TXI is looking for a Design Manager & Lead Product Designer who grounds innovation in humanity.
Building the right thing is often harder than building it right. More than 80% of digital innovations fail because they are not solving the real user need. We take a pragmatic approach to innovation by deploying integrated teams to uncover insights from users and turn them into compelling digital solutions. As a boutique strategy and product innovation firm, our capabilities include product discovery, delivery, and adoption. As a Lead Designer and Design Manager, you have the opportunity to strategically grow our design team and expand our design capabilities.
Design at TXI
Design matters to us. Design manifests possibility and gives us a glimpse of our future. It provides us a sense of purpose and guides our intent. Design is never about just an idea. It requires an understanding of its audience. Design is strategic. It generates value by driving deliverables, outcomes, and recommendations. Design is bigger than a single skill set or discipline.
We design for resonance: to create change, and to make meaning. We aim to design product and service experiences that we are proud of—in a consistent and repeatable way. While there’s much more behind these five design principles, we believe they hold us accountable to each other, our clients, their users, and our own work:
What We’re Looking For
We’re looking for a Lead Designer and empathic people manager, with a long-standing career in digital experiences, to bring strategic and creative vision to solving client challenges and user needs. Some designers fall in love with the solution, you fall in love with the problem. You’re not just interested in creating a beautiful design, you also possess a deep desire to ensure it exceeds client and user expectations. You’re flexible and earnest in your approach and understand the path to creating exceptional products is shaped by research, strategy, and technology. This is your chance to work with world-class humans, grow and share your skills, and create a lasting impact.
Don’t hesitate if you don’t have 100% of the specifics listed. We have a preference for folks with previous people management experience, but if you’re a strong digital product designer and have had leadership opportunities, we want to hear from you. Table XI encourages everyone interested in a role to apply.
As Design Manager, we expect you to:
- Support our design practice—sponsoring its team members and growing their capabilities.
- Be a practitioner, too—leading project work and/or acting as an advisor to our teams and clients.
- Directly shape our team as a hiring manager. You’re committed to expanding and evolving our design capabilities and coaching us in these pursuits.
- Understand individuals’ existing skill sets and opportunities for growth, and collaborate with others to facilitate that growth.
- Serve and steward a maximum of 8 direct reports—supporting continuous improvement through thoughtful feedback and critique. You will be measured by how you successfully grow our designers’ capabilities.
- Provide design assurance—challenging team members to deliver the highest-quality work and client experience.
- Maximize your opportunities for training, sharing, supporting, and problem-solving with a cross-disciplinary cohort of peer managers.
- Delegate up. Managers meet regularly with rotating members of the leadership team.
- Partner closely with the Head of Design on realizing the vision for the practice—collaborating to evolve processes, methods and toolsets.
- Develop a deep understanding of our market to effectively support the Head of Design in devising their strategy and executing on it.
- Champion and support new ideas and approaches—partnering with others to help manifest them.
As a Lead Designer, we expect you to:
- Lead projects, provide skills guidance, proactively learn and share, and mentor more junior team members
- Produce high-quality UI and product designs. Everything you make should be intentional, expressive and visually precise.
- Possess a solid understanding of interaction design principles with knowledge and experience in wireframing and prototyping.
- See the forest and the trees. Designing great products is about being equally concerned with the big strategic objectives and the micro-interactions of the experience.
- Understand the fundamentals of visual design and brand strategy—knowledge and experience in design systems, branding, typography, and color theory.
- Lead design and usability testing with users. Observational research, conversational inquiry, and user testing are just a few of the methods you use to help clients develop empathy and make informed decisions.
- Get tangible quickly. When in doubt, you create something for others to react and respond to.
- Have experience in key industry tools, including Figma.
