In a Nutshell:
At IDEO, our world-class multidisciplinary teams creates innovative solutions to address core human needs. In order to do this, we work with the latest tools and technologies to support and experiment within all aspects of our design process—from research to design; from concept to implementation. Software Designers at IDEO work closely with small teams that could include interaction designers, design researchers, industrial designers, graphic designers, electrical and mechanical engineers - inventing new solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges. We collaborate with clients ranging from bold startups with emerging technologies to some of the most well-known brands of all time.
Why this role is important at IDEO?
Following a “build to think” approach, front-end software developers at IDEO shine at bringing designs to life - moving beyond static screens or strategic frameworks into tangible, visceral, living creations. Colleagues in this role will design software with a diverse range of fidelity; from quick and dirty user experience prototypes designed to facilitate research interviews, to limited-scale public software pilots that have a direct impact on end-users, to sample interface animations. You will often collaborate with external partners as well - firms with specialties in specific disciplines (from AI to VR to IOS) to help move the concept into a market-ready form. Software Design colleagues have the opportunity to explore projects that span mobile to virtual reality; wearables to interactive installations. You will have one foot firmly planted in the code world, but also consider yourself a designer as well - you are happy playing in the space of conceptual direction and visual language as much as ux flow, information architecture, and front-end code.
Once here you will:
- Get the opportunity to go out in the field with your team and travel the world to build empathy for a user’s needs and discover new opportunities for design through first-hand through things like watching a surgical procedure, exploring the house of a hoarder, shadowing a single mom who works 3 jobs but still can’t make ends meet, or flying a flight simulator.
- Work with people (like product designers, interaction designers, communication designers, electrical and mechanical engineers) who do things that seem like magic; together you’ll be able to prototype quickly and realistically. You will learn new approaches and discover how a wide range of skilled craft practitioners think about their work - while also sharing your own.
- Debrief and discuss field research and user feedback with the design team, in order to synthesize research into meaningful design iterations.
- Continually learn and apply user interface patterns, development tools and frameworks.
- Work with a diverse set of stakeholders (coworkers, clients and mentors) to communicate complex concepts and complete projects.
- Share techniques and approaches with other designers—from the software discipline to interaction design, and beyond.
What does IDEO offer you?
We believe software development is a creative discipline, not an execution task. Software discipline colleagues are creative problem solvers who often employ unorthodox yet ingenious ways to push a design and experience forward. You may modify an off-the-shelf PC driving game to integrate with an automotive simulator experience or collaborate with city organizations and data scientists to access, map and visualize raw energy usage data and expose human behaviors using open APIs. This isn’t a place where structure, rules, and instructions are given to you from above - it’s up to you to design how you want to collaborate with others to bring ideas to life in a way that lets your project team test concepts with sets of users, as well as give clients a compelling tease of what the full experience could be. Projects can range from co-designing and building a richly animated front-end experience of a two-sided healthcare portal, creating prototypes of financial services apps for the working poor, all the way to connecting live data into an immersive VR simulation by collaborating with a digital environments designer.
Some previous projects to check out:
- Boston.gov: Tasked with helping the city of Boston redesign it’s website, we designed a website that takes into account what users need and offers simple, intuitive navigation.
- LA Voting - Asked to Revamp the entire voting system for America’s largest jurisdiction, we created a modular voting system that addresses the system’s complexities and can adapt over time.
- Passionate, self-motivated, and an inspiring champion of software as a craft.
- Enjoy coding/implementing detailed front-end experiences - mobile, web, and beyond - from quick prototypes to full experience simulations.
- Creative problem solver, often considering unorthodox yet feasible ways to push the design, and sharing these with others.
- Comfort with ambiguity and selfless collaboration with a diverse set of colleagues (co-workers, clients and mentors.)
- Able to make beautiful, nuanced browser animations via CSS keyframes and/or other JS libraries. WebGL shaders and SVG animation a plus.
- Ability to be super speedy with Framer.js or Invision, Sketch, the Adobe suite (particularly After Effects).
- 2+ years of experience developing software / digital products.