Job description

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Author: Konstantin

There is a fundamental shift going on nowadays - businesses that do not prioritize UX are go out of business and other more agile companies take their places instead. Customers prioritize nowadays services from the companies, which do not focus on their own needs instead of the needs of their clients. They are hiring significantly more designers than ever before and boosting their designer to developer hiring target ratio. For example, Atlassian has gone from the proportion of 1 designer and 25 engineers to 1 designer and 9 developers. Uber's design team has grown 70 times since 2012, and they are now targeting 1 designer to 8 engineers.[1][2]

Is not a surprise that the hybrid role of Design Technologist is appearing in the job market. The high salary jobs of the foreseeable future are more complicated and multi-disciplinary. Specialist roles become more complex and they need a broad set of skills from various disciplines (design, user experience, data analysis and interpretation, business insights), and as a result, are rapidly growing in value. The hybrid jobs are rapidly growing in value – demand and salary, but they also are immune to automation.[3]

There is no universal definition for the Design Technologist role and thus companies and individuals tend to project their own experience and prerequisites into definitions that suit them. For example, many occurrences of the job title Design Technologist can be found in the design agencies which are moving forward from their earlier experience in advertising, and therefore the use of creative technologies still highlights the importance of understanding brands and business. And therefore experience of a Design Technologist can vary from a company that is creating a single product or a webshop to a larger corporation in which the only client is itself.[4][5]

The Design Technologist role did not exist a decade ago, but now it becomes more common and can be found under different names. Examples in big companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon include for example UX Engineer, UX Developer, Creative Developer, Creative Technologist, UX Prototyper and Growth Engineer. There are also more rare variations that can be found in job boards: Product design engineer, Technical Program Manager or even an Engineer in a Product Design or Experience Design team. It is worth mentioning that big companies (Amazon, eBay, etc.) tend to call the position Design Technologist, and the work usually includes heavy prototyping skills. An exception is Google, which has a UX engineer position, which is usually called Creative Technologist in other companies and which includes knowledge of animations, WebGL, 3D and VR/AR. Smaller companies are looking usually for UX engineers and UX developers on the other hand. On the other hand, Growth Engineer is something special, but still similar in many senses to Design Technologist. The difference is that Growth Engineer is not working in a design or UX team, but in a marketing team and therefore depends heavily on A/B testing and analytics tools

Finding a job in this field can be difficult, particularly in the very beginning of a career. It might be hard to find an industry which matches your interests and enables you to make a living at the same time. The number of vacancies is still relatively low and quite often positions appear only in big companies. There is nothing to worry about though because everything is changing for the better and a few years ago finding a job under the Design Technologist title would be even more complicated.[5]

Examples of job ads

Senior design technologist at Amazon Design

Technology is the custom and prototyping team for marketers and agencies. We focus on the conception, prototyping and execution of branded custom experiences across Amazon. Paired with UX, Creative, Product and Engineering, the team works together to solve customer challenges and identify opportunities to grow business.

Basic qualifications:

  • Available online portfolio
  • 4+ years of experience as a front-end technologist, engineer, or UX prototyper
  • Coding samples in front end programming languages
  • 5 years experience as lead designer, developer or technologist
  • Excellent written/verbal communication, presentation, interpersonal and analytical skills
  • Understanding and fluent usage across a broad spectrum of technologies including (but not limited to): JavaScript/NodeJS, HTML/CSS, XML/JSON, and Responsive/Adaptive Design

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience using AWS in production environments
  • Understanding of client-side performance and how to mitigate latency issues
  • Familiarity with Android and iOS development
  • Familiarity with AR, VR, Alexa, Voice Design and/or facial recognition
  • Familiarity of Java/Ruby/Python/Obj-C, Swift or OpenCV
  • Has a passion for digital marketing, advertising, and understanding metrics
  • BS/MS in computer science, technology, design, or equivalent professional experience[6]

Senior design technologist at eBay

We are looking for a Design Technologist who can create, and lead teams that create, prototypes that allow us to share and build our UX vision. This Design Technologist would bring UX design and engineering expertise together to build prototypes of potential user experiences as well as help us test their effectiveness. They will be responsible for creating prototypes at a variety of fidelities, including working samples and reference code throughout the design process. They will be proficient in a mix of development and prototyping platforms and tools and be responsible for selecting the most appropriate platform for the task. The front-end UX they and their team build will also inspire leaders to invest in new ideas, and would guide developers in building the experience.

