Senior User Experience Designer

California, United States
15 Jun 2020
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Stanford Web Services (SWS) is an award-winning agency within Stanford University providing web strategy, user experience, visual design, and web development services to the campus community. SWS oversees more than 2,000 websites and is part of University Information Technology (UIT), a 600-person strong organization supporting 100+ services for Stanford.

SWS takes pride in our mission to care for Stanford’s ever-evolving web presence, because supporting the research and education mission of a renowned university can make a positive impact in the world. We craft beautiful, secure, accessible, and effective websites, including,,, and more. Everyone in SWS engages clients and partners through friendly and clear communication and creative problem-solving. Also, we don’t build one website at a time: we build tools to drive better development for everyone. We built the Stanford Sites Drupal CMS, use GitHub to share code with others, contribute to open source, and manage a library of responsive design patterns for use across the university. In short, SWS evolves products to empower the Stanford community, from storytellers to technologists and everyone in between.

SWS is seeking a Senior User Experience Designer to take a leading role in evolving the UX strategy of our team and defining the user experience, information architecture, and visual design requirements on a wide variety of projects, including:

Design project leadership  (80%):

  • You’ll design functional web properties that are as usable for all people as they are beautiful.
  • You’ll lead or oversee the research, definition, design, testing and delivery of the functionality and interface of websites and applications.
  • You’ll collaborate with clients and other stakeholders to develop a deep understanding of needs and then work with technical leads to synthesize requirements into sketches, wireframes, and design mockups. 
  • You’ll contribute to a team dedicated to building our platform as we produce client work.
  • You’ll lead to create a shared vision and strategy for user experience and design in alignment with department and university goals.

Team leadership  (10%):

  • You’ll help grow our UX & design practice and work with the team to improve our design competency through design reviews and peer feedback.

Community engagement (5%):

  • You’ll participate in Stanford’s Communities of Practice to support an open, sharing environment with our peers.

Professional Development (5%):

You’ll keep your skills sharp through attending conferences and training.

The following is the standard job description for this type of position at Stanford and includes information about general responsibilities that might help you decide. If it sounds like a good fit for you, please apply. We’re a great team doing great things!

Job purpose

Lead or oversee the definition, design, testing and delivery of the functionality and interface of applications with user interfaces; ensure designs aligned with user needs, accessibility standards and underlying technology. Create information architecture and user interface designs for given systems. Ensure systems are compliant with Stanford’s online accessibility policies through implementing alternative technologies. Contribute to creating a shared vision and strategy for user experience in alignment with department and university goals.

Core duties

  • Define, design, test and deliver full products across competing priorities to ensure designs aligned with user needs and underlying technology.
  • Lead and conduct user research, create personas, identify required tasks and information flows for given systems.
  • Create relevant design artifacts and, including, but not limited to, information architecture, requirements, personas designs, wireframe and data flows.
  • Lead and create graphic, visual and interactive design or work with specialists to merge these into the interface.
  • Make systems compliant with Stanford’s online accessibility policies through implementing alternative technologies.
  • Create application code to manifest the designs, or work with software engineers to develop them.
  • Define usability testing on applications during the development lifecycle.
  • Maintain an understanding of evolving industry standards, trends, and best practices. Identify opportunities to refine existing capabilities and leverage new capabilities.
  • Analyze metrics and user feedback for issues and opportunities for improvement; liaise with quality assurance and help desk specialists to identify defects in application functionality or design and create strategies for mitigation.
  • Contribute, maintain and review documentation on design assumptions, application requirements and specifications, business logic, training materials, help text, and release notes.
  • Define applications’ accessibility through alternative technologies. Build and maintain strong cross-functional relationships / alignment with partners across the university.
  • Collaborate with partners to develop and maintain consistent standards for the end- to-end user experience, including linkages between key systems .
  • May supervise others.
  • Other duties may also be assigned.

Minimum requirements

  • Bachelor's degree and five years of experience or combination of education and relevant experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to define UX vision and inspire others to execute against it.
  • Advantaged knowledge of computer systems, business processes and workflow.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing web applications
  • Experience with designing and front-end development of websites built with Drupal and WordPress.
  • Experience in current web technologies, such as JavaScript, AJAX and HTML5, CSS, SASS.
  • Experience in responsive design, and application of HCI to mobile application development.
  • Experience in designing for accessibility, ensuring adequate access to information through assistive technologies.
  • Defining and leading user research, user testing, usability testing and analysis.
  • Skill in developing specifications and mockups using UI design tools and/or programming in web application languages.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, including the ability to bridge functional and technical resources by communicating effectively with individuals of varying systems expertise.
  • Ability to design and document complex business systems.
  • Proven problem solving and analytical thinking and ability to approach problems logically and systematically.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead projects and multidisciplinary teams.

Certificates and Licenses Required


Physical requirements

  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks, grasp lightly/fine manipulation.
  • Frequently sitting.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, use a telephone.
  • Rarely writing by hand, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Strong visual acuity.

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Work standards

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

We’re located in Redwood City. Our new Stanford Redwood City campus is open and brings together 2,700 staff in a collaborative environment that reflects Stanford’s culture and mission. The campus offers amenities such as onsite cafes and a dining pavilion, a high-end fitness facility with an outdoor pool, and a childcare center. As part of our telecommute options, we have Stanford locations in San Francisco, Newark and San Jose and a supportive work-anywhere program for our Bay Area staff.

Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more.

How to Apply

We invite you to apply for this position by clicking on the “Apply for Job” button. To be considered, please submit your résumé, link to your portfolio or GitHub, and a cover letter along with your online application.

Additional Information

Schedule: Full-time
Job Code: 4817
Employee Status: Fixed-Term
Grade: K
Requisition ID: 86743

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