamless digital experiences at the United Services Automobile Association, which offers financial and insurance services to more than 13 million active members and veterans of the armed forces. Through design, she is ensuring that every member, even those suffering from post-­traumatic stress and other psychological disorders, can use USAA’s services, whether to buy property insurance, bank online, or check their retirement funds. After joining USAA in 2016, she helped with the design of the first voice-guided remote check-deposit capture for the visually impaired. Last year, she made accessibility an imperative across USAA, requiring relevant documentation to accompany each product update and rewarding employees for incorporating accessibility into their work with points they can use for discounts on their health insurance. In the first three months of 2020, the average number of accessibility defects that design reviewers found in USAA products dropped by 45%. “Building accessibility into the controls is a major thing we continue to work on,” Garrett says. Now, she’s looking to address the needs of members with Alzheimer’s, since veterans with PTSD are more than twice as likely to develop the disease, compared with the general population.

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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