The Design Technologist will both contribute and manage contributors who:

  • Rapidly build and iterate on appropriate fidelity prototypes that express design intent using the most appropriate tools for the task
  • Actively participate in concept development and design iteration
  • Develop functional prototypes to prove and sell concepts to development teams, partners, and senior leadership
  • Effectively present work from the team Work effectively in a multi-disciplinary environment with product managers, software development engineers, designers, front end engineers, research and senior leadership
  • Manage vendors to deliver high quality prototypes on time and on budget
  • Document creative and/or engineering standards and practices for design and its partners

Qualifications:

  • Experience leading product design teams that build for scale (multiple platforms and markets)
  • Experience driving user-centered or design thinking design process
  • Passion for creating platforms that empower people and create economic opportunity Passion for design process
  • Passion for building positive relationships between business, experience and technology BS in computer Science or related technical field, or 6 years of relevant work experience
  • Online marketplace and multi-platform experience strongly preferred
  • Experience using JavaScript and CSS frameworks, tools and workflow
  • Experience with web, mobile web, and mobile app front-end development
  • Portfolio of prototype work that includes; design, high fidelity animation, motion, iconography, typography, imagery, and color.[7]

UX engineer, Design at Google

Google engineers develop the next-generation technologies that change how users connect, explore, and interact with information and one another. As a member of an extraordinarily creative, motivated and talented team, you develop new products that are used by millions of people. We need our engineers to be versatile and passionate to take on new problems as we continue to push technology forward. If you get excited about building new things and working across discipline lines, then our team might be your next career step.

As a UX Engineer, you'll work on the front end of our products and features used by people everyday. The work is challenging, fast-paced, and always changing. You have demonstrated analytical skills, an unwavering commitment to quality, a collaborative work ethic, and cutting-edge coding skills. You live and breathe the fundamentals of JavaScript (not just jQuery), CSS, HTML, and command a portfolio of web technologies new and old - all in order to launch innovative features to a global audience.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, HCI, Design, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Experience with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • Experience in designing and implementing user interfaces (UIs).
  • Experience in development or prototyping.

Preferred qualifications:

  • 8 years of coding experience in one or more of the listed languages: Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS or C/C++
  • Experience with JavaScript frameworks (Backbone, Angular or Ember) and CSS pre-processing frameworks (Sass or Less), Java and C/C++.
  • Experience with scripting languages, such as Python, Ruby, etc.
  • A portfolio of professional creative work that demonstrates intuitive front end user interfaces
  • Experience with appealing visuals and smart, extensible code.
  • Experience with/interest in voice assistants.[8]

Growth engineer at Quartz

At Quartz, we’re looking for a Growth Engineer to join our Product team and help develop and experiment with one of our newest products, the Quartz app. As a core member of the team, you will be pushing out code that reaches a large audience and will be able to see the results of your features immediately.

The ideal candidate has comprehensive and specific experience in the development of websites and native iOS/Android apps and in achieving KPIs, particularly user retention. You will be contributing to success in an innovative and urgent spirit, with a highly collaborative nature and an unyielding focus on beating goals through iterative learning and application.

