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Design Engineer

We’re hiring a Design Engineer at Tailwind Labs to build ambitious interfaces, prototype new ideas, and push the boundaries of what’s possible with Tailwind CSS.

This is a fully remote position with a salary of $275,000 USD, open to candidates in the Eastern (UTC-5) to Central European (UTC+1) timezones. We’re accepting applications until Wednesday April 3rd at 9:00pm ET.

​What you’ll do

We’re a small team wearing many hats and you’d have a wide variety of responsibilities, including:

  • Design and build ambitious marketing websites for our open-source projects, commercial products, and events like Tailwind Connect.

  • Design and prototype new features for Tailwind CSS to make sure we’re always using the full potential of the platform.

  • Create new components and templates for Tailwind UI, taking them all the way from initial concept to shipped.

  • Enhance our documentation with visual demos to make it easy for people to understand and apply complex CSS features in their work.

  • Teach and inspire our audience by breaking down interesting things you design and build as articles and social media posts.

  • Build internal design tools to help us prototype animations, design color palettes, and more.

  • Create promotional assets like animations, videos, and images for social media.

Here are some real examples of projects you would have worked on in the last few months:

  • Design and build the Tailwind Connect microsite — including coming up with a unique Markdown-driven badge design experience.

  • Craft the first components for Catalyst — our first fully-componentized React UI kit.

  • Build out our recent Studio template — a new agency website template we designed, built with Next.js and Framer Motion.

  • Build a tool for capturing videos for our Showcase site — to automate creating preview videos that feel like a real person scrolling through a site.

  • Redesign and build the Headless UI documentation site — rethinking the overall branding and making the site feel more modern and consistent.

  • Build interactive demos to explain dynamic viewport units — to include in the documentation along with the release of Tailwind CSS v3.4.

  • Create custom installation graphics for the Catalyst documentation — that feel like a screenshot but with more control over highlighting what’s important for the reader.

After you start, you’d work on upcoming projects like:

  • Create a tool for designing color palettes to help us nail down the refreshed wide gamut color palette for Tailwind CSS v4.0.

  • Design and build a command palette component for Catalyst with thoughtful interactions and animations that you just want to open and close all day.

  • Build out the redesigned Tailwind CSS website for the v4.0 release including updating all of the interactive demos and animations on the homepage.

  • Design and build an interactive microsite for the Tailwind CSS v4.0 release with thoughtfully crafted demos that communicate the most important improvements in a visual way.

  • Create documentation demos for 3D transform utilities to help people understand how they work and how to use them in their own projects.

  • Prototype APIs for scroll-driven animations in Tailwind CSS, finding the right balance between simplicity and flexibility, and making our users feel like they have superpowers.

  • Design a new template concept that you think our audience would be excited about and be able to learn something from.

  • Explore new color palettes with automatic dark mode support, carefully figuring out the right abstractions for different levels of hierarchy that apply universally to different projects.

  • Collaborate on expanding the Tailwind CSS documentation with dedicated guides for things like when to use different types of transitions, styling custom forms, or learning flexbox.

  • Research and design text-shadow support for Tailwind CSS, finally.

​Who you are

We’re looking for someone with strong UI engineering skills and an obsession with design who shares our most important values:

  • You love to design — in code. You’ve got a track record of creating beautiful experiences for the web, and code is your design tool.

  • You’re fanatical about polish. Every pixel matters, and every hand-tuned easing curve has to be just right. There’s a non-zero chance you own a loupe.

  • You dive deep. It’s important to you to really know how things work, and you’re always building prototypes and setting up experiments to reinforce your understanding.

  • You live on the bleeding edge. You’ve got a long list of upcoming platform features you’re excited about, and you can’t wait for the next nightly to drop so you can prototype something new.

  • You love to learn new tools. The idea of learning After Effects to produce a video trailer for a new release gets you psyched up.

  • You’re a great teacher. You know how to break down a concept for a specific audience and get it to click for them in a way that gets them excited.

  • You’re good at breaking down projects. You’ve got good instincts for what to work on first, what’s safe to save for later, and how to get to a working demo as fast as possible.

  • You’re a self-starter. You’re always looking for things that could use some TLC and finding ways to make them better without asking permission.

On the technology side, you’ll be a great fit if you have expertise in these areas:

  • React — all of our own sites as well as our commercial templates are built with React.

