This content originally appeared on NN/g latest articles and announcements and was authored by NN/g latest articles and announcements
Application deadline: Monday, January 30.
Nielsen Norman Group is hiring user experience specialists (including both researchers and designers). We currently have job openings for two types of candidates:
- Entry-level: 0-2 years’ experience, including fresh out of university/graduating this summer, with a relevant education
- Experienced: 2-10 years’ experience working professionally as full-time user experience staff in a professionally managed team (degrees irrelevant)
NN/g is a bureaucracy-free organization: your focus is on excellence in the UX profession, not on paperwork or office politics. Also, in our company the UX people are the most important part of the organization, not an undervalued department.
These are full-time positions (with benefits).
The 3 main requirements are:
- Super smart: able to figure anything out quickly, very high IQ.
- Compelling public speaker: charismatic on-stage performance, fearless in front of any size audience. An audience favorite whether by video or in person.
- Excellent and persuasive writer of anything from short articles to full client reports: can explain complicated topics so that average readers can easily understand them and will find the exposition captivating.
We are less concerned with educational background or specific degrees, because if you meet the above 3 criteria, then anything you need to know we can teach you quickly. One of the greatest benefits of this job is that you will be closely mentored by the best experts in the business. You learn more in less time than you would in any other company, because of the diversity of assignments, the excellence of the team, and the power of using sound behavioral user research methods. However, the following describes the background of many candidates we’ve hired in the past.
Bachelor's or Master's degree in:
- Human-computer interaction (HCI), user experience, usability, or information science
- Visual or interaction design
- Information architecture
- Digital art, interactive media, or digital marketing
- Technical writing or communications
- Instructional design or educational technology
- Industrial design
- Psychology or human factors
- Computer science with a user interface focus
On rare occasions we have also hired Ph.D.s with skills in applied research, not academic research. (For entry-level candidates, we do require a relevant education. If you don’t have a UX-related degree, first get a few years’ hands-on UX experience in your current company and then apply in our next hiring round, about two years from now.)
Many successful past applicants had previous worked as full-time user experience staff in a professionally managed software development organization, professionally managed digital marketing group, or a large internet property.
If you’re applying based on actual real-world work experience, then education or degrees don’t matter. However, this experience does have to be a full-time, hands-on UX job as an actual staff member with full-time user experience work duties in a professional environment with skilled management and a well-defined interaction-design process.
Location = Remote
We hire people based anywhere in the continental United States (exceptions noted below). These jobs are equally suited for people who live in big cities or remote locations because we all work from home.
We are currently not hiring people who live in the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Washington, either because of time-zone problems or because we need to diversify our locations. If you currently live in an area where we don’t want to expand, please mention in your cover letter where and when you will be moving.
One of the greatest benefits of this job is that it allows you a Silicon Valley-style career at the top level of the discipline without having to live in California. Live in the place you love and still have the job you love.
While you work from home most days, these jobs require some travel, both within the U.S. and internationally, possibly on the order of 4-5 domestic trips (lasting anything from a day to a week) and 1-2 overseas trips (typically lasting a week) per year.
This estimated travel amount is only a conjecture, because we are still adjusting to customer demand after the Covid pandemic. However, we expect almost all of our conferences to be virtual (i.e., you present from home, through video), while a few will be in-person. The same is expected for client engagements.
What we can say for sure is that we are fully committed to remote work, since we have operated as a fully-remote company ever since we were founded 25 years ago. (See article from before the pandemic about how we all work from home.) We have never had an office, and never will. (We have an official address because obsolete government regulations require this, but nobody works there.) In contrast, while other companies might currently say that they support remote work, you will be at the mercy of any new boss who feels like getting his or her staff back in the office.
At NN/g, since we’re 100% remote, there is no risk that in-office employees get preferential treatment, such as plum assignments or advancement, while remote employees fall behind. When everybody is remote, everybody gets treated the same. Also, next year and next decade.
