Meet the WPMU DEV Design Team – Plus a Sneak Peak at Our Upcoming WordPress Themes
Our design team is changing what you see at WPMU DEV. Meet the guys quietly pushing pixels behind the scenes – and working on some truly exciting new products.
There’s rarely a quiet moment when music isn’t playing at WPMU DEV headquarters.
The National, Nick Cave, Little Wings and – if UX Lead Joji Mori has his way – ’80s power ballads are on high rotation.
No doubt visitors to our office by the beach in Melbourne think our office is like a stereotypical internet startup, but in our office where more than half of the staff are designers, it’s more about fuelling their creativity.
Oshik Harari, like our other designers, keeps tabs on design trends but also looks to film, books and art for inspiration.
“Everyday I have a different playlist in my head that sets the mood for the rest of the day,” Oshik says.
“Since my early childhood, music has been my main inspiration.”
The same too goes for Product Lead Victor Ivanov who admires designers and agencies like Teehan+Lax, Information Architects and onformative, but also takes inspiration from literature and even awe-inspiring images taken by the Hubble telescope.
Still, he says he’s obsessed with typography and type design and has a plethora of type specimen books on hand.
The WPMU DEV Design Team
Unlike our developer team which is distributed around the world, our design team is based entirely in Melbourne, Australia.
Victor, our longest serving designer, joined the company after working at a digital marketing agency as an interaction designer.
He has worked across every aspect of the business, but over the past 1.5 years he has been Product Lead on our upcoming new themes project, which is set for release later this year.
“This mainly involves research, conceptualizing, writing elaborate specifications for each feature, prototyping, UI and UX design, user testing and bug reporting, arguing with our CEO James Farmer and a dash of product management,” Victor says.
Oshik originally studied photography at an art academy before working as a 3D photographer and training clients around the world in 3D software.
He says he found himself taking on more personal projects and helping people develop their business identity. He went on to complete a Master in Multimedia and worked in Melbourne’s startup scene.
At Incsub, he has been involved in all aspects of the company’s look and feel.
“My job is spread over a wide spectrum of projects from designing themes, branding new products we develop, designing plugin interfaces and support WPMU DEV and Edublogs sites,” Oshik says.
Designer Julian Savio is also working on some stunning and upcoming themes, though his main focus at the moment is our new WPMU DEV academy, which will be launched soon.
The academy will allow anyone to learn how to become a top-notch developer.
Our UX Lead Joji joined the team last year after many years working in usability, user experience and interaction design.
His is a new role – and one that requires a little interpretation.
“I talk with support staff and attempt to engage with our end users to find out what they are hoping for with a new feature or product,” Joji says.
“I work on either wireframing up ideas, often with teams including support/visual designers/developers who all get to contribute to design.
“Then throughout this process we have checkpoints and end user testing so we ensure end users are at forefront of what we make.”
Joji is currently working on re-conceptualising some of our major plugins, particularly Membership and in time plugins such as Appointments +.
“Some plugins need to be simplified/made more intuitive, some need new features and some are being built from scratch,” he says.
“So my role is to ensure we have teams, processes and techniques so we can provide useful, usable, and satisfying experiences with all our plugins.”
On top of his work at WPMU DEV, Joji is also writing a PhD thesis about digital technology and commemoration.
From themes and developer courses to improving the user experience for our 140+ plugins, our small team of designers have their work cut out for them.
We recently advertised for a new designer who will hopefully join the team soon and will be tasked with working on new themes.
Let’s hope he has good taste in music.
We’re releasing a new post each week to give a little insight into WPMU DEV, who we are, what we’re doing and where we’re taking our members.
Past posts in this series:
Part 1: How an English Lit. Grad. Who Didn’t Know PHP from FTP Bootstrapped a Successful WordPress Company.
Part 2: Meet the WPMU DEV-elopers.
Part 3: Why WPMU DEV Has the BEST Support in the WordPress Community. Period.
See you next time for part five in our WPMU DEV series.