Director of Design Operations

Remote

Upwork ($UPWK) is the leading tech solution for companies looking to hire the best talent, maintain flexibility, and get more done. We’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Every year, more than $2 billion of work is done through Upwork by skilled professionals who want the freedom of working anytime, anywhere. Top companies connecting with extraordinary talent around the globe? Upwork is how.


As a Director of UX/Design Operations, you will lead a small team of program managers to help designers, researchers, and writers work more efficiently and effectively and to have more impact. We are a highly distributed team. Your area of focus will fall into three buckets: how we work together, how we get our work done, and how our work delivers impact. You’ll help us get organized and collaborate more effectively. You’ll help humanize internal workflows like our onboarding and career path planning. You’ll help us standardize our guiding principles, identify and improve key processes and toolsets. You especially go deep in the agile team practices, helping us understand where we are, and where we need to go. You’ll line up our operating and communication calendars, making sure we have the right steps in place to show up effectively when we need to. You’ll manage our Playbook of methods, codifying how we do our work. And, you’ll help us determine our skills by subject area, identify skill gaps, and work with our L&D business partners to line up skills training and development. Ultimately, you’ll help us nurture a hard-working studio culture and a balanced product delivery lifecycle.

Your Responsibilities

  • Identify and evaluate our agile practices and how work flows through our team.
  • Help define how we partner with Product Managers and Engineers to take in, prioritize, and execute work.
  • Keep us in synch with forwarding looking prompts on upcoming events or deadlines.
  • Drive our career ladder definitions and the practices we need, to make it a useful tool for growing careers.
  • Coordinate and drive vendor contract conversations, and help coordinate our use of tools, outside agencies, and freelancers.
  • Establish and maintain a strong meeting and communication cadence.
  • Drive recognition and reward practices, and surfacing how to improve it.
  • Standardize our on/off-boarding practices, tools, and templates.
  • Lead all aspects of our research operations.
  • Be responsible for the flow of work as it moves from Discover to Launch.
  • Partner with IT, making sure our team has access to the tools and systems they need to do their job.
  • Surface burn-out or where designers, researchers or writers may be experiencing undue stress.
  • Help amplify a disciplined culture, including driving follow-through on commitments, principles, agreed upon practices.

What it takes to catch our eye:

  • 10+ years of proven experience as a leader in a cross-functional UX team
  • A creative, self-starter, "tinker" attitude that proactively drives explorations
  • Ability to work seamlessly with product, research, engineers, operations, and customers
  • Architect system wide design solutions that satisfy both product and engineering requirements
  • Strong work ethic with the drive and willingness to go above and beyond

How to really knock our socks off:

  • Experience in standing up agile practices in UX Teams
  • Deep knowledge of digital design processes and practices
  • Driving influence in large organizations, supporting multiple business units
  • Designing products for online marketplaces
  • Experience designing native mobile applications and current working knowledge of native iOS and Android design languages
  • Demonstrated high bar for quality and attention to detail
  • Any form of entrepreneurship such as side projects, design experiments, and start-ups

Come change how the world works.

At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We’re a remote-first organization supported by offices in Santa Clara and Chicago, working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. 

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We build amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. Oh yeah, we’ve also got amazing benefits.

Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.  

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