About MaRS

MaRS Discovery District  (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs.

MaRS supports promising high-growth companies to scale their businesses globally, while tackling key societal challenges in areas such as Health, Cleantech, Finance, Transportation, AI, and others. In addition to helping start-ups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries, and driving ideas to impact.

About Opportunity for All Youth (O4AY)

Opportunity for All Youth (O4AY) is Canada’s only employer-led youth hiring coalition that helps young people who face barriers find meaningful jobs and build skills, experience and confidence. Our goal is to change the youth employment system in Canada so that it works better for everyone, from young job seekers and the community services organizations who support them, to the businesses who hire and invest in them.

Opportunity for All Youth is based at MaRS Discovery District, North America’s largest urban innovation hub. MaRS' purpose is to help innovators change the world for the benefit of all. We're part of the MaRS system change portfolio focusing on driving better youth futures. The MaRS community fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration to drive breakthrough discoveries and new solutions to be adopted in Canada and beyond, growing our economy and delivering societal impact at scale.

About the Position

This role is responsible for designing all aspects of the Opportunity for All Youth (O4AY) digital experience, incorporating O4AY team vision, strategy, content, business objectives, and the needs of all stakeholders including O4AY staff, job applicants, employers, and community service providers.

The UX Designer works closely with all product-related disciplines and key stakeholders across MaRS. This role is the go-to contact within MaRS for O4AY design and user experience issues.

This role will also participate in defining and promoting design best practices across MaRS.

This is a 9-month contract position.

Key Responsibilities

Customer-centric product discovery

  • Conduct a continuous stream of product discovery activities with Opportunity for All Youth staff, youth job applicants, employers, and coordinating service providers to gain further customer data/insight. For example, customer surveys, usability studies, analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Develop a deep understanding of and a structured knowledge base documenting customer challenges, needs, opportunities and insights.
  • Create user research documentation such as customer interviews and journey maps
  • Work with the O4AY Product Manager and the O4AY business team to build and maintain a community of internal and external customers who act as an advisory panel for customer development to help the team build successful products, tools, and experiences faster with deeper support and context from clients and partners

UX ownership for O4AY digital experiences

Using product discovery activities as inputs, create design artifacts to help the team align and focus on creating long-term, compounding value: 

  • Lead user experience design for all O4AY digital experiences including applications and websites
  • Work with the O4AY business team to establish and evolve the O4AY software look and feel in accordance with O4AY brand guidelines
  • Produce a design guide that is the official source for the O4AY software look and feel, and teach software engineers how to use this guide during software development
  • Contribute to the pool of candidate solution ideas for future product features addressing customer opportunities
  • Work with the Product Manager to create prototype solutions

Validate, maintain and refine product designs over time.

  • Track product usage and key metrics through analytics tools and other means, and optimize the product design to advance the key measures of success
  • Solicit input and validation of designs from key stakeholders within and outside of MaRS
  • Keep product designs aligned with O4AY strategy, brand promise and digital requirements
  • Design and run experiments to test product hypotheses, and incorporate learnings into the plan

Collaborate closely with O4AY product management, business team members, and software engineers to achieve all of the above. 

Product Design Elevation

  • Participate in the definition and evolution of design-related job disciplines and best practices across MaRS, e.g. through discussion groups, workshops, training events, and leading by example.
  • Work with other designers and aspiring designers to grow design capability within all relevant MaRS business units.

How You Innovate

This role provides a unique opportunity for a product leader to help further Opportunity for All Youth’s mission by enabling the team to scale with software and people, as opposed to scaling solely with people. By innovating with beautifully-designed software, the UX Designer can greatly amplify the impact of the team.


  • No formal education required. In absence of formal education, must have significant self-study track record.
  • 3+ years in a UX Designer or equivalent role
  • Design portfolio demonstrating progression of responsibilities and achievements
  • Proven record of successfully designing business or consumer software products, internal tools, and/or creative platforms
  • Deep understanding of user experience, copy, and elements of design
  • Decent understanding of software development process and what can/cannot easily be built with software
  • Strong user centric & product landscape research experience
  • Strong proficiency with a variety of design tools
  • Passion for solving design problems
  • Creative and analytical approach
  • High degree of empathy for product users
  • Excellent communication skills, including 1:1 and small group presentations
  • Good knowledge of what is possible with modern software applications, especially HTML/CSS
  • Confidence working with technical teams of designers & developers
  • Confidence talking directly with customers and leading projects by working autonomously and presenting high level findings & direction
  • Learn-fast mindset and high desire to collaborate with team to create and roll out products to our customers, employees and partners

Applications close at 11:59pm EST on October 29, 2021.

Applicants must be legally eligible to work in Canada and reside in Ontario.

We are a purpose-driven organization on a mission to make the world a better place through inclusive innovation. This commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity are core to who we are and what we believe and, as such, encourage applications from members of diverse identity groups, including those who have been historically excluded and marginalized. You are welcome at MaRS.

We want you to be as successful throughout our recruitment process as possible. Please get in touch with us if there’s anything we can do to make your experience more accessible and inclusive, including accommodations for differing (dis)abilities.

Applications are due by 11:59 PM on the closing date stated above.

Applications received after this time will not be considered.

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