Our tiny company is getting a little bigger. We’re hiring a full-time UI designer for Quote-Unquote Apps.
This is a new position, one that combines art and science (design beautiful things…that actually work). Responsibilities will include:
- Designing art (icons, graphics) and animations for our current and future apps.
- Building and testing interfaces for apps and websites.
- Shared responsibility for support email. (Everyone in the office chips in.)
We make apps for Mac and iOS, including Highland, Weekend Read and Bronson Watermarker PDF. We have several new apps in development, and will likely make stuff for iWatches, AppleTVs and other future gadgets. We need someone to help us build cool things.
I’ve hired enough people to know that the job ultimately shifts based the special skills each person brings. But we have a good sense of what we Require and Desire.
Great taste. We need someone who can make beautiful, thoughtful art and experiences. We should to be able to have a conversation about any app and discuss where it succeeds, where it fails, and how to improve it. It’s one thing to know what it says in the HIG; it’s another to understand where the trends are headed.
Expertise. This person will ultimately be responsible for building interfaces, both as prototypes and in Xcode. They’ll need to be comfortable wiring up little bits that work with storyboards and auto layout.
You can’t learn taste, but you can learn Xcode. What’s important is that this person needs to genuinely love working under the hood, wrestling with constraints and timing and UIScrollViews. Candidates need to be able to muck around with code to figure out why the status bar isn’t displaying properly after rotation.
Prototypes can be a great way of exploring design options, so it’s likely we’d be using something like Origami or framer.js to create mock-ups. We have no musts when it comes to prototypes. Whatever works, works.
We’re not requiring that a candidate have a certain number of years experience working as a paid designer. In fact, it’s more likely we’ll find someone who has been doing something else but Just Happens To Be Great at this.
Our lead coder, Nima Yousefi, was getting his masters in biology. But he’d rather make apps.
We’re looking for someone who’d rather make apps.1
Our Desired list is deliberately broad. No one will tick all these boxes, but we’ve found making apps in 2014 ends up incorporating a lot of seemingly-disparate skills:
- Editing skills (Avid, Final Cut Pro). The App Store will soon be allowing demo videos, and we intend to create them.
- Animation and VFX chops (After Effects, Motion or more-sophisticated apps).
- Photoshop/Sketch/Illustrator skills. Beyond icon and logo design, we spend hours tweaking App Store screenshots.
- Copywriting. Sometimes, half the job is figuring out the right word for a UI element, or how to phrase a warning.
- A/B Testing. We haven’t done a lot of it, but upcoming apps will require it.
- Broader coding experience. Nima remains our lead engineer, but there’s always too much to do, and a second set of eyes is great.
A good candidate for this position would be able to talk about most of the following with ease:
- Great opening title sequences of the last year.
- The design challenges of moving to larger iPhones.
- Accessibility, and apps that do it right.
- Are short URLs even worth it?
- Google’s Material.
- iOS keyboard extensions, and what’s possible.
- Books you’ve bought just for the cover.
We work together in the Los Angeles office twice a week, keeping in touch other days over Slack and Google Hangout. Candidates don’t need to live in LA to apply, but they need to be able and willing to move here if they get the job.2
Salary is commensurate with experience — enough to live in Los Angeles — and there’s health insurance. It’s certainly not Google money, but it’s more than most people are likely to make writing their own apps, with the stability of a small team and guaranteed income.
Here’s the process for applying:
- Email email@example.com. Tell us about yourself. Include links to your work. If you have apps, send some promo codes.
- We’ll be accepting emails through midnight on Thursday, July 17th.
- We’ll start interviewing selected candidates via Skype shortly after that.
If you think you’re the right person for this job, apply. Or if you know a great candidate, send them a link.
It’s a great job for the right person. I have a hunch we’ll find someone amazing.