Work with me

October 17th, 2009 · 7 Comments

The company I work for, Language International, needs help. We need another designer to join our small team. We know who we want.

Update (2009-10-25): We are located in Cambridge, MA, USA and this is a full-time, in-person position.

Find out more about Language International, because I’m not going to talk about that here.

The business and development team (2 business folks, 2 engineers, and me) discussed what we thought makes up the ideal candidate. We made a list of qualities and assigned an arbitrary rating scale to grade the importance of each quality.

Must have skills

The first portion is a list of absolutely necessary skills. If you don’t match our expectations here, it’s going to be a hard sell. That said, if you’re proficient with the 2nd list of preferred skills, you might still have a chance.

Prototyping 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star

Able to build rapid prototypes (regardless of technology, i.e. Paper, HTML/CSS…) ideally you can take a design from sketches to markup.

Markup and style 1 star1 star1 star1 starno star

Capable and comfortable implementing designs with HTML/CSS.

Design taste 1 star1 star1 starno starno star

Has great taste in design. Cite sources of inspiration or influence: i.e. Books, blogs, etc…

SEO fundamentals 1 star1 starno starno starno star

Understand the essentials of SEO, “good content + good markup + linking strategy = good SEO.”

Unafraid of code 1 starno starno starno starno star

Understand how back-end technology works. The point is, you can’t be scared to work around and within PHP.

Preferred skills

It would be great if you have experience with the following. These are still important to us, but not as much as the previous list. Icing on the cake, as it were.

UX design and research 1 star1 star1 starno starno star

Solid skills in experience design. You can expect to sketch interfaces and user flows. Would be great if you have experience with research as well.

Manage and measure UX 1 star1 star1 starno starno star

Can manage and measure the success of design. You should have experience defending your design choices with business and user goals.

Experienced with non-designers 1 star1 star1 starno starno star

Has worked directly with Business folks, Engineers, and Designers (i.e. You should be comfortable working with designers and non-designers alike). We’re looking for a team player, not someone who only works in heroic issolation. This isn’t a “toss it over the fence” position.

Articulate design requirements 1 star1 starno starno starno star

Can identify problems and possible solutions based on the concepts mentioned in meetings.

Visual design 1 star1 starno starno starno star

Capable of visually designing interfaces (read: graphic design).

SEM experience 1 star1 starno starno starno star

Has worked with a company whose source of new customers are derived from SEO and SEM.

Start-up experience 1 star1 starno starno starno star

Has worked at a start-up company.

Diverse employment background 1 star1 starno starno starno star

You’ve probably worked as a freelancer, but you’ve also held full-time jobs (e.g. paid non-hourly, which breeds a different kind of work ethic than a part-time/freelance only background).

Drupal and jQuery 1 starno starno starno starno star

You’ve worked with Drupal and jQuery. That’s what we use.

Nice to have skills

I’m mostly kidding here.

  • Likes coffee, tea, and/or quality beer.
  • Has positive attitude, e.g. uses smiley faces in IM’s.
  • Is tickled pink by fine typography.
  • Knows when to high-five, and when to low-five.
  • Tweets.

How to apply

Forward your resume and portfolio to Karen Ong, our CEO and hiring manager. Your first task will likely be to inspect our site and give us a short list of glaring errors or problems with the design (of the experience variety). I’ll be the first to admit, there are tons of problems with our site and the flow between pages.

What would you do if we hired you? It’s a hypothetical question that warrants a hypothetical answer. If you have any questions regarding this job opening or our company in general, please feel free to contact me. Cheers, I hope to hear from you soon. We’re trying to fill this spot as soon as possible.

Tags: Design · User Experience · Jobs · Business · Start-ups · Language International

What do you think?


  • 1 Deb Biggar Oct 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I love your use of stars here - it helps the viewer to understand which aspects of this job opening are most needed.

  • 2 C Martin Oct 22, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Yeah, kudos on the stars! I have the same comments as Deb. Is telecommuting an option for this job?

  • 3 Jason Robb Oct 22, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Thanks Deb & C Martin!

    C Martin: no, it’s an in-person kind of position.

  • 4 Bruce Oct 25, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Great job posting. If I could move to Cambridge, I think I’d apply.

    Which leads me to my point. If this is not a telecommute position, you might consider specifying the job’s location and whether or not the company is willing to provide relocation assistance to the right candidate. I had to go to the company site and figure out where they are located before I could decide whether to forward my resume.

  • 5 Jason Robb Oct 25, 2009 at 5:35 am

    Bruce: Thanks for mentioning that. I’ve updated it. Thanks and sorry for the hassle, that would have annoyed me too.

  • 6 Moving on, moving up — Jason Robb Oct 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    […] Email updates ← Older Work with me […]

  • 7 chris willet Dec 1, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Hey Jason,

    just wondering if the position at Language International was filled or not. I didn’t see anything posted on the site or the IXDA board.