Roll Call: Ozge + Dylan + Rehana

Yelp’s Product Design team consists of 22 talented folks who work on all facets of Yelp products. We’ll talk to a few designers each month to share their stories.

Ozge Gascho

Favorite Local Business on Yelp?
Philz Coffee in San Francisco, CA

Where were you before Yelp?
I was at Hotwire as the Senior UX Designer on their mobile team.

What product do you work on? What challenges is your team up against?
I work both on mobile and desktop products, though I’m mainly focused on mobile at the moment. One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on so far is the redesign of our mobile apps. The homepage, search and filter pages are all ready to be shipped in Q1. I’ll be working on the rest of the app throughout this year. I also worked on a new feature called “delivery rating.” The data we have gathered so far has been very interesting and useful in understanding user behavior. It’s a crucial tool not only for the product team, but also for every single team on Eat24. I’ve been also leading the efforts of our styleguide and components library to maintain our visual language throughout all platforms.

As product designers we create products for people and solve problems for people with user’s intent in mind. If you forget about user empathy and design what you want just because you think it looks good, then you end up creating products that are sometimes even unusable. We have a small design team, which has its advantages as well as disadvantages. It helps us focus on each project more and pay attention to user needs, but it also means we’re often spread thin.

Walk us through designing at Yelp
The Eat24 design team is its own team within Yelp Design, but we all regularly get together to critique each other’s work and give / get feedback. That way we all know what each designer is working on.

Who are the important mentors in your life?
Having a mentor I think, a good one, is one of the most important things in a designer’s life. I’ve never been lucky enough to have a good mentor myself, but I mentor the other two really talented designers on the team, and I take so much joy in doing so!

If you weren’t a Product Designer, what would you be doing?
I studied film / broadcasting in school and always wanted to direct. So, I guess a film director. Or a stage actress. Or a fisherwoman on a quiet small Danish town. Too weird?


Dylan Wright

Favorite Local Business on Yelp?
Pho Huynh Hiep 6 — Kevin’s Noodle House in Walnut Creek, CA

Where were you before Yelp?
I’m currently on the Yelp Eat24 Design team, but I joined Eat24 before Yelp acquired us.

What product do you work on? What challenges is your team up against?
I work on the Yelp Eat24 app and desktop UI/UX. One of the biggest challenges the team faces is integrating Eat24 with the Yelp platform and incorporating Yelp content in a way that doesn’t confuse users.

Walk us through designing at Yelp
Understanding the goals and context of a project are the first thing I need before working on a design. Once I have that information, I either brainstorm with a coworker on a whiteboard or start exploring broad design options in Sketch. The projects I work on at Yelp Eat24 are fairly diverse, so the variety of design problems makes my job even more interesting. Another essential part of the design process is critique. Luckily, the Yelp design team engages in weekly critiques, and online feedback through Slack is always available.

Who are the important mentors in your life?
I don’t have a mentor per se, but I draw a lot of personal inspiration from a couple of distinct groups. Artists like Chris Sasaki and Daniel Holland both remind me of how important research is to any creative endeavor and that visual design isn’t just about making something beautiful, it’s about solving problems. Additionally, self-started Youtube channels like ‘Kinda Funny’ and ‘Game Grumps’ have a positive influence in the way I creatively work. At a huge risk to themselves these YouTubers make their living by creating content that they want to make. Their continued output inspires me to work harder and avoid becoming complacent.

If you weren’t a Product Designer, what would you be doing?
Without product design, I would be an illustrator / character designer. Research and visual problem solving are inherent to both fields so a lot of my design knowledge is applicable to character design.


Rehana Khan

Favorite Local Business on Yelp?
Jumpity Bumpity in Hayward, CA

Where were you before Yelp?
Before Yelp / Eat24, I was working at Disney Playdom in Palo Alto as an artist for Facebook and iOS games.

What product do you work on? What challenges is your team up against?
I work on a little bit of everything for Eat24. One day I could be working on the website, then the Android or iOS apps the next. It depends on what’s needed at any given moment. But I find myself mostly working on iOS, and implementing the designs on other platforms later. We are currently trying to consolidate a visual style for all platforms and create a styleguide, which not only gives engineers, designers, and PMs a point of reference, but also solidifies our brand and makes for a more consistent experience on all platforms. The biggest challenge was trying to get the team to adhere to the changes the designers were making and not create totally new ones while we were working on the style guide. Other than that minor complexity, it’s been a fun project to work on.

Walk us through designing at Yelp
A typical day starts with poring over emails, sipping on some coffee to get the juices flowing, sketching a lot if needed, then implementing wireframes or just jumping right into whatever I’m working on. I feel like pre-planning before starting the task I’m working on helps a ton. I can get my ideas down quickly before I execute the drafts. During the “sketch” phase I can turn to my peers to get ideas and opinions, especially if I hit a wall. I also go looking through Dribbble or Pttrns for examples that may spark more ideas whenever I’m stuck. I’m all about reference and research and jotting down notes and sketches since it’s quick and I’m not losing anything in the process. Then I get it done!

Who are the important mentors in your life?
Through my career I’ve often found motivation through many designers and illustrators and humans from the words they may say in an article, or in a book, or in person, etc. But the one person I keep coming back to is Walt Disney. I know, I know, so cliche. Why Disney? I started with a background in animation and illustration, so naturally I’m drawn to him. But his life work, how hard he worked, his innovations, how much he’s accomplished, all the quotes I time and time again am drawn to and feel motivated through has always spoken deeply to me. I feel like his wisdom had pushed me to do my best and understand that I’m capable of more. Other than him, my Uncle, who recognized that I had something when I would draw all the time and pushed me to never stop, and gave me all sorts of material to nurture it. And of course my son, little as he may be, makes me want to be the most accomplished and hard-working human as I can be for our little family.

If you weren’t a Product Designer, what would you be doing?
I can’t just choose one! I’m overly creative so I could see myself owning my own bakery, being a children’s book illustrator, a game artist, a wedding photographer, and the list goes on! I’ve grown to love product design very much, but I also have a lot of creative outlets outside of work that leads me to believe that I can jump into anything else creative. What can I say … I’d like to do it all!


Feeling inspired to get to know us a little better? Look us up on Dribbble, and if you’ve got the design chops and are passionate about local businesses, check out current openings for the Yelp Product Design team at yelp.com/careers.

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