User experience designers at 18F drive research activities, derive insights, generate concepts, communicate those concepts visually, and work with developers and product managers to build and test them. They foster best practices in user-centered design within 18F and across the federal government through advocacy and coaching.

18F UX designers have deep strength in design research (both generative and evaluative). No one can be equally expert at everything, but in addition to design research, we look for strong craft skills, confidence, and sophistication in at least one of the following areas: interaction design, product design, service design, and information architecture.

As a UX designer, you’ll work in cross-functional teams of experts in design, product strategy, technical architecture, software engineering, data science, and procurement. In addition to building useful and usable digital services, you will be helping teams improve their user-centered design practice, and helping teams without those practices get started.

If you are committed to improving government services for all who need them, and to helping the civil servants who deliver those services, this is the position for you.

Key ObjectivesKey objective #1: Demonstrate excellence in design research, while grasping the core questions and responsibilities of at least one other UX discipline.

In addition to strong skill in design research, we expect expertise in at least one of the following disciplines:

  • Interaction design: Define interface logic and behavior, always keeping human behaviors and needs in mind.
  • Information architecture: Organize and structure complex information to help diverse audiences easily find what they need.
  • Service design: Improve the relationship of the customer or user and the service provider across all of their interactions and communication channels.
  • Product design: Develop clear and accessible visual systems, while advancing human-centered design practices.

Successful 18F UX Designers:

  • Zoom in and out. Generate high-level product strategies as well as practical project steps and considerations to get there. Are visionary in objective, but pragmatic in approach.
  • Support collaborative decision making by telling compelling stories drawn from research to build shared understanding
  • Show persistent commitment to thoughtful, inclusive, ethical user research.
  • Deliver whatever’s needed to guide development — this could include wireframes, sitemaps, flowcharts, storyboards, user stories, or other innovative approaches.
  • Create written materials and visual presentations that are accessible to non-experts as well as being legally and technically accurate.
  • Incorporate UX into agile development sprints, coordinating with visual and content designers, developers, and product managers to achieve a strategic vision.
  • Use modern interaction design patterns and best practices, understanding that there are exceptions to every rule.
  • Commit to making what we build fully accessible to the people we serve.
  • Create a work environment that fosters trust, respect, and collaboration.
Key objective #2: Advance UX practice.
  • Clearly communicate user-centered methods and their value to non-designers.
  • Mentor and coach colleagues and partners who are taking on new tasks and roles within design and research.
  • Share knowledge, techniques, tools, patterns, and expert advice with colleagues, partners, and the public.
  • Promote empathy not just for members of the public, but also for our partners across the government and our co-workers.
  • Contribute to team-wide resources and training materials, including methods, tutorials, guides, presentations, and design toolkits.
Key objective #3: Work effectively in the federal government.
  • Skillfully navigate complex organizational relationships to deepen understanding.
  • Cooperatively negotiate disagreements and mediate compromises.
  • Build inclusive, respectful partnerships with diverse groups of people.
  • Conduct design activities remotely and in person, depending on contextual factors.
  • Demonstrate genuine interest in the day-to-day activities that keep our government running.

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  • Experience leading design efforts within complex organizations or highly regulated environments
  • Experience applying leading industry practices in the design, development and delivery of digital products or services. This experience could include experimentation-driven methodologies, iterative methodologies, or user-centered design.
  • Experience facilitating design sessions or design workshops with teams
  • Experience coaching or mentoring on how to use user-centered design methodologies

Location: Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Virtual (100% Remote)

Salary Range: Base salary GS-15 - $128,078 to $172,500

If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you are selected. Compensation will include locality which is based on the individual’s duty location. For more salary information including locality pay details, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page.

Key Requirements
  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands)
  2. Suitable for federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  3. You may be required to serve a trial period
  4. Direct Deposit of salary check to financial organization required
  5. Register with Selective Service, if you are required by

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UX Designer
Technology Transformation Services (General Services Administration - US Federal Government)