Search is often the first or second means of navigation for users. My main project as an interaction designer at Martha Stewart was a bottom-up redesign of the search experience, including advising on the relevancy algorithm, designing the interface for refining results and the apperance of search results. I had to balance the needs of the editorial, marketing, and programming teams while advocating for the user's needs. Try it yourself, try a search for grilled cheese (mmm!).
Following the successful launch of the search redesign, I was tasked with research for a potential site launch for the popular cooking magazine Everyday Food. I prepared the discussion guide and conducted interviews by phone and in person. The in-person interviews were a wonderful (and humbling) opportunity to observe users in their own environments; picking up on a gesture or offhand remark that may lead to an invaluable insight, or being open to having my design assumptions challenged.