User Experience Designer

Packback’s mission is to empower every student to be fearlessly curious and find their unique voice.

These few words shape everything we do at Packback from the smallest decision to the largest. Over the last decade since our company’s founding, our team has seen first-hand the power of giving students intentionally designed spaces in their learning experience to be autonomous and curious. We have also seen the incredible benefits of using AI technology to shorten feedback loops and help students revise their work before they submit.

Packback is a pedagogy partner that uses technology as a “means to an end” to shorten feedback loops for students and instructors, improve writing and critical thinking skills, and cultivate student-centered, trust-based educational learning environments.

Packback is an AI writing tutor for every student, and an AI grading assistant for every instructor, embedded into thoughtful educational workflows to support most classroom writing assignments. Our mastery-based AI education coaching is embedded in a “inquiry-based” discussion platform (Packback Questions) designed to teach students how to ask great, open-ended questions and in a Writing platform (Packback Deep Dives) where students get real-time feedback on writing assignments like essay, case studies, reflections, and research papers. Recently, we released Writing Lab, which allows students to access the benefits of Packback’s writing feedback for any assignment, even if their current classes are not using Packback. 

The Packback system is built around a set of design principles rooted in academic research on how to build motivating, student-centered learning environments. As a designer on our team, these principles will guide your designs and be held up as equally important to any functional project goal. 

Packback is an award-winning company, and was just recognized as a 2024 Time Magazine “World’s Top Education Company”, as well as an INC 5000 Fastest Growing Organization for 3 consecutive years. Packback’s founders were recognized on the Forbes “30 under 30” list in 2020. Packback has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post.

Who we are

Packback team members are passionate, mission-driven lifelong learners. Many of us spent time as educators in classrooms and have experienced first hand just how draining the day to day of educating can be. We have seen the gap between the most and least prepared students grow wider every year. The pressure to close that gap has once rested directly on our shoulders, and we understand the enormous cost of addressing that gap, and also not addressing that gap.

Some of us were intrinsically motivated students, the “teacher’s pets” who never want to stop learning. Some of us were the distracted or unmotivated students who wished their instructors would have adopted the pedagogy behind Packback. But all of us share a passionate commitment to our purpose.


Packback's Product Team is seeking a User Experience Designer to join our team of passionate education-focused product designers and engineers.

About the role

As a User Experience Designer at Packback’s, you will be responsible for designing effective and inspiring user experiences for projects on our product roadmap and building an experience that brings our company’s purpose to life.  


UX Design is a highly strategic position at Packback and works at the intersection of product, engineering, and business goals.


In this role, you will work within the product team and be responsible for designing exceptional user experiences which meet the functional requirements, achieve the desired outcome metrics/goals, and-most importantly-create an inspiring experience on Packback for educators and students that brings our company purpose to life.


You’ll be responsible for research initiatives that span across the entire duration of the project, which help to scope the project (user discovery research, market research), refine the proposed solution (usability research, prototyping), and test the results of research (designing roll-out plans, and experimental approaches to test the impact of designs).


You’ll be responsible for considering and improving the complete platform experience as an overall experience. In this role, your core deliverable will most often be design prototypes (typically in Figma), but you will also use other tools and methods to communicating design goals (written descriptions of interaction designs, animations, pairing with engineers to live-workshop a UI or interaction, etc.) to ensure that the right user experience is brought to life in the code. In this role, you are responsible for the outcome of the designs on the platform, not just the design artifacts you produce.


You will be an active participant in ensuring that the “right” solution is released to users, including developing iterations on initial designs and performing design QA to ensure that the final product fully delivers on the design vision and functional requirements for the project. 


You will be responsible for the design experience from initial designs all the way to their live launch in the platform and the monitoring of their performance after launch.


What will success look like in this role?

  • You should care deeply about understanding the purpose of Packback (to awaken and fuel lifelong student curiosity) and have every decision made in your designs work to ultimately serve that purpose. To do this, we want someone to join our team who is curious about learning how to design educational learning experiences for students, understanding student motivation, and understanding professor needs and pain points.

  • You should be excited by the prospect of working on projects that iteratively reduce "UX friction" throughout the entire user experience on Packback and actively work to remediate “design debt” through their work.

