Director of Product Design (Engineering) – VOTO Mobile

Organization
VOTO Mobile
Location
Ghana or Remote
Deadline for Applications
09/06/2016
Contact Information
tr.2016@votomobile.org
Tags
Full-time

Job Description:

VOTO is about tackling tough development challenges through basic mobile technology: we’re helping amplify the voices of 3 billion people not yet on the internet, making sure their feedback reaches the organizations that serve them, and connecting them to the daily information they need. We build technology and expertise to do mobile surveys, messaging campaigns and hotlines through the basic mobile phone channels most able to engage hard-to-reach audiences.

Why work at VOTO?

We are an entrepreneurial and fast-growing social enterprise that is looking to transform the way companies, NGOs, and governments communicate with their hardest-to-reach citizens in emerging markets. As a technology-driven company we are creating new solutions for our partners every day, and we get to see them used to create positive human impact nearly immediately.

Current staff love working at VOTO:

  • Do work that matters – pioneer new and innovative ways to tackle key social problems that affect billions of people
  • Learn and grow practical skills quickly – you are always challenged to think and take ownership to deliver results within an environment that provides coaching and training

Have fun and support each other – our young and dynamic team sees work as something to be enjoyed and our company as a place for friendships

About the job

VOTO’s global SaaS platform for mobile engagement enables organizations to share information and gather feedback from the citizens they serve in the most challenging environments. Usage of the platform continues to grow by over 10X yearly, and we’ve added new countries, new channels, and new features. A rapidly-growing user base and an ambitious roadmap puts pressure on us to ramp up the speed of engineering – all while maintaining critical reliability and an intuitive user experience. As the core platform grows in features and complexity, the role of the Director of Product Design is to craft an overall user experience that makes powerful software feel simple.  Reporting directly to the CTO, this senior director-level position will lead the design of user workflow and user experience across the web application.  They will provide expert input to the engineering team on new feature designs, and also manage the product feature roadmap.  Ideally, the Director of Product will be strong in front-end engineering, so they can get hands-on in directly prototyping new features, working within the engineering team, and avoiding a design-to-engineering translation layer.

Responsibilities

Ultimately, the Director of Product is responsible for achieving high satisfaction of new and daily users of the VOTO web application, and ensuring they can navigate the tools to create impact.

  • Convert functional descriptions from the requirements owner into joy-inducing user experiences
  • Create a vision and roadmap for a consistent, predictable, intuitive, and efficient workflow across the entire application (conceptual models, style guides, etc.)
  • Understand complex user needs for mobile engagement, and converting these into new feature ideas, or refinements of hard-to-use features
  • Monitor and ensure that the engineering team produces consistent UIs in-line with this vision; be a force for quality
  • Conduct regular interviews and feedback processes with users (especially power users); develop processes for active and automatic user feedback; build data and learning on usability
  • Ideally, assisting where useful in the coding of user interface, and providing guidance to front-end engineers.
  • Mentorship of engineers and training in design thinking
  • Contributing to team processes and learning so that the engineering team meets its goal every sprint of becoming a smarter, more productive, healthier, and happier team.

Qualifications

  • Experience leading the user-facing design of a major production web application
  • Portfolio of design experience showing independent leadership
  • Sound knowledge of usability principles
  • Several years of experience leading and managing a small team
  • Experience with survey methodology, statistics, and the visual representation of data, to understand useful visualizations of complex data relationships that will provide rigorous insight to our users.

Skills

  • Scientific and data-driven approach to usability / interface design (quantifiable principles, variant testing, metrics, etc.)
  • High empathy for users
  • Strong communication skills, for interviewing users and communicating design requirements to engineers
  • Self-management: as a senior director, this role is assumed to self-manage and be responsible for major outcomes
  • Ability to understand user requests, identify underlying needs, and invent deeper solutions
  • Ability to prioritize and balance investment across areas of a product roadmap
  • Bonus: Ideally we would find this also in the same person:
    • Mastery of modern web application front-end design using HTML, CSS, and Javascript
    • Fluency in a range of Javascript frameworks (JQuery, Underscore/Lodash, React) and UI libraries (Bootstrap, Skeleton, etc.)
    • Basic fluency with PHP and Laravel 5 (Blade Templates) is a great help

Location

The role can theoretically be done from anywhere but the core team is currently based in Ghana, with additional engineers in Canada and the US East Coast.  Candidates should be open to significant global travel to ensure they can attend a thorough in-person orientation, and routinely build in-person relationships with their team.

About us

VOTO Mobile is a fast growing social enterprise with offices in Canada, the US, Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya and India. Our services help partners distribute and collect information by engaging difficult-to-reach populations through their mobile phones. We specialize in interactive voice calls (IVR) and SMS in local languages, instantly reaching across distance and literacy barriers. We serve a wide variety of use-cases including: journalists who run national public interest surveys, rural clinics who distribute maternal health education, policy makers who study vaccine supply chains, economic development organizations who reach out to farmers, urban planners who monitor water distribution access, and academics who research the effect of public health interventions. We also have an API used to empower entrepreneurs and higher-level mobile service providers.

In the 3 years since our launch, our product has been used by 500 organizations to reach over 5.6 million people across 40+ countries. We offer the most robust platform in the industry and work across all sectors. We have pioneered the set-up of international and local connections that allow us to call nearly every phone on the planet. Further, through conducting a number of tests, we have developed a large number of best practices that help our partners to push the boundaries of mobile engagement effectiveness and impact. This knowledge will soon be shared online in our “VOTO University”.

Some of our most active global users include: the World Bank, UNICEF, Stanford University, McKinsey & Company, Facebook, MIT, IDEO.org, Camfed, ONE Campaign, Innovations for Poverty Action, Vodafone Foundation, Farm Radio International, FHI360, and Equal Access.

Our culture and you

We believe that “More Voices leads to Better Choices”. This means giving valuable information to poor households to help them make better lifestyle decisions, and it also means giving a voice to those same households to influence national and development policy in their country. Three billion people are disconnected from the information economy and VOTO Mobile is using simple mobile technology to bridge the pervasive literacy, distance and infrastructure gaps.

VOTO Mobile is a technology startup. We are proud of our product, the leader in the M4D space. We are the only platform that integrates both IVR and SMS, that is set up to call every phone on the planet, and has a unique “smart delivery node” that allows organizations to perform their mobile engagement programing even in the context of non-reliable internet connections. We are at the cutting edge of M4D.

We currently have almost 50 employees, the majority of which are based in Ghana. We have a near even gender split, and a wide diversity of backgrounds. We are 3.5 years old and have been doubling our staff every year – something we are also hoping to maintain. Our ambition and growth creates a need for reliable people who can step in and be successful in their area of responsibility, and build the systems needed to grow that area.

We have a very supportive team culture. We have a learning approach and understand that most of us are working outside of our comfort zone. If you ask anyone at VOTO what their favorite part of working here, they’ll say the team… even those who are working remotely!

If you are interested in helping 3 billion people get connected to the information economy, please consider joining VOTO. VOTO Mobile is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and are excited to receive applications from female candidates and diverse backgrounds.

Additional Information

Apply with CV and a well-written email that lets us understand why you’d be interested in working with VOTO (and has some great questions for us) to tr.2016@votomobile.org. Please include the wording “Director of Product Design” in the subject line of your email.

More information: www.votomobile.org/careers