product • design
I came to Houzz to build a design team from scratch and integrate the design process into all aspects of the company, from freeway-visible building signage to pixel-perfect product iconography. I carefully constructed my team to encompass marketing, mobile, desktop, copywriting, motion, and production design, culminating in a well-oiled machine that could handle anything.
Houzz was starting to shine in popularity but was an experience created by engineers lifting product features, layouts, and icons from similar sites. They needed to express their individuality, show they weren’t copy-cats while not confusing existing users with a new experience. My team and I started with a complete brand refresh and brand guidelines. Gone was Arial on their desktop experience and anything-goes for their marketing. We constructed consistent iconography, set up typography standards, enforced a strict color palette, and created a recognizable layout language that put the photography on the site and in marketing materials in the forefront. We also hired a copywriter to make sure every word came from a single, unique voice.
Except for a relatively recent logo refresh, these standards drive the Houzz aesthetic to this day.