As a member of the mobile development team based in Tel Aviv, Ela is responsible for the design and experience of the Houzz apps, on both the iOS and Android platforms. When she’s not at work, Ela enjoys hitting the beach or park to play volleyball, juggle, spin poi or Hula Hoop.
How did you get into design? I’ve been drawn to design for as long as I can remember, doodling on every notebook or piece of paper available. Being a pretty geeky kid, I loved playing video games and spent countless hours exploring the wonderful place called “The Internet”. These passions drove me to get my bachelor’s degree in design and visual communication. From there, product design was a very natural career choice.
Why did you decide to join Houzz? As a product designer, there are a few things that are important to me in a workplace. The product has to be interesting and challenging, there needs to be a team of talented people that inspire me, and the product needs to make a difference and have an impact. Houzz answered all of my criteria in the best way!
How would you describe the design process at Houzz? The design approach at Houzz is holistic, yet agile. The process starts with an initial idea, though in some instances, it is driven by an issue that requires attention. From there, we define exactly what we want to accomplish. These ideas come from a variety of sources, whether driven by our team’s creativity or requested by our community.
The designer leads the process by brainstorming new solutions via doodles on paper or a whiteboard. Then, the designer creates a prototype and gets feedback from the team and our Houzz community, before updating and iterating on the final design.
The design process never truly ends, as we always aspire to improve, get feedback and suggest simple and elegant solutions that continue to make a great product even better.
Since you’re based in Tel Aviv, how do you work with the design team based in Palo Alto? I am fortunate to be surrounded by very talented people here in the Tel Aviv office, as well as in Palo Alto. When collaborating with a remote team, communication is key. There are a lot of things to consider, as we need to share ideas, provide feedback, find answers and stay in sync. For that, we combine several different communication and collaboration tools and platforms for sharing design and prototypes. We always strive to increase transparency and evaluate new tools as they evolve.
What Houzz project are you most proud of? We are working on some very cool updates for View In My Room, which I’ve been honored to work on with some of our best developers in the TLV office. It’s too soon to share the full details, but it’s going to be awesome so stay tuned!
What do you do when you’re not at work? I love a good challenge, either physical or mental. Since I live by the beach, you’ll often find me there when I’m not working, either playing beach volleyball or just hanging out. I also enjoy juggling in the park, spinning poi and Hula Hooping. And of course, I’ll use any available piece of paper to paint or doodle.
How would you describe your personal home design style? I try to reflect my personality in home design choices. It’s a combination of modern, vintage and contemporary pop. I really try to bring the space to life with lots of colors, art covered walls, plants, and DIY furniture that I built myself.