Product Design Director

Toronto, CA
Product – Design
Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses and their accounting and bookkeeping advisors grow and thrive. 

At Xero, our purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world. This purpose sits at the centre of everything we do. We support our people to do the best work of their lives so that they can help small businesses succeed through better tools, information and connections. Because when they succeed they make a difference, and when millions of small businesses are making a difference, the world is a more beautiful place.

How you’ll make an impact

The Product Design Director is responsible for the design direction of the Xero products they oversee as well as the operational excellence of their team. They lead a group of passionate product designers that craft experiences for our customers across multiple product interfaces.

You will mentor our product design team, provide feedback, and coordinate designs that create a holistic user experience. The goal is not consistency, the goal is an experience people love.

You will lead by example, contributing design solutions and deliverables. Serving as the partner working with GMs of key product areas and the EGM of the portfolio they support to ensure quality of relationship and work product. This role supports, contributes to and coordinates with the overall design direction of a global design team based in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

The Product Design Director is also the local leader for the product design org and is responsible for all team members in their office location including events, rituals, culture and space. They build strong relationships with all parts of the business to define viable approaches/methodologies in line with relevant industry standards and best practices.

What you’ll do

People Leadership:
- Work with GM Design and other Product Design Directors in your portfolio to help manage your product design team, programs and processes that support a world-class design team.
- Solve problems together and work as a team to influence and drive key strategic initiatives forward.
- Hire and develop managers, leads, and designers to meet business demands and employee development needs
- Lead and coordinate the local team WIP and critique sessions
- Be the point of contact for local product design team (the local design leader)
- Work with the GM Design and other Product Design Directors on key strategic issues

Product Thinking:
- Define the UX strategy and contribute to the product strategy for your product area, in partnership with the product leadership team. Help define the why and how behind the product for your team. Guide the visual and interaction design quality, and get teams working in a way that makes great products.
- Define the UX strategy and contribute to the product strategy of your sub-portfolio / product area
- Provide a clear mission to your product design team and empower them to solve the customer problem.
- Collaborate with other Product Design Directors to ensure experiences across products are cohesive and connected
- Advocate for data-driven product and design decisions through continuous experimentation
- Along with your design team, produce and share prototypes showing how a user will experience your solution – both the interaction flow and visual design solution
- Collaborate with the product team to implement and improve design patterns, and when needed invent new design patterns

Shareholder Management:
- Influence, have difficult conversations, and help prioritise and focus the team on the most impactful work.
- Work closely with our Marketing, Product Management, and Engineering to deliver stunning and effective product interfaces and processes
- Work with Product leaders (e.g. GM Product) to resolve management issues
- Build and maintain positive relationships with other functions
- Maintain regular catch ups / WIPs with your manager (frequency variable as needed)
- Promote design thinking across entire business, so teams think in terms of delivering a beautiful, simple, and smart user experience
- In partnership with product leaders, contribute to, evangelise and enable design-led processes for creating product vision and roadmap.
- Provide advice to the marketing and training teams to help maintain a consistent experience between the product and all related promotions and educational materials (website, videos, ads, presentations, training)

Functional Relationships:
- Global Design, Product Management, Engineering, Data & Business Intelligence, Customer Support, Product Marketing, Sales, Brand & Marketing

What you’ll bring

    • Significant experience leading multidisciplinary design teams working on complex software.
    • Demonstrable success in creating. launching, scaling, and maintaining digital products.
    • Deep understanding of the design process and best practices, and proven ability to define and improve a team’s design practices
    • A proven track record of hiring diverse teams, developing talent, and leading with positivity and inspiration.
    • Ability to navigate ambiguity, create clarity, and drive design excellence throughout the organization.
    • Excellent collaboration skills and ability to create long-lasting trusted partnerships that enable teams to make better products and experiences
    • Strong presentation, verbal and written skills as well as proven ability to develop well-positioned and thoughtful documents and presentations.
    • Ability to influence and speak the language of business and design simultaneously and to mixed audiences.
    • A genuine eagerness to work with mentor, encourage and learn from a diverse and talented team
Given the currently evolving COVID-19 situation, Xero is now working remotely, which means our recruitment processes will also be conducted remotely. 

We're continuously monitoring the situation and are currently working through a range of considerations and adjustments, that will need to be made during this time in regards to recruitment at Xero.

We thank you in advance for understanding, and your patience during this time as things may move a little slower or a little differently.

Take care, The Xero Talent team.

Why Xero?

At Xero, we empower our staff to bring their ‘whole self’ to work and support flexible working arrangements that allow you to balance your work, your life and your passions. We offer a great remuneration package which includes shares and life insurance plus a range of leave options to suit your well-being. In Canada, our Xero family includes Hubdoc, a data capture platform and we have offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Our work environment encourages continuous improvement and career development and you’ll get to work with the latest technology.  Our collaborative and inclusive culture is one we’re immensely proud of. We know that a diverse workforce is a strength that enables businesses, including ours, to better understand and serve customers, attract top talent and innovate successfully. So, from the moment you step through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.