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Content Designer

18F is hiring for GS-15 Content Designer. This page contains information related to the role as well as a link to submit your application. Check out Join TTS Hiring Process to learn more the application process.

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Role Summary:

Content Designer - GS-15

Content designers on the 18F experience design team collaborate with agency partners, product managers, other designers, and engineers to deliver user-centered content for audiences both inside and outside of government. Starting from the premise that good content is easy to understand and meets people where they are, our content designers go far beyond copywriting. They work with partners to craft strategies for creating, managing, and publishing content. They work with user experience researchers to teach, participate in, and sometimes lead usability testing and user-centered writing. And they work with visual designers and engineers to develop interactive experiences that treat all aspects of the experience as essential.

As an 18F content designer, you’ll work on cross-functional teams of experts in design, product strategy, technical architecture, software engineering, and procurement. Besides creating and maintaining clear, accessible content, you’ll also help our partners improve (or develop) their user-centered content practices and promote content best practices across government.

The products 18F helps design and create are as varied as the ways the government serves the public. That’s why our content designers focus on learning from our partners’ expertise and reflecting that to their users in a clear, consistent way even more than they focus on trying to write beautifully. You’ll work with our partners more than for them, so that at the end of an engagement, those partners are in a better position to keep building on the work they came to 18F for in the first place.

We’re looking for candidates who have delivered content iteratively, who have wrestled with the challenges of producing compelling copy in large organizations that have to balance competing interests, who love to help others discover better ways of creating great content even more than they love writing it.

Key Objectives

Objective #1: Lead projects from a content perspective.

  • Coach agency partners through the design process and establish a shared vision for the user experience.
  • Identify user and organizational needs through formal interviews, informal conversations, contextual inquiry, workshops, and analytics research.
  • Identify content opportunities through exercises such as content audits, comparative analyses, gap analyses, and site mapping, and make recommendations based on what you discover.
  • Navigate complex organizational relationships to bring stakeholders together around common editorial goals and priorities.
  • Give agency partners and peers advice they need to hear over what they want to hear, in a manner that respects their intelligence and experience.

Objective #2: Deliver high-quality, user-centered content for agency partners.

  • Create clear, accessible, and concise content in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. Examples include landing pages, interface writing, navigation labels, notifications, research findings, and launch materials.
  • Iterate quickly by writing, editing, and collaborating on drafts.
  • Incorporate continuous feedback from users, peers, and stakeholders by leading content-focused usability and critique sessions.
  • Implement content changes in GitHub, and make content design work visible in shared project management tools.
  • Maintain consistency with our style and standards in the 18F Content Guide. Work with partner agencies to evolve their style where appropriate.
  • Uphold our team values of being clear, concise, inclusive, curious, and honest — in both your writing and daily collaboration.

Objective #3: Contribute to the continued success of the content team and shared resources.

  • Continually promote 18F’s ways of working by making a strong case for iterative, user-centered design on every project.
  • Contribute to team-wide resources and training materials, including tutorials, guides, presentations, and design toolkits.
  • Recognize when practices or processes are inconsistent or no longer serve the team, and recommend a way forward to improve effectiveness or efficiency.
  • Share your work in an unfinished state and give peer feedback in weekly critique sessions and drop-in labs.
  • Promote the practice of content design in workshops, office hours, brown bags, and content-related events, and find ways to raise awareness of the content team’s work among external audiences.

Basic Information

Job announcement number: 1800505JCOTR

Opening and closing period for this job application: Monday, July 16, 2018 to 8:00pm on Friday, July 20, 2018

Job Title: Innovation Specialist

Series & Grade: 0301 - 15

Promotion Potential: GS-15

Salary Range: Base salary GS-15 - $105,123 to $136,659

For specific details on locality pay, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page or for a salary calculator OPM’s 2018 General Schedule (GS) Salary Calculator. If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you applied to.

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

Number of vacancies: 1 - (Additional vacancies may be filled from this announcement as needed)

Supervisory status: No

Travel requirement: Occasional travel may be required up to 10%-20% per year

Who May Apply: All United States citizens and nationals (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands) and non-GSA employees/contractors are eligible to apply.

Security clearance: Public trust. Background investigation required.

Work Schedule: Full time

Appointment Type: Excepted Service: Not to exceed 24 months (2 years); may be extended for an additional 2 years for a maximum of 4 years total.

