Khan Academy is hiring a

Principal Product Designer

Mountain View, United States
Remote

ABOUT KHAN ACADEMY

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization on a mission to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. We already reach millions of students every month and are growing rapidly, and right now we’re hard at work helping learners address any unfinished learning that the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused. We also know that not all communities have been impacted equally by this pandemic, which makes our work focusing on providing equitable solutions to historically under-resourced communities even more important.

WE ARE DRIVEN BY OUR COMMUNITY 

Our students, teachers, and parents come from all walks of life and so do we. We are fun, diverse, quirky people that come from a variety of backgrounds. Our team includes people from academia and from high tech companies and tiny startups. We hire great people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes our company stronger. Valuing diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary for us to actualize our mission and truly impact the communities we serve. We believe that the best way to provide impactful education is to create a diverse team of people from different backgrounds, races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and experiences.  We’re a hardworking team that’s passionate about helping learners and teachers around the globe! We strive to be world class in investing in our people and commit to developing you as a professional. 

THE ROLE

Imagine being a teacher in Sarasota, Florida, almost three years after the pandemic started, with a classroom full of 6th graders who haven’t had a normal year of school or learning since 2019. It’s the reality of so many educators and students who use Khan Academy – and our team is uniquely positioned to help them when they need it most.

We have no end of fascinating challenges that can only be solved with a deep empathy for our users, diligent product & UX thinking, and a strong drive to make a positive impact. Some questions we’re working on answering right now are:

  • How do we empower teachers who are dealing with the impact that the pandemic had on learning?
  • How do we help students with learning gaps catch up to their grade level?
  • How do we center schools serving historically under-resourced communities in our product design and development?
  • How do we reach more school districts so our learning experience gets used in more classrooms?
  • …and more

In this role, you will act as the lead designer on a new 0-to-1 feature in close partnership with our Content team. You’ll also contribute to our design direction and vision for how Khan Academy is used in the classroom. You will play a vital role on an inclusive, collaborative, small but mighty Design team, helping us shape and fulfill the mission of the organization: to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere.

Designers have been in leadership roles here, including at the executive level, for a long time. This has made Design a keystone in the way we “deliver wow” (one of our values), and means that you’ll never have to justify the importance of design.

We genuinely care about people and value compassion in our everyday interactions. You’ll be able to be yourself, feel valued, supported, learn and grow, no matter how experienced you are. Even if you don’t check every box (no one does), we encourage you to apply.

What you'll do:

  • Partner with Product, Engineering, Content, Brand, Data and other departments to shape an inspiring vision and strategy for the future of our in-classroom experience.
  • Own the end-to-end design strategy and solutions for high-profile, complex projects – from IA to wireframes to user flows to high-fidelity mockups to clickable prototypes, and everything in between.
  • Set a standard of operational excellence by driving the design side of projects effectively through strong project management, clear communication, and goal setting.
  • Validate ideas throughout the lifecycle of the project by partnering with UX Research, incorporating insights into design iterations and helping translate learnings into product decisions.
  • Build alignment across diverse teams by being able to successfully present ideas to a range of teams and stakeholders across Khan Academy.
  • Cultivate a growth mindset (another one of our values) by mentoring designers and by contributing to design best practices for organizational needs such as career ladders, design critique, integrating our brand into the product, and more.
  • Write about, present, and share what you have learned, both internally and with the wider Design community via our blog and industry events.

WHAT YOU BRING

  • You have at least 7-10+ years of relevant experience as an individual contributor on an in-house product design team.
  • You have the ability to juggle ambiguous and broad problems/opportunities along with smaller well-defined projects.
  • You are a critical participant in design reviews, both in delivering feedback to teammates to strengthen their work, but also in soliciting feedback at every step of the process.
  • You are strong across interaction design, prototyping, and information architecture, with outstanding visual design chops.
  • You have experience designing mobile and web consumer products at scale. Bonus: you also have experience designing for ages 8 to 18, or for e-learning/edtech products.
  • You have exceptional verbal and written communication skills for technical and non-technical partners, internally and externally.
  • You are comfortable in ambiguous situations and dynamic environments that run similar to a startup, where you regularly interact with and gather feedback from Senior Leadership.
  • You are scrappy, have a bias toward action, and love moving fast.
  • You know how to build strong relationships cross-functionally and bring people into the conversation when their input and buy-in is crucial.
  • You bring a lean approach to product design and regularly ask yourself: How do we learn quickly and ship regularly? What’s the most concise experience we can deliver that still provides value?

