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Leading UX Guild

in Wix

Wix is a leading website builder platform that empowers over 200+ million users globally to create professional websites and manage their businesses. All Product Designers at Wix across 4 countries make up Wix UX guild, the professional community that provides guidance, alignment, learning and growth opportunities for design teams.

In 2018, I became the UX lead at Wix, establishing UX guild in Ukraine and laying the foundation for design team growth in this site. During my tenure, I grew the team from 6 to 17 designers, and built a powerful design community known for its effective design operation and meaningful product and business impact.

Role

UX Lead

Segment

SaaS

Timeline

2018-2022

As UX Lead, I had a multifaceted role in setting strategic goals, managing operations, mentoring designers, establishing UX standards, advocating for user-centered design, providing feedback and  evaluating performance. I played a pivotal role in guiding the guild's direction, fostering collaboration, and ensuring exceptional user experiences aligned with organizational objectives. I also implemented and continuously enhanced processes for recruiting, onboarding, education, design operations, and employee growth. A significant part of my role included offering advisory support on design, product, and process-related issues, while also aligning diverse design teams in terms of their design processes and desired outcomes. 

 

In this case study, I will provide specific examples from my work as the UX lead in the Wix UX guild, covering four main areas: Design Management, Recruitment, Onboarding, Education & Design Community.

My role

As UX Lead, I managed the team of 17 product designers working on various Wix products, including Wix Editor, Payments, eCommerce, and Wix Data, among others. I played a key role in shaping the strategy and focus of the UX Guild, leading initiatives in design recruitment, education, and design operations with a keen emphasis on fostering professional growth. Additionally, I fostered collaboration among product design teams, providing ongoing feedback and guidance. My responsibilities also included effectively managing and optimising team performance, while actively contributing to the resolution of complex product and design challenges.  I established and maintained high standards and best practices, resulting in a cohesive and exceptional user experience across multiple Wix products:

1.  Design Management

One of the key aspect of my role was to lead the recruitment efforts and attract top talent to join our team. This involved devising effective strategies and implementing a comprehensive recruitment process to identify and hire skilled Product Designers who would make both valuable contributions to Wix products and drive the growth of UX guild.

2.  Recruitment

As a Product Design Leader, I played a crucial role in setting standards and aligning designers working on diverse teams. The following are the key responsibilities I fulfilled in the direction of design management:

 

  • Establishing and aligning UX standards and best practices across different Wix products.

  • Ensuring consistent adherence to Product Design guidelines across products design teams.

  • Aligning designers working on different teams to ensure a unified user experience.

  • Providing guidance and support to designers, assisting in their professional growth, helping them navigate challenges and solve problems effectively.

  • Fostering a culture of innovation and continuous learning within the UX Guild.

  • Advocating for the importance of UX and user-centered design throughout the organization.

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of design efforts, assessing designers performance.

CHALLENGE:  One of the key aspects of my role was to lead the recruitment efforts and attract top talent to join our team. This involved devising effective strategies and implementing a comprehensive recruitment process to identify and hire skilled Product Designers who would make both valuable contributions to Wix products and drive the growth of UX guild.

Interview presentation for presenting Wix UX. Used at Professional Interview stage

Recognising the significant issue of lengthy interview durations, which ranked among the highest in the market, I took proactive measures to optimise the stages. Six interview stages been optimised into 4 stages and average duration of the process decreased from 8 to 4 weeks. I developed and implemented the following streamlined process, which I have consistently utilised throughout my tenure in this role:

OUTCOMES:  The implementation of the new interview process yielded positive outcomes for our guild. Firstly, it helped us attract top talent from the market, ensuring that we had a team of skilled UX designers who could drive the success of our projects. The structured process also provided a positive experience for candidates, showcasing our professionalism and commitment to a fair and thorough evaluation. That resulted in decreasing overall interview process twice (from 8 to 4 weeks), and increasing the interview process completion rate to +30%. Interview process enhancement was one of the things that made UX guild at Wix to gain a reputation of being a sought-after destination for UX professionals, strengthening our position in the industry and enabling us to build a strong and diverse design community.

One of my key responsibilities was leading the onboarding process for new Product designers joining our team. I was responsible for ensuring a seamless transition for new hires, guiding them through very extensive onboarding process, equipping them with the necessary knowledge, resources, and support for effective integration into both the product teams and the UX guild.

3.  Onboarding

CHALLENGE:  The onboarding process for new Product designers posed significant challenges, as it was overwhelming. Designers often felt lost in the midst of multiple sources of information and an endless array of stakeholders involved in the process with a lack of specific guidance through it. The excessive amount of information, with the need to navigate both the product team specifics and the guild's processes, created complexity and complicated onboarding experience.

 

Here are the main issues I intended to address:

  • Extensive onboarding process with a substantial amount of information to absorb.

  • Dual onboarding: general UX guild onboarding and specific product team onboarding.

  • Lack of structured and defined onboarding flow for designers

  • Absence of clear progress tracking and evaluation mechanisms for management.

  • Lack of automation of the process for its management

SOLUTION:  To address these challenges, I’ve implemented a structured approach that aimed to provide clarity and guidance for new Product designers. By consolidating and simplifying the onboarding materials, I created a more accessible and coherent framework for new hires to navigate through. Instead of having multiple sources of information they had to navigate by their own, the new solution presented a very structured, task-based onboarding with priority and sequence set. This approach ensured that designers could navigate through their onboarding with total understanding of progress, maximum efficiency and complete transparency for both,  new hires and their management. 

