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Senior Product Designer


At the Customer Technology Department (CTD), our mission is to apply modern principles of research, design, and technology to make our transit system easy for all riders to use. Effective and equitable public transit is essential to the social, economic, and environmental progress of Greater Boston.
The MBTA Customer Technology team is working to transform how people get around the Boston area.
We are a team of designers, engineers, product and content specialists charged with bringing novel ideas, modern standards and a user-centered approach to technology at the T. As the MBTA works to reinvent itself, we have a rare opportunity to craft the future of transportation for Boston and communities all around Eastern Massachusetts, as well as pioneer innovations for other transit agencies around the country.
Do you want to improve the daily transportation experience for 400 million annual riders? Ready for the challenge? Then read on.

CTD is looking for a Senior Product Designer to join our team, and help develop elegant and intuitive transit products. This position will be focused primarily on understanding the needs of front-line bus, subway, and rail workers and designing digital tools to help them deliver great service to riders. 

While we expect all of our designers to be comfortable with every stage of product design, this role is focused on user research. You’ll be part of a new product team focused on digital tools for operations staff, partnering with product managers, content writers, front- and back-end developers, transit experts, and other UX designers.

As part of our team of seven UX designers and researchers, you’ll be responsible for understanding user needs; crafting and executing research plans; facilitating research workshops with your team and stakeholders; clearly communicating findings to your team; collaborating with another product designer to design user flows, wireframes, and interfaces; and developing product requirements in collaboration with product management. You will have opportunities to collaborate with other designers working on related technology challenges on tools like, our digital tools for dispatching, and real-time information screens for riders.

What you can expect from your first 90 days at CTD:

    • Dive into the MBTA system: We don’t expect everyone who walks into CTD to understand the ins and outs of how our transit system operates. Over your first month, you’ll begin learning the details of how the MBTA’s rail, bus, and ferry network helps move a million people around Greater Boston every day.

    • Understand transit operations and the transit data ecosystem: You’ll dive deep into the world of transit operations and learn about the MBTA’s dispatching process, as well as the way that CTD-managed data supports both operations- and rider-facing tools and products. 

    • The Digital Pick: You’ll lead the foundational user research effort to understand and improve a core part of MBTA operations: how bus operators, train motorpersons, and other staff choose their shifts and assignments.

We want to hear from you if you have these capabilities:

    • User research and usability testing: You can get at the heart of user needs using a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methods, and can communicate those findings clearly to stakeholders on product teams and in management. You’re able to conduct usability tests using a variety of in-person and remote usability techniques. Note: we hope to reincorporate in-person research and testing methods into our toolbox only when it is safe to do so.

    • Interaction and service design: You’re able to take both a broad and detailed view of the MBTA’s transit data ecosystem. You can map user touchpoints across multiple MBTA departments and identify interventions that improve transit service delivery, as well as create workflow diagrams, wireframes, prototypes, and production design assets to support the development of digital products. 

    • A product-focused mindset: You’re able to be a thought partner with product management in creating and driving the direction of a suite of dispatching tools and other transit data products. You think about the balance of user needs, business drivers, and technological capabilities, and may occasionally assist with roadmapping and task creation.

    • Cross-discipline collaboration: CTD teams are generally interdisciplinary, so you’re able to work closely with product management, engineering, data specialists, and content teams in an agile environment.

And are this kind of person:

    • Empathetic: You think about end users constantly. Your primary goal is to understand their lived experience and advocate on their behalf.

    • Communicative: CTD is an interdisciplinary team sitting within a large public agency. You’re able to take design prototypes, feature ideas, research and testing results, and other design outputs, and communicate them to internal stakeholders clearly and effectively. 

    • Systems thinker: The MBTA is a complex, 120-year old transit agency with a huge number of moving parts. Our team needs to understand the complexities of running transit services, the business operations of the MBTA, and how riders use our system to get around Boston in order to design solutions that work for all of our different user types.

Work experience guidelines:

    • Although we’re mostly interested in your ability to do the work listed above as demonstrated in your portfolio, here are some guidelines on the capabilities and experience we think might be most suited for this role. Please keep in mind that these are advisory, and not required.

    • 5-7 years of professional experience in user experience, user research, interaction design, usability testing, or a related field
    • Expertise in qualitative design research methods (quantitative research experience a plus)
    • Expertise in design tools like Sketch or Adobe Creative Suite
    • Experience working in an agile development environment
    • Experience using online collaboration tools (e.g. Slack, Asana, etc.)
    • Working familiarity with HTML and CSS
    • Solid understanding of accessible design principles for the web and for physical spaces
    • Familiarity with the MBTA transit system as a rider
    • Formal education in design, usability, sociology, fine art, or a related field (This could be a college degree, a bootcamp, a certificate program, or something else entirely)

A statement on values:

    • Diversity and inclusion are essential to us at CTD. We believe that we can only design and build tools for our riders if our team reflects the wide variety of people who use MBTA services all over eastern Massachusetts. We strive to be inclusive in our approach to both hiring and product development, and we strongly encourage applicants from historically underrepresented groups to apply for this position.
Diversity and inclusion at CTD are very important to us. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
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