As a Lead Visual Designer at Canonical you will work in the Design team, based in our London headquarters. You will be working closely with stakeholders, user experience designers, developers and other visual designers to bring exciting new projects to life and to improve existing ones.

Leads should be strong communicators who are as much at ease talking to and working with senior executives as they are their own teammates. They can represent their team or the Design department at cross functional company meetings and will be able to voice/present the Design position with clarity and precision. 


As a Lead Visual designer, your responsibility is to:

  • Contribute to existing and new patterns in Vanilla framework
  • Create great looking designs that work across a variety of form factors
  • Work at different levels of fidelity, taking an initial idea from sketches to final detailed artwork, and everything in between
  • Explore alternative options and iterate designs based on input and feedback from the team
  • Work within our existing brand, front end framework and pattern library
  • Work collaboratively with team members across different disciplines, squads and teams
  • Articulate your design decisions clearly and effectively 
  • Work in an agile way and manage your own workload to deliver designs to agreed timescales
  • Proficiency in using your preferred design tools
  • Basic understanding of HTML and CSS

Squad leadership

  • Drive design projects with designers, product management and engineering.
  • Be able to maintain a good view across a number of projects, as well as your own work, and to be a go-to person for the team/squad as a whole and work with other leads to align overall departmental processes 
  • Balance and prioritise the various projects’ requirements. Think strategically and remain open minded, see the “greater good” and avoid get caught up in minutiae. 
  • Lead your product-specific squad, driving design and delivery against agreed goals.
  • Make strategic, timely decisions about phasing and prioritisation to unblock and facilitate progress.
  • Be proficient at defining the scope, milestones and deliverables for any given iteration.
  • Keep track of any repositories that are relevant - tracking and maintaining bugs, being responsive and aware of squad requirements documented elsewhere.
  • Earn and keep the respect of your squad team members, peers, and management.
  • Collaborate with people outside of your squad on achieving the goals if needed, proactively unblock team members, raise concerns in advance.
  • Work well with supporting engineering teams, making time to talk on irc, attend their stand ups, reviewing work with them in advance, sharing progress and seeking their input to achieve consensus and drive progress
  • Inspire other team mates regarding the importance of and adherence to agile/lean project management methodologies. Encourage your squad to be self-organising and aware.
  • Developing an ability to articulate a vision and motivate a squad of people around a clear set of iteration/cycle goals
  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders / engineers to understand work requirements and priorities. Set up and attend weekly catch-ups with engineers/stakeholders you are collaborating with. Prepare for an run these meetings (agenda, tracking etc.)
  • Resolve any blockers for the team. Escalate up only when no other options are available.
  • Own your squad meetings, or make sure that there is an owner for each meeting
  • Manage design work which is included in product releases, when applicable
  • Develop the process/approach for tackling a design problem
  • Leading the exploration and design solutions of undefined problem spaces
  • Use understanding of impact and success metrics to focus your team's efforts. Develop a good working knowledge of Google Analytics - goal setting and tracking, A/B testing etc.
  • Have an understanding of broader organizational context and goals
  • Manage incoming requests for work that affect your squad and need to be considered. (e.g project briefs)

Iteration activities for your squad can include:

  • Iteration planning: Agree on iteration goals for your squad. Surface any new/priority requirements for your squad. E.g design requests and bugs
  • Detailed planning: Review squad iteration goals with squad members for approval and create a scrum board of tasks needed to complete them so large goals are split into trackable and transparent tasks
  • Daily standup: Prepare ahead of the meeting and run the meeting at the same time each day. Keep aware of squad’s progress against goals as the iteration progresses.
  • Scrum of scrums: Update management and other squad leads on progress against iteration objectives. Goal updates, blockers, risks and dependencies.
  • End of iteration: Review status at the end of an iteration with the whole team against set goals. Showcase of completed work (Organise your squad’s presentation of work in final iteration demo in advance)
  • Retrospective: Run this meeting with squad members to reflect on how the iteration went for them, and what could be improved.
  • Plan ahead: Upcoming iteration(s) objectives and goals: Roadmap and backlog planning and prioritising. Goals for upcoming iteration.


  • Have a minimum of 5 years experience or equivalent working as a designer in a commercial environment with demonstrable design success
  • Ability to demonstrate delivery of products – regardless of platform – that deliver on business KPIs and user needs
  • To be active in the design community to ensure the latest techniques are understood and implemented into our product development process
  • Have a deep understanding of visual and interaction design principles.

Desirable skills and experience

  • Experience of open-source projects
  • Visual design or programming skills
  • Knowledge of cloud and enterprise technologies
  • Experience of speaking at conferences and/or publishing academic or industry white papers

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