Liz's desk
Liz Wood photo

Liz Wood

Principal UX Designer / Raleigh, NC


What is your role and what team do you work on?

I am a Principal UX Designer on the System UX team within the Digital Experience team. I am also co-president of the Red Hat Open Studio Community.

How do you get inspired first thing in the morning?

Coffee. My day always starts with coffee. Aside from coffee, I’ve always been a very observant person so I tend to pull inspiration from day to day activities.

Design is everywhere. Before I even sit down at my desk, I’ve interacted with so many designs - a shampoo bottle, a food package, a news article, an online order, an email, a streaming service, the daycare app, something in my social feed. The list goes on. When I’m drawn to something or it’s aesthetically pleasing, I take a mental note, a photo, or a screenshot and think about why I am attracted to it. Was it the color palette, the ease of use, the white space, the clear directions, the branding, etc. Or maybe it was a poor experience that left me frustrated. What could make it better? I then apply this mindset to my canvas as I design with the end user in mind. How can I create the best experience for them?

Customer dashboard ideation

Product page
Product page layout for one of Red Hat’s platform products, Red Hat OpenShift.

What makes designing at Red Hat unique?

Most companies have one creative team that works on creative projects but at Red Hat we value the voices and opinions across the company by practicing open source. That means ideas and feedback can come from anyone (yes, anyone) — and it’s encouraged!

How are you incorporating open source principles into your designs or design processes?

The entire design process is very open and collaborative. Adobe XD has a coediting feature which allows me to invite other designers into my files so we can collaborate and design together in real time. Also, briefs, copy docs, and design mockups are all open to feedback and commenting.

Liz Wood

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I’ve found being willing to adapt, building relationships, and seeking opportunities that encourage growth are three things that have helped me over the years — both from a personal and professional standpoint.

How do you prioritize collaboration across teams in your design process?

Sharing early and often. Whether it is just an idea, a wireframe, or a design mockup, I’ve found sharing early and often helps bring others into the project and feel more connected.

How do you think diverse voices and perspectives make the design process stronger?

Everyone has a different viewpoint so other perspectives can identify things that were not originally considered. I also always find value in getting feedback from someone not as close to the project. It’s a good gut check to see if a design is working or not.

Open hybrid cloud vision page

Open hybrid cloud vision page
This page explains Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud strategy that is built on our platform products, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenShift, and Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. The page also includes persona-based content as well as customer success stories.

How does your design work contribute to the creation of helpful and accessible experiences?

When designing for the web, the primary goal is to provide the user with the most relevant content in a clear and easy to navigate manner. Recently I have been exploring ways to improve the user experience as a user moves throughout our product ecosystem. Adding breadcrumbs and a secondary navigation, for example, can provide the user more context to where they are in the ecosystem while also allowing the user to easily navigate to other sections.

Something else that is always in the back of my mind when designing, is how will this design look in another language? While we design webpages in English, most of our pages are translated to 8 other languages. This means we need to consider character counts and how certain languages may expand within a layout when translated.

What does open design mean to you?

Open design relies on collaboration between different disciplines and perspectives. It also means being open to feedback, sharing, iterating and co-creating.

Any last thoughts?

I’ve found being willing to adapt, building relationships, and seeking opportunities that encourage growth are three things that have helped me over the years — both from a personal and professional standpoint. I think this is especially true in an open community when there are so many resources to leverage.