  • TypeScript — most of our projects are already in TypeScript, and we always use it for new stuff. We really value that it nudges us away from writing code that’s too clever.

  • Semantic HTML and accessibility — the products we sell are code, so it’s important that people can trust we’re setting and holding a high bar for quality in these areas.

  • Animation technologies — we’ve used GSAP, Framer Motion, and Motion One here for different things over the years.

  • Tailwind CSS — yeah, we use this quite a bit here if you can believe it.

​Why work with us

  • We’re a design company — our mission is to help people build interfaces that inspire them. Everything we do comes from an obsession with design.

  • We ship — we don’t do 18-month projects that are irrelevant before they’re even finished. We design projects we can deliver in two months or less so we never have to wait too long before we can make fresh decisions about priorities.

  • Our work has impact — Tailwind CSS is installed almost 9 million times every week by millions of developers around the world, and used by the world’s biggest companies to build the world’s best websites. When you work here, you get to tell people “I make the thing they use to build the ChatGPT interface.”

  • We’re small, on purpose — we have the resources to hire a lot more people, but we don’t want to build a big, complicated company. We’re a tight-knit team where you’d work directly with the founders every single day.

  • We’re fully remote — work from wherever you want. We collaborate in real-time every day over Tuple and in Figma, but we all work from the comfort of our own homes.

  • We’re independent and profitable — we don’t have investors or a board to justify our decisions to, and aren’t burning through cash trying to make the business work. Landing the next big customer or closing the next round isn’t a stress anybody has to deal with here.

  • We care about doing great work — as a profitable company, we can afford to go the extra mile and take our time to be proud of the things we ship. You don’t need permission to sweat the details here.

  • We’re not trying to make it big — we say no to great opportunities if there’s any chance it would make our days less fun. We care about making enough money to keep doing what we enjoy, not doing whatever it takes to make as much money as possible.

  • We don’t take ourselves too seriously — we believe in doing great work, but we also recognize that we’re building a CSS framework, not making breakthrough medical discoveries. We hide jokes in our documentation, we don’t run our writing through a corporate PR filter, and we’re not too cool to smile in our headshots.

​Pay and benefits

The compensation for this position is $275,000 USD per year, no matter where you’re based.

  • Work remotely — work from wherever you’re most productive, no commuting to an office.

  • 30 days paid time off — six weeks of total time off for you to use throughout the year.

  • Equipment budget — $7500 when you start to spend on anything you need to do your best work.

  • Annual team retreats — fun-focused trips where we get together in person to recharge and build better relationships.

  • Winter break — we always shut down for at least a week at the end of the year to spend the holidays with our families, on top of our regular paid time off.

We’re a very small distributed team, so we work together as independent contractors. That means we cannot offer certain benefits like health insurance or a retirement savings plan.

You should only apply for this position if you are comfortable with being self-employed from the perspective of your local tax authority.

​How to apply

To apply, write something specifically for this position that tells us why you’re a great fit for the role and what you can bring to Tailwind Labs.

Examples of things we’re interested in learning about you include:

  • Projects you’re proud of, especially things you designed and built by yourself.

  • What you’re excited about, and the work you’d be most looking forward to in this role.

  • Open-source contributions, whether it’s your own project, a pull request you’re proud of, or a well-written bug report you filed.

  • Teaching ability, anything that demonstrates you’re ability to break down complex topics in a way people can understand.

This role is open to candidates in the Eastern (UTC-5) to Central European (UTC+1) timezones, and we’re accepting applications until Wednesday April 3rd at 9:00pm ET.

We’ll spend a couple of weeks reviewing applications, and we’ll let you know whether we’d like to invite you to the interview process by mid-April.

Here’s what the process looks like:

  • Introduction call — a short call where we’ll ask you some questions to get to know you better, and answer any questions you have about the role.

  • Take-home project — next, we invite about ten people to complete a small technical project. Expect to spend about half a day on this, and we’ll pay you $500 for this time.

  • In-depth interview — after the take-home project, we do a longer interview with the top candidates where we’ll ask you questions about the project and your experience in previous roles.

  • Pair programming session — the final step is a one-hour pair programming session with another engineer on our team, where you’ll work on something unfamiliar to both of you to get a better sense of what it would be like to really work together.

We’ll make an offer in May, with an aim to start working together in late May/early June.

Don't let this one get away.