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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 - Visual Designer

18F will soon be accepting applications for a GS-14 18F - Visual Designer.

The target date for when this position will be officially open to application has not yet been determined. If you’d like to be notified when this position is open, sign up to our mailing list.

Basic Information

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

Salary Range: Base salary GS-14 - $89,370 to $116,181

If you are a new federal employee, your starting salary will likely be set at the Step 1 of the grade for which you are selected. Total compensation may include locality pay based on the individual’s duty location. For more salary information including locality pay details, please visit OPM’s Salaries & Wages page.

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.

Role Summary:

18F - Visual Designer - GS-14

Visual designers on the 18F experience design team collaborate with agency partners, product managers, other designers, and engineers to deliver user-centered and beautiful digital experiences for audiences both inside and outside of government. Our visual designers go far beyond aesthetics. They work with partners to craft strategies for understanding, defining, creating, and managing visual identities. They establish, measure, and evolve design patterns which make our work consistent and efficient. Our visual designers work with user experience researchers to teach, participate in, and sometimes lead usability testing and user-centered design. And they work with content designers and engineers to develop interactive experiences that treat all aspects of the experience as essential. Strong applicants will have experience with at least one other user-centered design discipline such as communications/content design, front end design, interaction design, or service design.

As an 18F visual 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 visual systems, you’ll also help our partners improve (or develop) their user-centered design practices and promote visual 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 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 create beautiful products. 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 visual design artifacts iteratively, who have wrestled with the challenges of producing intelligent and compelling visual design systems (large or small) in large organizations that have to balance competing interests, who love to help others discover better ways of creating design for real users even more than they love making it.

Key Objectives

Objective #1: Lead projects from a visual design perspective.

  • Coach agency partners through the visual 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 visual design opportunities through exercises such as brand/interface audits, comparative or competitive analyses, gap analyses, and system mapping, and make recommendations based on what you discover
  • Navigate complex organizational relationships to bring stakeholders together around shared design systems or visual identity goals and priorities
  • Give agency partners and peers advice they need to hear versus what they want to hear, in a manner that respects their intelligence and experience

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

  • Create clear, inclusive, accessible, and extensible visual styles and components in a fast-paced, collaborative environment
    Examples include selecting and applying appropriate styles from the U.S. Web Design System, building interface patterns, prototypes, landing pages, logo and identity designs, brand or design principles, pattern libraries, research findings with visual storytelling, and product launch materials
  • Iterate quickly by collaborating on prototypes at various levels of fidelity
  • Incorporate continuous feedback from users, peers, and stakeholders by leading design-focused usability and critique sessions
  • Implement style changes in GitHub, or pair with engineers to implement and review them collaboratively. Make visual design work visible in shared project management tools
  • Uphold our team values of being clear, concise, inclusive, curious, and honest — in both your designs and daily collaboration

Objective #3: Contribute to the continued success of the visual design 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
  • Learn about accessible and inclusive visual design practices and evangelize them throughout your work and partnerships
  • Promote the practice of visual design in workshops, office hours, brown bags, and design-related events
  • Write and publish conversational blog posts to raise awareness about the team’s work and promote the 18F brand

Minimum Qualifications

The information in this sections outlines the criteria that your application will be evaluated against to determine if you meet the Minimum Qualifications for the position. There are two very important things to note about this step in the process:

  • Only applications found “minimally qualified” are shared with the hiring manager and are the only candidates eligible to be interviewed
  • The Minimum Qualification determination can only be made using the information that’s directly within your resume and directly associated your listed work experience.
    • Examples of stuff that can’t be used:
      • Links to portfolios or other external materials (Yes, the links themselves may be “directly” on the resume but the information is not).
      • 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 Minimum 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

Specialized Experience

To qualify for this role, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 in the Federal service. Specialized experience is:

  1. Experience leading the design of digital products as part of a cross-functional team. This experience must include ALL of the following:
    • Managing or leading teams of designers or the design process on a project
    • Mentoring, coaching, or training clients, partners, or team members
  2. Experience crafting digital experiences using visual identity and design system methodologies. Experience must include ALL of the following:
    • Conducting visual identity or brand design
    • Conducting research activities to identify user needs
    • Creating wireframes, prototypes, or other early tested concepts
    • Designing for desktop and mobile devices
    • Using agile, lean or other iterative product development approaches

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.