Teehan+Lax – Senior UI Designer

Toronto, ON

Teehan+Lax is currently reviewing portfolios of qualified Senior UI Designers who will research, architect, and design interactive experiences for web, software and device-based interfaces. We are looking for someone who is passionate about creating experiences that delight end-users and drive business goals: someone who shares our belief that designing great user experiences is as much about evoking an emotional response as it is about providing users with a means to an end. Candidates must be able to show examples of how they solved complicated problems without burdening users with complexity.

Qualifications

  • At least 5 years professional interactive design experience.
  • College or University Graduate in a related discipline (interaction or information design, HCI, computer science, behavioural sciences, etc.)
  • Strong knowledge and experience in Information Architecture.
  • Ability to perform visual design a bonus
  • Strong leadership and people management skills.
  • Proven ability to mentor and develop skills in all levels of designers.
  • Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in small and large groups at all levels of a client organization.
  • Must live, or be willing to commute to Toronto.

Creative

  • Responsible for the developing of underlying content and functional architecture, navigation systems, interface elements, information design, and screen layouts for Web sites and other interactive applications.
  • Able to perform systematic analysis (i.e. task flow, workflow, technological and organizational implications) and validation (prototyping, user and A/B/multivariate testing).
  • Able to explore and document design decisions in a variety of modes, from high-level sketches to boxes-and-arrows flow diagrams to detailed wireframes.
  • Proficiency with drawing and graphing applications, HTML, interactive prototyping tools.

Management

  • Provide leadership throughout project discovery, Information Architecture, visual concept development and front-end development.
  • Help manage day-to-day operations, including setting priorities, assigning resources and ensuring project goals are achieved.
  • Oversee simultaneous projects from inception to completion, reviewing project plans, designs and deliverables.
  • Identify and implement process improvements to meet project and team needs.

Client

  • Work with Partners and Associates to ensure they are reacting appropriately to the strategic, logistic and creative needs of the client.
  • Participate in the creative role of new business pitches, proposal development and project initiation.
  • Work closely with clients through a consultative, participatory approach. Establish and nurture good client working relationships.

Team

  • Oversee the creative output of your team.
  • Monitor and drive an ideal balance in the available skills and personality of the team towards the needs of our customers.
  • Monitor and drive the team to utilize the best and latest methods and tools to be competitive.
  • Help develop the culture and mindset of the team to ensure they are healthy, happy, inventive, curious, and open.
  • Mentor the careers of your direct reports.
  • Promote a culture of innovation and teamwork.

What’s different about working at Teehan+Lax

We focus exclusively on front end user experience design for the digital channel. There are no back-end build teams, no offline divisions. Everyone you’ll be working with desires to create best in breed user experiences. In fact, 90% of the staff here hold creative positions. That means no Account Managers, no Managing Directors, no Business Analysts. We maintain very little hierarchy. There are two roles at Teehan+Lax: Partners and Associates. The people with the right skills are put on the right projects. We’re small and nimble. There are no pitch teams, no “B” teams. All of our staff work directly with our clients, so if a client has a question that relates to IA they’ll speak to the Associate or Partner who worked on it – not an account manager.

How to apply

If you’re talented, smart, hard-working and dedicated, we’ll enable you to do the best work of your career. Send us a resume and portfolio of your work to “jobs [at] teehanlax [dot] com”. Suitable candidates will be contacted promptly. Please no phone calls.

Ice.com – Director of Experience

Montreal, QC

Here are some of the things the director of experience will be responsible for.

  • Manage the Site Team and ensure its performance in line with the company goals (increased customer satisfaction, optimized usability, increased conversion rates).
  • Ensure the execution of the daily, weekly and monthly Site production calendar.
  • Understand the content management processes and systems and ensure its efficiency.
  • Understanding of web-site optimization strategies and techniques while being the customer advocate and asking how will the customer react to this change on the site……
  • Proficiency in web analytics and leveraging the data to affect improvements in site design.
  • Propose new processes to improve the management of the sites.
  • Understand the structure of the company’s Web Sites and make sound recommendations to improve functionality and usability.
  • Work with the Marketing Team to develop the usability and functionality wireframe of the campaign landing pages and make recommendations on existing ones.
  • Partner with the Marketing Managers to create actionable, relevant and measurable tests to improve key web metrics on target pages or specific conversion paths.
  • Collaborate with the IS Department toward implementing new Site initiatives.
  • Work with the ice SEO team to implement all the new initiatives.
  • Provide actionable results and recommendations to the senior management on how to achieve goals and improve online results and conversion rates.
  • Detect, analyze and improve performance on specific problem areas and track changes.
  • Assist Marketing Director with site related initiatives.
  • Stay informed of new Internet technologies and changes in existing technologies with a keen eye on how to leverage them to add value to the business.

