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Interaction Designer and Researcher

MAYA Design is seeking an Interaction Designer and Researcher to support our growing business. This is an ideal role for an individual who is passionate about advocating for user needs and the user experience throughout the design process. In this role, you will craft and lead research efforts to explore new domains and situations, make sense of research data, and work with a talented team of people to create solutions inspired by those insights. Expect to work with engineers and visual designers in an interdisciplinary way; one of the great strengths of MAYA is the smart people you get to collaborate with every day. Another stimulating aspect of MAYA is the variety of clients and projects we get to work on; this can be challenging, but makes it interesting and engaging to work here.

At MAYA, if you are an Interaction Designer and Researcher you are:

  • Human-centered. You start with people and thoughtfully consider the usefulness and usability of everything you create.
  • Expert Researchers.  You play an active role in design and research. You are responsible for crafting research plans, creating wireframes, storyboards and data visualizations to communicate about a desired future state.
  • Inspired and Confident.  You understand that we can make the world a better place through design.
  • Leaders.  You will find yourself leading projects, managing client relationships, writing and publishing.
  • Complexity wranglers. You find patterns, deconstruct large challenges, and communicate persuasively.
  • Collaborative helpers. You help team members achieve more when they’re around, give great feedback, and know that work is better when collaborating with others with different areas of expertise

Foremost, you will be an advocate for user needs and experience throughout the design process.

  • Define and lead user engagements. You will plan and lead research efforts including in-person and remote user research to better understand people and their environments. Methods might include contextual inquiry, fly-on-the-wall observation, interviews, surveys, diary studies, and generative participatory activities.
  • Analyze and synthesize research findings. You will capture and synthesize information into actionable insights and recommendations. You will use tools like concept mapping to document the underlying information architecture of an area of focus.
  • Evaluate user experiences. You will conduct evaluative research such as usability testing (in-person and remote, moderated and unmoderated) and expert analysis.
  • Design concepts, storyboards, wireframes, and prototypes. You will create design concepts at varying levels of fidelity, from sketches of situations or user interfaces to wireframes of screens and interactions. You will use a variety of prototyping tools (across fidelity levels) to make your ideas tangible and understandable.
  • Facilitate and run workshops. You will facilitate and run workshops with diverse stakeholders, from client teams to community partners, to collaboratively explore domains and challenges, synthesize data, generate concepts, and present work.

You should also be prepared to contribute to the running of MAYA's consulting business.

  • Publish. Publish blog, and speak at events and conferences.
  • Lead projects and guide clients, especially those with emphasis on the fuzzy front end of design.
  • Assist with business development. Help write proposals, scope projects, and convince clients of the value of Human-Centered Design.

Required Professional Skills:

  • You have an advanced degree in human-computer interaction, interaction design, design planning or strategy, plus a healthy skepticism about said education.
  • You have a strong knowledge of research methods and frameworks, user interface standards, tools, and industry guidelines; you reference best practices and design patterns, yet also relish solving complex problems and novel interface challenges.
  • You possess a deep understanding of the principles and best practices of user experience design, but the propensity, judgment, and courage to question convention when appropriate.
  • You can’t help but make visual (through sketches or other tools) your thinking about complex problems, datasets, or experimentation.
  • You are prepared to defend pencil and paper as an ideation and prototyping tool.

If you are interested, please submit the following:

  • Examples of your work. Demonstrate your affinity for human-centered design and show how you approach a design challenge.
  • Writing sample/cover letter. 100-500 words describing why you are a good match for MAYA and the position.
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