Senior Product Designer

3+ months agoUnited States


News can change the world, save lives, and bring us all closer together through empathy and understanding - but not if it isn't read. Out of the hundreds of millions of articles and posts, how do we deliver the information that matters the most? How do we avoid the filter bubble of personalization and widen people's interests and knowledge?

SmartNews is creating an entirely new model for the news industry. Our mission is to evaluate (in real-time) what makes a quality story and deliver the stories that matter to people who need it. We are dedicated to the idea that people make better decisions when provided with better information.

We're not there yet, but we have a great head start. We're one of the very few pre-IPO, (double) unicorns focused on the news with thousands of publisher partners globally. Founded in Tokyo in 2012, SmartNews has become the go-to source of news for users around the world. We have more than 20M+ monthly active users worldwide, billions of channel interactions, and article pageviews generated per month.

Join us and be a part of the solution as we work to escape the filter bubble, strengthen democracy, and help people be better informed.

About You
You are passionate about creating holistic experiences for users from all different walks of life. You are open-minded, have a thirst to learn, and are energized by close and collaborative work with a diverse set of peers. We are mobile-first in our design approach, capable of rallying around a concept. You are a person who is comfortable aligning design with the business goals, defining a strategy, and leading your team through flawless execution. You believe that design is a strategic differentiator and, when done well, guides the relationships between people and products effortlessly to beat our goals. Lastly, you know that design is fundamentally about understanding people and problem solving and have experience turning those understandings into successful products.


  • Design - Lead end to end design efforts for high profile products
  • Partnerships - Collaborate with cross-functional partner teams to develop industry leading product solutions for news media
  • Communications - Share and present concepts, designs, ideations, prototypes and design decisions to a wide range of stakeholders and partners
  • Leadership - develop best in class design practices capable of scaling broadly and advocacy within the company
  • Prioritization - balance competing responsibilities for products throughout the explore, expand and extract S-curve with intentionality and clarity of purpose
  • Focus - execute on the scope and complexity of product work while building on the integrity of the design principles and user needs

Minimum Requirements
  • Integritous, quality human being with a belief in the mission and a hunger to improve our collective understandings of the world and each other through peoples access to quality information
  • Highly skilled designer with excellent attention to detail, pride in our craft, depth of product thinking, and mastery of common design prototyping tools
  • Minimum of 5 years experience with proven track record leading product design on multi-disciplinary product teams building mobile products at scale
  • Experience leading ideation sessions, building collaborative and shared product visions, aligning product and design principles and successfully influencing product teams strategies and goals.
  • Strong communicator capable of representing teams strategy broadly, leading executive level design reviews, and keeping teams informed of design decisions and opportunities
  • Self-directed and with a bias towards designing, you are comfortable managing tradeoffs, prioritizing tasks, and have developed frameworks for doing so
  • Ability to provide clear, honest and objective feedback to make your partners and peers better. Open-minded and capable of embracing feedback from others to improve your designs and process.
  • Strong sense of accountability to the broader design community, capable of mentoring designers and interns

Nice to Haves
  • Knowledge of programming, mobile iOS or Android, or HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • Multidisciplinary background such as Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Sociology, Comp. Sci, Data Vis, or Anthropology
  • Experience managing or mentoring designers and building a design team. This role has potential to grow to be a leadership management role.
  • Can speak Japanese

  • Equity included
  • 100% medical, dental and vision insurance coverage (60% coverage for dependents)
  • Monthly commute, mobile phone and gym allowances
  • 401k matching program
  • Free lunch, snacks, drinks, etc.
  • Pet friendly office

Job ID: SmartNews-157C15FB9A

Perks and Benefits

  • Financial And Retirement
    • 401(k) with company matching
    • company equity
    • performance bonus
  • Health And Wellness
    • health insurance
    • dental insurance
    • vision insurance
    • life insurance
    • fitness subsidies
    • FSA account
  • Office Life And Perks
    • flexible work hours
    • commuter benefits program
    • casual dress
    • pet-friendly office
    • happy hours
    • snacks
    • some meals provided
    • diversity and inclusion program
    • company outings
  • Professional Development
    • promote from within
    • learning and development stipend
    • lunch and learns
  • Vacation And Time Off
    • paid vacation
    • paid holidays
    • personal/sick days
    • maternity leave
    • paternity leave