Director of User Experience -- TDA-Digital
Director of User Experience – large creative agency - $150-170k – midtown Manhattan
One of our clients, an independent full service design agency, with a strong footprint and pedigree in digital, are looking for a director of user experience to lead their practice and current UX team. The agency works on multi-platform (web, mobile, tablet) digital product design, with some advertising / marketing stuff aswell (not a huge amount, and generally only as part of a wider, long arch piece of work).
Like all roles at this level, it is a mixture of a number of elements; building and managing the team, refining and implementing new UX process (with a preference for a more lean approach), resourcing and billable-time management, working on pitch work, reporting and tracking on projects, mentoring the team, and, of course, working very closely with the clients, the strategy and the creative team to formalize the ideas and concepts that will shape projects.
What do they make:
The agency’s projects are primarily in the pharmaceutical realm (don’t switch off just yet), with some significant work in the sporting arena too. The split is around 70-30 in favor of pharma, but the work they are doing in this space is not the usual restrictive, regulation heavy snoozeathon stuff that a lot of other agencies are bogged down in, it’s genuinely interesting, complex work. Most of their pharma work is from the position of ‘agency of record’, so there is already a body of trust and knowledge in place between the agency and the client. Within these markets, there is a healthy mixture of consumer websites, tablet applications, product design, internal portal and system design.
How do they make it:
UX becomes involved at the point of pitch, and is one of the first disciplines through the door at the kick off point for a project, gathering requirements, getting under the skin of the business, and understanding what the questions are, alongside the strategy team. From there, UX will drive the research and requirements phase, with generous budget and time afforded to user insights (more for the complex products, less so for the marketing and advertising work). From this point, technical, strategy, UX, content, and visual design will work closely together to deliver on the key stages. Documentation is kept as light as possible, with a focus on rapid iteration, but some of the clients still need to see higher fidelity work (something they are working on changing, in line with a more lean process).
The director will support the UX practitioners in the production of primary journeys and flows, screen and IA concepts, content and data relationship models, taxonomy structures, all involving lots of sketching and whiteboarding. The more junior UX designers will then work on the more detailed wireframes and documentation, all the way up to working prototypes or functional specs, ready for build by the dev team.
What are they looking for:
Someone who is able to switch focus very rapidly between being the hands on manager for the team, a creative genius in front of clients and in workshops, a detail oriented project manager able to scope and run process for the department on projects, a pragmatist adept at choosing the right process and package of techniques to achieve the best results on time and on budget, and a visionary leader who can represent UX internally within the agency, and externally with new and existing clients.
Perhaps you have been a director-of-one for a while and are looking for an opportunity to step up into formal team management. Or maybe you’ve been an associate director for a year or so, and want more exposure to running multiple projects from beginning to end, whilst juggling the other elements of a role like this.