The Role

As a Lead Designer, you'll play a central role throughout the entire project — establishing the design strategy, delivering it with code, and ensuring that our work has the intended business impact.

  • Lead teams and engage clients through the entire project.
  • Plan and run a design process that delivers on core business goals.
  • Design solutions that unlock opportunities for teams and clients.
  • Explain decisions, win over stakeholders, and fulfill the creative strategy.
  • Navigate complex business, user, and team needs with empathy.
  • Develop your design in HTML / CSS and ship impeccable work.

Last but not least: People who succeed here are empathetic teammates who are candid, kind, caring, and embody our core values. We believe that diverse, inclusive teams make the most impactful work. Upstatement is deeply invested in ensuring that we have a supportive, growth-oriented environment that works for everyone.

Why Upstatement?

Upstatement is a digital product studio with an editorial mindset. We use the tools of design, engineering, and journalism to enrich lives and create a more just society. Our 50-person team works with established leaders (MIT, ESPN, PBS) and emerging companies who are about to change the world.

  • Work with ethical and mission-driven organizations.
  • Collaborate in a high-trust environment that empowers creative ownership.
  • Build a portfolio you can be proud of.
  • Blossom in a small studio culture full of top talent and peers who help you grow.
  • Find your path at a place that prizes flexibility: We encourage experimentation, support role switching, and help people balance between maker/manager and lead/support.
  • Contribute to a progressive, values-driven culture that has deep commitment to DEI, puts people first, and believes in making each other better.
  • Experience true life-work balance with a 4-Day Work Week.
  • Surround yourself with other designers who code. Our process centers designer-coders because it's how we've worked since day one. You’ll get lots of support from engineers, designers, and managers who know where you’re coming from.

What You'll Do

  • Lead an end-to-end design process. Contribute visual ideas as research. Express strategic ideas through design. Communicate the rationale behind your work. Make it beautiful, and (most important) deliver what users need.
  • Establish a brand vision that is informed by research, connected to business outcomes, and driven by you. Present to clients with support from the team.
  • Conduct research. Run workshops, participate in user interviews, and gather inputs throughout the process. Design new activities as goals dictate.
  • Explore complex problem spaces with an open mind. Feel comfortable with ambiguity. Generate multiple solutions, rapidly iterate, and make strategic product decisions in partnership with a team.
  • Sweat the details. Impeccable execution and deep care given to all aspects of design, large and small: strategy, messaging, brand, colors, typography, icons — everything.
  • Communicate clearly. Share daily status with teams. Deliver concepts to clients. Talk through thorny issues as they arise. Show excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills that build strong relationships.
  • Love (and evolve) the process. Follow established practices and invent new ones. Evolve our process to be more thoughtful, effective, and accessible to all.
  • Contribute to an inclusive culture where people feel productive, creative, and safe. Be unafraid to name problems and move toward solutions with optimism, clarity, and calm.

About You

  • 3-7+ years of hands-on design and front-end development leadership at a digital agency.
  • World-class visual and interaction designer with a portfolio of work demonstrating business impact across products and websites.
  • Proven ability to express strategy through design, synthesizing research — interviews, workshops, competitive audits — that result in impactful design executions across a wide range of audiences and industries.
  • Expert at breaking down complexity and understanding each client’s business context. A systems thinker who actively works to identify the big opportunity. Clearly articulates the why behind every decision.
  • Demonstrates craft by manifesting design with code, specifically HTML, CSS, and some JavaScript. Understands Git and Agile workflows, and works effectively with engineers. Can adapt to a wide range of technologies.
  • Comfort working with common JavaScript frameworks and Content Management Systems
  • Gives and receives feedback with empathy to ensure work is always aligned to the core idea and meets quality standards. Sets the pace of velocity and efficiency through every step of the process, course correcting based on feedback and improving how we work together.
  • Confident communicator and active listener that can lead any room to trust your design expertise. Maintains strong relationships with collaborators and client stakeholders, even when challenged.
  • Ability to succeed even in the face of complex, ambiguous projects. Comfortable working iteratively. Can step into this role with minimal training.
  • Bonus: Experience designing around complex interactions or content, such as apps and editorial products. 😎

Salary & Level

Upstatement is committed to helping our people grow and providing transparent salary benchmarks. This job fits three possible levels in our skill progression framework (something we’d love to share during the interview process). The level depends the candidate’s unique qualifications, to be determined during the interview process. The role is targeted at Levels 4-5 but we're open to promising candidates who might identify as a Level 3.

Level: 3
Official Title: Senior Designer Front-end
Department: Design
Salary Range: $110,000-$130,000

Level: 4
Official Title: Lead Designer: Front-End
Department: Design
Salary Range:  $130,000-$150,000

Level: 5
Official Title: Senior Lead Designer: Front-End
Department: Design
Salary Range:  $150,000-$170,000

Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Health, dental, and vision insurance, and supplementary health benefits (FSA, IVF coverage, TalkSpace
  • A company-matched retirement plan 
  • $1,000 home office setup stipend
  • $1,500 annual professional development budget
  • Short/long term disability insurance
  • 3 weeks vacation to start, plus company-wide closure between Christmas & New Year’s Day (fully paid)
  • 12 weeks paid parental leave 
  • One Medical membership
  • Internal events, workshops, and seminars (like our Friday Talks)
  • Hubs in New York City and Boston as well as a fully distributed workforce

FWIW: Worries of “what if I’m not the perfect fit” can sometimes hold us back from applying to jobs. We want to let you in on a secret: there is no perfect candidate. Sure, we’re interested in resumes, but also the narrative beyond that resume—unique backgrounds, experiences, points of views, etc. As such—there is no set of boxes to tick in order to be a good candidate. If this is a job that excites you, we hope you’ll apply.

Interview Process

Our goal is to get to know you in a low-pressure, friendly environment — and to give you ample opportunity to learn more about us, too.

Our typical process includes these types of experiences:

  • A resume screen and introductory phone/video chat
  • A take-home exercise where you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your communication and problem-solving skills
  • Additional conversations with potential future team members, the hiring manager, and leadership

Our goal is to create an environment where you can interview at your best. Our interview process is fully remote, conducted via Zoom calls. If we can provide any assistance or accommodations during your time with us, please let us know at hr@upstatement.com. All requests are treated as privately as possible and have no impact on candidate eligibility.

Interested in applying?

Send us a resume, cover letter, and anything else that helps us understand what makes you awesome.
 
Women, people of color, LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Upstatement is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Upstatement is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyoneyou are welcome here.
 
FWIW: Worries of “what if I’m not the perfect fit” can sometimes hold us back from applying to jobs. We want to let you in on a secret: there is no perfect candidate. Sure, we’re interested in resumes, but also the narrative beyond that resume—unique backgrounds, experiences, points of views, etc. As such—there is no set of boxes to tick in order to be a good candidate. If this is a job that excites you, we hope you’ll apply.

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