Head of Design

About Kiva

Kiva (kiva.org) is an international nonprofit with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive. We run a global marketplace platform to crowdfund microloans for financially excluded entrepreneurs, farmers and students around the world. Our organization combines the culture and technological passion of an internet start-up with the compassion and empathy of a non-profit to create impact and opportunity at global scale. In just 13 years, we have raised more than $1.2 billion in loan capital for 2.7 million borrowers in 83 countries. Our lenders fund over $10 million in loans every month. With offices in San Francisco, Portland, New York, Nairobi, and Bangkok, Kiva's team includes 100+ employees and 400+ volunteers worldwide. Our team is growing as we pursue exciting new opportunities to create a financially inclusive world.

Role Overview

Creating beautiful, functional designs that contribute seamlessly to user experience is critical to us. As a thought leader and execution powerhouse, you will use your expertise across all facets of user-centered design, spanning UX strategy, experience/interaction design, user research/assessment, prototyping, visual design and user adoption. You’ll manage and prioritize projects among a team of designers and user researchers. You will report to the Chief Product Officer. This role is a focal point for shaping the future of a high profile organization leveraging technology for the greater good.

At this time, we can only consider applicants with authorization to work in the United States on a permanent, full-time basis; unfortunately we cannot provide visa sponsorship.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Drive strategic goals of the organization through design thinking
    • Translate complex problems into compelling solutions with a user-centric and data-driven approach
    • Partner with Product Managers, stakeholders and executives to create a vision and strategy for products and features ensuring the experience is on brand, achieves business goals and delivers value to end users
    • Provide UX scoping and project definition in alignment with the needs of the business
  • Manage the design and user research functions
    • Oversee and participate in the design process, from concept and strategy, to wireframe, UX and UI design, prototyping, testing and final execution
    • Facilitate feedback cycles for potential design solutions from multiple internal and external stakeholders
    • Lead activities across the UX team, ensuring quality of design, timeliness of project deliverables, and prioritizing work/resources while guiding and mentoring team members
  • Oversee Kiva’s visual identity and product designs
    • Create an inspiring experience for www.kiva.org, the most widely recognized person-to-person microfinance site on the web today
    • Ensure consistency of UX, UI and brand design throughout Kiva’s products, systems and marketing campaigns
    • Collaborate with product, marketing and engineering teams to identify opportunities to improve user experiences throughout the Kiva ecosystem

Preferred qualifications:

  • 10+ years of experience designing successful, high traffic consumer web and/or mobile applications with at least 2 years managing a design team
  • In-depth knowledge of information architecture, user centered design best practices, creative and visual design concepts, as they relate to consumer site design and applications
  • Experience with UX, UI, user research and visual design
  • Experience with branding, style guides and pattern libraries
  • Familiarity with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and standards-based layout
  • Strong personal design aesthetic, meticulous attention to detail and familiarity with using data and customer insights to influence design decisions
  • Ability to seamlessly move between big picture (strategy, planning, systems design) and minute details
  • Experience partnering with product, engineering and marketing teams in an Agile product development environment
  • Ability to present and advocate for ideas and designs, to explain the Design team’s thinking and process
  • Proficient with current design and prototyping tools and techniques

What We Offer

  • An opportunity to improve real lives, solve hard problems, and change the world
  • Friendly, supportive, and adventurous environment with a team of engaged colleagues
  • A comprehensive, industry-leading benefits package
  • Opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues and partners around the world

A diverse and inclusive workplace where we learn from each other is an integral part of Kiva's culture. We actively welcome people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a great place to work. Join us and help us achieve our mission!


See Inside the Office of Kiva

Through Kiva, anyone can lend $25 to a borrower in the developing world, making it possible for artisans, farmers, and shopkeepers to realize their dreams and create a better future for themselves and their families. Kiva works hard to keep its lenders and borrowers connected, too, so lenders get a chance to see first-hand the impact their loan is having.


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