Episode #53: Rochel Polter, Lead UX Designer at Chabad.org

Rochel is currently the Lead UX Designer at Chabad.org, the first and largest online hub for Jewish knowledge and lifestyle tools with 54 million annual unique users. She enjoys tackling diverse challenges and products with a proactive growth mindset and believes her role as a designer is simple: she does what it takes. Whether initiating and working on cross-functional collaborations, establishing UX as a strategic partner by facilitating communication and partnerships with different departments, or creating better processes for working and documentation, the bigger picture is woven into daily research and design. Outside of work, Rochel mentors and coaches designers and encourages meaningful work that goes deeper than hype and vanity metrics. She is always ready to learn and share practical lessons and ideas with others.

A Deep Dive into Rochel's Journey

Rochel is a Lead UX Designer with an impressive background in design. Her proactive growth mindset has enabled her to tackle diverse challenges and products efficiently, all while focusing on the bigger picture. With under two years in the field, Rochel has become a go-to resource for her team at Chabad.org, the first and largest online hub for Jewish knowledge and lifestyle tools with 54 million annual unique users.

A Mindset of Experimentation

At the core of Rochel's approach is her mindset of experimentation. Rather than viewing experimentation as a task or a technique, she sees it as a mindset that guides everything she does. For Rochel, experimentation is about being open to new ideas and approaches, constantly challenging assumptions, and always looking for improvement. This mindset informs her work daily, from brainstorming sessions to design critiques, and allows her to approach problems with an open mind and a willingness to try new things. Rochel's focus on experimentation extends to her team as well. She encourages her team to think outside the box, take calculated risks, and learn from their failures. By fostering a culture of experimentation, Rochel has created an environment where her team feels comfortable taking risks and exploring new ideas.

Creating a Culture of Collaboration

One of Rochel's strengths as a designer is her ability to collaborate with other departments and stakeholders. She understands that UX is not a siloed function but rather an integral part of the product development process. To that end, she works hard to establish UX as a strategic partner by facilitating communication and partnerships with different departments. Rochel's collaborative approach has helped her team better understand their users' needs and create products that truly resonate with them. By working closely with other teams, she ensures that everyone is on the same page and that each team's goals are aligned. This approach has also helped to break down barriers and silos within the organization, leading to more effective and efficient product development.

A Focus on Process

In addition to her focus on experimentation and collaboration, Rochel also highly values process. She understands that in order to create great products, you need a solid process in place. She works hard to create better processes for working and documentation, ensuring that everyone on her team knows what they're doing and why they're doing it. Rochel's focus on process has led to a more streamlined and efficient product development process. By creating clear guidelines and processes, she has enabled her team to work more effectively and produce better results. She is always looking for ways to improve processes, whether it's through automation or better documentation, and is constantly iterating on her approach to find the best way forward.

Encouraging Meaningful Work

Finally, Rochel is a strong advocate for meaningful work. She believes that designers are responsible for creating products that positively impact people's lives, rather than simply chasing hype and vanity metrics. She encourages her team to think about the impact their work will have on users and to strive for products that are truly meaningful. Rochel's focus on meaningful work has helped her team to create products that truly resonate with their users. By prioritizing user needs and focusing on impact, her team has been able to create products that are not only successful but also make a real difference in people's lives.


Rochel's focus on collaboration, emphasis on process, and commitment to meaningful work make her a standout Lead UX Designer. Her proactive growth mindset and willingness to take risks have helped her team at Chabad.org create products that resonate with users and make a positive impact on their lives. Rochel is a true asset to the field of UX design and a role model for designers looking to create meaningful products.

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