Job Summary

This is a Schedule A position under 5 CFR 213.3102(r) to hire unique technical skills to develop innovative digital tools and services in the Excepted Services, US Digital Service 18F Fellowship Program. The 18F office is charged with developing innovative digital tools and services and uses lean startup and agile development principles to collaborate with other agencies to fix technical problems, build products, and improve how government serves the public through technology.

As an Innovation Specialist, the team member serves the government and makes an impact on a massive scale. The position requires that fellows perform work of an exceptional degree of difficulty across a wide range of topics at the convergence of technology, policy, and delivery. The incumbent leverages their experience deploying high quality, user centric platforms and services to lead major initiatives, consult on systems and policy proposal, and provide technical, policy, and programmatic guidance to government.

This position is located within the General Services Administration (GSA), Technology Transformation Service (TTS), Office of 18F.

GSA has been repeatedly named as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ in the federal government. You will have access to many benefits including:

  • Health insurance (choose from a wide range of plans)
  • Life insurance coverage with several options
  • Sick leave and vacation time, including 10 paid holidays per year
  • Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401(k) plan)
  • Flexible work schedules and telework
  • Transit and child care subsidies
  • Training and development
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Training and development

Key Requirements

  1. You must be a U.S. Citizen or National (residents of American Samoa and Swains Islands)
  2. Suitable for federal employment, determined by a background investigation.
  3. You may be required to serve a trial period.
  4. Direct Deposit of salary check to financial organization required.
  5. Register with Selective Service, if you are required by https://www.sss.gov/Registration-Info/Who-Registration

Employment Requirements

  • Serve a one year trial period, if required.
  • Undergo and pass a background investigation. You must be granted this clearance before you can start the job.
  • Have your identity and work status eligibility verified if you are not a GSA employee. We will use the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system for this. Any discrepancies must be resolved as a condition of continued employment.
  • Complete a financial disclosure report to verify that no conflict, or an appearance of conflict, exists between your financial interest and this position.

Duties

Typical duties for the fellow include but are not limited to:

  • Conceiving/recommending projects/studies to advance the state of the art in the specialty area; applying forward­ thinking design and development principles to product or services development, delivery and program management, such as lean startup, user­centered design, and agile development
  • Analyzing and scoping the technical and policy requirements needed to implement complex digital solutions
  • Assessing the state of digital services provided by the Federal Government, and working to align strategies and practice; conferring with key government/private officials and top experts in the field, representing the agency at technical symposia and/or conferences
  • Developing authoritative papers/reports; developing and leading adoption of government­wide standards for digital services, leading to their adoption across citizen and business­facing government services
  • Demonstrating thought leadership and contributing best practices in a variety of technologies and principles
  • Contributing to a talent strategy that includes recruiting innovators and entrepreneurs to participate in solving complex and esoteric challenges

Evaluations

We will use a method called Category Rating to assess your application.

Here’s how it will work:

You will be scored based on a review of your application materials, measuring your possession of each of the following competencies

  • Content strategy: Leading strategic content initiatives and delivering effective recommendations for developing user-centered content.
  • User experience (UX) writing: Planning, writing, and editing content from concept to delivery to make digital services simpler, clearer, and easier to use.
  • Problem solving: Researching, synthesizing, and designing information to define problems and propose solutions effectively.
  • Collaboration: Working closely with others to accomplish shared goals and build strong working relationships
  • TTS Core Values Alignment: Working with integrity, transparency and resiliency in civic minded or high impact environment.

If found to be eligible and at least minimally qualified for the position, your score will be used to place you in a category (Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified).

If your resume does not support your possession of the competencies listed above, we may lower your score, which could place you in a lower category.

Within each category, veterans will receive selection priority over non-veterans if supported by appropriate documentation.

Qualifications

All applications will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts against a scoring rubric created for this role. In order to properly be able to evaluate your previous experience, we recommend being as detailed as possible in your resume and following our general guidance on creating federal style resume.

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-14 in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  1. Experience planning, writing, editing, and publishing content for digital products or services. This experience must include ONE of the following:
    • Creating content for mobile applications
    • Creating content for websites or web-based applications
    • Creating content for internal teams
  2. Experience developing content strategy or content design approaches. This experience must include the following:
    • Gathering feedback from external users
    • Researching organizational or market constraints
  3. Experience advocating for content design with stakeholders and project team members.

  4. Experience leading content or design efforts for cross-functional teams building complex digital projects.

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

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