Design Director - Design System

Design at Compass

Compass is a real estate platform that provides comprehensive brokerage services, combining exceptional agents with thoughtfully crafted digital products to make the process of buying, selling, or renting a home intelligent, deliberate, and seamless.

Designers lead the full lifecycle of their designs across all platforms, collaborate with product managers on strategy, participate in research to test and validate designs, and consult with engineering to make everything come to life.

About the role

At Compass, Product Design is divided into feature teams: Productivity, Search and Listings, and Design Systems.

This role will be joining to lead, manage, and grow the team responsible for our “Constellation” Design System. Designers on this team work on creating the components, patterns, interactions, and behaviors that define our design system and underpins our user experience. It’s an exciting role, where you’ll cater to two types of users:

  1. Our internal team that uses our design system to build our products. A lot of your work will involve cross-functional collaboration to ensure teams are well supported and have what they need to design their features.
  2. Our end users, including Compass agents, their clients, and prospects who use our product and, ultimately, the building blocks you create for our feature teams.

What we’re looking for

We’re looking for an experienced design leader—this isn’t your first rodeo when it comes to developing design systems or people management. You’re a strategic and systems thinking designer who actively looks for ways to substantially improve our design system. You have naturally good taste and are confident in your craft.

You have pixel-perfect standards with exceptional interaction design skills and an eye for accessibility and usability. You’ll work with front-end and UX engineers to ensure your designs are implemented perfectly.

In this role, you will be responsible for leading and managing a broad functional team of product designers, UX writers, and UX engineers. As the team grows this will include directing and controlling activities through several managers. Compass manager expectations include hiring, developing, updating, recognizing, and retaining your team.  

What you get to do every day:

  • Build, hire, empower, and retain a design team that effectively handles all design system initiatives
  • Own the Constellation Design system across Product and Engineering departments
  • Control planning, staffing, budgeting, managing expense priorities, and recommending and implementing changes to methods for the Design System team
  • Own the OKR setting and review process for teams under your oversight
  • Serve as a subject matter expert on design systems internally and externally, providing specialized thought leadership to others in the industry
  • Drive principles of simple, elegant, and creative product design across the organization
  • Communicate key product strategies through management presentations, press, whitepapers, publications, and speaking engagements
  • Create and drive standards for our product through cross-functional and company-wide communication
  • Consistently set bold, ambitious product vision and strategy for the design system
  • Interact frequently involving special skills, such as attempting to influence senior level leaders regarding matters of significance to the organization
  • Participate with other senior managers to establish strategic plans and objectives
  • Consistently source world-class talent, hold your leaders accountable for employee development, clear the way for members of your team to get visibility and opportunities to advance, and delegate effectively.
  • Participate in organizational development of methods, techniques, and evaluation criteria for projects, programs, and people.


  • At least 10 years experience and proven track record in product design
  • 3-5 years experience managing teams of product designers
  • Extensive experience developing and implementing a design system leading to higher quality and more consistent product design
  • Experience with and strong point of view on how to best organize, maintain, and scale a design system
  • Excellent written communication and compelling presentation style that helps you get buy-in for your ideas
  • Deep experience working within a technical (and preferably agile) environment
  • Comfort with a fast-paced work environment at a rapidly evolving organization

At Compass, our mission is to help everyone find their place in the world. This means we continually celebrate the diverse community different individuals cultivate. As an equal opportunity employer, we stay true to our mission by ensuring that our place can be anyone’s place.

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