User Experience Design Lead

Northwest Evaluation Association
Portland, OR, US
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District Experience Design Lead

Position summary

At NWEA, we believe in K-12 students and the teachers, administrators, and families who make education possible. Drawing on 40 years' experience and a wealth of powerful data, our vision is to transform education by empowering teachers and students.

The Experience Design Lead is the driving force for the user within a value stream or product area, focused on creating an exceptional experience for educators, students, and families. Using Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design approaches, you will inspire others to achieve great things for those using our products and services. You will mentor, and coach a multidisciplinary team toward creating a delightful experience, as well as guide and direct the team to focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Experimentation, collaboration, a bias for action, and regular iteration will be the keys to your success in this role, helping to translate business objectives to testable hypotheses. You're an expert in harnessing the creative spirit and contributions of a diverse set of teammates. Alongside a product and technology leader, you will collaboratively set the strategy for a group of teams, experiment with new ideas, and create a shared vision.


  • Lead the UX design strategy within a cross-functional team. This includes planning, facilitation, analysis, and execution of design.
  • Partner with the User Researcher and proactively seek out user feedback through interviews, observations, focus groups, and surveys to determine the long-term needs of the humans using our products and services.
  • Facilitate workshops and design sprints with SMEs and stakeholders to align teams and ideate solutions.
  • Synthesize research insights with user journey map, service design blueprints, wireframes, prototypes, etc.
  • Support the user journey by eliminating pain points, reducing cognitive load, and simplifying the interactions between NWEA and the users of our products and services.
  • Collaborate on product and service roadmap projects.
  • Document the ROI of design through research and analysis to provide the product or service with the best experience while aligning to our overall business objectives. Define the quantitative key performance indicators that provide a clear picture of the experience of our users.
  • Provide mental models for others to understand the implicit attitudes, behaviors and motivations of our users.
  • Implement and evolve the Design System quality standards and guidelines in collaboration with the design team.
  • Understand the intersection of design thinking, agile, lean, and systems thinking; explain these concepts to others, and teach new concepts when necessary.
  • Teach and facilitate design principles throughout the organization and mentor more junior UX designers.

Skills and abilities

  • Deeply committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • Highly analytical; lives to solve problems; understands inclusive design and how to apply it.
  • Experienced in leading others through a Human-Centered Design approach to problem-solving and in using Design Thinking to create innovative solutions.
  • Demonstrates excellent information synthesis and real-time documentation skills.
  • Confidence working across multiple teams and actively creating alignment.
  • Proficiency in creating production-ready UI designs and supporting Design Systems.
  • Consistently engages teams with professionalism, confidence, and emotional intelligence.
  • Skilled at helping teams clearly define problems and identify root causes.
  • Possesses strong persuasion and negotiation skills; finds mutual ground and practical solutions.


  • Instills trust: Gains the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
  • Communicates effectively: Develops and delivers multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
  • Customer-focused: Builds strong customer relationships and delivers customer-centric solutions.
  • Drives results: Consistently achieves results, even under tough circumstances.
  • Action oriented: Taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.
  • Being resilient: Rebounding from setbacks and adversity when facing difficult situations.
  • Collaborates: Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Cultivates innovation: Creating new and better ways for the organization to be successful.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness: Using a combination of feedback and reflection to gain productive insights into personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • Manages complexity: Making sense of complex, high quality, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems.
  • Values differences: Recognizing the value that different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization.

Education and experience

  • Minimum bachelor's degree in HCI, Human Factors, Information Design, Web Design, or related field, or comparable experience in the industry. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • 10+ years' experience in documenting and creating delightful solutions to meet client business requirements and objectives.
  • 8+ years of practical knowledge in developing products or systems, or comparable education.
  • 3 to 5 years' experience leading teams of designers.
  • Advanced knowledge of accessibility and accommodation requirements related to user interface development preferred.
  • Experience building products for diverse audiences, including conducting research with people from historically underrepresented communities and/or people with accessibility needs.

About Us...

NWEA® is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency-and provide timely data to help tailor instruction. For more than 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative pre-K-12 assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™. Educators trust our professional learning offerings to accelerate student learning and our research to support assessment validity and data interpretation. More than 11 million students in 146 countries use our solutions to support their learning and growth each year.

What We Can Offer You...

At NWEA we not only offer a competitive base salary, we offer a 15% contribution of eligible employees' base salary to a defined contribution 403(b) retirement savings plan; career development opportunities; an awesome work culture and environment; we also offer industry leading benefits and perks that are focused on supporting our employees' holistic wellbeing. To learn more about what we can offer more, click here.

NWEA strives to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) practices the center of our work. Our organization's mission, Partnering to Help All Kids Learn, is the foundation for our DEIA commitment as we work to reflect, value, and support the educators, students, colleagues, and communities we serve. We seek to empower and engage all stakeholders in the research, services, solutions, and products we provide, our organizational culture, and the partnerships we establish with schools, districts, states, and countries.

NWEA endeavors to make accessible to all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please call us at (503) 624-1951 or e-mail us at [email protected] and let us know the nature of your request, your location and your contact information. This is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

NWEA is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. For our EEO Policy Statement, please visit our website. If you'd like more information on your EEO rights under the law, please visit the EEOC website
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