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Upcoming role

This role is not yet open for application. If you would like to learn more or if you'd like to be notified when the application is open, please sign up join our mailing list.

18F - User Experience Designer

18F will soon be accepting applications for a GS-15 - User Experience Designer.

Applications will be open for submission on TBD. Check out Join TTS Hiring Process to learn more about the application process.

Location: Virtual (100% Remote), Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Chicago, IL; New York, NY

Salary Range: The base salary range for this position is: GS-15 Step 1 - $106,595 to GS-15 Step 10 $138,572

Please note the maximum salary available for the GS pay system is $166,500

The base salary range does not include any adjustment for locality. Your locality is most likely going to be determined by where you live since most of our positions are remote. If the position isn’t remote, then your locality will be determined by the location of the office where the position is based.

You can find more information about this in the compensation and benefits section on our site.

For specific details on locality pay, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page or for a salary calculator OPM’s 2019 General Schedule (GS) Salary Calculator.

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and applicants must not be GSA employees or contractors

Role Summary:

User Experience Designer - GS-15

User experience designers at 18F drive research activities, derive insights, generate concepts, communicate those concepts visually, and work with developers and product managers to build and test them. They foster best practices in user-centered design within 18F and across the federal government through advocacy and coaching.

UX designers should have deep strength in design research (both generative and evaluative). No one can be equally expert at everything, but in addition to design research, we do expect strong craft skills, confidence, and sophistication in at least one of the following areas: interaction design, service design, and information architecture.

As a UX designer, you’ll work in cross-functional teams of experts in design, product strategy, technical architecture, software engineering, data science, and procurement. Besides building useful and usable digital services, part of your job will be helping teams improve their user-centered design practice, and helping teams without those practices get started.

If you are committed to improving government services by focusing on the people who need them most, this is the position for you.

Key Objectives

Objective #1: Demonstrate excellence in design research, while grasping the core questions and responsibilities of at least one other UX discipline.

In addition to strong skill in design research, we expect expertise in at least one of the following disciplines:

  • Interaction design: Define interface logic and behavior, always keeping human behaviors and needs in mind.
  • Information architecture: Organize and structure complex information to help diverse audiences easily find what they need.
  • Service design: Improve the relationship of the customer or user and the service provider across all of their interactions and communication channels.

  • Zoom in and out. Generate innovative, high-level product strategies as well as the practical project steps and considerations to get there. Are visionary in objective, but pragmatic in approach.
  • Support collaborative decision making by telling compelling stories drawn from research that illustrate the pros and cons of various options.
  • Show persistent commitment to thoughtful and ethical user research.
  • Deliver whatever’s needed to guide development — this could include wireframes, sitemaps, flowcharts, storyboards, user stories, or interpretive dance.
  • Create written materials and visual presentations that are accessible to non-experts but that are legally and technically accurate.
  • Incorporate UX into agile development sprints, coordinating with visual and content designers, developers, and product managers to achieve a strategic vision.
  • Use modern interaction design patterns and best practices, understanding that there are exceptions to every rule.
  • Commit to making what we build fully accessible to the people we serve.

Objective 2: Advance UX practice

  • Clearly communicate user-centered methods and their value to non-designers.
  • Mentor and coach colleagues and partners who are taking on new tasks and roles within design and research.
  • Share knowledge, techniques, tools, patterns, and expert advice with colleagues, partners, and the public.
  • Promote empathy not just for members of the public, but also our partners across the government and our co-workers.

Objective #3: Work effectively in the federal government

  • Skillfully navigate complex organizational relationships to resolve questions.
  • Cooperatively negotiate disagreements and mediate compromises.
  • Build inclusive, respectful partnerships with diverse groups of people.
  • Demonstrate genuine interest in the day-to-day activities that keep our government running.

Application Evaluation

The information in this sections outlines the criteria that your application will be evaluated against to determine if you meet the Qualifications for the position. For this role, all applicants must submit a resume AND a work item or portfolio sample.

The Minimum Qualification determination can only be made using the information that’s directly within your resume or work item/portfolio and directly associated your listed work experience.

Examples of stuff that can’t be used:

  • Information you include in cover letters, responses to questions, etc. as these are not directly associated with your work experience
  • Lists of tools, technologies, programming languages, etc. that are listed separately from your work experience

The Qualification process is a bureaucratic requirement that we are stuck with. It’s best to think about it as the most intense and rigorous resume review you’ve ever heard of. To get through this process you need make sure your resume directly reflects the Qualifications listed below. We also have more guidance on creating a federal style resume on Join TTS Hiring Process


Subject matter experts will evaluate your resume and your work item or portfolio based on these competencies. You must have at least a year demonstrating accomplishment of the duties and competencies described below.

Research Methods: The knowledge and ability to understand and user research tools and methodologies, including generative methods such as contextual inquiry, field studies, journey mapping, observation and evaluative methods like usability testing.

Agile or Iterative Design & Development: The knowledge of design and development approaches that include repeated testing of ideas and revisions of those ideas based on testing results, and the ability to carry them out in a professional environment. Regardless of challenges, launches products and drives teams to deliver iteratively. Launches minimum viable products without waiting for the perfect implementation or inclusion of every feature.

Design Methods: The ability to design interactive digital products, systems, and services. Experience creating at least one category of the following:

  • Information architecture tools and techniques: wireframes, sitemaps, flowcharts, user flows, taxonomies, card sorts or treejack testing
  • Interaction design tools and techniques: wireframes, sitemaps, mockups, prototypes, design systems or patterns, style guides
  • Service design tools and techniques: service blueprints, value mapping, journey maps, experience prototypes, service quality metrics

Leadership & Collaboration: The ability to work cooperatively with others to accomplish objectives and build inclusive and mutually beneficial partnerships.

TTS Core Values Alignment: The ability to work with integrity, transparency and resiliency in civic-minded and high-impact environments.

Qualification determinations cannot be made when resumes do not include the required information, so failure to provide this information may result in disqualification.

For each job on your resume, provide:

  • the exact dates you held each job (from month/year to month/year or “present”)
  • number of hours per week you worked (if part time)

How To Apply

If you would like to learn more or if you’d like to be notified when the application is open, please sign up join our mailing list.