- Extremely smart, ability to quickly grasp new situations, ability to synthesize large amounts of information
- High productivity, strong work ethics, commitment to meeting deadlines and to make steady progress on long-term projects without the need for “fire drills” or last-minute panic
- Highly self-motivating and able to work without supervision, since this is a work-from-home position
- Keen analytical ability, particularly for conceptualizing and abstracting insights into observed human behavior
- Excellent presentation skills in spoken English
- Excellent writer, superb written-English communications skills
- Fluency in other languages a plus, but not required. We’re particularly interested in candidates with fluency in Chinese (Mandarin/simplified characters), Japanese, Korean, French, German, or Spanish, but any language will be beneficial since we conduct substantial international research and have clients world-wide.
- Articulate UX findings and principles in compelling ways that make the user’s voice heard
- Knowledge of the principles of interaction design, design thinking, the user-centered design process, ideation, user research, IA, customer journeys, visual design, and human-computer interaction as well as other user experience issues such as writing for the web, content strategy, omnichannel customer experience, analytics, and SEO
- (If there is some specific process or method you don’t currently master, for example, how to create personas for enterprise software projects, then don’t worry, since we’ll teach you. We have a strong commitment to continuing staff development and a hefty training budget, and for many topics we already have the world’s best courses in-house.)
- Passion for user experience and making things easy to use: technology should adapt to the way humans actually are, not the other way around
- Public speaking: presenting full-day courses at conferences and at client sites
- Presentations are mainly virtual through internet video, but a few will be in-person on stage
- Identifying, analyzing, and describing best-practice processes and methods to improve the interaction design process and embed design thinking within an organization
- Identifying, analyzing, and describing design patterns
- Analyzing user interfaces
- Writing articles and reports
- Recording video presentations for our website and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/NNgroup/videos) and potentially other video channels and television appearances
- Conducting independent research to discover new UX guidelines
- User testing and interviews, mainly qualitative, but also some quantitative studies
- Possibly conducting less-common user research methods, such as diary studies, field studies, or card sorting studies
- Conducting design reviews for consulting clients
- Designing wireframes, mockups, workflows, and page concepts
- Presenting findings to clients
- Running workshops for clients
- Working with clients in small and large teams to guide their UX direction
- Travel (domestic and international) to research sites, client locations, conference venues, etc. (sometimes on weekends)
- Comfortable with flexible and inconsistent work hours: working in the evening, early morning, and on weekends may be required several days per year
- Mentoring entry-level and junior staff as you grow into the role of senior UX Specialist
Based on the “OCEAN” model of the five big personality traits, the following characterizes most of the people who do well at NN/g:
Openness to new experiences
High, but not extremely high. There is always something new to explore: new clients in new industries with new problems, new methods, new technologies or platforms, continuous improvements to our courses with updates with new research or new screenshots or better examples.
But you must also have tolerance for repetitiveness: when teaching the same course every month, even when it is updated, much will remain the same, because the basic findings don’t change that often. And different clients often make somewhat the same design mistakes, so you will find yourself explaining the same UX principles again and again.
Very high. Assignments must be completed on deadline, with high quality, without having a supervisor breathe down your neck. Projects without a deadline must still be completed expeditiously without that extrinsic constraint. Extreme autonomy even for junior staff means that your own intrinsic motivation must drive success.
Low, but not extremely low. (Corresponding to high introversion, but not extremely high.) If you need constant stimulation from other people, you will be lonely. You must be able to work on your own. However, you can’t be a total recluse because of frequent meetings with clients and colleagues, as well as interaction with a live audience.
High. All members of NN/g share two characteristics: they are high-IQ and they are nice. If you are smart but nasty, you won’t last. Other companies overcome disagreeable staff by having strict rulebooks and rigid procedures. We have neither, so we rely on people getting along and helping out wherever needed.
Low. Sometimes there are tight deadlines. Sometimes clients are unreasonable. A few conference attendees will write nasty comments on your feedback form (though most will be very complimentary). Usually, multiple projects need to be juggled. If you stress out easily, you will be depressed here. If you need a regimented environment, you will be confused here. At the same time, our work environment is not nearly as stressful as a startup or the typical Silicon Valley company, so you don’t need to be super-tough; just resilient.
