Philadelphia Inquirer | Senior Product Designer - Story Experience and Engagement - Technical.ly

Senior Product Designer – Story Experience and Engagement

The Philadelphia Inquirer |  801 Market St | UX / Design

Job Description
Perks + Benefits
Company Culture

The Philadelphia Inquirer is looking for a thoughtful, imaginative and highly collaborative designer to help inform our product design practice. This designer will be part of a cross-functional Story Experience and Engagement team whose goal is to build and deepen The Inquirer’s relationships with its audience. 

This is an exciting time at The Philadelphia Inquirer; we have big ambitions to reimagine how we serve our existing readers and reach new ones. Given the high standards today’s consumers expect from their digital products, we need to offer them a world-class experience that they love to use every day. As such, The Inquirer is embarking on a multi-year plan to reshape its experiences and how we deliver them. We’re investing in our product development organization, in which product design is an equal partner with engineering, product management and customer experience. 

We have tremendous opportunities to not just follow patterns in the news industry, but to rethink what the future news experience should be. This designer will both participate in high-level product decisions and help evaluate their low-level implications through user research and user experience design. Here are just some of the challenges this designer might tackle:

  • How can readers get a digestible overview of a topic in the news and dig deeper into key aspects of the story so far?
  • How should we offer readers their next story to read? How can we aid those looking to read something completely different?
  • How do we become an essential daily habit for more people? Is personalization a key tactic for us to apply?

About Us:

The Philadelphia Inquirer is a public benefit corporation owned by the nonprofit Lenfest Institute for Journalism. Together, we’re at the center of a critical mission to create a lasting future for ambitious, engaging and useful local journalism. We’re doing this, in part, by deepening our connection with the communities we serve. Our integrated digital and print platforms are the Philadelphia region’s largest media network. We’re passionate about building a sustainable model for indispensable local journalism, and we take pride in finding diverse, dynamic and talented individuals to help push our team forward.

What You’ll Do

  • Act as a core member of the scrum team, collaborating closely with product managers and engineers to improve our customers’ experiences
  • Frequently give and solicit constructive feedback from fellow designers through informal and formal critiques
  • Know when and how to conduct lightweight user research, such as customer interviews, prototype testing, card sorting and surveys
  • Use low-fidelity tactics, such as user flows, spreadsheets and wireframes, to streamline complex systems and explore ideas quickly
  • Apply usability and accessibility best practices to make sure that everyone can easily use our digital products
  • Achieve a high level of sophistication with color, typography and space in the interfaces you design
  • Help your newsroom, marketing, audience and revenue colleagues define and explore ideas, with an eye to the reader and subscriber’s perspective
  • Work with others to produce service blueprints or customer journey maps to help us get a full picture of the customer experience
  • Participate in starting and growing a cross-platform design system

Who We’re Looking For

  • Five to seven years as a digital product designer, much of that time at consumer-facing companies
  • Solid understanding of how to design clear interfaces that people love to use
  • A customer-first mindset and a desire to create tangible improvements to their daily lives
  • Understanding that impactful products aren’t only easy to use and delightful—they have to be valuable, both to customers and the company alike, and able to be built and maintained efficiently
  • Intellectual curiosity, such as researching a new topic or product line to inform your design work
  • Mastery of common design tools, such as Sketch, Figma, InVision, Zeplin and the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Strong spoken and written communication skills to clearly communicate the rationale for every design decision
  • Experience in an Agile team
  • Values quantitative and qualitative data to inform design decisions
  • Accustomed to exploring multiple design directions, but knows when to pick an option and move on
  • A tireless belief in the value of local journalism and a desire to support The Inquirer’s mission to be the indispensable source of local news and information serving the diverse communities of the Philadelphia region

Other Things to Know 

  • Competitive salary and benefits package including 401k, onsite fitness center, free coffee and more!
  • We know not everyone reading this will fit exactly what we’ve described. We encourage everyone to apply who shares our passion for indispensable journalism and our drive to create a sustainable business model to support it. As an equal opportunity employer, The Inquirer is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, and we especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with special needs.
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Health & Wellness Benefits
  • Dental
  • Disability Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Onsite Gym
  • Vision
  • Wellness Programs
Other
  • Game Room
Parental Benefits
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Flexible Work Schedule
  • Generous Parental Leave
Perks & Discounts
  • Casual Dress
  • Company Outings
  • Special Discounts
Professional Development
  • Online Trainings
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
  • 401K
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
  • Generous PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Days

What kinds of opportunities exist for technologists at The Philadelphia Inquirer?

It’s a really exciting time to work here. We’re in a unique position right now where we can focus on what we want to do, what we want to build.

There’s a lot of opportunity right now because the industry is changing so fast. There’s a lot to explore and figure out. It’s challenging because it’s completely new territory.

Currently, we’re looking to make 10-15 new hires in Engineering, Design, Product Management, UX Research and Scrum roles.

How can interested job candidates get a better feel for the kind of technical work they might do there?

Visit the website. Look at what we’re producing online. We’ve been doing a lot of creative work on the site.

There’s an opportunity to get your hands on so many different types of projects: the website, the app, the digital storytelling of investigative pieces, etc.

What exciting things are happening at the organization these days?

One thing we’ve done recently is to create “The UpSide.” It’s a section of the Sunday Inquirer and Inquirer.com that only features positive stories happening across Philadelphia. It’s a nice way to add light into readers’ lives when the news can feel very heavy.

There has also been a big push internally for more inclusivity in our reporting. We’re making huge strides to dive into, uncover and report on stories that represent all Philadelphians in all communities. We’re serving an increasingly diverse city and region, and we’re passionate about covering all of it and about making sure our workforce reflects our region.  

How does The Inquirer tackle career growth and development?

Though there is no formal structure, we encourage internal growth in many ways.

We love to build from within, from filling roles internally to enabling employees to follow their passions and build new skill sets through mentorship, access to Lynda.com courses, side projects and weekly digital trainings. 

We’ve also just launched our Employee Resource Groups. There is a Women’s, Multicultural, and Volunteer and Veterans’ ERG. It can take shape in many ways. We might bring in speakers, have lunch-and-learns, or host events internally or out in the community. It’s another way for employees to engage, break down any workplace silos, get mentorship and professional development, as well as to grow in ways you don’t get to on a day-to-day basis at the office.

Tell us about the internal culture at The Inquirer.

We’re mission-driven and that bleeds through every single department. Our goal is always to be the go-to resource for news and information in the greater Philadelphia area. Everyone is very collaborative in that effort. We are all working towards the same goals; it’s very cohesive.

We have been doing a lot more lately to add some fun and engagement to the office culture. We started First Fridays to encourage people to mingle and get to know one another better, as well as established more social activities like ping pong and sports groups.

What is it like to work in a news organization?

It’s a lot of things. It’s hectic and takes a lot of hard work. But it’s also incredibly inspiring and rewarding. You get to see the impact of your work and the changes that the news you helped deliver has on the community.

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