Apply

Email your resume to shmuel@ice.com

RIM – User Experience Analyst – 0803425

Mississauga, ON

Description

Research In Motion Limited® (RIM)® is a world leader in the mobile communications market and has a history of developing breakthrough wireless solutions. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies is used by thousands of organizations around the world and includes the BlackBerry® wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld™ product line, software development tools and software/hardware licensing agreements. RIM is seeking driven individuals who can take our wireless data products to the next level in the global wireless market. Are you ready to make a difference in the world of mobile communications with RIM?

Position Summary

As a member of the RIM User Experience team, the successful candidate will support user-centered design throughout the product development process, from concept to commercialization. Working closely with other cross-functional teams as well as customers and partners, he or she will define user models, work flows, and interaction design for a variety of products, create wire frames and low-fidelity prototypes to show design concepts, conduct user research and usability testing, and translate research findings into concrete design recommendations. He or she will package, present and ‘sell’ ideas and recommendations to other teams and to senior management. Additional responsibilities include contributing to user interface specifications and standards, working with interaction designers to create design concepts and prototypes, and contributing to product requirements and use cases.

Qualifications

Essential Skills and Qualifications

  • Post-secondary education in human computer interaction, systems design engineering, interaction design, or a related field
  • 3-5+ years experience working in a professional environment on user experience research, feedback, and design
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects at once in collaborative, fast-paced environments
  • Strong research and quantitative skills, including statistics and data analysis
  • Excellent problem-solving skills to translate research into practical recommendations
  • A proven ability to articulate design concepts using rapid prototyping tools to define task flows, user interactions, and information architecture
  • Ability to dialogue with cross-functional teams (from product management to development) to deliver industry leading solutions
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to articulate user experience ideas effectively to both technical and business audiences
  • Experience planning and facilitating usability testing, focus groups, and customer interviews
  • Solid understanding of user interface design principles and practices
  • Must be passionate about user-centered design and user experience
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple demands with a sense of urgency, drive and energy and work in a fast-paced team environment

If you’re driven to take wireless technologies to the next level, it’s time you join the team at RIM. We offer a challenging environment that fosters creativity and rewards excellence. Employees also have use of our award winning BlackBerry!

Apply

nForm – IA/Interaction Designer

Full Time Permanent Position in Edmonton, AB

As an nForm consultant, your primary responsibility will be translating business and customer insight into concrete plans and prototypes, such as conceptual models, interaction flows, wireframes, and functional specs. You will work with clients, their users, and nForm colleagues to understand, define, and solve problems to create business and user value through designing fantastic user experiences.

Excellent interpersonal skills are required for client-facing engagements. We’re a small firm so you’ll be called on to serve in a variety of roles–flexibility and the ability to tackle new challenges are important.

Qualifications

Skill Set

  • Strong design portfolio including things like scenarios, interaction flows, sketches, sitemaps, wireframes, prototypes, and possibly great final interfaces
  • Fluent with Visio, Omingraffle or other diagramming tool
  • Ability to model interaction flow, navigation structure, and other structural components of system
  • Ability to show ideas visually
  • Ability to write clearly so that you can communicate your ideas
  • HTML and CSS (you won’t be coding, but your designs need to be feasible)
  • Web 2.0 awareness (from acronyms like RSS and RIA to your own thoughts on social software)

Mindset

  • Ability to listen and take direction
  • Ability to learn new skills, both with guidance and on your own
  • Ability to work independently
  • Keen interest in the craft of user experience. We’d like to know who your influences are, where you look in the community for guidance and inspiration, what books and blogs you read, and who you think is doing the coolest work online

History

  • 2 – 5 years of work experience doing interaction design or information architecture preferred. This experience may have been in a dedicated role, or as part of work doing innovative web design
  • Your portfolio, process, and mindset trump both formal education and previous jobs, though we appreciate good schools and good work

Compensation

  • Salary based on experience, plus benefits to start, review at 6 months, 1 year, and then annually
  • Signing bonus for the right employee
  • Relocation assistance for the right employee (if you are moving across the country, North America, or internationally)
  • Participation in employee bonus program
  • 3 weeks vacation to start
  • Participation in employee professional development program

Some compensation isn’t about money or benefits. We’re all here because we like working with an experienced, smart team that not only serves great clients, but also influences the practice of user experience across industry. In the last year and a half, nForm has spoken at the Chilean IA Retreat, the Government Marketing Workshop, DigitalNow 2007, UX Week, UPA 2007, the IA Summit 2007 & 2008, the German IA Conference, the Italian IA Summit, Northern Voice, with upcoming appearances at UPA 2008, and others. We host our own Canadian User Experience workshop, CanUX, every year in Banff.