What your days will look like, what success looks like
Proper expectations setting has a big impact on your progressional growth. To set expectations for what you’ll experience as the Lead Designer & Design Manager, here is some of what you can expect in your first two years:
Within 1 month, you will
// Start the company onboarding process, learning more about our company’s culture, values, history, and commitments to our clients
// Gain an understanding of our integrated development process, tooling and frameworks, and project approach
// Shadow client teams to learn from and about our integrated teams of designers, developers, and delivery leads
// Learn more about the client experience, from sales into product discovery, delivery, and ongoing evolution
// Go deeper into the employee experience of working at Table XI, meeting with key leaders across the company, and building relationships with the broader team
Within 3 months, you will
// Have completed your onboarding process with your onboarding cohort
// Be leading your first project or be advising designers across multiple projects
// Foster relationships with developers, delivery leads, and client partners on your teams as well as across the broader company
// Meet regularly with other managers in Development and Product Delivery to discuss and define strategic capability priorities
// Complete your first Sticky Note Game
// Build a relationship with the Head of Design, and receive your first quarterly 360 feedback
// Be building relationships with your direct reports in the Product Design practice
//Attend your first company All Hands with the rest of the organization
Within 6 months, you will
// Complete a review with your manager
// Push your team to do its best work yet. You’ll know the team well by this point and will understand how to encourage them to do work the whole team and company is incredibly proud of
// Advance the craft of design at Table XI. You’ll share your knowledge with others, learn from them, and perhaps define an experiment or two so we can all learn together.
// Learn new processes and tools to support further growth and develop your own skills
Within 1 year, you will
// Attend a company retreat to get to know all of the employees outside of the office setting
// Potentially start with a second client or re-engage with your first client on a new product or phase of work, deepening your relationships
After 2 years, you will
// Look back proudly to the project and organizational changes you’ve inspired or directed, creating an impact on how we do business
// Have the opportunity to become an owner in the business
Some reasons why you might like working with us
We have been recognized for both our internal employee experience and delivering a trusted customer experience. At Table XI, we are very intentional about the way we work and support both our team and our clients.
1. We focus on Product Innovation: helping initially to envision new product concepts for our clients. We are core contributors to shaping the work that we do and the problems we’re working to solve. In addition to that ideation stage, we get to help them bring these new concepts to market. We help both to build the right thing (design thinking and product discovery) and build the thing right (agile mindset and iterative approach).
2. We care about DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging). To deliver the best solutions, we need as many bright and diverse minds in the room as possible, and we need to be able to learn from them once they’re there. That’s why we’re working to create an environment that’s comfortable and inclusive for everyone. Learn more about our DEIB learnings, roadmap, and history.
3. We work in a variety of industries, encouraging our team members to explore new domains, solve different kinds of problems, and adopt new technologies. There is no getting bored in our portfolio; you’ll work across health care, edtech, manufacturing, and nonprofits, just to name a few, and building web, mobile, and IoT solutions.
4. We work in integrated teams (and avoid staff augmentation). At Table XI, we seek to bring all of the good ideas to the table so you learn from the talented teammates you regularly pair with. Product, design, and development regularly collaborate, and we are all listening to the same users
5. We are intentional about supporting each individual’s growth. “Challenge and support each other” is a core value of the company and we take that mission seriously. That’s why every employee has a personal learning and development budget, everyone has a bi-weekly conversation with their manager about their progress, and our CEO created the Sticky Note Game to encourage each person’s path at Table XI
6. We believe that wellness and a sustainable pace deliver the best outcomes. We commit to our clients to be dedicated partners for a sustainable 35 hours a week. We don’t require regular travel or client on-site time. Our team members have flexible schedules with a hybrid (colocated or remote) working environment and discretionary time off because we respect that everyone has a life outside of work
7. We value transparency and open discussion. You will have a front-line view of the company’s performance, risks and issues, finances, and budgets. With unique tools and facilitation techniques, we also regularly connect and discuss topics as a company to guide our path forward
8. We build products that matter. We advance the causes and goals of our partners and consistently deliver outcomes for them. See some examples below
What We Make
For over two decades, we’ve partnered with clients across industries to research, design, and develop custom web and mobile applications that make a meaningful impact. These impacts include:
<>Empowering nonprofits with real-time insight into progress and potential for donor impact through transformative fundraising software
<>Designing a digital experience to support LGBTQ+ 14-17-year-old youths as they face societal and personal bias with their orientation prior to coming out, driven by evidence-based treatment and therapy plans.
