Senior User Experience Designer - Skate

Boston, MA /
Customer Technology – Design /
/ Hybrid
At the Customer Technology Department (CTD), our mission is to apply modern principles of research, design, and technology to make our transit system easy for all riders to use. Effective and equitable public transit is essential to the social, economic, and environmental progress of Greater Boston.
The MBTA Customer Technology team is working to transform how people get around the Boston area.
We are a team of designers, engineers, product and content specialists charged with bringing novel ideas, modern standards and a user-centered approach to technology at the T. As the MBTA works to reinvent itself, we have a rare opportunity to craft the future of transportation for Boston and communities all around Eastern Massachusetts, as well as pioneer innovations for other transit agencies around the country.
Do you want to improve the daily transportation experience for 4.7 million people in the Boston region? Ready for the challenge? Then read on.

CTD is looking for a Senior User Experience Designer to join our team. You will help develop useful, usable, and delightful digital products that support MBTA operations teams – the people who keep Boston’s transit system running every day. You will be part of the UX/Product Design, UX Research, and Content Strategy team reporting to the Director of Product Design. 
You will join the Skate team – a product group dedicated to improving tools for bus operations. Skate is an internal tool, designed and developed by CTD, that delivers critical bus routing and real-time information to our bus operations colleagues. You will focus on understanding both day to day and long-term needs of teams that perform some of the most critical functions in the MBTA. In this role, you will seek to build trust with bus staff, understand the physical and mental requirements of their jobs, understand their current tools and constraints, and serve as an advocate for them within the Skate team. 
We are seeking someone who is comfortable working across the UX spectrum. In this role, you will lead user research and design activities in collaboration with the other UX designer on the team. You will be able to define user needs and create and test implementable UX solutions. You will work in partnership with Skate’s cross-functional team.    

Day to day, you will:

    • Work with the product, engineering, and design team in an agile environment; understand current and near-future needs, plan work, and execute against that plan. 
    • Lead qualitative research, both remote and in-person, with bus operations teams located throughout Boston. 
    • Synthesize and present research findings to the Skate team for discussion and interpretation. 
    • Design user flows that become the foundation for user experiences and solutions. 
    • Create interactive prototypes for evaluation; coordinate and run user testing sessions. 
    • Use existing bootstrap components or design new components for implementation by engineering.  
    • Participate in Design, Research, and Content team activities, including operations meetings, knowledge shares, and work reviews. 

    • This role has a secondary focus on improving communications about service to riders (like arrival predictions, service alerts, and more) using MBTA data systems. You will contribute expertise in the operations domain to big picture discussions about service improvements that include rider facing tools. 

What you can expect from your first 90 days at CTD:

    • Dive into the MBTA system: We certainly don’t expect team members joining CTD to understand the operational details of the MBTA. From Day 1, you will begin learning the details of how the MBTA’s network of vehicles moves our riders around Greater Boston every day.  

    • Dive into the world of Skate: Get to know the bus operations world at the MBTA. You’ll meet with bus operations stakeholders and Skate users, review the existing product roadmap, absorb the existing research base, ask many questions, and begin executing work that helps you ground in the Skate world. 

About you:

    • You are empathetic: You know how to build trust by centering users. You see users as experts in their field and in their own experience. You seek to collaborate with and empower users in the design process.  

    • You are a systems-oriented Designer who brings experience, frameworks, and repeatable approaches to new problem spaces. You understand the value of bespoke design solutions, but you seek to exhaust existing knowledge and options first. 

    • You are comfortable with complexity: The MBTA is a 120-year old transit agency with a huge number of moving parts. To design the right solutions, our team needs to understand the complexities of running transit services, the business operations of the MBTA, and how riders and staff interact with the system. 

    • You believe in collaboration across disciplines. CTD teams are generally interdisciplinary, so you’re able to work closely with Product Management, Engineering, data specialists, and Content in an agile environment. As a Designer, you’ll help communicate design and content intent to your team members to ensure rider-facing information is rendered consistently. 

    • You are communicative: CTD is an interdisciplinary team sitting within a large public agency. You’re able to take design prototypes, feature ideas, research and testing results, and other design outputs, and communicate them to internal stakeholders clearly and effectively.  

Work experience:

    • Although we’re mostly interested in your ability to do the work listed above as demonstrated in your portfolio, here are some guidelines on the capabilities and experience we think might be most suited for this role. Please keep in mind that these are advisory, and not required. 

    • 3-5 years of professional experience in user experience, UX research, interface design, visual design, interaction design, or a related field. 
    • Distinct experience with qualitative UX research practices, such as contextual inquiry, concept evaluation, and interviewing. 
    • Proficiency in industry standard design tools like Sketch, Figma, or Adobe Creative Suite. 
    • Experience working in an agile development environment. 
    • Experience using online collaboration tools (e.g. Slack, Asana, etc.) 
    • Working familiarity with HTML, CSSand/or Bootstrap. 
    • Understanding of accessible design principles for the web and for physical spaces. 
    • Familiarity with the MBTA transit system as a rider. 
    • Formal education in design, usability, fine art, writing, or a related field (This could be a college degree, a bootcamp, a certificate program, or something else entirely).  

Hybrid. While most activities can be accomplished remotely, an important component of this role requires is in-person research with MBTA operations staff. We expect this person to be onsite on a regular basis, averaging about two weeks per quarter. 

Unfortunately, we are unable to hire candidates who would perform their work in Washington DC, Connecticut, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.


Pay rate range is $67 - $88 per hour (W-2), up to 1880 hours per year.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

CTD is dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive environment—it’s essential to the work we do. In order to effectively partner with MBTA departments and do our best work for riders, our team must reflect the wide variety of people who use the MBTA’s services. We welcome people with different strengths, experiences, and backgrounds who share a passion for improving people's lives. Our team is deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and continual learning. We strive to foster an environment where each individual is valued, feels a sense of belonging, and is welcomed to bring their best self to work.

Here at CTD, we provide equal opportunity for all employees and applicants. We recruit, hire, train, promote, compensate, and manage all personnel without regard to race, color, national origin, cultural identification or expression, socioeconomic background, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, learning style, neurodiversity, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other non-merit based or legally protected grounds. 

Research has shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for roles unless they believe they meet all qualifications. We strongly encourage candidates from marginalized groups to apply, even if you don't believe you meet every one of the job qualifications listed. We’re committed to maximizing the diversity of our team and want to hear from anyone who is passionate about our efforts and interested in supporting our work for riders.