Quora is led by a team of very early Facebook employees, particularly former Facebook CTO Adam D'Angelo, former Facebook Connect lead Charlie Cheever and former Facebook design lead Rebekah Cox. ReadWriteWeb first covered Quora almost two years ago. While it's not clear that Quora has seen much mainstream adoption, it's a great hangout for nerds. Laraki becomes the team's 31st member, most of whom have bonkers awesome credentials.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Windram Laraki joined Google in 2005 as a User Experience Designer on search properties. She then became Lead User Experience Designer for Google Maps and finally the design lead for YouTube's consumer experience. She stayed at each position longer than the last, at YouTube for two years and six months.
Quora's design and user experience are generally quite strong already. One exception to that has been the company's mobile efforts, including an iPhone app released last month which wasn't as awesome as it should have been. None the less, I do love Quora and I've found myself using the iPhone app regularly. I'm really waiting for the iPad app, though.
Quora saw a big jump in traffic early this year. It faces almost unbelievable expectations, having been predicted by some of the web's leading businesspeople to become an absolute world-beater on par with the web's biggest and most valuable sites. ("Quora may well become a top-10 most valuable web business," says Max Levchin, former CTO of PayPal, for example.)
The addition of one of the world's leading UX designers to its small roster is a strong move to make.