Design Director

San Francisco, CA /
Design /
The Director of Design leads Academia’s Design and Research teams, and is the leading advocate for User Experience and Design in our Product strategy and execution. You bring valuable user insights and design thinking to company strategic conversations, while leading your team of designers and researchers to develop great customer experiences.

This is a management role, overseeing a team of 3 designers and the Head of User Research.


* Set an outstanding design vision for Academia while providing designers and user researchers a clear direction on how to get there. Play a key role in developing an innovative product strategy in collaboration with senior leadership and PMs.
* Manage key stakeholders that may have strong or differing views. 
* Be a strong advocate for the user and ensure that users are kept at the center of the product development process. Balance user needs with business goals while handling difficult trade-offs. 
* Translate big product and design ideas into tangible steps on how to bring these ideas to life. 
* Define a cross-channel visual design style, and socialize it across the company. 
* Evolve the design system and introduce design system best practices.
* Mentor designers in the areas of design strategy, UX, and visual design.


Ideal candidate:

* Has 10+ years previous experience in Product Design, with a strong Visual Design background. 
* Has experience building B2C internet products within a leading consumer software company.
* Has managerial experience leading teams of designers and researchers.
* Has worked extensively with qualitative and quantitative data to create a design strategy and inform design decisions. 
* Has worked in a strong test-driven environment.

About Academia

Academia is building a new distribution and peer review platform for academic research.  Guided by a mission to accelerate the world’s research, Academia aims to make every academic paper ever published available for free online and accessible by anyone in the world.

Academia has built a network of Academics around the world who access our platform on the web and a native mobile app to discover new research, collaborate, recommend and peer review papers, and gather feedback on draft research by participating in real-time collaborative sessions.  Academia’s platform has registered more than 100 million users (growing at over 150,000 per day), has over 70 million unique visitors every month, including over 12.5M logged-in monthly active users (MAU). We have over 100,000 paying premium subscribers, which has contributed to a doubling in revenue for both of the last two years.

Academia has attracted $34 million in investment from leading VC firms including Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, Spark Capital, and Tencent. Our work has garnered favorable attention from trade and mainstream media including UK Times, Fortune, Wired, EdTech, Venture Beat, San Francisco Business Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, TechCrunch, Scientific American, and Forbes.

Academia is a proud equal opportunity employer and we are committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.