Senior Director, Product Design

NerdWallet, San Francisco, CA or Remote (Based in the U.S.)

A personal finance website that helps people make and manage financial decisions

*Based in San Francisco, CA or 100% Remote (Based in the U.S.)*

NerdWallet aims to make personal finance refreshingly simple, helpful, and human. To do this, we’re seeking an experienced Senior Director to lead our Product Design group.

Our Product Design group is responsible for delivering experiences that enable consumers to spend far less time worrying about their money, and far more time enjoying their lives. These experiences include marketplaces, personal finance features, educational content, navigation and onboarding, and the design system that pulls them all together across desktop, mobile web, and our native apps.

As the senior-most leader in Product Design, you over-index on leadership, cross-functional collaboration, and business acumen. You understand investment in user-centered design as a lever for the organization to achieve its goals and how to advocate for and lead your group accordingly. You are an experienced leader of leaders and know how to grow and leverage your leadership team to drive success in their respective areas but also to align them to drive holistic experiences for our users. You have a proven track record of success delivering experiences within an agile environment that achieve both business and user goals. You are excited by, and highly successful at, building influence across organizations — all setting you up for success in driving key decisions that will shape the future of NerdWallet.  

This role reports into the VP of Design. The Product Design group is roughly 20 Product Designers and Sr. Managers.

Where you can make an impact: 

  • Driving continuous improvements in our product experiences to ensure they are functional, usable, and aligned to brand strategy, identity and promise.
  • Partnering with the Market and User Research teams and the Data organization to develop the qualitative and quantitative roadmaps and frameworks for insights needed to drive success for the Product Design group. 
  • Partnering with Content Strategy and the Brand Studio team to deliver holistic experiences spanning all touch points.
  • Working closely with the Program Management office to monitor product design’s ability to work efficiently and deliver solutions within realistic and predictable timelines.
  • Navigating the natural trade-offs between designing for business impact and designing for user needs - and coaching your managers on successful strategies to do the same.
  • Managing career paths and performance for a group of designers and managers; this includes defining clear goals and creating a culture of continuous learning through sharpening skill-sets and elevating work with insightful/actionable feedback.
  • Participating in strategic and annual planning sessions with leaders across the organization - and deliver and execute operational plans and budgets to achieve success against those plans.

You are: 

  • Effective design advocate and cross-functional collaborator, understanding how to elevate the importance of product design and drive decision-making with the senior team.
  • Committed to mentorship and growth of direct reports and team members, demonstrated through regular, constructive dialog and supportive relationships.
  • Data-driven: You know how to leverage research insights and data to inform strategy, design decisions, and roadmaps.
  • A big thinker and authentic, empathetic, and inspiring leader, willing to constructively explore new ideas and challenge the status quo.
  • Passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion reflected both in the teams that you lead, and how NerdWallet serves the global community.
  • A thoughtful leader who is driven by a strong belief in and understanding of people-centered achievements; ie. focusing on the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’.
  • A strong communicator and problem solver: You are comfortable managing up, down and sideways.
  • Always thinking about product strategy and vision (not just ‘how it should look’ but ‘what we should build’).
  • A great storyteller: You have excellent content hierarchy, communication, and presentation skills.
  • At home (and thrive!) in an environment of fast feedback loops and a mindset of rapid prototyping and iteration.
  • Empathetic to Engineering's technical constraints and Product's business objectives; skilled at coaching their team to negotiate UX tradeoffs with cross-functional partners.
  • An expert in creative methods that maximize design engagement in a modern agile environment.
  • Massively experienced in building and shipping web and/or mobile products.

Your experience: 

  • At least 15 years of experience in product design with at least 7 years of experience managing multiple design teams 
  • Excellent understanding of cross-functional product development
  • Deep understanding of user-centered design principles and process along with the ability to apply this knowledge to execute projects and optimize design strategies
  • Experience leading experienced managers, with a proven track record of successfully leveraging and developing their skills and capabilities
  • Strong skills in critical thinking, decision making, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and attention to details
  • Proven experience leading design within modern agile development environments (i.e. Scrum and Kanban)
  • Experience in advanced ideation techniques; designing things from scratch as well as improve existing products
  • Strong written and oral communication and interpersonal skills

What we offer:

Work hard, stay balanced (Life’s a series of balancing acts, eh?)

  • 100% paid premiums for medical, dental and vision for employees and their dependents
  • Rejuvenation Policy – Flexible Time Off + 12 holidays
  • New Parent Leave for employees with a newborn child or a child placed with them for adoption or foster care
  • Mental health support through Ginger.io 
  • Paid sabbatical for Nerds to recharge, gain knowledge and pursue their interests
  • Health and Dependent Care FSA and HSA with monthly NerdWallet contribution
  • Weekly Virtual Bootcamp, Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation sessions
  • Monthly Wellness Stipend and Cell Phone Stipend

Have some fun! (Nerds are fun, too)

  • Nerd-led group initiatives – Intramural Sports, Employee Resource Groups for Parents, Diversity and Inclusion, Womxn, LGBTQIA, and other communities
  • Hackathons, Happy Hours and team bonding across all teams and departments
  • Company-wide events like Little Nerds Day (aka bring your kids to work day, even if you're remote!) and our annual Charity Auction 

Lifestyle (Be your best self - we’ll take care of the details)

  • Our Nerds love to make an impact by paying it forward – Donate to your favorite causes with a company match
  • Work from home equipment stipend and co-working space subsidy 
  • Commuting stipend and catered breakfast, lunch and onsite barista for SF based Nerds
  • Anniversary recognition program – choose from different items and experiences

Plan for your future (And when you retire on your island, remember the little people)

  • 401K with company match
  • Annual Enrichment Stipend for learning and development
  • Be the first to test and benefit from our new financial products and tools
  • Access to Rocket Lawyer for online legal support and resources 

NerdWallet is committed to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of any characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.




About NerdWallet

NerdWallet gives consumers and small businesses clarity around all of life’s financial decisions. When it comes to credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, insurance, loans or expenses like hospital costs and medical bills, consumers make almost all their decisions in the dark. NerdWallet is changing that, helping guide consumers' decisions with free, accessible tools, research and expert advice. 

Want to learn more about NerdWallet? Visit NerdWallet's website.