Orr
   Shtuhl

Shtuhl

Orr Shtuhl

Staff Product Designer,
The New York Times

2019 – 2021

Staff Product Designer, Feb 2021 – Sep 2021
Product Design Director, Mar 2020 – Feb 2021
Product Design Lead, Feb 2019 – Mar 2020

I was brought on as the first design leader of Publishing, a group of 5 teams that make the publishing tools for our newsroom of 1,600 journalists. Among other responsibilities, I led workflow and tools design for a cross-company initiative to rethink how we create the homepage of the Times, introducing dynamic, multivariate testing at the pace of news.

In 2021, I transitioned to an individual contributor role, which allowed me to lead tooling for the homepage initiative full-time, as a Staff Product Designer.

For two years prior, I served as a people manager as well, hiring, coaching, and managing a team of 5 designers and gaining investment to scale the team to 9. I also founded and gained investment for the company's first design system for internal tools, now known as Ink.
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More broadly, I contributed to design leadership at The Times, serving in our mentorship program and DEI squad, and organizing talks in the design community.

I make tools for complex needs

By day, I use my background in journalism to bring curiosity and clarity to people's real-world problems. By night, I apply design thinking to my side projects in food writing and education.

Industry recognition

Profiled in

Fast Company

Written for

A List Apart

Senior Product Designer, Wirecutter

2017 – 2019

I was hired by The New York Times to be Wirecutter's first product designer, following its acquisition in 2016. I built the design team from the ground up, hiring and managing 4 designers, and leading us through a major redesign in 2017. You can still see the core experience of that work on Wirecutter.com today.

Day to day, I provided leadership, strategy, and hands-on design, collaborat with product, tech, and editorial to define and execute on our vision for the company. I gather requirements, conduct research, and (on a good day) contribute designs.

In addition, I introduced Wirecutter to user research, co-managed our A/B testing program, and — on one memorable day — sniffed dozens of bacon grease-soaked rags in the name of finding the best laundry detergent.

Director of User Experience, Blenderbox

2011 – 2017

UX Designer, Oct 2011 – Oct 2013

I managed UX resources for a $3M pipeline, and hired and established a 4-person UX team. In my proudest accomplishment, I introduced product strategy as a new capability to the agency, which led to major engagements — when I left in 2017, it accounted for more than 30% of annual revenue.

I transformed the agency's practices, introducing elements of Agile into client workflows, and organizing “Front-End Day,” a company-wide day of discussions and workshops to improve designer-engineer collaboration and visual polish. I established our practices for usability testing, and I created a style guide for our wireframes and open-sourced it.

Looking back, I'm grateful for the opportunities I had to build solve complex problems for our clients, which included venerable nonprofits, educational institutions, and the government of the City of New York.

Selected clients

NYC Department of Education

weteachnyc.org

Boston Logan Airport

flylogan.com

Yale Law School

End-to-end student management

Past experience

2008 – 2011 | Web Editor

Woodrow Wilson Center

2007 – 2008 | Arts & Culture Editor

Brijit

Side

Projects

I write and speak about food and drink — I especially love interviewing people. Lately I've been exploring the intersection of food and identity.

Writing

I achieved a lifelong dream in 2020 when my story about visiting the Sabra hummus factory was nominated for a James Beard Award for long-form personal essay.

I’ve published a book with Penguin called An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails. Before that, I was the Washington City Paper's first beer columnist, a column I wrote for 4 years.

My writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Gastronomica, Serious Eats, and NPR.

Recent writing

The Forward

Hummus + identity

2020 James Beard Award nominee!

NYT Magazine

Floating + trauma

NYT Food

Thanksgiving + beer

Hosting + speaking

I host and moderate live talks. Past events, at The New York Times and the Brooklyn bookstore Archestratus, include Bianca Bosker and Maira Kalman.

When I lived in Washington, D.C., I ran Saint Bernard, a cocktail speakeasy, out of my actual home.

I also founded a beer tour company called The Bestest and taught classes at Murray's Cheese. At one time, I created and hosted an IRL food-themed variety show. It was a lot of work, and a lot of fun.

Get in touch

I’m available for hosting and moderating talks, as well as beer tastings (virtually, until we're through covid). If you’re interested in putting together an event, just send me an email.