Sr. Product Designer - Fare Transformation

Boston, MA /
Customer Technology – Design /
Full time
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 400 million annual riders? Ready for the challenge? Then read on.

CTD is looking for a Senior Product Designer to join our team. In this role, you will plan and execute research strategy for our Fare Transformation initiative. Fare Transformation is an ongoing project to make our Fare system easier and more convenient for riders. In addition to leading research, you will design better forms and interfaces that will help riders acquire and manage their Fare — whether their fare products are part of our corporate, reduced fare, or self-serve programs.

While we expect all of our designers to be comfortable with every stage of product design, this role is focused on user research and service design. We're looking for someone who is excited about investigating complex service systems. You’ll be working in a collaborative, agile environment with product managers, content strategists, front- and back-end developers, transit experts, and revenue managers, as well as internal partners in other MBTA departments. Although embedded on your product team, you’ll also be joining a design team of six designers and researchers.

The Fare Transformation initiative is key to the future of the MBTA. Its work spans several MBTA departments, so you’ll also have the opportunity to work closely with teams from Commercial Strategy,, Policy, and Customer Experience.

What you can expect from your first 30 days in CTD:

    • Dive into the MBTA system: We don’t expect everyone who walks into CTD to understand the ins and outs of how our transit system operates. Over your first month, you’ll begin learning the details of how the MBTA’s rail, bus, and ferry network helps move a million people around Greater Boston every day.

    • Understand the MBTA’s fare structure and the systems that make it possible: You will learn from your product managers and partners in the MBTA Commercial Strategies team about the full suite of fare products and pass programs. You will learn how they are used by and sold to customers. You’ll also work with our engineering team to understand the software that powers the fare system and the requirements in designing for it. Gaining a rich understanding of the front- and backstage mechanisms of the fare system will be crucial so that you are empowered to challenge current assumptions about the customer journey. 

    • Design for reduced Fare administration: You will explore the customer journeys of our Reduced Fare riders to help them find programs that they are qualified for and understand what they need to prepare so that their application process goes smoothly. You will research the existing procedures for administering the reduced fare program to the general public. You will be tasked with gaining a deep understanding of our internal and external reduced fare program administrators. Insights that you uncover will set the stage for how you might design some new intuitive, scalable reduced fare administration tools.

We want to hear from you if you have these capabilities:

    • Interaction and service design: You’re able to take both a broad and detailed view of the MBTA’s Fare ecosystem. You can map user touchpoints across multiple MBTA departments and identify interventions that improve Fare acquisition, management, and delivery and create workflow diagrams, wireframes, prototypes, and production design assets to support digital products’ development. 

    • User research and usability testing: You can get at the heart of user needs using various qualitative and quantitative research methods and communicate those findings clearly to stakeholders on product teams and management. You’re able to conduct usability tests using a variety of in-person and remote usability techniques. Note: we hope to reincorporate in-person research and testing methods into our toolbox only when it is safe.

    • A product-focused mindset: You’re able to be a thought partner with product management to create and drive the direction of Fare transformation products. You think about the balance of user needs, business drivers, and technological capabilities and may occasionally assist with road mapping and task creation.

    • Cross-discipline collaboration: CTD teams are generally interdisciplinary, so you’ll need to be able to work closely with product management, engineering, data specialists, and content teams in an agile environment.

And are this kind of person:

    • Empathetic: You think about end-users constantly and are always looking for ways to understand their lived experience.

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

    • Systems thinker: The MBTA is a complex, 120-year old transit agency with many moving parts. Our team needs to understand the complexities of running transit services, the MBTA’s business operations, and how riders use our system to get around Boston to design solutions that work for all of our different user types.

Work experience guidelines:

    • Although we’re mostly interested in your ability to do the work, 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.

    • Approximately five years of professional experience in user experience, user research, interaction design, usability testing, visual design, or a related field
    • Expertise in design tools like Sketch 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 and CSS
    • Solid understanding of accessible design principles for the web and physical spaces
    • Familiarity with the MBTA transit system as a rider
    • Formal education in design, usability, fine art, or a related field (This could be a college degree, a Bootcamp, a certificate program, or something else entirely)
This is a full-time hourly position within the Customer Technology Department at the MBTA. We work with payroll vendors that offer benefits such as pre-taxed health insurance, 401k options, and paid sick time. 

Diversity and inclusion are essential to us at CTD. We believe that we can only design and build tools for our riders if our team reflects the wide variety of people who use MBTA services all over eastern Massachusetts. We strive to be inclusive in our approach to both hiring and product development, and we strongly encourage applicants from historically underrepresented groups to apply for this position.