Year Up · Boston, MA
About the job
Are you passionate about tackling complex business and social innovation using Design Thinking? Are you so mission-oriented that you get restless if you are not making a difference? Are you a systems-change thinker at heart with a proven track record of ideating and designing new ventures? Then this role is for you!
Reporting to the Director of Digital Experience, the Experience Designer is responsible for contributing to Year Up’s digital transformations through the use of Design Thinking techniques and hands-on discovery workshops. You work closely with our stakeholders and agile teams to first understand their problem-space and vision and then collaboratively brainstorm new solutions and digital strategies. You are fascinated by the questions: Why? What? and How? but understand that “Why” always comes first. You are motivated by a deep understanding of the customer and key audiences. You may use research and psychology-based tools and techniques to solve a variety of challenges and scenarios. With support from the Senior Director of Digital Experience, you create human-centered experiences by designing the structural and informational foundation for products, services, and systems as well as facilitate the delivery of all elements, interactions, and decisions that add value to the total user experience. You create and implement inspired experiences with agile teams of strategists, engineers, marketers, architects, and product managers. As the digital experience team is newly established, you contribute to building the practice and educating agile team members on best practices.
In order to be successful in this role, you are an excellent communicator and active listener who knows how to empathize, problem solve, and lead teams successfully through their challenges with minimal assistance. You are self-aware in order to modulate or tailor your approach to your specific audience. You are comfortable facing challenges where the answer is not readily visible and you thrive in a collaborative environment, working across teams to achieve the best outcome. You love to learn and have an insatiable curiosity about how things work. While you can work independently when needed, you know that the best ideas come when involving a well-integrated and trusted team. When working with this team, you communicate fully and transparently. You are comfortable wearing multiple hats and rolling up your sleeves when needed. You’re a thinker AND a doer. You are passionate about and advocate for Design Thinking and human-centered design.
As part of your work, you will also have the opportunity to interact with students as a mentor, group facilitator, and advocate, participating in Year Up’s mission.
- Establish and maintain excellent business partner relationships, interacting at both the business and technical level, as required
- Leverage best practices and standards for interaction design, user-centered design thinking, and user experience principles and techniques (advocate for User Experience and Design Thinking)
- Apply tools and methods for Design Thinking practices (e.g. for user observation, synthesis of insights, workshop facilitations, rapid prototyping and testing, analytics)
- Act as a champion for digital transformation, promoting cross-functional focus on design thinking and user experience
- Lead user research, through studies, interviews, panels, and surveys; Communicate findings and insights to cross-functional partners and leadership in a concise and compelling manner with support from the Senior Director of Digital Experience
- Support, plan, and facilitate discovery/design thinking workshops featuring hands-on activities
- Conduct competitive market research and competitive audits with minimal assistance
- Analyze workshop findings and subsequent experience research to find trends and patterns and develop strategic insights
- Creation of user personas, archetypes and user experience maps and flows
- Designs and prototypes inspirational, useful, and usable experiences by placing the user first while balancing business, Marketing, and technology needs with some assistance
- Present all findings in an engaging way, emphasizing the user perspective in a clear, consumable fashion to multiple constituencies: senior-level executives, business stakeholders, marketers, design team members, and technical team members with support from the Senior Director of Digital Experience
- Collaborate with the Director of Experience Design and Strategy to build information architecture (IA) utilizing competitive audits, keyword planning, and user navigation testing (e.g., site maps, screen trees, user flows, decision and content tables)
- Support and/or direct the activities of design consultants/contractors
- Define functionality, content, navigation, and interaction models through page-level wireframes, and flow diagrams
- Design and conduct usability tests to validate information architecture and interaction design
- Collaborates with stakeholders and/or business analysts to create user stories and sprint goals
- Review and approval of usability and implementation throughout the development cycle
- Use a variety of qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques to continually optimize digital experience; Analyzes data and feedback in order to make critical design decisions
- Research new technologies, new services, and new tools to continually inform the roadmap, build efficiencies, and expand offerings with support from the Senior Director of Digital Experience
Learning Community Member/Student Engagement
- May serve as an advisor/mentor for one or more students
- May join and sometimes facilitate weekly group sessions with students
