We’re tracking down InVision users inside the world’s most amazing companies to discover their favorite tools, books, methods, and the philosophy behind what makes them so awesome. This week we interviewed Nir Yuz, UX Studio Manager at Wix, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
What are the top 3 essentials in your workspace?
- The right people: I’m not only referring to designers on the team: It’s important to be able to work well on a daily basis with every stakeholder on a project – from developers to product managers. It’s not enough to be a good designer, you also have to be a team player to really make things work.
- Lots of things to sketch on: Notebooks, pages, sticky notes, white boards, glass windows, walls, etc. The best UX/UI flow often happens during the sketching stage.
- A good computer: My MacBook Pro laptop allows me to move from place to place, letting me work from locations other than my office. I often sit with other teams during different stages of the project. My MacBook is also connected to a 27″ Apple Thunderbolt display – but I also have other displays available so I can see how different users will see our designs.
How important is your workspace to your creativity?
At Wix, design is one of the most important values, and I’m surrounded by about 70 designers all the time. This means being constantly exposed to beautiful, creative things everywhere I look. The open space environment allows us to interact both professionally and socially. The glass walls break down distance and barriers between employees, making it easier to approach anyone in any role or position. This definitely improves our interactions and creativity… and having a front row seat to the Mediterranean Sea also helps.
InVision makes it easy to send a direct link to a working flow. This makes sure everyone works off the same version, as we actually planned it – in a browser and in actual size.
Do you ever work outside? Where?
My work is pretty intense – I usually collaborate with dozens of product managers and designers on a daily basis. That makes it really important for me to have some quiet moments out of the office. In fact, when I work on complex managerial issues or concepts, I prefer to do it from home.
How much sketching do you do on paper?
Every good design starts its life on a piece of paper. I found that complex issues and product disagreements are often solved with a good sketch, both during the initial stages and the important junctions along the road.
What is your ritual to get in the zone when you’re working on a project?
Getting in the zone is only possible when there’s absolute alignment between all stakeholders. Everyone must understand the issues, agree on the main idea, and know exactly what needs to be done in order to get there. A great result can be achieved by putting the minimum amount of required professionals together with the maximum amount of good drinks.
So what’s your beverage of choice?
Campari with a bit of bitter-lemon and a lot of ice and fresh lemon.
A clean canvas, without the distraction of visual noise, can help you find a better direction.
What do you do during your free time?
I love spending time with my wife and two daughters. Whether it’s at the pool, beach, zoo, parks – it doesn’t really matter where. I also play basketball. Being a good point guard requires similar skills to a UX expert – you need to be a team player, have a good hand, understand the whole picture, and make the right decisions at the right time.
Tell us about some of your favorite books.
- Getting Real by 37 Signals is, in my opinion, a mandatory book for product managers and UX designers. It talks about the smartest, fastest, and easiest way to build a successful web application.
- Seductive Interaction Design by Stephen P. Anderson talks about how to create a playful, fun, and effective user experiences.
What are some of your favorite tools for the creative process?
- Jira and Google Docs are great for managing all studio tasks info like status, due dates, priorities and owners. They allow for optimal control and a better understanding of the big picture.
- Balsamiq is useful for creating schematic screens based on our sketches, exploring versions of complicated flows in a short time.
- Photoshop is the main and most important design tool for our beautiful, smart creations.
- InVision is for creating the perfect flow.
- daPulse is great for updating company employees with our new designs and getting a clear idea of everything that’s going on in other departments within the company.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am constantly inspired by the 70 designers that I work with at Wix. I also love exploring quality design content in Smashing Magazine and Dribbble. I also check out the best design links every day on Sidebar.
Who do you look up to as a designer?
I like Philippe Starck’s clean and smart design. I think both the product design and interactive design are very similar. Both product & interactive design are founded on listening carefully to the people’s needs.
Knowing that we helped one of our users accomplish something is a great feeling.
What do you do when you hit a creative roadblock?
First, I step outside the office for a nice walk on the Tel Aviv promenade, breathe some fresh air, smell the sea, and drink a fruit shake. Then I come back to the office and consult with other team members. I find that sometimes a fresh mind can provide the perspective needed to help me solve the puzzle. Also, I’m not afraid to start from scratch! A clean canvas, without the distraction of visual noise, can help you find a better direction.
How do you know when you’ve achieved an understanding of what the client really wants?
Communicating with users is an essential component of our work. Running tons of usability and A/B tests at every stage of the process as well as using live products and prototypes is key. It’s important to understand users’ needs and pains every step of the way. During our last usability tests with new users, we tried out some new ideas with InVision flows. After watching how users work on a specific section in our product, we provided them with two full flow alternatives, presented in InVision. Having a mock-up that resembles an actual working environment provided us with some really important insights.
How does InVision help you in your design process?
InVision makes it easy to send a direct link to a working flow. This makes sure everyone works off the same version, as we actually planned it – in a browser and in actual size. This ensures that the screens behave exactly like the real product, with all required actions and transitions. We also don’t have to send heavy JPG/ZIP files anymore, saving tons of downloading/extracting time. InVision also helps us get feedback and create discussions between all the stakeholders in one place at a specific point in the process.
How important is collaborating with other designers?
Very important! The main reason for sitting together in an open space environment is to be able to consult, discuss and share ideas with others at any time.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
Actually, there are two:
- The lightbulb moment when I realize that I’ve found the perfect solution – it’s the same feeling I get when I’ve completed a really tough level of Candy Crush.
- When a user tests the product and loves it! Knowing that we helped one of our users accomplish something is a great feeling.
What is the most frustrating aspect of design?
Our job as UX experts is a balancing act. We’re always trying to figure out the right combination for all our ingredients: UI, UX, graphics, marketing and other business goals. I sometimes get frustrated when, in order to achieve optimal UX results on complex products, I need to sacrifice some of the cooler design elements.
Special thanks to Sagi Shrieber, the owner of Israel’s popular design blog Pixel Perfect Magazine and also of the fresh new Hacking UI Magazine for conducting this interview.
Nir is the UX Studio Manager at Wix and Vice Chairman of the Israeli Graphic Design Association. Connect with him on LinkedIn.
Wix is a web development platform enabling anyone to build a stunning online presence using simple cloud-based creation and management tools. At Wix’s core is an HTML5 drag-and-drop website editor, enhanced by a highly curated app market, 100s of designer-made templates, top-grade hosting and tons of free features. Since it was launched in 2008, Wix has become the go-to platform for millions of businesses, organizations, professionals and individuals worldwide. With its powerful technology and user-friendly, code-free tools, Wix enables you to launch and manage your web presence, just the way you want it.