Posted 11 Apr 2023, 8:17 pm
Visual Designer at UCLA Library
Reporting to the Head of Software Development and Library Systems, the Visual Designer participates in the full life cycle of UX design (including research, synthesis, design, and testing) for all sites and applications developed or administered by the UCLA Library. Complementing the Lead UX Designer, the Visual Designer translates insights from UX research into visual assets that speak to users, stakeholders, and developers alike by bringing domain experience in graphic design, cultural heritage, and technical teams.
The Visual Designer creates usable, accessible, and meaningful interfaces for Library products by applying and evolving the Library’s newly developed design system. This position brings innovation to the field of visual representation for library materials in the digital realm, and improves the visual interfaces of Library web properties with best practices and creativity. In collaboration with the Lead UX Designer, this position advances and supports the Library’s UX Strategic Plan with visual design by demonstrating both quantifiable and qualitative value of user-centered services.
The Visual Designer is a member of the Software Development & Library Systems (SDLS) unit. The SDLS unit is comprised of 10 Software Developers, 3 Sysadmins, and 2 UX Designers, who are grouped into three development sub-teams: 1) the Applications Team, which builds end-user applications, 2) the Services Team, which builds backend services and APIs used by internal and external applications; 3) the Systems Team, which manages COTS systems and builds internal applications and integrations. In addition to the three development sub-teams, SDLS also includes the Dev Support Team (systems administrators) and the UX Team. Members from those two groups are embedded in the three development teams. The Visual Designer is a member of the UX Team.
The unit follows a Kanban method of Agile development, wherein each sub-team meets weekly for backlog grooming and the entire unit meets for daily standups and monthly retrospectives. The unit strives for a DevOps culture of collaboration, feedback & improvement, and continual learning. Evidence of this culture includes: stakeholders participating in backlog grooming and standups, regular monitoring of retrospective action items, and isolated time on Mondays for learning and experimentation. The team also embraces a remote-first culture, with permanently remote members across 4 time zones, and several more who work remotely 1-3 days per week.
The Software Development & Library Systems unit is part of the Digital Initiatives and Information Technology (DIIT) department, which is comprised of over 50 staff members in five functional units: 1) the Software Development Team, as described above, 2) the Core Ops Team, which supports the network and manages the servers and storage in the datacenter, 3) the Core Services Team which provides IT hardware support and enterprise application support to Library staff and lends laptops and other hardware to students, 4) the Data Science Center which provides training, consultation, and a data repository for campus researchers, and 5) the Digital Library Program which works with partners, both internal to UCLA and across the globe, to execute projects that digitize, describe, and publish archival materials.
Job Functions & Duties
A. User Experience Research & Design (60%)
- Conducts user research methods as directed (e.g. surveys, analytics, interviews, etc.).
- Participates in analysis and synthesis of research findings using various methods (e.g. user flows, personas, etc.).
- Participates in development of information architectures and functional requirements.
- Builds of prototypes in varying levels of fidelity.
- Designs the aesthetic elements of user interfaces and design systems.
- Conducts user testing on prototypes and production systems.
- Ensures designs comply with accessibility standards
B. Application Development (20%)
- Translates designs into actionable user stories / development tickets.
- Participates in software development meetings (e.g. backlog grooming, daily standups, etc.).
- Contributes to the development of the UI component library (HTML & CSS).
- Contributes to development of user interfaces (HTML & CSS).
- Conducts showcases of new developments for library stakeholders.
C. Process Improvement (20%)
- Learns new methods, technologies, and tools to improve the work of the SDLS Unit and the UX Team.
- Shares acquired knowledge with teammates at the Dev Jam Session.
- Actively participates in team retrospectives, post-mortems, and retreats.
- Proposes new tools or workflows to improve the software development process.
Skills, Knowledge, Abilities & Competencies
- Understanding and experienced skill level for designing user experiences (UX) and user interfaces (UI) that balance aesthetics, usability, and accessibility.
- Understanding and experienced skill level with diagramming, prototyping, and design tools (Figma).
- Ability to interpret and analyze business needs, user requirements, and technical constraints and identify ways in which software can support those needs.
- Ability to recommend and implement design changes as specified from user research activities.
- Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with user research methods.
- Demonstrated knowledge of design principles and best practices.
- Familiarity with web traffic analytics tools.
- Experience creating user interface designs.
- Demonstrated effective communication and interpersonal skills.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate technical information to technical and non-technical personnel at various levels in the organization.
- Effective time management and ability to work on multiple projects concurrently.
- Demonstrated self-motivation and ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.
- Demonstrated ability to solve problems through research into best practices and generation of novel solutions.
- Ability to follow directions from supervisors (and to provide clear directions to staff and student employees).
- Ability to get to work reliably and on time and to be present in the workplace during normal working hours.
- Ability to initiate and maintain cooperative working relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and managers.
- Ability to work harmoniously and as a team player, thrive in a team-based environment, and skill in fostering teamwork among others.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher in Design, HCI, UX/IX, Information Studies, Computer Science, or other related area.
- Basic knowledge of accessibility standards (WCAG).
- Knowledge of Agile software development processes.
- Basic skill with HTML and CSS.
- Master’s degree or higher in Information Studies.
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