Working in Product Design

Zaharenia’s been with Workable from Day One. She joined in 2012 as the only designer,
and now leads a busy team focused on product design. She works remotely from Crete.

Workable is...
exciting, challenging, and gratifying
- Zaharenia Atzitzikaki

Where were you born?

Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

Describe yourself in three words:

Organized, committed, methodical.

What makes you laugh?

Cats - I still haven’t seen a cat video or GIF that failed to make me laugh.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I knew I wanted to do something related to computers since I got my first computer when I was 8 years old.

What was your first job?

It was a web design summer internship at a logistics company.

What do you for fun, outside of work?

Cooking, fencing, coloring, calligraphy, video games.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Quitting my “safe” day job to start freelancing.

Describe your most memorable event:

Free camping with friends on the beach and sleeping under the stars every summer.

What do you feel strongly about?

Feminism and LGBTQ rights, good design, professionalism.

Do you have a favorite food?

I love avocados!

Describe your role at Workable:

I manage the Product Design team, which consists of six talented designers and engineers. I’m also in charge of our core product design. I’ve been with Workable since Day One and it’s interesting to see it evolve and become something I couldn’t even imagine during the early days.

When did you join the company?

I’ve been with Workable since the very beginning!

Describe your first day:

I started designing Workable while I was a freelancer so it was just another contract for me. The first time I visited our offices in Gerakas we were still in a tiny conference room and there were only five of us. Obviously, a lot has changed since then. I started as the only designer on the team, working on both the user interface and the marketing design (print design, banners, you name it). After our second design hire, I was able to focus solely on the user interface and continue improving it. It wasn’t until 2015 that we expanded our Product Design team by hiring more designers and engineers. I now manage a team of six people, making sure they have what they need to consistently produce stellar work.

What would you say your biggest achievements are since working here?

I’d say designing and iterating on a product that’s consistently getting great feedback from clients for its user-friendly interface. Also, putting together a talented design team that can solve any problem that gets in their way. And improving my management skills and sharing more with the community about design and productivity.

Designing and iterating on a product that’s consistently getting great feedback from clients for its user-friendly interface is something I’m really proud of. Also, putting together a talented design team that can solve any problem that comes its way.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working together with other talented people to solve user experience problems and create a hiring tool people actually like to use. I love the fact that I’m working with a great deal of talented professionals with whom I have so much in common. It’s really a world-class team.

What training have you done since joining Workable and how did it impact your work?

I attended two great conferences; DotYork in York, UK, and Design Matters in Copenhagen, Denmark. DotYork was great for rethinking our design framework, while Design Matters helped me deal with the pains of our growing design team, by learning from the best (Slack, Mailchimp, YouTube).

In general, what have you learned since joining Workable?

How to think and work in large scale.
How to evaluate feedback and use it to improve my work.
How to keep calm and stay productive under pressure.
How to share my work early and often with my team and communicate in a clear, concise way.
I also became better at designing, writing, anticipating user needs, and documenting our process.

What or who can you see from your desk?

I work from my home in Heraklion, Crete, so I’m lucky enough to see the trees from our garden, and occasionally the birds that come visiting on the branch right outside my window.

What’s on your screensaver?

Aerial views from around the world (https://github.com/JohnCoates/Aerial)

What’s on your desk?

My computer, my notebooks - three of them (I might have a notebook addiction!), a typographic frame that says “live simply”, pens and pencils, and a big, shiny pebble from my favorite beach.

Who in the company has had the most influence on you and why?

I have to say my design team. I’m so happy with the amount of talent we have. Each member of the team brings something new to the table. I’ve learned so much in so little time from them, both as a manager and as a designer.

The best thing about working here?

The ability to learn from amazing professionals and grow. The openness and transparency. And seeing something grow from a small start-up to a product used by thousands every day.

Want to join the Workable team?

View all jobs

Read more interviews

Personal achievements, professional successes, first jobs and favorite foods, get to know some of our other Workablers (and Workable) a little better.

Training across our team is ongoing. It plays a crucial role in giving us the skills and knowledge we need to introduce new technologies, revise old decisions, and lead the platform to the next level.

It’s exciting to think that we’re building features that people have a real need for. So when we achieve that it’s such a good feeling. It’s exciting to celebrate when we have launched something successfully.