<>Driving accountability and motivation for patients recovering from spinal surgery through integrated mobile app and wearable device on the patient’s lower back <>Improving prediction of patient enrollment in global clinical trials for life-saving drugs through the integration of advanced analytics and digital innovation
<>Creating a new mobile app to inspire employees to love where they work by delivering meaningful savings and recognition in their workplace, while also amplifying merchant partner reach across the US
But the work is just part of what makes TXI a rewarding place to be. We support each others’ interests—whether volunteering with AIGA, organizing a UX Strategy Meetup, speaking at industry events, or learning new techniques and technologies. If there’s something you’re passionate about, we want you to pursue it so you can teach it to the rest of us. Our First Friday Design Talks, company Lunch & Learns, and weekly Design Practice Meetings are just some of the ways we create space for sharing, learning, and professional development.
What We Offer
We believe in equitable pay. The salary range for this role is $120-170k. In addition to our base compensation, we offer a quarterly bonus based on company performance and the following benefits, intended to take care of you (and the people you care about):
-Quality health insurance-Paid parental leave policy (equal for all TXI parents) and discretionary paid time off
-401k plan, including employer matching
-The option to work fully remote with minimal client or onsite client work
-Company retreats and All Hands days
– A chance to connect with each other in person and outside of the office
-Benefits for continuing education, donation matching, renewable energy switching
US-friendly hours are strongly preferred. We have a hybrid setup at Table XI – with both a home office in Chicago and the opportunity for any of our team members (currently in the US, Canada, and Europe) to work distributed, either from home or one of the coworking spaces in our network. We communicate and collaborate effectively in a remote environment with tools like Miro, Notion, Slack, and Zoom. While we encourage asynchronous communication, we often work in pairs or in collaboration sessions, so it is important to have some core hours of overlap with our clients and fellow team members. Regardless of where you are living and working, we will get together as a company several times a year to help build connections and foster relationships in our team.
What to expect next
If we move forward, here’s the rest of the process that we’ll use to learn together if this is an amazing fit for you:
Initial Interview: After connecting with our recruiting team, you’ll meet the hiring lead over Zoom and cover some TXI basics, then focus the conversation on questions about your past work and how it relates to what you’d be doing at TXI. This stage is a 2-call process and should take no more than 90 min total (unless you want to dig in, chat more and spend some extra time learning about us!).
Virtual Case Study Session: The portfolio presentation is a chance for us to get to know your process and your design experiences. You’ll have 45-60 minutes to talk about one or two specific projects you’ve worked on. An ideal project is one that best illustrates your design capabilities. Ideally, we’d like to see how your experience is relevant to the challenges you would face at TXI. This stage should take no more than 90 minutes total and we’ll both have a clear sense of how we work together by the end.
Final All Team interview: At this stage, we’re incredibly excited about your potential with TXI. Get to know more of the team you’d be working with over a 4-hour session. You’ll find time with 6-8 of your potential integrated team members, where we will learn more about your collaboration skills through an exercise, gauge your consultative skills, and determine if our values both align. You will also spend time with some of our leadership team talking about how TXI can support you on your personal journey.
Offer/Decision within 24-48 hours: You’ve made it! You successfully completed the process and spent about 6-7 hours learning about us, while sharing more about yourself. Once we get to this stage, we like to move fast. We are committed to debriefing within 24 hrs. and presenting a final decision within 48 hrs. (or less!) of your final interview day. If we choose to move forward, our team will collaborate with you to ensure that you have all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your career!
We take equality seriously.
Table XI is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is committed to equal opportunity employment without regard to race, religion, color, gender (including gender identity, change of sex, and transgender status), sexual orientation, age, disability, ancestry, national origin, military or veteran status, marital status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable law