XQ Institute is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to rethinking the high school experience so that every student graduates ready to succeed in life. We work in communities throughout the country, with individual schools and entire school systems, to help them dream big about what high school could be, turn their innovative ideas into action, and create more rigorous and equitable schools. We share what’s working with other schools and districts, so they can tailor new models to the needs of their own students and communities. We know that seeing is believing, so we meet people where they are to share the importance and possibility of change through listening, learning, and storytelling. And our open-source tools, based on research and design thinking, empower people to take up the challenge of transforming their high schools with a unifying goal: unlocking the American promise of a high-quality education for everyone.


The Role

We are building a new group, XQ Labs, an R&D organization within XQ to help incubate R&D initiatives for XQ schools and for high school more broadly. We are seeking a design and UX lead to help with the first of these initiatives: a project-based learning curriculum we are calling XQ Math.

For many, school is filled with meaningless and disconnected work. "Project based learning"—where people work on real projects which matter to them—has often been put forward as one path to attempt to remedy some of the challenges that our nation's public high schools face. But, projects are hard and messy, and experience has demonstrated that many projects—especially in technical domains—struggle to achieve both genuine engagement and genuine rigor.

XQ aims to change that with the creation of a collection of tools, materials, and professional development to support project-based work. We're beginning to build this library by focusing on one of the weakest spots of project-based practice: Algebra I.

We are seeking a Design and UX Lead to join our team. This individual will help to support the development of software and tools to support students and teachers using the XQ Math curriculum, working with a cross-section of XQ team members—product management, engineering, and staff working directly with schools—to analyze user needs, ideate new features and functionality, design prototypes, and test and adapt those prototypes and designs based on user feedback.

While the initial focus of this role will be on UX and design of XQ Math, as XQ Labs launches additional R&D efforts, this individual will serve as the core UX and design lead on those new initiatives as well.


Key Responsibilities

  • Conduct desk (competitor, marketplace) and user research, including interviews, focus groups, and surveys
  • Translate concepts into user flows, wireframes, mockups and prototypes that lead to intuitive user experiences.
  • Distill product vision by researching, conceiving, sketching, prototyping and user-testing experiences for digital products.
  • Design and deliver wireframes, user stories, user journeys, and mockups optimized for a wide range of devices and interfaces.
  • Identify design problems and devise elegant solutions.
  • Make strategic design and user-experience decisions related to core, and new, functions and features.
  • Take a user-centered design approach and rapidly test and iterate your designs.
  • Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders.
  • Ask smart questions, take risks and champion new ideas.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Five or more years of UX design experience. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience designing complex solutions for complete digital environments and to candidates with experience designing in ed tech and/or instructional design.
  • Knowledge of the education landscape preferred, particularly experience with and empathy for the diverse high school communities XQ serves.
  • Solid expertise in Figma or other design software (e.g., Sketch, InVision). Basic HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript skills are a plus.
  • Ability to work with clients to understand detailed requirements and design complete user experiences that meet client needs and vision.
  • Extensive experience in using UX design best practices to design solutions, and a deep understanding of mobile-first and responsive design.
  • A solid grasp of user-centered design (UCD), planning and conducting user research, user testing, A/B testing, rapid prototyping, heuristic analysis, usability and accessibility concerns.
  • Ability to iterate designs and solutions efficiently and intelligently.
  • Ability to clearly and effectively communicate design processes, ideas, and solutions to teams and clients.
  • Be passionate about resolving user pain points through great design.
  • Be open to receiving feedback and constructive criticism.
  • Ability to work effectively in a cross-functional team setting including synthesizing abstract ideas into concrete design implications.
  • Flexible and adaptable; ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills (both oral and written)
  • Local to Oakland or the greater Bay Area. While this position will start out location-flexible, you will eventually report to our Oakland office.


XQ Institute offers competitive benefits and salary for this role.

To Apply

Please apply online. In your cover letter, please address why your skills, interests, and experience align with the requirements for this role. If you are selected to interview, we will request a portfolio of your work, demonstrating work artifacts across the entire design and product development lifecycle and across multiple professional products.

XQ is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. At XQ, promoting, celebrating, and supporting diversity is a core value. Individuals are considered without regard to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual expression, religion, color, veteran status, disability, marital status, or ancestry.