Design Director, Pal Experience

United States /
Product – Product Management /
Permanent full time
Papa and our Papa Pals represent a new category of care, to quite literally meet our members where they are. Social determinants of health, including the public health crisis that is loneliness,  have huge impacts on people’s health, and on their lives. The Papa team and our tens of thousands of Papa Pals are here to provide companionship, support, and care to millions of families.

Backed by amazing partners, Papa has raised $240M in funding. Our investors include SoftBank Vision Fund 2, TCG, Tiger Global Management, Canaan, Comcast Ventures, Pivotal Ventures (Melinda Gates’ fund), Initialized Capital, Sound Ventures (Ashton Kutcher’s fund), YCombinator, Operator Partners, and Magnify Ventures.

Papa, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. We proudly support the ParityPledge® for gender and/or racial parity at the highest levels of business.

About the Role:

At Papa, Pals are at the center of everything we do, providing companionship and care to our millions of members and families who are in need of vital social support.
We’re looking for a compassionate and inspiring design leader to help catapult the Papa Pal experience above a ten out of ten. This person will look across all touch-points, the center of which is the Pal Mobile app, to build and execute on a “happy path” journey that brings them, and ultimately our members, delight.

This role requires the ability to balance hands-on execution with strategic and critical thinking in order to develop and execute plans in pursuit of broader business goals. This person will lead a team and collaborate with partners across the organization to bring those plans to fruition. Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate well-rounded abilities building and guiding multidisciplinary design teams across the full lifecycle of digital product and experience design.

Essential Job Functions:

This person will lead the team that connects research and insights to opportunities across our Pal’s journey. You will partner across the organization to guide the translation of these insights into in market products, solutions, and experiences.
As a member of the Design Leadership team, you’ll help to grow the design team and evolve our practice.

Your key responsibilities are to:

    • Shepard a culture of Human Centered Design, guiding proactive research efforts to identify near and long term opportunities for ways to better serve our Pals.
    • Direct, implement, and shape design work, including: user insights documentation, conceptual models, user journeys/flows, service blueprints, wireframes, visual designs, and prototypes.
    • Collaborate with design, product, and other leaders across the business to create strategies for improving and measuring the end-to-end Pal experience across all touch-points.
    • Manage the collaboration with development teams, and work to streamline workflows and processes for team success.
    • Partner with leadership and the VP of Design to help shape the design department.
    • Craft quality standards for the design team and work with individual designers to identify and close any gaps.
    • Help scale a distributed design team, and evolve its rituals and processes as the team grows.
    • Cultivate a collaborative culture and a healthy team environment that sets our designers up for success and growth. Provide guidance and feedback that moves the work forward both inside and outside of the design group.
    • Identify ways to elevate design within our company and help position Papa as one of the best places to work as a designer.

Who you will work with:

    • Reporting to the VP of design, you’ll work alongside other design leadership, lead a growing team of multidisciplinary designers, and foster productive relationships with partners across the organization including: Marketing, Growth, Product, Engineering and Operations.

What you Bring:

    • Expert collaborator who thrives off of working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
    • Simplifier of the complex; comfortable communicating and influencing across an organization, and at various levels, including executives.
    • Non-hierarchical, with a problem-solving mindset and willingness to, roll-up-your-sleeves and dive into details.
    • Work with grace under pressure, operate proactively in complexity and ambiguity, and be able to help designers on your team navigate them as well.
    • Strong point of view when it comes to design tools, systems, and processes.
    • Culture-keeper, you believe that a strong team is fueled by a positive culture of respect, transparency, and trust.


    • 8+ years of relevant, on-the-job experience in a Product Design, UX Design, Service Design or Design Research role delivering complex design systems for web and native applications
    • 4+ years of direct team lead or management experience
    • A portfolio or work samples that showcases your abilities to lead a team of multi- disciplinary designers from insight and observations to digital first experiences in-market.
    • Ability to attract, retain, and grow talented designers at various seniority levels.
    • Ability to coordinate design efforts across multiple work streams.
    • Experience working closely with engineering, and product management.
    • Working knowledge of modern design tools such as figma, XD or Sketch.
    • Passing knowledge of web and mobile technologies.

Bonus Points:

    • Experience partnering with brand or marketing to extend brand principals into product with results that include improved NPS or engagement metrics.
    • Experience coaching, growing and managing design mangers.
    • Experience working in a variety of organizations (start-up, corporate, agency/consultancy)

Papa’s culture is People-first. While we have an incredible team of hard working Papa people, at the end of the day, our company is really about family and community – and we celebrate that among our employees. We encourage everyone to truly bring their whole authentic selves to work. To be transparent. To be non-hierarchical. And, above all, to be a really good person. 

We see ourselves as a place where every Papa employee feels they belong, a place where careers flourish, a place that brings back purpose and joy to work, a culture where visionaries/entrepreneurs are developed.
Papa’s mission is at the core of our total rewards philosophy wherein we attract and retain high potential talent aligned with our journey. We offer gender neutral and inclusive parental leave policies that offer up to 16 weeks of 100% paid parental leave. We immensely value the benefits of a flexible workplace, while designing remote-first principles we ensured that Papa people feel psychologically safe about their career interests while being remote.

Beyond benefits: We want to take care of the whole employee and their families. To stay true to this commitment, we offer family care leave in addition to a generous paid time off policy, 401(k) match up to 4%; family forming support through access to Carrot; emotional health support tools through our medical plans such as Ginger, Happify ; access to women’s leadership network CHIEF to our senior women leaders and a host of events through a monthly culture calendar that enable emotional connectedness in a remote work environment.