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Staff UX Designer

Code for America believes the government can work for the people, by the people, in the new digital age, and that government at all levels can and should work well for all people. For more than a decade, we’ve worked to show that with the mindful use of technology, we can break down barriers, meet community needs, and find real solutions.

Our employees build and transform government and community tools and services, making them so good they inspire change. We merge the best parts of technology, nonprofit, and government to help support the people who need it most. With a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and deep empathy for partners in government and community organizations and the people that our partners serve, we’re building a movement of motivated change agents driven by meaningful results and lasting impact. At Code for America, you contribute to exciting work while learning and developing in a supportive and flexible environment. Our compensation and benefits are holistic and thoughtfully curated to represent our employees and our mission. Help us drive real generational change that lasts.

Code for America is looking for a talented Staff UX Designer who will help the organization build products and digital services that transform the way the government delivers services to communities in need. You’ll work with a multidisciplinary team of designers, researchers, engineers, and policy experts to analyze problems, and create simple digital solutions in the tax, criminal justice, and/or social safety net areas.

As of October 27, 2023, Code for America has reached a CBA (collective bargaining agreement) with Code for America Workers United, affiliated with OPEIU (Office Professional Employees International Union, Local 1010). This position is designated as being part of Code for America Workers United. There will be union dues or fees associated with this position and the union will provide that information to you.

About the Role: 

The Design team at Code for America is building a radically better future, starting today. We believe design can create the conditions for generational, systemic change while also delivering immediate material value to communities. We design with, not for, impacted communities, and we believe that good design serves everyone with respect. You can read more about our design principles here

You will report to a Design Manager, and work alongside other designers, and Engineering, Product, Data Science, Qualitative Research, and Client Success departments. You will contribute to team culture, and define best practices for doing design with respect and dignity. This role may travel up to 20% of the time.


In this Position You Will:

  • Design Craft:

    • Improve the end to end user experience across your assigned portfolio. 

    • Identify interaction patterns, standards, and style guides that unify design across Code for America’s programs and products.

    • Partner closely with engineering, product, and program teams to find elegant but practical solutions to design challenges.

    • Work with researchers to plan and run design research and usability tests to evaluate your designs.

    • Successfully handle lead responsibilities. Takes the lead on planning, organizing, decision making, and delivery of small or medium size projects within their program or practice area

    • Be able to communicate both the front-end and back-end service experience

    • Participate in research planning activities

    • Facilitate co-design sessions with users and stakeholders

  • Strategic Leadership & Partnership:

    • Advocate for design by sharing work and presenting cross functionally, clearly articulating the rationale behind your design decisions.

    • Engage with clients, government agencies, and community partners to understand your particular landscape and envision new ways of serving those most in need.

    • Participate in strategy conversations and use insights to guide team's decision making

    • Work with program and policy folks to understand how policies contribute to service touch points or requirements

    • Develop relationships with and teach other disciplines about design to foster more effective collaboration

    • Understand the policies, infrastructure, technology, and system constraints within any given government service.

    • Understand how/when to use design to push policy

  • Mentorship:

    • Act as mentor to support the development of junior design staff

    • Support design staff in their work by pairing, coaching, and raising the quality bar of all outputs

  • Other duties as assigned

About You:

  • 6+ years of experience in product, interaction, or user experience

  • You have a portfolio of relevant design work with strong examples of your work, your design process, and your role

  • Familiarity with common industry design and collaboration tools such as Figma, Sketch, Adobe Creative Suite, Mural, Trello, Github, etc.

  • Familiarity with agile, iterative software development practices

  • Experience working with engineers and product managers on design systems/ library related projects

  • Ability to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team

  • Able to manage multiple high-priority initiatives, including early-stage product strategy as well as delivery of tactical and incremental design improvements

  • Ability to collaborate and facilitate design discussion in a remote working environment

  • Experience mentoring designers and communicating the value of design to stakeholders and cross-functional partners.


It’s a Bonus if You Have:

  • Personal experience with or professional experience working within the criminal-legal system, social safety net or other mission-relevant government services

  • Experience in civic service design, civic tech, or social impact design in the public sector.

  • Leadership experience with diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

  • Experience with both product development/digital delivery and design agency models

  • Fluency in one or more languages other than English

What You’ll Get


Code for America’s salary bands are transparent as a part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are happy to extend this transparency in the recruitment process. As part of our equitable hiring practices, we target the 2nd quartile midpoint number of each salary band, for all new hires.

Offer targets vary based on market / geographic location. The target offer numbers for this role range from $128,945 to $157,850, annually.

Benefits and Perks: 

  • Values:

    • Leadership and teammates who value Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (DE&I)

    • A collaborative, cross-functional, hardworking, and fun environment

  • Medical:

    • Full benefits package with options up to 100% coverage towards select medical, dental and vision plans

    • Employer contributes up to 80% of the cost towards dependent and family coverage

  • Retirement & 401k Plans:

    • Employees under 3 years eligible for a 100% employer match of up to 3% of employee contribution

    • Employees with 3+ years eligible for an additional 50% employer contribution over 3%, to a maximum of 5%

  • Professional Development:

    • $1000 annual (per calendar year) stipend towards professional development; prorated at time of hire

    • Up to $1000 of professional development funds can be rolled over each year, up to a maximum of $2000

  • Time Off: 

    • Open personal time off, a minimum of 16 paid holidays, and an org-wide closure Christmas Day through New Years Day

    • Paid sick time; up to 96 hours annually

    • Competitive paid parental and family leave

    • 4 weeks of paid sabbatical after 4 years of service, with an option of up to 4 additional weeks of unpaid time away

  • Remote Work:

    • Code for America employees may work remotely across the US

    • Code for America employees main residence must be within the US

    • Full-time employees work 40 hours per week, Monday - Friday

    • Collaborative working hours: we aim to hold all internal meetings between 10 AM - 3 PM PT. We expect all Code for America staff to be available during these set working hours

  • Employee Enablement Support: 

    • Laptop provided

    • $700 remote environment setup; $200 stipend and up to $500 reimbursement, in accordance with our equipment policy

    • Cell phone and/or internet reimbursement of $50 per month


Equal Employment Opportunity: 

Code for America values a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. Code for America is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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