Interaction Designer and Developer


A global design company creating positive impact through design

In a Nutshell:

Interaction Designers at IDEO work with on small teams that could include, design researchers, industrial designers, graphic designers, and engineers - inventing new solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges using the latest tools and technologies. They use the craft of software to support the design thinking process, by creating prototypes for testing, pilots for research, and experimentation for inspiration.  They are responsible for building well-designed and high-performing websites and other applications.

Why this role is important at IDEO?

Following a “build to think” approach, Interaction Designers and Developers at IDEO shine at bringing designs to life - moving beyond static screens or strategic frameworks into tangible, visceral, living creations. In this role you will design and develop software with a diverse range of fidelity; from quick and dirty user experience prototypes designed to facilitate research interviews, to limited-scale public software pilots that have a direct impact on end-users, to sample interface animations. Collaboration and communication are not just buzzwords here. You should be equally happy thinking as a designer or a developer and you will be expected to do one or both on any given project.  

Once here you will:

  • Go out in the field with your team to build empathy for a user’s needs and discover opportunities for design through things like watching a surgical procedure, exploring the house of a hoarder, or shadowing a single mom who works 3 jobs but still can’t make ends meet. Afterwards, you will debrief and discuss research and user feedback with the design team, synthesizing into meaningful design iterations.
  • Create quick prototypes on-the-fly. You may collaborate with other designers to create a just-real-enough-to-test mockup. Or create a ‘menu’ of options of key animations for a mobile app that you design. Or, use whatever toolkit you’re the most comfortable with that serves the design you’re bringing to life.  Interaction designers at IDEO work beyond just the interesting technical problems within code, and play in the edges that connect to interaction design and hardware prototyping.
  • Work with people who do completely different jobs with very different backgrounds; together you’ll create beautiful and effective user interfaces. You will learn new approaches and discover how a wide range of skilled craft practitioners think about their work - while also sharing your own.
  • Keep up to date on emerging technologies and trends in development and find opportunities to use those ideas in our work.
  • Communicate technical ideas to a non-technical audience made up of clients and other IDEO designers.

What does IDEO offer you?

Interaction Designers are creative problem solvers who often employ unorthodox yet ingenious ways to push a design and experience forward. You may modify an off-the-shelf PC driving game to integrate with an automotive simulator experience or collaborate with city organizations and data scientists to access, map and visualize raw energy usage data and expose human behaviors using open APIs. *This isn’t a place where structure, rules, and instructions are given to you from above* - it’s up to you to design how you want to bring ideas to life in a way that lets your project team test concepts with users, as well as give clients a compelling tease of what the full experience could be. Projects can range from a richly animated front-end experience of a two-sided healthcare portal, creating prototypes of financial services apps for the working poor, all the way to connecting live data into an immersive VR simulation made with a digital environments designer.

Some previous projects to check out:

  • Boston.gov: Tasked with helping the city of Boston redesign its website, we designed a website that takes into account what users need and offers simple, intuitive navigation.
  • LA Voting -  Asked to Revamp the entire voting system for America’s largest jurisdiction, we created a modular voting system that addresses the system’s complexities and can adapt over time.

Relevant experience:

  • Passionate, self-motivated, and interested in growing broadly as both a designer and developer.  Designer friends compliment you on your eye for detail and beauty, and developer friends are impressed with your speed - you are a developer in skillset first, but you are comfortable and enjoy playing in the visual/UX world.
  • Enjoy coding/implementing detailed front-end experiences - mobile, web, and beyond - from quick prototypes to full experience simulations.  Ability and interest in creating beautiful, nuanced browser animations via CSS keyframes and/or other JS libraries.
  • Creative problem solver, often considering unorthodox yet feasible ways to push the design, and sharing these with others.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and selfless collaboration with a diverse set of colleagues (co-workers, clients and mentors.)
  • Demonstrated interest in UX/UI design for digital platforms.
  • Deep knowledge of HTML5/CSS3 and Javascript. Quick with a modern web stack - LESS/SASS, Browserify/webpack, Babelify, and node/gulp to tie it all together. WebGL shaders and SVG animation a plus.
  • Comfortable and fast with Framer.js or Invision, Sketch, the Adobe suite (particularly After Effects).
  • 5+ years of experience developing software/digital products.

Pop Quiz:

Create a CodePen of your animated interpretation of the sentence, “Make the logo bigger” OR Make a self-portrait in CSS only.

Application instructions:

Please submit your resume, cover letter, pop quiz answer and 3 projects that best represent your capabilities and interests. Please include links to your Github repos, blog and/or website.

About IDEO

IDEO has roots dating back to 1978. Today, IDEO is an award-winning global design and innovation consultancy. We create positive impact through design by taking a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate, grow, and bring to market new ideas. 

Want to learn more about IDEO? Visit https://www.ideo.com/