San Francisco, CA

DIRECTOR of USER EXPERIENCE

Wikimedia seeks a senior design professional to influence development of beautiful, engaging products that Wikipedia users love.  Along with the User Experience Team, the Director will be an evangelist for design that captivates, particularly ensuring that interfaces for reading and contributing to Wikimedia projects delight users, and are consistent, modern, efficient and alluring.

The Director of User Experience works with design and engineering teams to envision and build products that delight.  While the Director will closely collaborate with engineers, the Director and the whole User Experience Team is a design, not an engineering group, focusing on three main user experience areas:  visual appeal, efficient workflow, and satisfying interactive experiences that take human behavior and needs into account.

The Director will specifically:

  • Grow, lead, and manage Wikimedia Foundation’s user experience team of five design professionals;
  • Develop a design context for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia Foundation projects:
    • Develop and communicate look-and-feel guidelines and templates which embody Wikimedia’s user experience philosophy and goals
    • Develop and evolve a style guide that articulates a consistent design language consisting of look & feel, design patterns, etc.
    • Incorporate the necessary tools and best practices for a healthy user experience function, including interaction models, user task flows, screen designs, wireframes, etc.
  • Be a thought leader, educator and mentor on user experience design.  Stay current on trends in mobile and web user experience, bringing design ideas to the table that push the envelope on what users and communities can do;
  • Advocate and evangelize for user centered design both within the Foundation and with our community of users
  • Be pragmatic while ensuring that deliverables meet standards of consistency and quality
  • Provide honest intelligence on user attitudes and forthright feedback on what users want, what users enjoy and what can engage users through ongoing user research and testing;
  • Translate usability and user research findings into actionable design improvements that delight our community of editors and readers.

Wikimedia teams are assembled across departmental lines by project, with reporting lines working in a matrix as opposed to a top-down hierarchy.  Rather than conforming to a culture that applies a command and control approach, Wikimedia professional staff and volunteers tend to organize around people able to exert influence through thought-leadership, strong communication, innovation, ambition and satisfaction in developing great product and features.  The Director of User Experience must be accustomed to leading through the power of ideas articulately expressed, and by enthusiastically engaging others.

Individuals should have strong experience leading software interface design teams for products running on diverse hardware and software platforms.  Strong knowledge of diverse hardware and OS trends and a broad understanding of the mobile applications landscape is advantageous, as is a focus on visual appeal, elegant workflow, and design that connects to human factors, behaviors and motivations.  Top-down management experience is less important to success than thought leadership, exceptional communication ability and a track-record of design excellence.

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization committed to building a world in which every person freely shares in the sum of all knowledge. Wikimedia pursues a permanent agenda of technical innovation, and provides the operating, software development and managerial infrastructure required to sustain the Foundation’s free knowledge projects.  Consulted by over 400 million monthly, it has hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors and more than 19 million encyclopedia articles in 265 languages, all of which can be freely shared and used for any purpose, and is the fifth most popular web property world-wide.  Further background on the Wikimedia Foundation can be found at http://www.wikimedia.org/.

For additional information, please read the full position description here, or contact David Santore or Mark Oppenheim at info@moppenheim.com.