Dorelle Rabinowitz leads the Design Systems group at eBay, creating and maintaining a design system that ensures a holistic customer experience. Previously, she directed user experience design teams at Google and Yahoo!, was an experience lead at SBI.Razorfish and produced Oxygen.com’s “Our Stories” site. A graduate of NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, Dorelle also holds a BFA in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Creating and extending the design system that is the foundation for user experience (UX) at eBay – standards, patterns and the underlying code base.
First step in my design process:
Figuring out what the problem is by asking questions, doing research, and exploring.
Aspect of design I give the highest priority:
Hard to find one thing that’s most important. For me, its a tie between user research – understanding user needs and goals, and prototyping – trying something out, whether it’s on paper or interactive.
Method for overcoming creative block:
If possible, getting some sleep. I always come up with ideas after sleeping.
One typical myth about design:
That it’s play, not work. Or that we (designers) just make things pretty.
Most challenging aspect about design:
To come up with solutions for our users, and not necessarily ourselves.
Most underrated aspect of design:
Sketching. On paper. Many web designers tend to move right into high-fidelity mocks, and I think we benefit from quickly sketching lots of ideas.
When I first knew I wanted to be a designer:
I was always drawing, and always thought of myself as an artist. In high-school I created some posters for a school event, and got all excited by the typography. After that I pretty much knew this was my thing.
Films. Art. Books. In particular, right now I love anything from the 50’s, like old album covers. I also steal patterns from Greek pottery.
A pencil. Tied with stickies.
The one typeface for a deserted island stay:
At RISD, you’d get beat down if you used anything other than Univers. But I have a soft spot for Bodoni.
Too many to mention, but of course check out Boxes and Arrows, A List Apart, Subtraction. For sheer snark I love Go Fug Yourself. I’m also a big Salon reader.
Design-related book I highly recommend:
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. (He created the comic to announce chrome for Google.) It helped me think about what not to show.
Currently (always) reading:
I always have a few books – and use a Kindle! American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker, and Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner.
Well, on 9/11 I watched the towers fall in front of my eyes and decided to live for today. I’m not waiting around for the future.
If I weren’t a designer, I’d be…
A therapist. I give good phone – ask any friend.
Favorite (non-design) past time:
Lately I’ve been blogging a bit – personal stories – not about design at all. Also, I’m big into home design projects – I just “tiled” the fireplace using Inhabit wall flats. It’s awesome!