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Head of Design and Product Arune Kolodzeiske on Data-Driven Design

Arune Head of Design

Designing for online success is difficult.

When every Zyro customer has different needs and experiences: How do you build something that is intuitive, powerful, and effective for everyone?

That’s the challenge that drives the design and product teams at Zyro.

Arune Kolodzeiske is Zyro’s Head of Design and Product, and this is the story of how she helped create a genuine online success builder with Zyro.

I want a website builder for everyone, not just the pros.

When I joined Zyro, I had a personal goal. I wanted it to be easy and intuitive to build a website.

That meant changing the way we think about website builders. It means that it has to be just as easy for a user who has no coding or design skills as it is for anyone else.

Sure, it was a challenge, but I am proud to say that this is the main objective of Zyro today, and our clients tell us that we are achieving that goal.

My path to Zyro has been seven years in the making.

My career started at a tiny company where I created keynote templates for digital products. 

It might not sound like much, but I learned a lot about aesthetics, quality design, and digital trends. Eventually, those learnings evolved into a focus on innovative design, and that is one of the essential tools that we have here at Zyro. 

Still, the most important thing was to get inside our users’ minds, understand them, and help them create keynote presentations with a genuine wow factor.

Back then, I don’t think I was really aware of it, but it was probably where I first understood the meaning of customer obsession.

Building a website… How hard could it be?

Well, as it turns out, it’s not that easy.

I was working at a design agency at the time, and this is where I first learned how to create beautiful websites (something that would come in handy down the line.) 

Sure, that was helpful, but the most important part of this experience was how I started to change my thinking.

That agency really got me thinking about the concept of design from the user perspective:

  • Who am I designing for?
  • What are their needs? 
  • Why is it essential?

I have to say, at first, I was demotivated. Like anyone else, in any other job, you always want to do the best you can, and I honestly felt that I could do more with my abilities.

You want to use all your skills, flex all your creative muscles, and as a designer, you almost always want to create something genuinely unique, even if it is something like adding small animations and fancy layouts.

I was genuinely curious why clients turned to us to create websites for them. I mean, how hard could it be? 

For a little while, I felt powerless to help these people. It was so frustrating at the time, and getting over that hurdle meant realigning my own creative energy into user experience.

Then there was Zyro

It’s been two years since I joined Zyro; at the time, it was still a very new company, but right from the start, I was confident that Zyro’s ethos would put my earlier frustrations to bed.

Why? For starters, the whole company shared one goal: to make online success available to everybody. 

From the beginning, Zyro always wanted to be more than a website builder, and we are. I can say that Zyro really is an online success builder

That shift in focus was essential to me. I felt that I was solving those same usability issues that my younger self was having back in my agency days. 

It was progress, and I owned it.

Feedback is everything

If you speak Zyro, then you’ll be familiar with the phrase customer obsession. It’s one of our core values, and it drives everything we do.

In practice, customer obsession means that Zyro will always go the extra mile, but we have to know what the user needs before we get to that stage.

So, for the product team to be effective, we have to live and breathe user feedback. Similarly, in the design team, we make our decisions based on data and user testing sessions. 

We’re not afraid to try new things and keep testing until we find the idea that works best. 

Our motto is less but better. Zyro is the fastest way to build a website, and that principle trickles down into every single element of our work – from the initial concept all the way through to the final product.

If we want to be truthful to that motto, we have to find a workflow that allows us to concentrate on creating essential aspects rather than weighing our product down with non-essentials before we have nailed the basics.

Products are bought to be used. 

Intuitive. 

It’s a word you hear a lot in start-ups, especially in the tech world, but the word “Intuitive” means different things. 

For example, a product that is intuitive to me might not be intuitive to my father. It’s a problem based on experience and context, and every user is at a slightly different level.

So, I have to ask myself: How do you bridge that gap in terms of design? 

Well, for me, intuitiveness is minimalism. 

The most important part of an exceptional digital product isn’t good-looking UI or even usability. It’s about creating spaces for potential experiences that are intuitive, understandable, and logical.

Something that is often dismissed in that process is the number of available actions to the user at any given time. 

As product creators, we must make sure that every user experiences total control and feels free to interact naturally with the product while at the same time giving them space to create organically without feeling an unnecessary level of guidance at every turn.

It’s a fine line. In practice, achieving that standard means removing any non-essential features or actions to promote spaces that enable the user to attain complete focus on what they’re aiming to achieve or create. 

At Zyro, we don’t just sit on assumptions. We are constantly testing, and we are always iterating. We analyze product behavior and usage patterns to close the gap between what one user knows instinctively and what another may have to learn. 

Data-driven design is our goal.

Design, not simply aesthetic. It is a core element of any business. If you want to use design to impact business, you must redefine your understanding of the designer’s role.

A designer is not a commodity. A designer is a critical asset that can combine technology, empathy, and strategy to create an impactful and cohesive universal structure that touches every single aspect of a product.

Of course, technology, trends, and user habits are constantly changing rapidly. Couple that with an exploding market of new creative tools, and it becomes clear that every design project’s size and complexity is difficult to measure.

At Zyro, design decisions are informed by data. The process of creating a user-friendly product must be guided by genuine, reliable information about what works and what doesn’t. 

Features that look good on paper may end up being impractical, confusing, or prevent users from achieving their desired outcomes. 

And that’s where data-driven design comes in.

You can think of data-driven design as a method that helps creators understand the needs of their target audience. 

Data-driven design proves that your work is on the right track, reveals user pain points, and identifies opportunities while unearthing new trends.

In essence, it is the best way to close the ‘intuitiveness gap,’ placing objectivity at the forefront of the design process.

Zyro’s goal is to make everybody successful online.

Designing an online success builder isn’t easy, and real success shouldn’t be measured by quick wins.

Zyro users don’t automatically become successful the second they publish their website. 

No, at Zyro, we create tools that help our users evaluate their businesses, expand their brand identity, improve visibility, provide help with copywriting, and much more.

And that’s just where we are at today. Our plans for the future are ambitious, and we’re proud of it.  Our goal is to make professional, affordable, and industry-leading websites available to people regardless of their level of knowledge of coding or design.

It’s about building a tool that allows anyone, anywhere, to be successful online in this digital day and age. 

Written by

Author avatar

Damien

Damien is a self-professed, semi-obsessed word-freak that wants nothing more than to tell small-business stories in a big way. Always scouring the market to find the right tools for the job, he is focused on finding creative ways to bring them to the people. When not writing, Damien is known to be a massive music bore, amateur radio enthusiast, and woodland wanderer.

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