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Content Designer

We’re hiring a Content Designer for 18F at the GS-15 level to help us build amazing products for our agency partners. This page includes key objectives for the role as well as the official job description. The Duties and Qualifications on this page are specific to the GS-15 level position. Applicants must be willing to relocate to or commute to San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, or Washington, DC. You can apply at the bottom or learn more about the application process at Join TTS Hiring 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, and 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

Salary Range: Base salary GS-15: $105,123.00 to $136,659.00

For specific details on locality pay, please visit If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade you applied to.

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


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

This experience must include ALL of the following

  1. Planning, writing, editing, and publishing user-centered content for digital products and services, across at least three of the following formats: interface copy, product or service alerts, mobile notifications, product documentation, style guides, playbooks, brand guidance, product-focused editorial work, and stakeholder presentations. Users can be internal or external.
  2. Managing the process of researching, developing, and testing design approaches and digital strategies, including at least three of the following: writing conversation guides, performing content audits, conducting market research (including comparative analyses and landscape reviews), conducting stakeholder interviews, testing content usability through established design research methods, and using analytics to make content-/publishing-related decisions.
  3. Advocating for user-centered design with stakeholders and project team members, using evidence to support decisions. This could include leading kickoff meetings or design workshops, presenting research findings, and performing ongoing human-centered-design coaching (demonstrating the need for content design to stakeholders and project teams).
  4. Leading cross-functional teams through complex digital projects, such as responsive redesigns, app launches, or content migrations.

And experience with at least ONE of the following:

  • UX research, which could include writing research plans and interview protocols, recruiting research participants, writing screeners, leading user/usability tests, synthesizing research, distilling synthesis into actionable next steps, and demonstrating a strong familiarity with both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
  • Information architecture, which could include the following activities and tools: wireframes, navigation design, data modeling, site maps, flows and other process diagrams, and findability testing via card sorts or treejack testing.

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 here.