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Lead Product Designer, Design Systems

The New York Times

New York City,USA

The New York Times is looking for a Lead Product Designer to envision and create a design system to support our most high-profile news surfaces. This role, which reports into the Product Design function, joins a multidisciplinary team within the Engagement mission dedicated to improving the quality of our products and the efficiency of our teams.

As a team, we’re developing a primary source for shared tools and resources that enable The New York Times product teams to swiftly and impactfully experiment, innovate and unify learnings to best serve our readership and journalism. You will help develop and execute roadmaps for creating the reusable design tokens and UX patterns used in our digital experiences and products. Quality, consistency, accessibility and opportunity for innovation will be the cornerstones of your work. In collaboration with different teams, you will use your skills in interaction and visual design to explore solutions that work across products, align with our brand aesthetic and values, as well as meet standards for accessibility and inclusivity. You’ll work closely with engineering partners to understand technical needs and drive consistency that improves the design-to-engineering handoff. You’ll be responsible for collaborating with various teams, articulating design rationale and presenting your work to stakeholders to ensure the effectiveness of the design system. You will also work collaboratively with design systems initiatives outside of the Engagement mission to unify standards.

Someone who is excited about navigating a complex organizational environment, systems thinking, enthusiastic about design details and tooling, and enjoys advocating for quality and accessibility will thrive and make a significant impact in this role. You’ll join and have the support of a group of product designers focused on systems and platforms.

You will report to the Product Design Director, UX Foundations.


• Bring accessibility into all systems work
• Balance contributing individual work and guiding direction of other designers
• Help guide high-level product strategy in tandem with project leadership, ensuring we’re asking the right questions and solving for distinct needs
• Collaborate with designers throughout the organization to share expertise and solve for various user needs
• Initiate and help conduct research to surface insights to guide the vision, identify pain points and surface opportunities
• Help shape feature implementation by providing a user-centered perspective to the team’s solution
• Create sketches, wireframes, prototypes, user journeys, and other frameworks to help build alignment, promote conversations and aid decision-making
• Build and maintain a Figma library used by product designers and engineers
• Provide support to designers and teams using the design system, creating channels for feedback and improvements.
• Work with engineers to ensure the visual and user experience quality of the team’s output

Basic Qualifications

• 7+ years of relevant experience
• Experience giving direction to more junior design team members
• Excellent interaction and visual design skills
• A deep understanding of accessibility requirements and applications
• Experience designing digital experiences, ideally with recent experience designing systems that demonstrate successful quality and consistent products
• A portfolio of work that showcases your problem-solving process along with finished design work
• Proficiency in Figma, Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, or equivalent design tools

Preferred Qualifications

• Experience or enthusiasm for building design systems
• Comfort communicating design decisions to a variety of audiences
• You value collaboration and communication
• You’re equally passionate about the big picture and the small details
• Cross-discipline fluency. You know how to break down big challenges into smaller decisions framed as trade-offs (e.g. time vs. scope)
• Understanding of how data and qualitative research inform product and design decisions
• Experience working with engineers to understand technical constraints and opportunities
• Understanding of technologies used to build modern digital experiences
• Enthusiasm for the mission of The New York Times

The mission of The New York Times is to seek the truth and help people understand the world. That means independent journalism is at the heart of all we do as a company. It’s why we have a newsroom that’s 1,700 strong and sends journalists to report on the ground from nearly 160 countries. It’s why we focus deeply on how our readers will experience our journalism, from print to audio to a world-class digital and app destination. And it’s why our business strategy centers on making journalism so good that it’s worth paying for.

Note for US based roles: Any offer of employment is contingent on providing proof of Covid-19 vaccination prior to your start date, subject to approved medical and/or religious exemptions, in accordance with applicable law.

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