It’s not just events. We regularly blog and write articles, we co-founded the IA Institute, and we’re thrilled to announce that company principal Gene Smith has recently published a book, titled Tagging: People-Powered Metadata for the Social Web.

How to Apply

Email your resume (Word or PDF) and link to your online portfolio to Yvonne Shek, at careers@nform.ca. If we’re going to go ahead with an interview, we’ll let you know within a week. Unfortunately we can’t respond to everyone who applies, so if you haven’t heard from us in a week, we’re probably looking for a different skillset.

Successful applications require users

Baseline magazine has a great article reinforcing why we build applications, they are for people! The article is about Symantec’s Project Oasis, the code name for their massive ERP overhaul as part of the merger of Symantec and Veritas. The project reinforces that successful applications have users who not only are able to complete their tasks error free, but that emotional and personal impact of the software is incredibly important to it’s eventual success.

Technically, Project Oasis, an upgrade to Oracle 11d, was flawless. The code, interface and system—aside from some conflicting records that made accounting difficult to interpret—went exactly as Symantec had conceived when it launched the project in May 2005.

But users didn’t understand the system. The voluminous information it provided them and the myriad steps required to place orders created confusion and poor usability.

As individuals choosing applications we are free from the burden of corporate history and inertia, we are able to select the operating systems, applications and web services that best meet our needs. If you prefer running Mac OS X or Linux, just run it. If Microsoft Office doesn’t match your budget, try Google Docs or Apple iWork. Amazon SimpleDB not providing the indexing and performance tuning you need, maybe Microsoft SQL Server Data Services (SSDS) is more your cup of tea. As alpha geeks, we get to push the envelope of what is possible. We get to explore new frontiers. Often we get to do this with freedom of a revenue model, without deployed customers, without a legacy.

But what about those with paying customers, how do you push boundaries and define new models for them without negatively impacting your bottom line? How do you prepare customers to move forward?

“Despite its best efforts, the management team could not adequately prepare its more than 60,000 resellers, partners and distributors—and scores more customers—for the procedural changes required by the new system.”

Project Oasis was executed flawlessly. It was a technically flawless upgrade to Oracle 11d. But it wasn’t enough. Symantec’s CEO “blamed part of the company’s sluggish financial performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2007 on the ERP plague”. It turns out that people determine the eventual success of a system. Understanding the user experience of an ERP solution, and the lack of alternatives for interacting with the system users have 2 choices:

  1. Learn the new system which may involve customer support, training, etc., or ;
  2. Find a new provider.

It’s even worse with internal facing applications, employees are forced to use poor applications for payroll, benefits, performance management and nearly every part of their interaction with a company’s systems. The idea that employees should understand the General Ledger codes for submitting expenses is absurd. It’s either the role of the financial department to correctly identify how expense should be entered or it’s their responsibility to ensure that the system and processes are easily learned and used by non-financial staff, probably sales people and assistants.

Symantec had realized that when leaving a financial system upgrade to only the financial and IT staffs you’ve created an unusable solution. A solution that only the people who built it wanted to use.

the system was performing as designed—to a fault. The problem was that Symantec had inadvertently created the perfect storm: It had failed to consider the user experience with the new system, it hadn’t correctly identified the true users of the system and it had layered other projects on top of the ERP implementation, thereby complicating the launch and generating more confusion.

Software like business is messy. We want to think that things are digital. Binary. Black and white. We want people to be efficient, error free, rational actors. They aren’t. Understanding people, their experiences and their desires is the cornerstone of building successful software applications.

Technology may be the engine that drives business, but business is still conducted by people. Understanding the needs, desires and experience of the customer—whether that person is an internal user, a reseller partner or a consumer—is critical to any company’s success and growth.

Successful software is used by people.

Learning how to build customer-centered systems is a mix of theory and practice. But primarily, it is about your organizational culture. Who holds the decision making power? Marketing? Development? IT? Who speaks for the users?

Resources