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10 May 2021

Full-Time Product Design Lead

Kessel Run – Posted by Kessel Run Anywhere

Job Description

Our Designers are breaking new ground at the Air Force, changing the way the Department of Defense builds software. We build, measure, and learn; creating war-winning software iteratively. No longer are we building off of multi-year plans with stacks of requirements.

Product Designers at Kessel Run balance user needs, organizational outcomes, and technical feasibility in order to build value quickly while still considering the big picture. Our teams are flat and balanced, with Developers, Designers, and Product Managers working in concert, empowered to build the software we know our warfighters need.

The Kessel Run User Interface (KRUI) design system is a Kessel Run product that aims to  provide a shared library of reusable components and guidelines to enable building products much faster, but in a consistent and quality manner.  As building products becomes faster both designers and developers gain time they can invest in other areas such as investing more in understanding users and their needs to build the right products the first time thereby saving the organization time.

You MUST be a U.S. citizen to apply and must be eligible to obtain a U.S. Security Clearance (see eligibility requirements here).

Day In The Life

A typical day as a Kessel Run Design Lead starts with a team stand-up to align on goals for the day for product designers and/or front end engineers. The KRUI Design Lead is responsible for guiding design direction for product lines, product management oversight for the design systems library, and supporting and supervising designers and front end engineers.  The KRUI Design Lead is charged with enabling teams to successfully execute the ADCP Design strategy, facilitate information sharing between leadership and product teams, oversee the successful development and growth of the KRUI product, and work with the larger ADCP leadership team to solve higher-level problems.  The KRUI Design Lead is also responsible for investing in the career growth of both front end engineers and product designers and setting individual and team development goals to upskill the design practice across the portfolio.

You will work closely with other Product team members to understand a product’s problem space, understand the upstream and downstream system dependencies, and ensure that the team’s activities are aligned with the branch product roadmap. You will provide strategic support to the KRUI team to reduce blockers, mitigate risks and support continued adoption of the design library.  You promote and practice empathizing with users and advocate for them by ensuring their feedback is incorporated when creating an intuitive user experience. You have product management experience, as well as a growth mindset and take feedback well.


You are comfortable working alongside the Portfolio Lead, Engineering Lead, Product Lead, and Portfolio Engineers to provide design guidance and advocate for the product portfolio’s user needs concerning design, user research, messaging, and user experience across the portfolio’s product suite.


Who you are

  • You have experience leading teams and have 5-7 years experience in a product design or design systems role or had the responsibilities required for the role demonstrated on your resume
  • You are able to influence prioritization based on the needs of users, leadership requests, and design team capacity
  • You have good domain context on design system libraries that is demonstrated on your resume
  • You are comfortable working with front end engineers and product designer directing the scope of their work
  • You have experience presenting a design system’s mission, library, and process to other groups, including product managers, content specialists, QA, and other design and development teams throughout the enterprise
  • You have experience driving the vision, product management, and/or project management of a design system of visual style, UI components, and other design concerns
  • You have a track record of owning and driving out priorities
  • You can demonstrate coordination between multiple product teams to collectively problem solve for shared outcomes
  • You excel at facilitating meetings and often design and lead workshops
  • You practice servant leadership and prioritize the development of your team
  • You actively participate in the design community (online, in-person, cross-team, workshops, etc)
  • You are able to reflect on and empathize with others perspectives
  • You have demonstrated leadership abilities in current or previous jobs
  • Provide guidance on strategic design goals and de-risk design decisions
  • You are a coach and mentor and love working with others to create a community of growth-minded practitioners

Key requirements:

  • Supervisory experience with defining and leading a cadence of feedback and development initiatives to support the career growth and skill growth of product designer and front end engineer teams
  • Familiar with de-conflicting and unblocking cross-product tracks of work so that teams can work more autonomously
  • You are eligible for a security clearance
  • You are comfortable with domestic traveling when there isn’t a pandemic
  • You are a U.S. citizen and are eligible to obtain a U.S. Security Clearance (see eligibility here)
  • Must have a portfolio highlighting your design experience

This is a Federal civilian service position within the United States Air Force. We are hiring at the equivalent of a GS-14 up to GS-15 level for this position. This means you can expect a base salary of $93,907 to $143,598 multiplied by your locality rate, based on your experience. You can find your locality definition here and see the pay tables for the GS scale here. Our headquarters is located in Boston, MA; for a Boston-based employee, this would translate to a range from $121,243 to $172,500.

We also provide paid time off, health, and retirement benefits. There are advancement opportunities to promote to more senior levels after hiring.

We understand that there is no such thing as the ideal candidate for any job and we believe in empowering people to learn and grow throughout their careers. We encourage any applicant who is interested in making an impact in the Department of Defense to apply to this position regardless of background and qualifications.

How to Apply

Please apply directly using this link:

Job Types: Full-Time.

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