Or, why Wayfair employs so many Experience Designers

This is the new-and-improved edition of an article I originally published in 2018. The size and shape of Wayfair’s design team has changed substantially since the original version. While in 2017/2018 our main goal was to grow the headcount of our team, our focus since has shifted to enhancing and empowering the team we have.

🧠 How we’ve evolved

The Experience Design organization at Wayfair has evolved immensely since I joined the team in March of 2016. I typically communicate the rate of change simply by comparing the size of the team. When I joined, I was one of eight UX designers. …

Once a month I lead a training session at Wayfair called “Working with Experience Design.” This is one of 16 training sessions attended by a cohort of experience designers and product managers who are new to Wayfair. These sessions are meant to give new team members a well-rounded understanding of the ins and outs of our product organization.

Explaining Wayfair’s Experience Design (XD) methodology is time-consuming. While co-workers are my typical audience, I’m often asked to explain this methodology to curious third parties. I now explain it so frequently that I occasionally pause to question whether or not I’m repeating…

Or, why Wayfair employs so many Experience Designers

I’ve published a new-and-improved edition of this article. Read it here.


As my career has progressed, I’ve come to recognize the value of a strong professional network. As such, during the last two years, I’ve had countless one-on-one conversations with experience designers who work in the Boston area.

These conversations more-often-than-not involve a casual walk around the Wayfair headquarters in Copley Place. Conversations are usually fairly wide-ranging. We talk about design systems, agency vs in-house design, management strategy, team culture, and Game of Thrones, just to name a few. However, the topic that comes up most often is the…

He talks customer-centric thinking, strategic planning, and the future of product design.

We’re thrilled to welcome Keith to Wayfair. He’s managed design teams for more than 20 years, and now he’ll lead the optimization of our onsite user experiences.

Two weeks in, he sat down with us for a Q&A.

What qualities define the most effective product design teams?

It typically starts with a clear understanding of both customer and business goals. Once those are communicated and internalized, the most successful teams embrace a common approach to achieving those goals. Product design is a discipline that involves testing and experimentation, so it’s also important to have the willingness to continuously play the devil’s advocate in order to avoid complacency and groupthink…

How to turn user flows into quick sketches, quick sketches into wireframes, and wireframes into annotations.

Every two weeks at Wayfair, all 42 Product Designers and UX Writers take part in training sessions. These were planned as part of Wayfair’s decision to combine UX and UI design positions into a singular role called “Product Designer.” This article outlines the subjects that were covered in the training session called “Interaction Design: Sketching + Wireframes + Annotations.” For the most part, the content serves as a broad introduction. Future training sessions will dive deeper into the nuances of Interaction Design (IxD) deliverables.

Me pointing at very important IxD related topics.

What you’re about to read/see

Wayfair is filled with many skilled designers, each of whom brings a diverse set of skills…

The Wayfair design team has combined all UX and UI positions into a singular role called Product Designer. Here’s why.

UX vs. UI

Jesse Kaddy

Associate Director, Product Design (UX/UI) @Wayfair in Boston, MA. x Optaros MRM//McCann. Comic nerd. TV/Film nerd. Nerd Dad. OG Millennial. @jessekaddy

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