Responsibilities:

  • Build a growth plan of modifying existing features and adding new features on app/website to improve user satisfaction
  • Develop features according to the plan that you’ve made, using native development technologies like Swift, Java or JavaScript and third-party libraries or SDKs
  • Investigate launched feature performances by using business intelligence tools, third-party analytics tools (like Google Analytics or MixPanel), MySQL and PostgreSQL, and iterate on the growth plan according to performance and results
  • Automate and optimize processes to support scaling growth team initiatives focusing around retention
  • Constantly generate ideas and hypotheses to iterate and carry out experiments and iterative tests
  • Be immersed in the consumer mobile dev community; track new trends, SDKs, capabilities to drive innovation within the growth team

Qualifications:

  • At least 2 years of practical hands-on experience in website development using JavaScript. Experience with a JavaScript library like React and a superset of JavaScript like TypeScript are a plus
  • Practical hands-on experience in mobile app development using native Swift and/or Android Java
  • Practical hands-on experience in data analytics by using raw SQL queries. You should understand the difference between columnar storage and row storage and write queries in a different way to get better performance
  • Experience with a scrum/agile based project and working with non-developer members
  • Experience with UI/UX design, wireframing, A/B testing and mobile/marketing analytics platforms (e.g. Appsflyer, mixpanel ), or worked with marketing teams
  • Good communicator who thrives in a collaborative environment.[9]

Design Technologist at Netflix

Do you feel equally at home dreaming up new ideas to create elegant and delightful user experiences as you do rolling up your sleeves and writing the code that brings these ideas to life? Do you have the mindset of a Product Designer but the skills of a Senior Front-end Engineer? If so, we’d love to chat. The Design Technology team is looking for a new addition to the team who can help us continue to make progress on Netflix’s mission to entertain the world.

About the Interactive Experiences Design Team:

This Design Technologist role is slated to support and partner with our Emmy-award-winning Interactive Experiences Design team. If helping the team whose charter is to imagine and design what the future of interactive storytelling on Netflix looks like, then this might be the role for you.

About the role:

Our discipline goes by many names, including Design Technologist, UX Engineer, Creative Technologist, Design Engineer and UX Prototyper. This unique combination of Design perspective + Engineering skills allows people in this role to make impactful contributions at each phase of the product lifecycle.

In practice, this means you will help brainstorm and then write the code that breathes life into new design concepts, making them tangible for the team. This helps us validate ideas both internally and with our users via in field qualitative research. You can act as a bridge between the Design team and our cross-functional partners helping to ensure both design fidelity as well as technical feasibility.

In addition to working on projects that aim to improve the user experience in our product, our team also looks for opportunities to leverage technology to super-charge the design process through building internal tools to yield a more efficient workflow.

About you:

You have a creative mind and a deep understanding of interaction design. You care about the design details and are driven to push the user experiences you create beyond acceptable to make them exceptional. You have an entrepreneurial spirit and bring your own creative ideas into the conversation (instead of waiting for others to tell you what to make).

Your engineering skills are rock-solid, but you’re never done learning. You have a curiosity that compels you to try new technologies, build for new platforms and solve new technical problems. You don’t suffer from ‘analysis paralysis’ and prioritize trying a bunch of ideas quickly over meditating to find the perfect architecture.

You thrive on collaboration. You’re inclusive in your engagement with your team and cross-functional partners. You’re mature enough to not have an ego, and you welcome honest, open feedback as easily as you give it. You demonstrate selflessness by prioritizing making the right call for the business, team or project over your own personal opinion.

You bring:

  • A great portfolio showing several years worth of complex, highly usable interactive UIs.
  • Several years of senior-level experience writing HTML, JavaScript and CSS applications and fluency with modern frameworks and libraries such as React and NodeJS
  • Experience creating performant animations on the web using both CSS and JavaScript • Proven leadership and strategic ability to drive initiatives and projects with teams
  • The communication skills to clearly articulate your concepts—and evangelize on their behalf
  • Professional experience working in the interactive media and/or gaming industry is a strong plus.
  • A love of movies, TV shows and interactive media is a plus[10]