Automattic Women: Elizabeth Pizzuti

Enjoying a mocktail on New York’s Lower East Side

Welcome to Automattic Women—conversations with some of the remarkable women working all over the world to design and develop Automattic software and make the web a better place. Today’s interviewee is designer Elizabeth Pizzuti.

Who are you, and what do you do? 

At Automattic, I’m the design lead working on improvements to the admin experience of WooCommerce. For example, if you create a new store you’ll see the onboarding and home screen, which is part of a relatively new UI that’s modernizing WooCommerce core. Sometimes we’re making small iterative improvements and sometimes embarking on future state projects, but we’re always focused on helping store owners create and manage successful eCommerce stores. 

What’s a typical day like for you?

Western riding in Texas with “Trigger”

It’s hard to say what a typical day looks like. We have weekly design and project team meetings, and other communication is async unless a meeting is required. 

In terms of the project life cycle, my team aims to follow the double diamond approach where discovery is followed by iteration and testing. I work alongside developers who I collaborate with from an early stage of ideation all the way through to implementation.

Product designers on the team have ownership of all aspects of the process, from conducting our own user research to final visual design.

Also, the design and product leads facilitate collaboration with the whole team on roadmapping for their focus. Starting with qualitative and quantitative data and various channels of customer feedback, we workshop and form initiatives based on the biggest problems to solve. Then, the proposed roadmap is adjusted based on overall business goals.

One of my favorite things is helping out with hiring, so I’ll have around two designer interviews each week on Slack!

What drew you to Automattic and what keeps you here?

One of my first freelance projects about 10 years ago was a WordPress site. When I had the opportunity to join Automattic, I found it really cool to be part of a team that creates a more human-focused internet. 

What keeps me at Automattic, besides the awesome people and mission, is my comfort with autonomy and focus on personal growth. I think these are two qualities that are almost requirements for navigating working here as well. 

If there’s an area that you’d like to grow into that’s inside or outside of your role, that’s highly encouraged. Also, there’s an unlimited budget (within reason) for professional development and education.

I also appreciate the culture of feedback that’s predominantly asynchronous. This gives my somewhat introverted self time to comfortably absorb, process, and share with my teammates in a thoughtful way.

Tubing the Truckee River in Lake Tahoe

What motivates you most?

I’m drawn to design because I can use my knowledge and experience to improve people’s lives and lift others up. The more challenging the problem, and the more I know it will positively impact people, the more motivating it is.

Get more Elizabeth Pizzuti goodness on her blog, her portfolio site, her Linkedin, her Instagram, and her Twitter

That’s it for this edition of Automattic Women. Follow Developer Resources and Automattic Design to meet more great women of Automattic. And if you’d like to do more than just read about these great people, consider working with us!

By Elizabeth Pizzuti

Design, art, and cats mostly

By L. Jeffrey Zeldman

“King of Web Standards”—Bloomberg Businessweek. Author, Designer, Founder. Employer Brand at Automattic. Publisher, & Ava’s dad. Pete’s brother (RIP). He/him.