Hagit Kaufman is the Vice President of Design and Brand at Wix.com, the website building platform and one of the world’s leading tech-forward brands, in 2007 and has been leading Wix’s Design Studio since 2008. She now leads a team of 100 designers who are in charge of creating Wix’ web design, user experience and coming up with eye-catching promotional related content.
“…our design and innovation is based on feedback from our customers and we challenge ourselves to stay one step ahead of what we believe they will need for aesthetic and business success…”
Super-fast pace and daily new challenges
To be honest, I joined Wix by pure chance when I agreed to help some friends with their new start-up. I just love the super-fast pace and daily new challenges you come across when creating a forward-thinking tech brand. At the same time, I also enjoy helping our users create stunning websites. As the business grew, so did my position in the company as I eventually found myself managing a small (but fast growing) design team. So, I really appreciate and thankful for being part of a uniquely creative tech company.
Builders, nurturers and promoters
The favourite part of my role is working with an incredible team of 100+ designers. Ultimately, my team – along with our marketing team – are the builders, nurturers and promoters of the Wix brand. This includes web design, user experience and promotional content. We contribute to the entire look and feel of the Wix experience, the design of the content that fuels our global users and the way we market new products, features and functionality to enable them to grow their own brands.
Pairing design and technology
Wix provides a platform for over 108 million users in 190 countries. At our core, we are a product company that pairs design and technology to create free and easy to build websites. Behind the beautiful interfaces are powerful tools that our customers use to operate their businesses, connect with their customers, and truly manage everything they do from the cloud.
We all share a belief that anyone should be able to easily create anything they wish on the Internet, and that small businesses, artists, entrepreneurs and artists of all kinds, should enjoy the same advantages that big brands have online.
Wix’s product range is vast, to meet the needs of our customers. We recently launched Wix Video, which is being used by video professionals and solopreneurs such as fitness instructors and educators of all kinds who can seamlessly build a video portfolio and monetise their content.
We offer Wix Stores for ecommerce; Wix Music and Wix Photography and Wix Pro Gallery for our huge creative base, Wix Blog, Forum and ShoutOut for community building and CRM, Wix Hotels; Wix Restaurants and Wix Bookings for hospitality. We basically have something for everyone. Additionally, we have tools such as Wix App and SEO Wiz to make the management of websites as easy and convenient for anyone who may not have experience technology. We are delighted every day by our users, and the ways that they use Wix to build incredible, engaging and gorgeous sites.
Technology the platform is built on
Back in 2012, Wix launched an HTML5 site builder to replace our original Adobe Flash technology. This was a big shift from a customer perspective, because it gave us the opportunity to more flexible, adapt faster and build a better user experience. Last year, we released Artificial Design Intelligence technology, Wix ADI, which allows anyone to build a website in the same amount of time as is takes to drink a cup of tea. Genuinely, our design and innovation is based on feedback from our customers and we challenge ourselves to stay one step ahead of what we believe they will need for aesthetic and business success.
Accessible design for all types of business and brand
There is an expectation that every business and brand, no matter how small, will have a website. Additionally, artists need websites, students, musicians, yoga instructors, dog walkers, chefs … the demand is endless. For a long time this was a significant resource challenge, but technology has helped pave the way so this process is faster, easier and affordable.
The technology also provides a wide range of opportunity for someone who may not necessarily know how to design to employ style, tone, imagery, adding real personality to their online presence. Essentially, it provides a website that matches the brand identity without any compromise.
In addition, a well-designed website gives consumers a sense of confidence that the brand is professional and trustworthy, especially if they stumble across it for the first time. This is not the first thing that people think of when web design comes up, but it is an important part of the creative process.
Tackling under-representation of women in tech
The next generation is growing up in a world of code – they think about creation and building differently as they have always had the tools to let them design in magnificent ways. To grow up believing that you could create almost anything you can imagine, is nothing short of remarkable.
These possibilities have no gender limitations and promoting STEM for all students, female as well as male, is crucial. As this new tech-savvy generation rises through the ranks, I feel that the opportunities within my industry are roles based rather than being gender based.
Opening up the conversation around women in tech
We can encourage more adult women to retrain in tech by opening up the conversation. Sharing experiences, both negative and positive, is important to help demystify the perception of what a role within technology might be like. It can seem quite daunting faced with a myriad of buzzwords when looking at courses or job roles within the technology sector, specifically in product development and design where coding is the norm.
Female leaders and mentors already in the space add tremendous value, and it is evident that this is a global undertaking as there are initiatives around the world across countries and cultures all working to make this path easier for women to navigate.
I just had the opportunity to meet Karlie Kloss who used Wix to build both her personal website and the one for her coding programme for girls – Kode with Klossy. This is a great example of women providing learning, experience and mentoring to the next generation.
My focus first and foremost is my team, helping to push and to challenge them. They never cease to amaze me with what they can do. We take great pride in the quality of our designs and user experience, so we will continue to build on that and stay ahead of the design trends so our customers always have what they need. For Wix, it is an exciting time for us as we continue to build on our own brand and further enhance our product offering. I can’t say much more than that, but watch this space!