Don’t worry if you vary a little from this personality profile: many of our current members are a little off on one or two dimensions. But if you differ a lot, you will probably be unhappy here and will leave after a few years, which we absolutely don’t want because of how much we invest in new members. We aim to keep team members for at least 10 years, usually longer, so they need to be happy.
Benefits of the Job
The best learning opportunity in UX anywhere in the world
You’ll receive mentoring from the best senior UX pros, interact with a hugely diverse worldwide audience of fans (instead of a narrow set of problems inside a single project), and conduct independent research.
Much more achievement than in normal companies
We give you all the tools you need for maximum productivity and don’t slow you down with meetings or office politics. Spend time producing, not stuck on the freeway commuting to a nasty cubicle.
Get your assignments done the way you want to do them. Manage your own time during projects that often last half a year before deliverables are due. Even our youngest members are given huge individual responsibility almost immediately.
Massive reach and visibility
Your articles get millions of page views, you present to thousands of business professionals every year. Become a role model for young people who admire your achievements and polish.
Set your own working schedule and hours, work from home (most days). Of course, there are some fixed obligations, particularly in the form of scheduled presentations, whether at our own events or for clients. (For example, if you’re scheduled to speak at 8am, you have to be online before that time, no excuses).
|We pay people based on what they produce, not where they live, which in many locations is a huge advantage over local employment. (For example, the bonus for achieving 10K or 100K views of a YouTube video is the same for everybody, no matter their address, title, or years with the company.)
Particularly in the current job market, it is worth mentioning that we have never had a layoff in our 25 years in business. It is impossible to guarantee whether this will be true in the future, but we have a super-diversified customer base, across both industry sectors and geographies (people from 96 countries and territories participated in our training events in 2022).
Work at home
Never take a job without a private office (and the most private office is your own home). Open-plan workspaces reduce productivity immensely and thus damage both your long-term career prospects and your immediate job satisfaction, if you’re the kind of person who takes satisfaction and pride in actual accomplishments and not just in going to meetings. (And those are the only people we want.)
About the Company
Nielsen Norman Group, founded in 1998 by Jakob Nielsen and Donald A. Norman, is the world’s most prestigious user experience firm. NN/g provides evidence-based UX research, training, and consulting world-wide.
Covid Vaccination Required
All hires are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Even though this is mostly a work-from-home job, we will have some in-person conferences, client engagements, and internal group offsite meetings where all participants need to be vaccinated for everybody’s safety and peace of mind.
How to Apply
Are you ready to join the elite? If so, please complete our application form and attach your resume with a writing sample (a document or article you have written yourself; a UX report or design critique if possible) and links to your online presence.
Deadline: Monday, January 30 (but the sooner we get your application, the better).
Application form: www.nngroup.com/jobs
Don’t bother with techniques like keyword stuffing that are recommended when applying for jobs at bloated companies that use software to screen applications. We do you the courtesy of having a live human read your application (even better, these humans are UX specialists, not HR generalists).
If you’ve ever wanted to belong to the world’s leading UX group, now is your only chance for a long time to come, because we typically recruit every two years. (We can’t hire more often because we invest so much in training and growing each new team member.) Our next intake will likely be in 2025 or 2026.
Why Only USA?
We realize that most of the planet’s smart UX specialists live outside the US and we wish that it were possible to hire them. But the sad reality of current levels of government-imposed bureaucracy is that it’s already extraordinarily expensive and cumbersome for a small company to comply with all the rules and regulations in a single country. Doubling our compliance overhead to hire a good person from another country would be impossible. If we were 10 times bigger, we could hire from 2-3 countries, and if we were 100 times bigger, we could hire from everywhere. But we’re not.
This content originally appeared on NN/g latest articles and announcements and was authored by NN/g latest articles and announcements