I’m Chelsea Otakan. I’m a user interface designer living in lovely San Francisco. I lurve psychology, design, health & fitness, open source, data, drawing, karaoke, and the color #5E477D. People like to call me Chexee.

You can find me on Twitter, Dribbble, GitHub, LinkedIn, Facebook, Fitbit, Rdio and WordPress.com.

I’m looking for new and exciting opportunities. Got something awesome for me? Tell me all about it.

My Work

WordPress Core

  • Roles: Interface Design, Icon Design, User Experience
  • Tools: WordPress, PHP, CSS, Subversion, Photoshop
Feature Pointers introduced in WordPress 3.3

WordPress is an open source, online publishing platform that currently powers over 17% of the web. I've worked closely with the WordPress UI Group and the WordPress Core team and to make user interface design, CSS, and iconography contributions to every release since WordPress 3.2. I was featured as a "Recent Rockstar" on the WordPress 3.3 credits page for my contributions.

Feature Pointers introduced in WordPress 3.3
Feature Pointers introduced in WordPress 3.3
Feature Pointers introduced in WordPress 3.3
Browser upgrade nags introduced in WordPress 3.2

I joined the WordPress UI group in October of 2010 and began my first foray into contributing to open source projects. Since then, I've contributed to every major version of WordPress (including the pending 3.5 release). See my contributions and Trac activity at my WordPress.org profile.

WordPress.com Homepage Experiment

  • Roles: Interface Design, User Experience, Front-end Development, Prototyping
  • Tools: WordPress, HTML, CSS, Subversion, Sketch, KISSmetrics

I helped launch several tests for the WordPress.com logged-out homepage designed to measure the effect of simplicity. Using a combination of Optimizely and KISSmetrics, we iterated on a simplified versions of the homepage to see which elements had a positive effect on user engagement.

  • Designing the Test

    I worked with the Growth team to design a test that would help us learn if expounding on features on the homepage was actually helpful to users deciding whether or not to sign up.

    Our goal for this test was to learn more about how our users interact with the homepage and what effect it had on further user engagament (specifically logging in or signing up).

    The current WordPress.com homepage is very marketing heavy with quite a bit going on. We wanted to see how a simple, more focused homepage would effect the number of users who login or signup.

  • Designing the Variation

    I designed and coded a very simple version of the WordPress.com homepage with only two major elements: a login form and a signup call to action.

  • Gathering & Interpeting the Results

    Using Optimizely and KISSmetrics, I worked with the Growth team at Automattic to launch the test for 5% of users. We sent half of this sample group to current logged-out homepage (the control) and half to the new, simplified homepage and compared the conversions of the new simplified homepage against the control group.

    After running the test for one week and collecting around 10,000 samples, the Growth team reported on and intepreted the results. We saw 2%-3% increases for both logins and signups.

    We continued to iterate and test this design, optimizing for logins and signups.

WordPress.com Store

  • Roles: Interface Design, User Experience, Illustration, Prototyping
  • Tools: Sketch, HTML, CSS, jQuery, WordPress, PHP, Subversion

I worked with the Store Team at Automattic to begin to re-envision the upgrade purchase experience at WordPress.com. Together, we launched a new, experimental version of the Store and took iterative steps to replacing the old purchase flow. We tested designs and collected data all along the way to make sure we were moving in the right direction.

  • Domain Registration: Checking availability
  • Domain Registration: Contact details
  • Domain Registration: Payment Details


  • Roles: Visual Design, Branding, Front-end Development
  • Tools: WordPress, PHP, CSS, Photoshop

WordCamps are locally-organized conferences that focus on everything WordPress. Since 2006, there have been over 200 WordCamps in over 100 cities. I designed and helped develop the branding and user interface for WordCamp Central, a site that brings together the community and provides information on WordCamps around the world.


  • Roles: Illustration
  • Tools: Illustrator, Pen & Paper

Automattobot was initially designed for im.wordpress.com, but didn’t quite make it there. He recieves and sends jabber signals, but I’ve modded him to receive complaints from paid users and process them so he can calculate ways to make their WordPress.com experience better. His role models are Marvin the Paranoid Android, the Mailchimp Chimp, Athena from Battlestar Galactica, and Rick Deckard. He finds portrayals of robots in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix to be somewhat derogatory.

What I do

Interface Design

I design detailed application interfaces that scale across devices and carefully balance beauty and function.

User Experience

I sketch, wireframe, prototype, test, and iterate on experiences that focus on real users.

Front-end Code & Prototyping

I build and prototype my designs with HTML, CSS (LESS), jQuery, and a sprinkling of PHP and JavaScript.

Design Direction

I've directed small teams on projects at meetups, conferences, and in agency work.


Pen, paper, paintbrush, stylus, pen tool — you name it, I'll end up drawing something with it.


Good copywriting is good design. No lorem ipsum 'round here.

Things I Love

Health & Wellness

I’m only a tiny tiny bit addicted to my Fitbit.


Life is better with a soundtrack.

Learning & Teaching

The internet is awesome for spreading knowledge.

Speaking & Events

Summits & Workshops

I’ve been to several invite-only summits and workshops. I love going to these because they give me the opporutinity to give back to projects as well as work with my peers.

Here are a few of the best I've attended:

Teaching & Speaking

I’ve spoken at meetups, WordCamps, Barcamps, and Ignites around the world on topics ranging from Science Fiction to Version Control:

Organizing & Planning

Getting people together to learn is one of my favorite things to do. I’ve headed up or been a part of the following conference and meetup organizing teams:

  • WordCamp Reno 2011, Head Organizer
  • WordCamp San Francisco 2011, Organizing Team
  • WordCamp San Francisco 2012, Organizing Team
  • SF WordPress Meetup, Organizing Team