One Year at Automattic

I remember when I received an email with this title, “New Design role?” It was Automattic reaching out to me saying they liked my profile and were expanding the design team.

The year flew by. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I joined Automattic.

New Design Role?

I remember when I received an email with the title, “New Design role?”

It was Automattic reaching out to me saying they liked my profile and were expanding the design team. It was perfect timing for me as I wanted to pivot my career after years of working in digital agencies. I wanted to develop in a new direction—to be responsible for a digital product. In an agency setting, the turnaround for projects is fast, the lifespan of a project can be as short as a week, and the depth is limited by the timescale. But a digital product is a living thing. Working as a product designer for Automattic you are part of how the product evolves over time. This was the main difference for me between agency work and this new role. I was anxious during my design trial, but I really wanted to seize the opportunity, and hoped that I would be able to translate my experience into this different universe.

Embracing Change

From an early age I was a big thinker and a good listener. I am excited to listen to people’s stories and grow from the life experience that they willingly share. That love of listening has kept me curious and focused on learning in all parts of my life, personal and professional.

When I started at Automattic I had to learn a lot to keep myself up-to-date with the tools, methodologies, and processes. Of course this is normal whenever you start a new job, but joining Product Design at Automattic wasn’t just a new job, it was a whole new way of working—one where I wasn’t merely designing visually beautiful products, but also finding the right solutions that would impact people’s lives.


Automattic has an amazing culture, and little by little, I discovered every secret—tools, reading club, watercooler channels, P2s – there are so many resources to help us meet our goals. I was encouraged to keep learning and was given opportunities to challenge the areas that I wanted to improve. The culture of collaboration is strong, and the people here are so genuine and passionate about what they do. Automatticians are always happy to work together to amplify our results. The receptivity of others made it easy for me to feel settled.


Ratings and Reviews

This project involved redesigning the ratings and reviews flow and implementing new features. We ran a Usability Test to ensure that the interactions were making sense to the user, validate hypotheses, and identify any potential sources of confusion. I was responsible for each step of the project from writing the research goals, the script, and the user profiles, to conducting the interviews, building the prototype, transcribing the videos, and finally, publishing the findings. It seems a lot and it is—but it was so rewarding to connect with our users and have more autonomy and involvement in the whole research process.

Cart and Checkout

In this project, we wanted to incorporate the Gutenberg blocks into the WooCommerce checkout flow, create a single solution for physical and digital products, and take the opportunity to expand our WooCommerce design library. This was a nice opportunity to collaborate with other teams.

Empathy Challenge

I invited Woo’s design team to play the role of a merchant going through a real-life scenario and share their experience and feedback. It was a great exercise to get fresh ideas to help improve our WCCOM experience.

Futures Archive Podcast

In July I was invited to represent Automattic on the The Futures Archive: Design Observer Podcast and talk about what it’s like to work for such a unique company. It was a great experience for me and an honor to represent the company.

Beyond the growth and joy I have derived from the projects mentioned above, as I enter my second year at Automattic, I’m hoping to become a more confident speaker and leader within my team of amazing people.

By Wagner Veloso