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Experience Designer (Mobile)

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Our top hospitality client is looking to hire a UX Designer for a one-year contract with potential to extend or convert to full time. This Experience Designer supports a vision for how experiences should be designed and contributes a set of user experience skills to help create successful products for users across all of the company's digital services.

In the course of your work with digital products, including one of the top 10 revenue-generating web sites in the world — you’ll come in every day ready to tackle interesting, challenging work. Here’s what you’ll be doing:

• Applying your own experiences and learnings to support the development of the experience design practice, using best practices and design approaches that fit in well with the company culture and needs
• Producing work with a strong foundation in UX standards and guidelines, supporting its development and maintenance to design cohesive experiences
• Supporting the creation of design strategies through your own ideas and research, to produce work that aligns to these strategies
• Working on one or more products where your decisions will align to high-level organizational strategies and KPIs, which will in turn, inform your goals for the year
• Staying on top of the latest techniques being used by our direct competitors and other eCommerce sites.
• Basing decisions on user research findings and insights, observing users interact with our product or a competitor’s for at least two hours every six weeks
• Promoting a culture where critique and feedback are central to the work we do, regularly participating in critiques and having your own work critiqued
• Staying focused on continuously improving and re-evaluating best practices
• Valuing emotional safety and working in an environment where failures are to be celebrated, especially the lessons learned from those failures
• Approaching your day-to-day work remembering that our focus is on delivery rather than deliverables, and solutions, rather than documents
• Working in a collaborative environment with people who have a variety of skills — like user experience design, research, product management and front/back-end development skills — collectively contributing to the final product

Work Environment
You’ll work with a variety of teams, each practicing design in various product development settings. These include Agile’s fast-paced, iterative product discovery and execution; a waterfall that supports large, complex projects where you’ll keep track of many challenges and collaborating to solve multi-faceted problems with other teams; and to a lesser extent, marketing in a more traditional, client-agency model with faster turn-arounds, and limited resources and support.

Candidate Profile
You’re exactly who we’re looking for if you:
• Value deadlines, set realistic expectations around them and then meet them
• Can balance user, business and technical needs, and will go to bat for users if things are out of kilter
• Help teams define a product’s problem areas from our most important users’ perspective
• Understand the blurry line between skills, and use collaboration as the best way to deal with it
• Have a current understanding of web technologies and principles— like responsive design, front-end markup and libraries such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and Ajax methods, plus Content Management Systems, Web Services, and APIs—and know how they’re integrated and used
• Have most of the following communication and interpersonal skills: facilitation, presentation, storytelling, sketching and critiquing
• Want to actively work with a coach to fill in any gaps
• Can establish successful, long-term relationships in your core areas
• Feel comfortable with basic statistics and analysis, and can use data to inform your decisions

Skills
Our ideal candidate has all of these skills. If you’re missing one, but are passionate about learning new things, we still want to talk with you.

Graphic Design
You’re a master of basic techniques of this skill, and can walk us through a portfolio that shows it. Also:
• You structure visual elements as a way to satisfy the specific goals of well-defined users
• You use contrast, color, tone and proximity of elements to help users move through information, functionality and interactions
• You educate non-designers about how your design solutions address the user goals specific to the project, aligning your tactics with the product’s driving strategies
• You simplify the volume and interplay of visual elements, bringing clarity without sacrificing the power of visual design
• You create sophisticated diagrams and models that simply describe complex concepts

Interaction Design
You’re a master of basic techniques of this skill, and can walk us through a portfolio that shows it. Also:
• You design how systems respond to the actions of users, with the goal of optimizing the satisfaction of those users’ specific goals
• You can think through an interaction and communicate it to potential users, your team and stakeholders through sketches, wireframes or prototypes
• You can see all of the edge cases an interaction may spawn, but balance this through judicious use of the 80/20 rule
• You have strong awareness of common interaction patterns used by competitors and the general industry, and know how to apply them
• You're comfortable working with standards and guidelines for interactions and components, but also creative in coming up with new ones when necessary

Information Architecture
You’re still mastering the basic techniques of this skill, but you understand what’s involved, and can collaborate with others who have more experience in the skill.

Prototyping
You’re still mastering the basic techniques of this skill, but you understand what’s involved, and can collaborate with others who have more experience in the skill.

Writing
You’re still mastering the basic techniques of this skill, but you understand what’s involved, and can collaborate with others who have more experience in the skill.

Education and Experience
Our ideal candidate has at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Experience or Interaction Design, Graphic Design, Information Architecture, Library Sciences, Human Factors, Psychology, Anthropology, Branding or Marketing (or similar), or three or more years of equivalent experience in related field with proven track record, as well as at least three of the following background areas:

Audience Diversity
You get that people are different. You’ve contributed in the delivery of successful products and communications targeted to diverse, heterogeneous user groups with complex or competing needs based on race, national origin, religion, age, disability, or gender expression. And you can walk us through a portfolio that shows it.

Branding
You’re a master of basic branding techniques.

Content Frameworks
You’ve worked with content frameworks and understand the boundaries of each, and you know what content is pre-fab and what requires coding to get it to development, to the point where you minimal direction, if at all.

Loyalty Programs
You’ve worked regularly in online loyalty retention or CRM, including but not limited to personalization across the digital landscape. You understand what contributes to loyalty and why loyalty matters to the overall business.

Mobile Applications
You have been essential to the release of at least one mobile application (native, web or hybrid). Also:
You have planned and executed significant aspects of several mobile releases (native, web or hybrid).

Product Pages
You have regularly created digital experiences that communicated product benefits and attributes using all types of content (photography, copy, etc.)

Reservations/check-out
You’ve worked regularly on online travel booking (preferred) or other eCommerce checkout processes.

Responsive Web Design
You understand the web. You embrace the unpredictability of what it takes to design digital experiences amid a digital renaissance/zombie apocalypse of electronics brought on by a new wave of device variety and availability worldwide. Also:
• You are comfortable discussing a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience for users across a wide range of browser viewports, agnostic to device capability
• You can explain the meaning of browser viewports, media queries, responsive images, fluid grids, relative units, progressive enhancement/graceful degradation, Mobile First, and Content First
• You are intrigued and curious by how unresolved topics in the context of responsive web design are being addressed and actively pursue information to understand how nascent standards are emerging/taking shape
• You can discuss UI patterns and their pros/cons depending on context of use, especially those contexts in which mobile and tablet devices are heavily used
• You are comfortable working with devices you have not used before and exploring how your design solution performs within the device’s capabilities/constraints


Search
You’ve worked regularly on online travel booking (preferred) or other eCommerce search forms and search results.

Standards & Practices
You understand the need for a shared vocabulary among collaborators. You advocate the notion that providing agreed upon knowledge and references for an organization are key to driving cohesive decisions. Also:
• You’ve been responsible for maintaining documentation that expresses guiding principles for how something should work or operate.
• You have experience with and you are comfortable discussing different kinds of standards approaches such as style guides, component libraries, web standards, accessibility guidelines, brand guides, and SEO best practices.
• You have authored guidelines or standards, distinguishing different levels of adherence, from strict standards that must be enforced to lose starting points; you are comfortable working within a design system that contains guidelines across the spectrum.
• You have used guidelines/standards to enforce adherence to a particular brand identity/technical requirements/workflow; you also share the view that “foolish consistencies are the hobgoblin of little minds.”

User Accounts
You’ve worked regularly with online user accounts and can leverage past experience to make decisions with users in mind.

If interested, please apply and include your resume and a link to your portfolio.

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