- At least 4 to 6 years’ experience in the workforce
- Experience with non-profit or education institution a plus
- Ability and willingness to travel up to 10%
- Excellent analytical and creative problem-solving skills
- Excellent presentation and meeting facilitation skills
- Experience presenting, communicating, and engaging with senior leadership, including the ability to work in a matrix organization
- Experience with the following tools:
- Figma (or similar prototyping tool)
- Optimal Workshop (or similar user research platform)
- Familiarity with Salesforce design a plus
- Design systems
- A passion for working with young adults, an unshakable belief in their potential and a strong commitment to the mission of Year Up
- Commitment to diversity and inclusion
- 2 to 3+ years of experience as a Digital Strategist, User Experience Designer or any other role which involves strategizing and designing user experience design for midsize to large organizations
- Experience with Design Thinking process and related methods and tools
- Working knowledge of human-centered design principles, including interpreting research insights and building understanding of users and context as well as applying knowledge of psychological and physical attributes of humans (e.g. Hick's Law, Fitt's Law)
- Experience in some areas of digital experience design (information architecture, interaction design, visual design, prototype engineering, user experience):
- Designing the architecture of the functions and information of the experience
- Designing the interaction patterns between functions/information and users/customers
- Designing pathways of navigation through an experience; demonstrating understanding of content, functions, and relationships within the system
- Supporting and planning for variation of user contexts (e.g. culture, environment, and activity)
- Converging and translating technological, operational, and functional constraints into human-centered opportunities
- Facilitating and designing for the relational aspects across every part of the experience
- Demonstrated success leveraging user experience or design thinking in mid-to-large-sized organizations (adoption & change management)
- Ability to articulate and present ideas based on sound user experience and interaction design principles
- Ability to closely collaborate as a part of a team comprised of business, marketing, creative and technical
- Experience collaborating with cross-functional teams (business partners, creative agencies, UI designers, web development) and technology teams (architects, technical business analysts, and developers)
Compensation & Benefits
- Salary: Competitive and commensurate with relevant experience and skills.
- Benefits: Comprehensive healthcare options and dental coverage; 401(k) match for eligible participants.
- Vacation: Earn three weeks paid vacation in first year of employment; four weeks after initial year.
- Professional Development: Funds available to support staff in achieving career objectives ($2,500 per year)
Year Up is a national 501(c)3 wo rkforce development organization committed to ensuring equitable access to economic opportunity, education, and justice for all young adults—no matter their background, income, or zip code. Employers face a growing need for talent while millions of talented young adults lack access to meaningful careers. These inequities only further perpetuate the opportunity gap that exists in our country—a gap that Year Up is determined and positioned to close through three interconnected strategies: providing targeted skills training and connections to livable-wage employment for students and alumni; empowering others to serve and support young adults; and changing systems that perpetuate the opportunity gap. Year Up’s intensive training program utilizes a high expectations, high support model where students learn in-demand technical and professional skills and apply them during a corporate internship. Year Up has served more than 30,000 young adults since its founding in 2000. Year Up has a presence in 27 U.S. cities, including Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, the National Capital Region, New York City/Jersey City, Pittsburgh, Puget Sound, Rhode Island, South Florida, Tampa Bay, and Wilmington.
Voted one of the Best Nonprofits to Work For in the country by The NonProfit Times, Year Up is a rewarding place to work. Our staff is passionate, supportive, mission-driven, and committed to positive change and continuous learning. We set high standards for both ourselves and our students, and live by a set of core values that reflect an unshakable belief in the talent and full potential of our young people. The work we do is life-changing, and we know that our team is the greatest asset in achieving our mission.
Commitment To Diversity
Year Up actively engages individuals from all backgrounds. We are committed to embracing diversity within our organization because we firmly believe that diverse employee teams help us to achieve our best organizational outcomes and provide the most effective support to our young adults as we work to close the Opportunity Divide. We are deeply dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive and supportive work environment. Learn more about our commitment to diversity: http://www.yearup.org/about-us/careers/commitment-to-diversity/
As an equal opportunity employer, Year Up is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
Please submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume through our website.
Note that applications without a cover letter will not be considered. We respectfully request no phone calls.