Product Design Manager

28 days ago

Job Description

We're seeking a talented Product Design Manager to join our team, spearheading the UX for both our Search and Ad Platforms teams. These teams are dedicated to cultivating trust between users and our platform, optimizing search and recommendation experiences. Additionally, they're at the forefront of driving pricing and monetization initiatives that steer customers toward the right products and tools to increase visibility.

You'll collaborate closely with cross-functional teams to develop, refine, and maintain an ad products platform for our expansive two-sided freelancer marketplace. Armed with your extensive expertise, you'll play a pivotal role in steering the success of our search, advertising, and revenue endeavors while delivering exceptional user experiences for freelancers and clients alike. Our mission is to facilitate seamless connections between customers and relevant results, fostering trust through welcoming, intuitive, and efficient experiences.

By joining our collaborative and tight-knit community of UX, product, engineering, research, content design, AI, machine learning, and analytics professionals, you'll immerse yourself in a culture that values purpose-driven design, attention to detail, and mutual support. Here, you'll have the autonomy and support you need to craft meticulously designed solutions that enrich the experiences of millions of users on the world's leading work marketplace.

Your Responsibilities:

Manage your team: Enable the success of the people on your teams.

  • Develop the 3-4 designers you manage and maintain a healthy and psychologically safe team environment through your leadership and practices like team rituals, 1:1 coaching, performance management, regular feedback, and skill building.
  • Provide a clear path to growth and increased ownership for your designers while maintaining your role as manager with key checks, standards, and visibility into the work. 
  • Proactively improve the process to help the team flourish. Share key business strategies and information and connect it to your designer's work for visibility, context, and to help establish a rock-solid purpose for their work.

Manage the work: Deliver an aligned result through your team. 

  • Be responsible for your teamโ€™s work and their efficiency and effectiveness. 
  • Model and support your team in delivering high-quality design practices. Participate in all aspects of UX (especially for large or critical projects): research, ideation, facilitation, strategy, interaction design, information architecture, and visual execution.
  • Ensure quality through reviews and socializing. Support a feedback culture to improve our work. Host product reviews with cross-functional patterns. Present or support your designers in presenting at key reviews (e.g., UX reviews and pre-launch readiness approvals). Share work with the Director of Product Design for feedback and visibility (e.g., 1x during plan/build and 1x before launch).
  • Support the work throughout the PDLC. Helping designers and teams align on the work from plan > define > build > launch and optimize stages. Examples include creating clarity on requirements & goals, success measures, user needs, timelines, and staging and sequencing work.

Design strategy and leadership. 

  • Influence the design strategy for Search & Ad Products with your UX team to continue to improve our impact on customer needs in service of our business strategy. 
  • Be the subject matter authority for experience and design in search, ad platforms, and monetization. 
  • Facilitate decision-making. Own your choices. Rework and revisit as needed. 
  • Be curious. Continue to learn about our customers, our flows, and our marketplace in the bigger world of work. Build empathy for user needs and how we are and aren't serving those needs today. Suggest and shepherd improvements and connect them to our strategy and priorities. 
  • Be data-informed. Elevate our UX and experiment design by being grounded in clear qualitative and quantitative measures. Support solid experiment design with hypotheses. 


  • Actively partner and influence PM and Eng leads on product strategy, roadmaps, creating narratives & core artifacts, as well as execution and delivery to customers. 
  • Meet your cross-functional partners and use that time to build empathy and shared understanding. This includes Sr PM through VP and Eng leads as well. Meetings include: 1:1 or triad meetings (Eng, PM, UX)  and team meetings. 
  • Create clarity and buy-in on the process. Your partners know how to engage and work with you and your designers. They understand your process and, what the UXers are working on and why. Prioritization is aligned.

Travel to the San Francisco office may be required up to twice per year for UX leadership on-sites. 

What it takes to catch our eye:

  • Proven track record as a UX manager in a cross-functional UX team, dedicated to the complete UX design and development lifecycle of several successfully launched features and products
  • A self-starter, owner mindset that proactively drives improvements in process, product, and how teams collaborate
  • Ability to work seamlessly with product, research, engineers, operations, and customers
  • Architect system-wide design solutions that satisfy both product and engineering requirements
  • Proven high bar for quality and attention to detail
  • Previous experience in the ads and monetization domain, with a solid understanding of industry trends and best practices
  • Prior experience designing for search and recommendation systems, with a focus on delivering intuitive and impactful user experiences 

The annual base salary for this position in California and Washington ranges from $151,000 - $240,750. 

About Upwork

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Upwork ($UPWK) is the world's work marketplace. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Last year, more than $3.8 billion of work was done through Upwork by skilled professionals who are gaining more control by finding work they are passionate about and innovating their careers.

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