Research Software UI/UX Designer

London (Greater) (GB)
£41,386 - £48,414 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
24 Mar 2023
23 Apr 2023
Full Time

Job description

The Lab 

King’s Digital Lab ( KDL - ) is a Research Software Engineering (RSE) team embedded within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at King’s College London. We design and implement systems, infrastructure, tools, and processes needed to produce a heterogeneous range of high quality digital scholarly outputs.  As an RSE laboratory, KDL is deeply committed to co-research and is constantly evolving as new tools and methods appear. We have an open, collaborative culture, both within the Lab and with our research partners.   


​We integrate design throughout our projects, from initial requirements assessments and at each stage of development. We aim for a design-first approach, in support of our belief that digital tools and methods should be both instinctively usable and elegant.   


The Role

Research Software (RS) UI/UX Designers work in a variety of research domains, and in a range of different teams. The RS UI/UX Designer is responsible for project research, development of user journeys, concepts development, design and front-end development of web tools and online projects. They work closely with analysts and software engineers to develop and implement information architecture across projects and produce a fully functional product. Their focus is on innovation, impact, and public engagement, pushing the boundaries while respecting industry standards and accessibility. Their goal is to produce products of the highest design quality possible within the available budget, and with attention to best practice in research methods, visualization, and digital publishing. They are expected to contribute to the development of eResearch capability in their immediate department, research group, or laboratory as well as across the university, and be aware of best practices in software development, digital research methods, data visualization, and data management.


In addition to the core design and development responsibilities for research projects, you will be able to develop a personal research agenda and explore opportunities to connect this to external funding and work with academic colleagues. 


What we offer in return 

King’s offers a wide range of benefits – visit for information on staff benefits such as: 

o   Leave and pension 

o   Training and development 

o   Support for parents and carers 

o   Discounts  

o   Well-being support here 

•         Flexible working opportunities, including hybrid working (typically 20% in-person – up to 80% remote) 

•         Opportunity to expand your skills working with new and emerging technologies across multiple disciplines and sectors and to develop a personal research agenda and explore opportunities connecting this to external funding and collaborating with academic colleagues. 


Additional Information

​KDL supports an inclusive culture and celebrates the diversity of our team. We are committed to encouraging further appointments from diverse groups, and we look forward to welcoming applicants of all cultures and abilities, supported by flexible and varied working practices.​  


This post will be offered on a full-time, indefinite contract.


 Key responsibilities

The core responsibilities of this role centre around the creation of design related outputs. The below describes the key areas of work, with a percentage to indicate approximately what portion of time you can expect to spend on each category. The division of time outlined here is indicative and may vary. 


Design and development  - 40%

  • Work with colleagues across the institution to produce UI/UX and design-related outputs, e.g.: accessible design artefacts, information architecture, interfaces, data visualisations, usability and accessibility testing exercises, code, technical frameworks and systems for modelling, analysis, and simulation of research-intensive problems (and dissemination of results).

Analysis – 15%

  • Work with colleagues across the institution to define requirements for research-related technical solutions.  

  • Deploy existing domain knowledge, or rapidly accumulate more, to understand the computational algorithms, requirements and interfaces involved in a research programming project, and contribute appropriate design assets to the development effort.

    Project Management - 10%

  • Take responsibility for the delivery of design assets, visualisations, code, and interface components, and their integration into wider institutional technical frameworks and strategies.  

  • Provide itemized cost estimates for design solutions suitable for inclusion in funding bids.  

Teaching – 10%

  • Contribute to training initiatives organized by the institution, including introductory UI/UX design courses.
  • Provide online and face to face support, and associated documentation, for staff and students using software built or supported by RS staff.

Personal experimentation and skills development  - 10%

  • Develop a personal research agenda, capable of generating external funding, as either PI or Co-I.  
  • Contribute to conferences, research papers, and research projects.  

System, Software, and Data Maintenance & Support  - 5%    

  • Produce technical and end user documentation to aid the use, support, and maintenance of systems and tools for digital research.  

Self-directed learning – 5%

  • Maintain and improve skills in research software engineering through independent study and training courses.  

Community outreach – 5%

  • Build or maintain relationships across the UK and international eResearch, RSE and design communities.  
  • Attend community events such as seminars and workshops.  
  • Contribute expertise to internal and external committees and working groups.  
  • Contribute to department and institution wide meetings and events.  

Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) alignment:  

•         SFIA®Level of Responsibility 3. 

•         •SFIA®Skills: BUAN 4; HCEV 4; INAN 4; REQM 3; RSCH 2; METL 4; TECH 4; EMRG 4; ARCH 5; DESN 4; DTAN 4; DBDS 3; PROG 3; TEST 3; UNAN 4; USEV 4.  


SDLC Roles  

In addition to the core position duties, RS UI/UX designers are also likely to contribute to the following Agile Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) roles, depending on their personal skillset:  

  • Developer  
  • Tester  
  • Analyst  
  • Team Leader 

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria

1.       ​Experience working on a variety of projects, in user experience and user interface design 

2.       A portfolio demonstrating your ability to capture complexity, simplify the problem, making it understandable, and executing highly all aspects of the design process  

3.       Interest in the design of digital outputs, highly inquisitive about end users and working with research and data to validate design, interactions, and accessibility 

4.       A working proficiency in web development (HTML/CSS) that allows you to build and deliver coded prototypes 

5.       Proficient with design and prototyping tools (Figma/Adobe Creative Suite) 

6.       Great organisational skills and the ability to juggle multiple streams of work. 

7.       Ability to work both unsupervised and collaboratively, building partnerships with internal team members and partners and engage them around your work 

8.       Professional experience or qualification in a design or computing intensive field, ideally working in a research & development role (in any sector, e.g. cultural heritage, industry or academic)

9.       Experience with user research, usability and digital accessibility testing and implementation   

10.   ​​​Ability to communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including excellent written, verbal and presentation skills​  

11.   Motivation to keep up to date with new and emerging technologies, methods and standards, including the ability to take initiative and continuously improve your knowledge and approach.


Desirable criteria

1.       Experience in contributing to training activities on design approaches  

2.       ​Knowledge of digital humanities, social science, or research development in a higher education context  

3.       Experience or working knowledge with JavaScript and web templating languages, and/or how to create and maintain design systems​ 

4.       Experience using GitHub or comparable version control tools; 

5.       Experience in data analysis, or designing for areas such as data visualisation, immersive experiences and augmented reality 

6.       Experience with commonly used software development best practices (e.g. Agile) and/or experience working with research software engineering teams. 

Further information

Application process
* Submit your online application with your CV, portfolio of your previous design work and any relevant material to support your application
* Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for one in-person interview (30-45mins)