About Cory Watilo

I design interfaces and user experiences for websites and web software.

I'm a co-founder and Head of Design/UX at Brightback, the automated customer retention company.

Previously, I was designer #1 at Heap, and before that I co-founded Preact, a predictive analytics/customer success platform. Preact was acquired by Spotify in 2016.

In my spare time, I'm working toward the next version of FolioHD, a place for artists (both digital and non) to easily showcase their work online. Before that, I designed and built most of the themes for Posterous and did some consulting for companies like Kelley Blue Book, Zillow and Dell.

When I'm not in my office, you might find me playing tennis or bowling, maybe line dancing or studying up on politics, or just outside enjoying God's beautiful creation. (Orange County really is the best place in the world. You should come visit sometime.)


I'm often asked how I ended up doing what I am today. (This is also as much of a way to remember highlights of my career than anything!) So here's the story:

In high school, I filmed and edited school musicals and singing/dance groups, so in college, I majored in video production with an emphasis in editing. Yes, it's a far cry from interface design and website development, I know. So here's what happened next.

I started my internet career in the mid 2000's, maintaining a Myspace profile for a record label as an intern. Then I redesigned their website and started designing email templates and print fliers. For the couple years following, I found various website jobs on Craigslist (not something I recommend) and by casually networking at Starbucks.

Tired of the freelance game, in 2008 I started consulting as a front-end developer for a real .com company - a local search site. After realizing that their "corporate culture" was not for me, I looked toward startups.

In 2009, I joined a startup based in Los Angeles as their interface designer. We built software that helps businesses make better use of their employees. This was my first real work on a SaaS application.

Later in 2009, Posterous launched their theming engine. Ever since the launch, I have been designing and building themes for the Posterous community (many of which can be found in the built-in Posterous theme picker).

In 2010, I joined Patient's Guide as their designer. They run a network of websites that educate people in aesthetic medical treatments. Around the same time, I started working on Call Compass as their interface designer/UX guy. Their software helps physicians improve their patient conversion rate over the phone.

In 2011, I redesigned the Bandzoogle web software platform. They're the leader in creating awesome band websites.

In 2012, I jumped back into the consulting ring and worked on projects for Zillow and Kelley Blue Book. In addition, I continue to work on FolioHD, The Mux, Less Neglect and other exciting web software.

Fun fact: At Kelley Blue Book, I designed the Price Advisor, something you may have seen on KBB TV commercials!

In late 2012, Less Neglect joined Launchpad LA, a Santa Monica-based startup accelerator.

Fast-forward to 2013 and Less Neglect changed names to Preact and grew to a team of 8 in Marina del Rey.

Preact moved to San Francisco in 2014. After the transition, I stepped back, moved back to Socal and went back to design consulting.

In 2015 I joined Heap remotely as their first (and only) product designer where I had the chance to redesign the platform from the ground up.

Fast forward to 2018 and I joined Brightback as a co-founder which is where I am today.


And that's how you go from working with video cameras and video editing software to a career in interface design. Exciting, huh?

So that's my story. What's yours?