Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an urban innovation company that tackles cities' greatest challenges. We create products and solutions, invest in new companies, and help developers build more sustainable, innovative, and equitable places around the world. Our ambitious vision requires us to push ourselves beyond conventional thinking, and we work hard in pursuit of our mission. Our cross-disciplinary team consists of experts from real estate, urban planning, government, finance, technology, and engineering, among other backgrounds.

Our urban innovations include Delve (a generative design product that empowers real estate teams to design better, faster, with less risk), Mesa (an easy-install kit for commercial buildings that cuts energy costs, improves tenant comfort, and simplifies building operations), Pebble (a low-cost vehicle sensor to help manage parking and curb space), and Affordable Electrification (a new way to manage home energy use to meet a customer’s monthly budget). We're also developing an offsite construction company that can deliver high-quality mass timber buildings for more sustainable living and working.

With the potential to radically improve quality of life in cities for all, our work is both exciting and complex. We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it!

What is the role?

Our Incubations team is at the heart of growing and launching businesses that help cities tackle their greatest challenges. We take a cross-disciplinary, empathy-led, and prototyping-forward approach to creating groundbreaking urban innovation products and services. We develop ideas from scratch alongside exceptional entrepreneurial thinkers, including experts in policy, sustainability, mobility, and real estate development who can envision better, alternative urban futures. For the best ideas, we staff the team with go-to-market skillsets (Sales, Eng, Product, Design) in order to launch and scale new ventures. 

The Design Lead role is tasked with making early concepts tangible, starting from a basis in deep customer research and executed in the context of experiments that test market viability. As a standard bearer for human-centered design, Design Leads work to pinpoint key customer pain points, working with Commercial Leads and subject matter experts to define the scope of market opportunity, and use an experience design toolkit to bring new ideas to life. In this role you will:     

  • Lead the design strategy for early stage urban innovation businesses, collaborating with a multidisciplinary team to deliver concepts, prototypes, and business plans 
  • Be hands on with the design and delivery of storyboards, wireframes, visual design comps, prototypes, and other artifacts that serve to test to viability of a business concept and experience
  • Be insatiably curious and drive research and experimentation that can validate or challenge existing assumptions, while uncovering latent needs, behaviors, and pain points from target customers
  • Communicate early stage design concepts through elegant user experiences, leveraging the power of storytelling, brand, and human emotion
  • Synthesize trends, forecasts, emerging technology exemplars, and market research to form unique insights about where the world is going and how Sidewalk can have the greatest impact   

What we expect:

  • Putting users first
    • You have 6+ years of experience in product teams or venture studio organizations, in a UX/Product Design, Experience Design, or Interaction Design role. Bonus points for product experience specifically in pre-seed/seed/series A ventures and enterprise/B2B experience. 
    • You have a degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Design, or other UX-equivalent experience.
    • Your design process is deeply rooted in our users and you can effectively advocate for them across the organization, including to those unfamiliar with the product development process. 
  • Ability to execute with design excellence
    • You have a strong base in design process and execution, including a specialty in either visual design, design research, interaction design, and/or software development. Please share your portfolio with us.
    • You can judge and execute at the appropriate level of fidelity, from paper sketches to refined mocks for production.
    • You know your tools (e.g. Figma, Adobe CS, HTML/CSS) and are ready to adopt new ones. 
    • You have worked across physical and digital products–for example experience with hardware, services, packaging, and environments.
    • Bonus points: Experience building brands from the ground up, and creating brand identities and marketing materials necessary to validate new business concepts.
  • Bias towards action
    • Ability to scope and lead end-to-end user research process, from concept ideation and boundary concept creation, to recruiting, to interview facilitation.
    • Once you’ve sketched out an idea, you find the fastest path to gain traction and begin executing.
    • Be creative: you use a diverse set of tools (storyboards, wireframes, visuals, other media etc.) to communicate your ideas effectively.
    • You take initiative and are adept with changing priorities and quick turnarounds to launch products for customers. 
    • You thrive on thinking and acting like an owner, and are excited by startup environments. 
    • Strong synthesis and insight development skills, willingness/ability to do this independently. 
    • Strong storytelling and communication skills, able to support CEO asset creation.
    • Ability to map user journey & scope features to key journey moments.
  • Solve problems, together
    • You can articulate the product’s vision in a compelling manner, as well as the rationale and tradeoffs behind design decisions.
    • You embrace the intellectual challenge of constantly reacting to and synthesizing new ideas related to the future of urban experience and technology.
    • You ask hard questions and challenge assumptions to ensure that we’re solving the right problems.
  • Passionate about cities
    • You care deeply about cities and improving the lives of people in them.
    • You are obsessed with privacy and constantly ask how we can build privacy into design.
    • You are committed to creating more equitable and inclusive outcomes both in the workplace and in the work you do.

What you have to achieve:

  • Within the first month, you’ve onboarded onto the Incubations team, and absorbed the R&D work done to date. You’ve completed a starter project that gets your feet wet on the journey of taking an initial hypothesis and defining a set of opportunity areas.
  • Within the first two months, you’ve defined the parameters for a robust research and concept test, which includes defining both a field research plan as well as an outline of a series of “wizard of oz” style prototypes to test.   
  • By the end of month three, you’ve worked closely with Commercial Leads to refine the business model and plan for an idea, including evidence of pain points and need as shown through cycles of design research and prototype testing. 
  • Beyond the first few months, you’ve helped to develop an initial design concept into a business with a go-to-market plan, maintaining the voice of the customer even as the team around the emerging business grows and scales. You continually reflect on your experience to improve our incubations approach, particularly how design can best be used as a tool to build conviction around new business ideas.

We are very excited to hear from you.

Sidewalk Labs is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We actively seek applicants from underrepresented communities. Even if you are not 100% sure you are right for the role, please apply and we will be happy to consider your application. All employment is based on merit and business need, and we respond to each application we receive.

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At Sidewalk Labs, we are committed to creating an inclusive work environment, creating the conditions for every employee to thrive in their role, regardless of identity. Equity, inclusion, and diversity are pillars of our workplace and work product. Completion of these demographic questions is voluntary, and if you do complete them, your responses will be used (in aggregate only) to help us identify areas of improvement in our process. Your responses will not be associated with your specific application and will not in any way be used in the hiring decision.

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