Qualities we value in Product Designers:

  • Introspective, mature, and emotionally intelligent, with excellent communication skills.
  • Invested in your own growth and the growth of our Design team.
  • Proactively seek out the people/information you need to move work forward and unblock yourself.
  • High comfort level working within a strong product and pedagogical vision.
  • Able to balance the immediate tactical needs of helping deliver and ship features with scouting ahead for what’s next.
  • Willing to roll your sleeves up and pitch in when a project goes off-script.
  • Passionate about education and designing engaging learning experiences, deeply curious about how and why people learn.

NOTE: Submitting a portfolio with your application is required. We're looking for a portfolio that highlights your background designing digital product experiences with outstanding quality, clearly defines your role and impact, includes both visuals and explanations, and provides enough context that someone can browse through it and grasp the problem and solution you developed, without having questions about how you did it. Click here for a description of how you can prepare for the portfolio review component of our interview process.

PERKS AND BENEFITS

We may be a non-profit, but we reward our talented team extremely well!

  • Competitive salaries
  • Ample paid time off as needed – we are about getting things done, not face time
  • Generous parental leave
  • A fun, high-caliber team that trusts you and gives you the freedom to be brilliant 
  • The ability to put your talents towards a deeply meaningful mission and the opportunity to work on high-impact products that are already defining the future of education
  • Affinity groups where Parents, Black, Hispanic/Latino, Women and Gender Minorities, and LGBTQIA+ identified folks come together
  • And we offer all those other typical benefits as well: 401(k) + 4% matching & comprehensive insurance including medical, dental, vision, and life

MORE ABOUT US

The Design Team is a diverse and close-knit group, spanning many disciplines, who are passionate about designing for the complexities of education. We are driven by our dedication to learners, our craft, and nurturing our unique, low-ego, playful, and rigorous culture. We listen carefully, think deeply, and move quickly, to help millions of learners all over the world. Join us!

OUR COMPANY VALUES

Live & breathe learners

We deeply understand and empathize with our users. We leverage user insights, research, and experience to build content, products, services, and experiences that our users trust and love. Our success is defined by the success of our learners and educators.

Take a stand

As a company, we have conviction in our aspirational point of view of how education will evolve. The work we do is in service to moving towards that point of view. However, we also listen, learn and flex in the face of new data, and commit to evolving this point of view as the industry and our users evolve.

Embrace diverse perspectives

We are a diverse community. We seek out and embrace a diversity of voices, perspectives and life experiences leading to stronger, more inclusive teams and better outcomes. As individuals, we are committed to bringing up tough topics and leaning into different points of view with curiosity. We actively listen, learn and collaborate to gain a shared understanding. When a decision is made, we commit to moving forward as a united team.

Work responsibly and sustainably

We understand that achieving our audacious mission is a marathon, so we set realistic timelines and we focus on delivery that also links to the bigger picture. As a non-profit, we are supported by the generosity of donors as well as strategic partners, and understand our responsibility to our finite resources. We spend every dollar as though it were our own. We are responsible for the impact we have on the world and to each other. We ensure our team and company stay healthy and financially sustainable.

Bring out the joy

We are committed to making learning a joyful process. This informs what we build for our users and the culture we co-create with our teammates, partners and donors.

Cultivate learning mindset

We believe in the power of growth for learners and for ourselves. We constantly learn and teach to improve our offerings, ourselves, and our organization. We learn from our mistakes and aren’t afraid to fail. We don't let past failures or successes stop us from taking future bold action and achieving our goals.

Deliver wow

We insist on high standards and deliver delightful, effective end-to-end experiences that our users can rely on. We choose to focus on fewer things — each of which aligns to our ambitious vision — so we can deliver high-quality experiences that accelerate positive measurable learning with our strategic partners.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, or Veteran status. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

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