  • You will need to be comfortable with ruthlessly avoiding scope creep to solve the specific problem at hand. We are a startup with a small product team and deliver our product iteratively to our users. There are many problems to be solved, but only one team to solve them. Prioritizing the core needs of the user experience is key.

  • Your personal values should naturally align with the company values, to ensure that this work environment aligns with the 


Qualifications

  • 4-5 years of past work experience as a product UX designer, including prioritization, user research, and design.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and ability to apply user experience best practices to solve tangible user (and business) problems through design, including demonstration of the ability to seamlessly build upon existing design styles.

  • Demonstrated ability in taking planned user flows and user stories and designing effective user experiences to fulfill product requirements

  • Proficient with Figma, usability testing experience, and user interviewing experience, using both qualitative and quantitative methods to assess a design's efficacy.

  • Demonstrated understanding and application of Accessibility and universal design principles in past work.

    • Note: We will check portfolio pieces for accessibility. If any of your work in your portfolio is not accessible in accordance with WCAG 2.0 standards, it would benefit your application to make note of this. This will show us your experience in and understanding of what makes an accessible design.

  • Excellent interpersonal communication to collaborate with a team to work towards the desired deliverable and timeline, while inspiring the team to be creative, challenge designs, and look for simpler solutions.

  • Effective UI copywriting skills.

  • Nice to have: Illustration skills using vector-based illustration programs and some technical knowledge preferred (for prototyping and effective specification-writing).

    • While coding is not a requirement for this role, a foundational understanding of how software is built and the ability to quickly understand what makes a specific design solution easy (or hard) to implement is valuable. 

  • Currently we are only able to hire from these states: AL, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, IA, KY, MA, MS, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, VT, VA, WA, and WI 



Why work at Packback?

Build a meaningful career while innovating the future of education as a part of a company culture that fosters the growth, safety, and creativity of its employees.

Please note the target start date: June 10, 2024

Designer-founded and Culture-focused organization: Join a team with a focus on design as our differentiator from the very first days of the organization. We work hard at building a culture of curiosity and continuous learning at Packback, where every voice matters and can make an enormous impact on the business.

Competitive salary: $90,000-$115,000, with up to a 10% annual bonus (5% in Fall, 5% in Spring) based on company performance. Note: Where a salary offer will fall within this range will be commensurate with years of working experience and scope of relevant experience. 

Remote-first work environment: Our office is located in downtown Chicago, but our engineering and product teams work in a 95% remote capacity with quarterly in-office “on sites”. Travel expenses for onsite visits are compensated.

A company that invests in you and your family: Packback offers 12 weeks fully paid family leave for primary caregiver (8 weeks for secondary caregiver) for parents welcoming a new child through birth or adoption, to care for a family member in need, or for bereavement.

Benefits for your health and well-being: Health insurance, Short-term disability insurance; option for dental, vision, and life, Health Savings Account, and Commuter Benefits Account.

Flexible "Unlimited" Vacation Policy: Packback offers a flexible vacation policy, with a minimum of 10 vacation days required for all employees to take each year. 

Our commitment to diversity:
Working in the Education Technology space, Packback believes it is an ethical necessity for us to work to build a diverse and inclusive team, to help us better consider the needs of our diverse audience of students with a wide range of educational backgrounds and educational needs.
We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


Intentional Culture

Packback knows that the single most important part of any company is its people. We take building and maintaining a conscious and intentional culture of open communication, curiosity, and leadership extremely seriously. We work hard to make Packback a safe environment where people can focus on doing great work instead of dealing with drama.  

Career Development

Packback’s career development tracks present a unique balance between clarity and guidance around defined paths, and room for our team to forge their own path. Each team has its own career development tracks with support and training, and still allow for customization of these paths to create a role where a team member’s full passions and abilities are put to use!


Thoughtful Benefits

  • Generous leave policies for welcoming new children or family care
  • Multiple Health and Welfare Benefit Options (Medical, Dental, Vision)
  • 401k plan (with employer matching)
  • Flexible + Remote Work Opportunities
  • Unlimited PTO 
  • Employer Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Calm and DoorDash subscriptions

Product

Remote (United States)

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