Discover How You Can Travel The World From Behind Your Screen With Wix

With over 500 templates and 200 million users, Wix is a website design ... where any business, community or person can create their dreams online.
Discover How You Can Travel The World From Behind Your Screen With Wix

Hagit Kaufman, head of design and branding at Wix

With over 500 templates and 200 million users,  is a website design platform that enables entrepreneurs and designers to easily share their ideas, setup online shops and launch products. Israeli-based, Wix invested millions of dollars to build an in-house creative team, which basically operates as a best-in-class agency, instead of relying on external partners. Vice President of brand and design, Hagit Kaufman built Wix from the ground up and manages a team of hundreds of creative designers and coders. The company’s latest innovation, led by Kaufman, is the Wix Playground, a physical space where makers, builders and creators can learn from one another. Programming includes renowned designers who lead seminars and teach the their craft. In a world where tech platforms continue to grow their community offline, Wix is cultivating a local community rooted in genuine connection.

What was your professional background before getting involved with Wix? I started freelancing after finishing my degree in print design in 2007. One of my first gigs was illustrating assembly instructions for a company that sold pool- cleaning robots. Around the same time my boyfriend, now husband, asked if I wanted to join his tiny startup as a web designer. I came from the world of print, so digital design was totally new to me. However, necessity is the mother of invention. I dove in head first and learned everything I could about web design and the tools I needed to be successful. Back then, the Wix design team consisted of five print- and web-designers in a tiny studio. Today we have a team of 300 designers who focus on a variety of specialties.

You often hear executives talk about the hardest part of growing or building a business is the people: finding the right people and managing people. Can you speak to your experience around this? People are the foundation of everything we do at Wix. They’re the heart of the product. Over the years, I’ve invested in creating a studio with diverse design talent. Designers can always find the right place to thrive in our organization because we work with so many different fields and digital mediums. 

It’s common to think that the prestige and perks of working in tech is what attracts good people. I find that the best people are actually inspired by the challenge and the opportunity to reach millions of people around the world with their work. Passion is key.

2020 is heralding a very different (hopefully) business and leadership environment than even a few years ago. In your words, what makes a great and effective leader? A great leader knows how to identify a person’s strengths. Once you know what talents your people bring to the table, you can create effective teams. It’s important to develop teams of individuals whose talents complement one another. From there, the team members can effectively challenge each other in a way that helps them grow.

What is the vision of Wix? What larger impact is it having on the world? Wix’s vision is to be a place where any business, community or person can create their dreams online. By enabling anyone to build their own site, we’re allowing a more diverse ecosystem of makers and creators to put their ideas into the world. This leads to more collaboration, and powerful solutions.

At the Editor X launch, Dribble’s CEO was quoted saying “The job of a designer is to take a complex problem and solve it creatively”. Tell me about some of the complex problems Wix is solving? Our challenge is to create a product that works for both professional designers and developers, as well as users with no design or development experience at all. That’s a major, complex problem we tackle day after day. We’re constantly thinking about how to improve the use case for all types of Wix users.

What does Wix want to achieve through the Wix Playground? And why was this an investment the company wanted to make? Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about the best way to build best-in-class websites. The Wix Playground is our way of giving back to the design community by sharing our experience and expertise across design modalities. It’s also extremely valuable to the internal Wix team, as we receive feedback about the product directly from our users. We’re able to keep a pulse on the Wix community in real-time.   

Is the Wix Playground something you plan to roll out in other cities?Without a doubt! We want to expand the Wix Playground globally. While our world is increasingly online, I believe it’s valuable to create physical spaces where our community can learn, brainstorm and workshop with mentors and peers face-to-face. I believe in the importance of eye contact. We also have a three month, in-person design program at the Playground called Wix Academy. We want to offer that to more communities worldwide. Sharing space is increasingly important in our digital world. The Wix Playground enables connection and knowledge exchange that can’t be replicated online. 

How do you go about programming the events at the Wix Playground?We try to create events that enable designers to do their best work, which includes everything from education on design tools to trend forecasting. We focus on bringing in up-and-coming designers, like Jessica Walsh and Alexandra Zsigmond, to lead our events, so that our community can learn from the makers who are directly impacting and shaping design culture. It’s important for us to give rising design leaders a platform to support their growth and influence within the design community. 

A seminar at the Wix playground in New York

What differentiates Wix from its competitors in the market? I think the numbers speak for themselves. We have over 170 million users worldwide and more than two million users join us every month. We put all our focus on creating a versatile and flexible platform that’s intuitive enough for anyone to use but has such depth that professionals can go the extra mile for their clients. 

The tech world is such a fast-moving arena. What are some of the major changes or pivots you’ve had to maneuver since starting out to keep up with the changing preferences and consumer behaviours? Wow! There have been so many. Some changes are a result of user demand and some are born from necessity. For example, we started out with an editor that made Flash websites. When Steve Jobs took away flash support on Apple devices, we had to completely switch to HTML5. That was a big one, but our team adapted quickly, and we made it happen. On the other hand, we are always evolving our product to meet the needs of users in a changing digital environment. We just released , a solution for designers and our agency partners who required extended capabilities.

What surprises people most to learn about Wix? We design everything using the Wix Editor. Every template. Every landing page. Everything. 

What is the goal for the Wix Academy? What makes someone a good candidate for the Wix Academy? We are looking for young talented designers with a passion for web design and a strong portfolio. Bonus points if your portfolio was built with Wix. We take unique and interesting people from a variety of backgrounds and put them together on a team. The best candidates are passionate and know how to bring the best out of everyone on the team. We hope that after their experience in the Academy, they’ll spread the word about Wix and take the lessons they learned with them throughout their professional career.

 What is the key to great web design? What makes a website standout?Design is evolving at the pace of the internet. Fast. Like fashion, a good site must evolve over time. I like web design that offers a fresh perspective and takes risks. Though taking design risks should not sacrifice accessibility or comprehension. Finding the balance is key to making a website standout.

A longtime journalist, I am the former Associate Editor, Print and Digital at Vanity Fair in London and the current London Correspondent for vanityfair.com. I am also t



source https://www.forbes.com/sites/bridgetarsenault/2020/02/22/discover-how-you-can-travel-the-world-from-behind-your-screen-with-wix/

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