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Senior Product Designer

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Our client, a market-leading cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies company, is looking to add a Senior Manager of Product Design to their team in Santa Clara.

The Senior Manager of Product Design will:
-- Drive user experience research and the development of user experiences for all products and product lines (within a division), consistent with the needs of all stakeholders, the company’s objectives, business policies and software engineering processes.
-- Provide guidance and leadership to individual contributors and managers within the product design group and across related projects or disciplines in areas of expertise.
-- Identify technical opportunities and recommends programs to management in such areas as product development, efficiency improvement, cost reduction, design process and usability improvements.
-- Be responsible for developing state-of-the-art process and infrastructure for the user experience team as a whole.
-- Be responsible for independently planning, leading, organizing, controlling and staffing the resources within the group, and coordinating the group's activities and interface within the engineering department and the division.
-- Provide significant input on budget as part of the team's planning process.
-- Play a proactive role in developing user experience strategy, communicating internally and externally and motivating the team to build and deliver the best products.

Daily Duties:
- Directs design and research activities within the group at a high level, as well as direct hands-on participation/contribution.
- Allocates and assigns the group's personnel to appropriate projects based on skills, interests, potential career development and business needs.
- Fosters successful execution and delivery of projects, and continuous improvement on the ability to execute them.
- Reviews progress and evaluates results of projects within span of control. Recommends or takes necessary actions based on analysis.
- Coordinates research activity and design direction with others in the department and the company to ensure consistent and integrated research and design approaches across projects.
- Takes responsibility for the decisions on research and design matters within their span of control.
- Contributes to and executes design, research, and design-related engineering processes, and ensures they are understood and adhered to within the group.
- Communicates project status and issues throughout the engineering organization.
- Ensures preparation of (personally or through others) status, technical, and management reports.
- Proactively identifies opportunities for and executes continuous quality improvement in meeting internal and external customer requirements.
- Identifies opportunities for improvement and recommends programs to management in such areas as product development, design process and user experience.
- Drives the development of design standards, and ensures that project level work is consistent with established standards.
- Makes recommendations to VP on allocations for user experience budget.
- Makes recommendations to management on ways to improve product design group processes.

Strategic Responsibilities:
- Participates in setting and meeting goals in support of the missions of the company, engineering, and product design.
- Provides clear, concise direction that helps foster learning as well as decision-making.
- Interacts internally and externally with senior levels of management, often involving complex situations that require cross-functional influence and negotiation.
- Inspires and motivates product design team and key stakeholders.
- Stays abreast of and finds ways to incorporate user research methodologies, and design and technology advancements in area of expertise.
- Provides direction and relays vision to the product design team to create easy-to-use, world-class products.
- Fosters and supports a collaborative, innovative culture that advocates user-centered design and a positive customer experience.
- Determines and approves research program(s), direction for user experience research and creative and aesthetic direction for design, including composition, layout, color, and typography.

Qualifications and Requirements:
- BS degree or equivalent in Graphic Design, Human Computer Interaction, Human Factors, Computer Science or related fields.
- A minimum of eight (8) years of directly related work experience is typically required, with two (2) or more years of experience directly managing a group of User Experience Designers and/or User Experience Researchers.
- A minimum of six (6) years of work experience is required for individuals holding an MS/MFA or higher degree in one of these fields.
- Three (3) or more years experience leading multi-disciplinary teams, conducting user experience research and executing user experience design within an iterative software development process, with demonstrated success as a design or research manager or lead on multiple projects.
- Online portfolio with a range of interactive samples.
- Demonstrated expertise in interaction and/or design, with a proven ability to reduce complex user tasks to a simple, efficient, and polished user experience for several complex web or software applications with a large and varied group of users.
- Direct experience with user experience research methodologies such as card sorting, usability testing, ethnographic research, customer interviews, surveys and focus groups.
- Extensive experience with information architecture and interaction design principles and producing deliverables such as content organization, site maps or flowcharts, and developing user interfaces for Windows software or web applications.
- Demonstrated understanding of Project Management methodologies and tools (e.g. MS Project).
- Understand the Company technology landscape and its impact on design.

Additional Responsibilities relating to Team Management may include:
- Leads decision-making regarding hiring, promotions, and other personnel actions within the group.
- Develops and presents employee performance appraisals and compensation-related actions under the review and approval of the VP.
- Fosters learning and growth for group members through advice, guidance, mentoring and group training in areas of expertise.
- Creates and/or delegates challenging assignments to help motivate individuals, advance their skills and help them meet their career goals.
- Identifies issues or opportunities within the group, takes responsibility and initiates actions that result in high-quality solutions.
- Ensures the skill levels of the group support the product strategy and roadmap.
- Evaluates designer and researcher talent, identifies and rewards key contributors, identifies and manages improvement plans for under-performers.
- Researches and recommends training programs and curriculum for designers and researchers in the group.

ADDITIONAL INFO
• This is a full-time, W-2 contract-to-hire position located in Santa Clara, CA
• This position is not eligible for telecommute or offsite work
• This position is eligible for full benefits including a low premium, zero-deductible health care plan, 401(k) plan, 
dental and vision.

AQUENT is a firm that offers content design and development, marketing, and creative services solutions. For more than 20 years, we have helped provide outsourcing and staffing solutions to clients across the globe. We're a minority-owned business, committed to maintaining professional quality with a personal touch.

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