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Product Designer, Urban Systems - Freelance

Sidewalk Labs, New York - Remote Okay

Sidewalk Labs is reimagining cities to improve quality of life.


Who are we?

Since our founding in 2015, we’ve grown into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York City. Our cross-disciplinary team consists of experts from real estate, urban planning, government, finance, technology, and engineering, among other backgrounds.

We’ve launched innovative companies addressing urban mobility, next-generation infrastructure, and community-based healthcare, and invested in startups working on everything from robotic furniture to digital electricity. We continue to work internally on factory-made mass timber construction that can improve housing affordability and sustainability, a digital master-planning tool designed to help developers and communities achieve shared objectives, and a new approach to all-electric neighborhoods.

We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it!

What is the role?

You will be a member of Sidewalk’s Urban Systems team supporting human-centered product design and research within our affordable and sustainable building energy infrastructure teams. You take product ideas from concept to a compelling user experience including creating assets such as interface designs and customer pitch materials.

We are seeking to hire product designers on two of our energy systems. Each designer will work with one of the systems teams. This is a 3 month freelance position and we are open to remote locations for the duration of the contract. 

System 1:  Sidewalk’s Affordable Electrification (AE) Sustainability team works at the technical heart of Sidewalk’s mission, developing tangible solutions to minimize the first and operating cost of low carbon neighborhoods in order to make them economically accessible to all communities. The team marries real estate development, buildings systems and infrastructure-financing expertise with technology to vision, pilot, and commercialize product and business solutions for real estate developers, utilities and managed communities. The team is currently in the early stages of commercializing a set of tools and design strategies centered on reducing the cost of electrification on communities. 

System 2:  We’re rethinking electricity with the best technology to make future buildings smart, cost-efficient, energy-efficient and safe. Sidewalk Labs is developing new technology that will revolutionize electrical distribution within buildings by using new hardware and software that redefines how data and electricity are used to optimize buildings. You will be working to design our advanced, next generation electrical systems for commercial and residential buildings. 

You will work across services, software and hardware, and develop deep partnerships with our engineers, product managers, business leaders, and subject matter experts to deliver technology products to increase affordability and sustainability in cities. 

You will help the team test hypotheses and bring ideas to life. Your scope of work includes:

  • Absorb the research and materials created to date, including technical specifications and standards; 
  • Understand the top competitors in the market and the features and user experience of those offerings; 
  • Create beautiful, functional and thoughtful user experience and interface designs to further the product concept and illustrate the desired functionality including but not limited to interface wireframes, mockups, and user and data flows; 
  • Develop customer pitch materials including slide decks and brochures; 
  • Participate in research studies to uncover user and customer needs, pain points, and behaviors, leading to strategic and actionable product direction; and
  • Iterate on product design and offering based on research. 

What we expect:

  • Obsessed with user needs
    • You have 3+ years of experience in product organizations, in a UX, Product Design, or Interaction Design role. You have worked on an agile team rooted in the user-centered design process. 
    • You have a degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Design, or other UX-equivalent experience.
    • You are an excellent communicator who can advocate for our users both within the product and engineering teams and across the organization.
    • Your design process is deeply rooted in observing user and customer needs and creatively solving problems to improve people’s lives.
  • Ability to execute with design excellence
    • Have a strong base in design process and execution, including a specialty in visual product design and interaction design. Please share your portfolio with us. 
    • You have delivered designs for enterprise and business-to-business (B2B) software applications, services businesses, and/or consumer IoT solutions which consider hardware, software, and data. 
    • You can judge and execute at the appropriate level of fidelity, from paper sketches to refined mocks for production.
    • Know your tools (Adobe CS, Figma, Miro, HTML/CSS) and be ready to adopt new ones.
    • You are obsessed with privacy and constantly ask how we can build privacy into product design.
  • Bias towards action
    • Once you’ve sketched out an idea, you find the fastest path to gain traction and begin executing.
    • Employ a range of tools and materials to solve a particular problem, or get excited to learn something new when the need arises.
    • Be creative: use a diverse set of tools (storyboards, wireframes, visuals, other media etc.) to communicate your ideas effectively.
  • Solve problems, together
    • You have experience and comfort presenting your ideas and setting up effective ways to critique and improve our work.
    • You embrace the intellectual challenge of constantly reacting to and synthesizing new ideas related to the future of urban experience and technology.
    • You come up with novel solutions, working well with users, urbanists and technologists.
    • You ask hard questions and challenge assumptions to ensure that we’re solving the right problems.
  • Passionate about cities
    • You have thought about the urban environment and care deeply about improving the lives of urban residents and workers. 

Bonus Qualifications:

  • Experience working with any or all of the following: utilities, real estate developers, property managers, electrical engineers and architects, construction firms, device and appliance manufacturers, IoT devices, zero carbon developments
  • Experience in promoting sustainability and affordability within buildings or communities
  • Experience working with governments, regulatory bodies, technology alliances and standards bodies

Please share your resume and portfolio. If selected for interviewing, you will be asked to submit a proposal and hourly rate.

About Sidewalk Labs

About us Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet Company tackling the challenges of urban growth. In partnership with Waterfront Toronto and local community, we are currently designing a district in Toronto's Eastern Waterfront. This joint venture, called Sidewalk Toronto, will blend people-centered urban design with cutting-edge technology to achieve new standards of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.

Want to learn more about Sidewalk Labs? Visit Sidewalk Labs's website.