 

The implementation of the solution was carried out systematically, following a step-by-step approach:

OUTCOME:  The implementation of the revamped onboarding process yielded positive outcomes. Designers experienced a more streamlined and efficient onboarding experience, as they no longer felt overwhelmed by scattered information. The structured approach improved their understanding of the product team and guild specifics, facilitating a smoother integration into their roles.

The new onboarding system resulted in clear structure and customization for different teams and roles, providing a comprehensive and transparent onboarding experience. It offered newcomers a clear path, allowed managers to assess progress, and centralized information sources for efficiency. Ultimately, the enhanced onboarding process contributed to increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and long-term retention of talented Product designers within the organization.

As the UX lead of UX guild, I played a crucial role in fostering education and growth. I prioritised knowledge sharing through workshops and events, support skill development through critiques and challenges, encourage collaboration and networking, provide mentorship, expose members to diverse perspectives, and advocate for UX's value. UX guild is dedicated to nurturing continuous learning and personal growth in Product design. Here are the main activities I organised to support this goal:

4.  Education and Growth

UX GUILD DAY. KNOWLEDGE SHARING.

UX Guild Day it's a local event held twice a month for all Product Designers of Ukrainian Guild. Variety of topics was diverse and among others included the following: 

  • Organizing workshops, training sessions, and knowledge sharing 

  • Case Studies and showcases

  • Design critiques and feedback sessions

  • Guest speaker talks

  • Collaborative sessions with other guilds (Frontend, Product, Analytics)

  • Discussion forums and brainstorming platfroms

WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING SESSIONS

Main goals of this sessions is to educate about different aspects of product design. These sessions may cover topics such as user research methods, interaction design principles, information architecture, usability testing techniques, and more. Workshops and trainings were led by external experts or internal community members.

HACKATHONS AND DESIGN CHALLENGES

To foster creativity and collaboration, the guild and myself organized hackathons or design challenges. These events encourage members to work together on innovative design solutions within a limited timeframe. Participants can learn from each other, explore new ideas, and practice their UX skills in a fast-paced, competitive environment. This included fostering creativity and collaboration, promoted innovation and growth, as well as strengthened collaboration and enjoyable work environment.

FUN EVENTS

Fun is an integral part of our UX guild's DNA. I believe that fostering a sense of enjoyment and team spirit enhances the overall experience and value for our members. These fun events serve multiple purposes, contributing to the overall growth and well-being of our guild: team building, fostering creativity and innovation by engaging in creative and playful activities, providing a platform to celebrate accomplishments, milestones, and professional successes. Also, incorporating fun events into guild activities enhances member engagement, loyalty, and commitment, making a significant contribution to a positive organisational culture.

EMPOWERING EXTERNAL DESIGN COMMUNITY

I genuinely believe in the power of knowledge sharing and collaborating with the external design community. By creating a community around Wix UX guild, we aimed to bring fresh perspectives, specialised expertise, and share our knowledge with external design community. This effort has several goals: making an impact on the Ukrainian design community, integrating into the local market, giving a spotlight to Wix Product designers, and attracting top design talents to the company. One of our main activities was organising recurring product design meetups called Fresh, where Wix designers and industry experts shared their knowledge. These events showcased our collaborative spirit and global reach,  fostered connections, created a meaningful impact on the design community, and attracted top talents who align with Wix values and aspirations.

Overall, my time as the UX lead in the Wix UX Guild was a transformative experience. I was able to double the size of the design team, establish a powerful design community, and make a meaningful impact on the products and experiences of over 220 million users worldwide. The outcomes achieved and the lessons learned have solidified my understanding of the importance of effective recruitment, onboarding, education, design management, and building a strong design community. I am grateful for the opportunity to have led such a talented and dedicated team and look forward to applying these experiences and takeaways in my future endeavors as a UX leader. 

 

Here are the key outcomes and my reflections on the experience:

 

  • Attracting Top Talent: By implementing a streamlined and structured recruitment process, I was able to attract top talent to join our team. During just two years, the team almost tripled its size, and Wix UX Guild became a sought-after destination for UX professionals, strengthening our position in the industry and enabling us to build a strong and diverse design community. 

  • Fostering Education and Growth: Through various initiatives, such as UX Guild Days, workshops, training sessions, and design challenges, I successfully fostered continuous learning and personal growth within the UX Guild. These activities promoted knowledge sharing, skill development, collaboration, and networking. This helped a lot to create an outstanding working environment and long-term retention of Product Designers.

  •  Design Management and Standards: As the UX lead, I played a critical role in establishing and enforcing UX standards and best practices across different products and teams. By aligning designers and providing guidance and support, I ensured a consistent and unified user experience. Additionally, advocating for the importance of UX and user-centered design throughout the organization helped elevate the overall design maturity and impact. 

Summary and outcomes

SOLUTION:  To address these challenges, I took a proactive approach and introduced a new interview process that was specific, efficient, and focused on assessing candidates' skills and cultural fit. I collaborated with key stakeholders to define clear evaluation criteria, establish a structured interview framework, and develop standardized assessment methods. Additionally, I introduced clear communication channels and defined the methods to keep candidates engaged throughout the process. 

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