We are looking for a thoughtful and driven Director of Product Design to join our growing, distributed team at Coforma!
Product design at Coforma serves as the bridge between research and delivery. We work towards business goals as well as user needs with a bias towards scalable systems. We benefit our clients by building holistic, informed design systems while ensuring the rapid delivery of iterative designs to agile development teams. We collaborate with research, content design, product management, engineering, project management, and client business owners, showing up as creative problem solvers who can unearth elegant solutions to complex issues.
As Director of Product Design, you will help us organize, direct, and communicate our design efforts with government agencies, nonprofits, and cause-based organizations. You are a skilled practitioner and a deeply empathetic listener, with relentless curiosity and drive to support and grow your team. Your passion for developing design strategies, informed by insights of real people and key business needs, will inspire and ground your peers. You’ll help us better understand the people we aim to serve, the needs of the organizations and agencies we work with, and the changes we can make to have a large and lasting impact.
$170,980 to $183,340 Annual Salary + Benefits + Growth Potential
Placement within the provided salary range will be based on the competency level of the candidate:
Tier 1: $170,980 — Meets minimum qualification/experience requirements. Beyond onboarding, will need additional guidance and training to perform key responsibilities of the role.
Tier 2: $177,984 — Experienced and fully-competent. Beyond onboarding, can independently perform key responsibilities of the role.
Tier 3: $183,340 — Highly-experienced and can perform all responsibilities of the role at a higher level than expected once onboarding is completed.
To honor our company-wide equitable pay system, the posted salary range is non-negotiable.
The job posting for this role is set to close by 5:00pm PST on Friday, February 16th, 2024.
The desired start date for this role is mid-March 2024.
This is a US-based remote position (open to applicants in select states listed below) and some travel will be required.
Note: to ensure we remain compliant with all state, county, and local employment and tax regulations, applicants must currently reside in one of the following states to be considered for employment with Coforma. This list will be updated periodically as our PeopleOps team works to open up hiring in additional states.
-District of Columbia
What You’ll Do
You’ll serve as a senior member of the Design team and will work with Design leadership to help manage team health, focusing on the Product Design practice area. You’ll manage a set of product designers, providing guidance on how best to staff them to projects, directly coaching and mentoring them, and supporting their career path and development. You’ll collaboratively run the product design practice area—which will include yourself, your reports, and your principal-level product design peers—to help ensure the practice is appropriately balanced, mutually supportive, and resilient. You’ll provide clear, strong, visible, and authentic leadership within the Design team and your practice area, and proactively seek active collaboration across practice areas and with other departments.
Simultaneously, you’ll produce work that inspires designers both inside and outside of the company. You’ll help set the bar for client interaction for day-to-day work and encounters, directly contributing and stepping in to support the designers who rely on you within projects where needed.
Client and Project Work
- Representing 75% of your time, you’ll provide clear, strong, and visible leadership within projects, often acting as the design lead
- Scope design needs for assigned projects whose parameters are often undefined, determining effort and cost
- Use insights to develop product design strategies, roadmaps, and measures of success that meet client needs
- Set and lead direction for the project team to build high quality design deliverables and accompanying documentation from kickoff to handoff, including: design systems, prototypes, UI designs, wireframes; occasionally, also lead design research and content design efforts
- Demonstrate strong process and a well-rounded knowledge of techniques, principles, tools, materials, and systems in Product Design and other design disciplines
- Lead planning and facilitation of meetings, workshops, and training sessions for clients, stakeholders, and internal teams
- Present work in various forums and formats for varied audiences
- Identify, analyze, and work through complex problems in a way that addresses business requirements and user needs—and coach your teams to do the same
- Model critical thinking, sound judgment, and the ability to consider multiple perspectives while keeping the big picture in mind
- Find novel solutions to project challenges and encourage others to do the same
- Build understanding and consensus to accomplish goals
- Help set the bar for client interaction, providing support to project reports and direct reports as needed
Management and Internal Initiatives
- Representing 25% of your time, you’ll manage a team of product designers who work across multiple projects. You’ll also collaborate with Design leadership to support team growth, health, and evolution
- Manage up to 6 product designers and guide them in their professional development through regular 1:1s and ad hoc support
- Develop and refine equitable practices and cultivate a diverse and effective team, helping your direct reports realize their potential and honoring each individual’s unique experiences
- Ensure the health of the Product Design practice through staffing, hiring, recruiting, coaching, training, career support, and workplace sustainability
- Help establish and document Coforma Product Design practice strategy and process, working hand-in-hand with your Director and Principal counterparts
- Organize and lead the Coforma Product Design practice area in collaboration with Principals and in conversation with other Design Directors. Lead some Design department meetings, workshops, and training sessions as requested
- Act as a sounding board for design researchers, engineers, UX designers, and content designers at Coforma, coaching them through experiential challenges and helping to review and structure their product design work, as needed
- Share your expertise in Product Design, Design, and leadership by contributing to—and sometimes leading—thought leadership content for internal and external audiences (this includes: company-wide meetings, business development, and thought leadership)
- Participate in the continuous development and improvement of Coforma’s ways of working
- 10+ years of experience with product design, web, interaction, and/or equivalent roles
- 5+ years of direct people management experience, or a combination of people management and project team leadership
- 5+ years of experience facilitating and designing product design workshops and presentations with clients or in a consulting role
- Experience managing product designers or equivalent roles
- Experience and history of enabling access to products and services within teams and communities
- Familiarity and experience with fast-growing companies, with a bonus for experience within government contracting or professional service firms
- Adeptness with gathering requirements and understanding the design needs of public sector clients
- Proficiency in crafting quality designs using design systems, atomic design, component design, comprehensive layouts, clickable prototypes, branded UI designs, microcopy, wireframes, annotations, and style guides
- Collaborative — will collaborate with peers, top executives, and high-level contacts; cooperate with staff across different teams, departments, and expertise
- Communicative — will communicate ideas and create personal relationships through highly skilled writing and in-person exchange, customizing the delivery to the audience
- Calm & Nimble — will analyze and navigate a fast-paced environment and ambiguity, changing priorities, and unexpected project challenges
- Organized Planner — will self-direct to prioritize projects, delegate appropriately, complete tasks on time, anticipate what could go wrong when planning and coordinating, thoughtfully mitigate risks, and document and share processes with others as needed
Preferred Experience and Skills
- 2+ years experience working on a remote team or remote freelancing
- 2+ years experience working in a consultatory environment
- Experience managing people within a cross-matrixed environment
- Prior professional services, government, or federal consulting experience
- Experience writing or editing requirements and performing design challenges for government proposals
- Experience conducting remote-only research, workshops, or validation sessions
- Experience utilizing the United States Web Design System (USWDS)
- Passion for and experience with quality interaction design, usability, and accessibility
- Demonstrated passion for continual learning
- Internet — will prioritize and maintain access to strong, reliable internet for the remote nature of our work, except when on vacation or holiday
- Security — will keep the highest security practices to ensure privacy and security of Coforma and client information given the nature of our work, even when on vacation
- Travel Flexibility — on request and with advance notice, will attend in-person events such as meetings, workshops, and trainings as assigned for projects that require it
- Brand Representation — will represent Coforma professionally and sincerely, modeling the company values in all interactions
We Don’t Care About
- Whether or not you have a degree of any kind
- Whether your educational major, if you had one, is related to this role
- Whether or not you have GitHub contributions
- Whether or not you have worked at a well-recognized company
- Whether you’re sure that you check every box perfectly
We Do Care About
- Your passions, professional or otherwise
- Your well-informed opinions about technology, teams, and processes