Product Designer - Screens

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, Boston, MA

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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.

This role will have the ability to improve the lives of our riders while they move through the transit system each day. Our digital signage system (Screens) is spread throughout the network at bus and subway stations. These screens range from large LCD panels to small e-ink signs at bus stops. Screens help riders identify connections, understand alerts and diversions, view departure schedules, and stay aware of important updates.  
We are actively installing new screens throughout Boston. As we grow, we have opportunities to add new types of helpful and important information. But we also need to ensure we build a consistent design system to maintain trust and understanding with riders.  
We are looking for a systems-oriented Product Designer with a passion for user interface and visual design who will help us grow quickly, maintain quality, and above all else maintain empathy for our riders. Day to day, you will: 

-Work with Product and Engineering teams in an agile environment. 
-Work with the Design and Product team members to sequence work according to evolving construction schedules. 
-Help design and maintain a reusable Screens component system (internally, we call them widgets). 
-Help build a system for using animations and motion on our screens. 
-Help accelerate the design and development of a new CMS to control Screens and publish information. 
-Help Screens teammates perform rider research. 
-Help with occasional information design requests from other departments, such as visualizing bus -network improvements on the website. 

You will be part of the Product Design, Research, and Content Strategy team – a cross-functional team reporting to the Head of Product Design. This group supports one another with brainstorms, work reviews, and ongoing promotion of best practices and emerging methodologies. 

What you can expect from your first 90 days at 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. You will begin learning the details of how the MBTA’s rail, bus, and ferry network helps move a million people around Greater Boston every day. 

  • Dive into Screens: You’ll immerse yourself in the ecosystem of teams, tools, data, and processes that inform the work in Screens. You’ll learn about the way riders use each screen. You’ll get to know the projects and teams that inform when and where new screens will go in. You’ll get to know the various data feeds that send information to each screen. 

We want to hear from you if:

  • You are a systems-oriented Designer with a passion for interfaces and visual design. You are someone who sweats the details in each interface and each design. You are also someone who values coherent and reusable systems. You love your craft, but you do not love reinventing the wheel with each challenge. 

  • You are comfortable with complexity: The MBTA is a complex, 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 cross-discipline collaboration. 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 empathetic: You think about end users constantly and are always looking for ways to understand their lived experience. 

  • You are 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.  

Work experience guidelines:

  • 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, interface design, visual design, interaction design, or a related field. 
  • Expertise in 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 and CSS. 
  • Solid 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).  
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. After at least one year on the job, there may be an opportunity to become a salaried employee with the MBTA.

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.

About Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

he Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, often referred to as the MBTA or simply The T, is the public operator of most bus, subway, commuter rail and ferry systems in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area. The MBTA is the largest transit provider in New England, and the fifth largest in the country. The MBTA directly operates or contracts out for service using eight different modes: heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, local/express bus, trackless trolley, commuter rail, commuter boat, and paratransit. In Boston, 55% of all work trips and 42% of all trips into downtown are made by transit. The MBTA district is made up of 175 communities with a total population of 4.7 million. Almost three-quarters of all Massachusetts residents live within the MBTA service area.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

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