Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Senior Interaction Designer, Carbonite

Carbonite delivers easy-to-use, affordable online backup services for consumers and small business worldwide. During the past three years Carbonite has acquired nearly half a million customers in over 100 countries through direct marketing and channel partners including major PC manufacturers, retailers / e-tailers, ISPs and other software companies. Carbonite's vision is one in which its products are available everywhere and become the choice for PC and Mac users worldwide.

The Position

The Interaction Designer will join the Engineering organization and function as a rotating member of the product development team. S/he will work closely with both Product Management and Engineering to create user-testable prototypes. The Interaction Designer will produce initial designs and testable prototypes, perform usability tests, serve as our resident design expert, and help teach others in the organization about UX best practices.

Your Primary Objectives

First 3 months

  • Come up to speed quickly on all of Carbonite's products and become an expert on the user experience for each
  • Understand the existing strategic vision, product roadmap and usability-related projects underway
  • Develop initial designs, wireframes and testable prototypes based on user and business requirements for 1-2 projects
  • Consult on specific usability challenges, provide design guidance, and run usability tests on solutions.

4 to 12 plus months

  • Provide tangible design improvements in new products and our existing product line, by developing their user interface and measuring success in the field.
  • Identify critical usability considerations for our major product offerings and web interfaces, recommend significant design improvements, and work closely with the team to bring the improvements to market.
  • Gauge the ease of use of interfaces and how well interfaces meet business goals
  • Perform heuristic usability reviews
  • Assist with usability testing
  • Make prioritization recommendations for suggested UX improvements
  • Work with graphic designers, front-end and back-end developers to identify and implement UX improvements

Key Challenges You Will Overcome

    • Coming up to speed rapidly on products' user experience and development process
    • Integrating your work seamlessly into our Agile development cycles
    • Helping to foster a user-centric design culture at Carbonite
    • Balancing UI improvements with tight development timelines and technical constraints

How Your Success Will Be Measured

    • Quality of wireframes and user-testable prototypes
    • Ability to create usable designs based on established design principles (usability will be assessed through user testing)
    • Ability to work closely with engineering to make changes in the product
    • Ability to integrate yourself into the organization and work effectively in a cross-functional team

Desired Skills and Experience

    • Master's Degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Psychology, Human Factors/Ergonomics or similar discipline or equivalent experience
    • Five or more years’ experience in usability and user experience design
    • Expert in user-centered design principles
    • Front-end HTML development skills (HTML / CSS / Javascript /Flash) to facilitate prototyping, not necessarily for production code.
    • Graphic design skills a plus
    • Experience in user testing
    • Experience working in an AGILE development environment a plus
    • Demonstrated history of improving user experience

Characteristics that will make you successful at Carbonite

    • Passionate about usability and well-versed in its principles, concepts and literature
    • Test and data driven
    • Very smart, driven, gets things done
    • Roll-up-your-sleeves attitude
    • Results-oriented
    • Detail-oriented
    • Works well with different functional groups (w/ Product Management, Engineering, etc.)
    • Communicates effectively and appropriately: good news fast, bad news faster
    • Highly organized, able to multi-task
Contact Kate Morgan k8morgan@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Entrepreneur, User Experience/Interaction designer to join an MIT Start-up


Recently funded, we are a small young group and are expanding our team ahead of the product launch planned for this year. We are looking for a top-notch, user experience designer to complement our current design capabilities.

In addition to a base cash salary, compensation will include an equity portion.

Email: msjhuns@alum.mit.edu

Location: Boston/flexible


We recently raised a round of funding, built a basic version of the product starting from a prototype, and are now looking to bring on board a person on the design team ahead of public launch, expected later this year. This is an exciting time for our business, so if you are looking to make a ton of impact working with a small team, we want to hear from you.

The founding team includes :

1. An MIT PhD, Sloan MBA, Worked with Mckinsey, Lehman
2. An EECS grad from Cornell, An I-Banker from UBS
3. An MIT EECS grad, with experience, passion building online systems


We are building an internet startup (Web 2.0 type), in financial services. The offering is a first of its kind, meaningful interactive platform, clearly differentiated through implementation of unique information structuring and design principles applied to financial information (patent pending)

Over the last year, the team has converted what was a mere idea to a product where the “aha” jumps out. The present go-to-market stage is an exciting time for us, and we are looking to launch the platform in a few months.

People in our close group of mentors and advisers call it as taking a 'Big swing at a large space' : The unique platform, executed right in the marketplace, will be disruptive to the I-Banking business. We expect to redefine at the fundamental level, how individuals, both institutional and retail, access and use business news/information, and how corporations raise capital from public.


If you want to be an internet entrepreneur / or want to do it again, this is a dream job.

Prior to launch, as we collect more data, we expect to make significant improvements to the current design and interaction, in addition to designing and incorporating large chunks of new features for the site. The product presents a unique design challenge arising out of rich set of interactions desired between social networking features, and a complex set of structured financial content, while maintaining simplicity of interface. As such interest and comfort in understanding and designing social networking features, while working with complex content structure, will be a plus. In addition, following characteristics will be great assets:

1. Solid track record for user experience and Interaction design

2. Comfort/ passion for working through complex information architectures and abstracting into a powerful UI

3. Experience, deep interest in working through user personas, use cases to design and brainstorm powerful UIs

In addition, the incoming member will be engaged with all parts of the venture, including marketing, content, monetization strategy. The role will evolve quickly as the business grows, with significant flexibility and opportunity to assume different positions.

This is a great opportunity for someone who would be excited about joining a business that could be worth a few billion dollars in the 5 year time-frame.