Director of Product Design

Remote - California

Full Time Executive-level / Director
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Newfront
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Posted 1 month ago

A bit about Newfront:
From the Mayflower to the moon landing, every venture relies on insurance. The $1 trillion insurance industry is fundamental to our economy, but it has been slow to modernize. It’s a fragmented market (where the largest player only holds a single-digit market share) that represents an enormous opportunity. At Newfront, we provide comprehensive risk management powered by advanced technology and a client-obsessed culture.
Our unique approach recognizes both the vast potential of technology and the fundamental role of expert advice and trusted relationships. While we’re a technology-driven company, we believe that people matter most. Our mission is to define the future of the insurance industry by leveraging modern technology that empowers people with information and delivers world-class service to our clients. 
We’re the fastest-growing brokerage in the country because we’re built for the 21st century.
Why we're looking for someone like you:
About the roleYou will lead the product design team, and will partner closely with the leadership team to drive our goals and deliver a world-class product.
What design looks like at NewfrontAt Newfront we're building tools for insurance agents and a dashboard for our clients. The majority of the work today involves building internal tools and processes. We design products for 3 major user groups – our clients, brokers, and the servicing team.
Clients: Insurance is a complicated product that costs a lot, and the bigger your business is, the more difficult it can be to understand and purchase the right coverage. We want to make the purchasing experience transparent and understandable in order to give clients peace of mind. During the policy term, it should be quick and easy for them to request updates, make claims, pay, or otherwise get help from their servicing team.Brokers: We help them turn leads into sales. Insurance brokers are like a sales team in a traditional SaaS company. They need a dashboard that clearly communicates the status of all of their clients, tracks their leads, shows their progress towards sales goals, and enables collaboration between them and the servicing team.Servicing team: This team includes account managers and operations specialists responsible for providing stellar service to our clients. They are the backbone of the company since the quality and efficiency of their work directly translate into year-over-year retention of Newfront's clients.
We have a suite of products for these various user groups. The design challenges for each of them are significantly different, ranging from making insurance simple for our clients to creating power tools for insurance professionals.

What you'll be doing

  • Collaborating with product managers and engineers on complex projects to prioritise, plan, and execute. You will work with Product Managers to conduct research and solidify project briefs, create mocks and prototypes, and work with engineering to clarify requirements and solve for technical constraints.
  • Conducting and leading user research. The Newfront platform is the operational backbone of our business. You’ll be responsible for extracting insights from our users, identifying gaps and opportunities in their user experience, and designing solutions.
  • Defining and communicating our vision: Designing and communicating mental models and conceptual designs that help us create a shared understanding of product problems, help us define our roadmap, and help to inspire the company.
  • Designing across all teams and ensuring consistency and quality. Each product area has a roadmap that you are constantly keeping in mind and helping to validate. When you create designs for a milestone, you're used to looking ahead to make sure that your design direction will support future roadmap items.
  • Building and maintaining the Newfront design system. Owning, reviewing, and managing the design system. Ability to work within an existing design system and creating new elements when needed.
  • Defining our design process: Defining the design process used by all teams, including reviews, working sessions, and our approach to user research.
  • Hiring and managing designers: You'll be running the hiring process for design at all levels, defining the levelling system for designers, and running bi-yearly performance reviews with your team.
  • Collaborate on defining the Newfront brand: You'll be able to collaborate with the rest of the company (marketing, leadership, sales) to define the Newfront brand.

What will make you a great fit

  • Experience. You should have experience working as a design lead and helping to define the design direction for multiple teams. You've been working as a design manager and have preferably had other design managers reporting to you.
  • Independence: You thrive when given independence and ownership and feel incredible responsibility for maximizing the value your products and features give to our users. You are resourceful and confident enough to make mistakes, take feedback, and then iterate.
  • Leadership: Capable of coaching teams through planning processes, collaborating cross-functionally, and prioritising impact.
  • Portfolio. Showcase of web (native optional) projects that highlights your approach to problem solving, as well as the solutions themselves. Case studies should demonstrate your skills in research, user experience, systems design, visual design, and interaction design.
  • Communication: Excellent communication and storytelling skills, in writing and in speaking. Ability to explain to crossfunctional peers your role and how best to work with design. You'll be helping to bring clarity to extremely ambiguous problems and the ability to create abstractions and communicate them with the broader team is vital.
  • Understanding of web technologies: In order to collaborate with the rest of the team, projects run smoothly when the design team is able to create systems that take technical constraints into account. This could be as simple as understanding the asynchronous nature of the web and how to design around it.
  • Timezone: This position is open to remote candidates with a preference for those between the GMT-5 (Eastern EST) and GMT-8 (Pacific PST) timezones.

What won't make you a great fit

  • You're not interested in management and process building. We're specifically looking for someone to help establish the design discipline.
  • You don't have experience managing designers. You'll be responsible for the careers of more junior designers, including performance management, running design reviews, defining our standards and practices.
  • You only want to manage designers. We're a new startup and we need a design leader who is eager to work on design problems, both big and small.
  • You're not interested in B2B and internal tools. Some designers love working on tools, business processes, and workflows. We're trying to take something that is extremely complex (insurance) and make those workflows simple and efficient. This is where our focus lies right now. In the future we'll be revisiting the customer-facing experience.
Newfront is an equal opportunity employer — we celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. 
Newfront provides reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in our job application procedures. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at recruiting@newfront.com.
Job tags: Coaching Engineering Product design Prototypes Research User experience User research Visual design
Job region(s): North America Remote/Anywhere
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