Protocol Labs is a research, development, and deployment institution for improving Internet technology. Protocol Labs leads groundbreaking internet projects, such as IPFS, the decentralized web protocol; Filecoin, a cryptocurrency incentivized storage network; and libp2p, a modular network stack for peer-to-peer apps and systems. Protocol Labs works openly, and is focused on the creation of value at a massive scale.
Seeking a design leader who wants to help make the next version of the internet clear, understandable, and inclusive.
As a Protocol Labs User Experience Design Lead, besides building useful and usable open source products and protocols, you’ll also help build our user-centered design practice and promote best practices in a part of the technology stack that doesn’t always get enough design love (protocols and networking). Why is this amazing? Because design is the killer app for crypto and the distributed web, and our mission is to improve humanity’s most important technology: the internet. We can’t do it without user-centered designers like you! We have a rare opportunity to research and build at the core of how the internet could work, and make its next version easier to use and more inclusive.
Tell us about how you work! You don’t need experience in 100% of these responsibilities, and we’d like to hear about your unique perspective on this role.
Some challenges you could work on include:
- What does identity verification look like in a decentralized system?
- How do trust and trust systems manifest in systems where people are exchanging data, instead of relying on centralized systems, and how should we design for that?
- Technologies and protocols like IPFS let you distribute identical copies of your data across a dynamic, scalable network of peers (instead of relying on a centralized cloud). How should a UI communicate to users what ‘sharing on the internet’ means in the future? How could systems support stewarding data together in such a system?
- What does a UI kit look like for distributed web apps, and what changes (if any) should we make for the different ways people might interact with the distributed web?
- We have to talk about this brave new world in ways that humans can understand. How should we build those instructional and communication touchpoints, from websites to tutorials to API docs to GitHub repos?
- Zoom in and out. Generate high-level product strategies as well as the practical project steps to get there.
- Lead projects from a user experience design perspective using techniques such as design studios, workshops (both in-person and remote), user journeys, and service blueprints.
- Support collaborative decision-making. Tell compelling, research-driven stories to illustrate pros and cons of various options.
- Show persistent commitment to thoughtful, inclusive, and ethical user research.
- Deliver whatever’s needed to guide development — this could include wireframes, sitemaps, flowcharts, storyboards, or user stories.
- Create written materials and visual presentations that are accessible to non-experts but that are legally and technically accurate.
- Incorporate UX into agile development sprints, coordinating with visual and content designers, developers, and product managers to achieve a strategic vision.
- Show your process transparently in open source communities such as GitHub, or have an interest in learning how to do this.
- Lead user research and usability testing
- Plan and facilitate user interviews
- Prioritize research projects based on team needs and goals
- Plan and facilitate collaboration between researchers and team members
- Plan strategies for outreach to find feedback participants
- Provide mentorship and guidance to other user experience designers, or people interested in UX techniques, on the team.
- Excellent community-facing and internal communication skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Demonstrated expertise leading design work with cross-functional, iterative teams on time-sensitive projects
- Demonstrated experience in design research (both generative and evaluative)
- Experience in at least one other design discipline such as front end design, information architecture, interaction design, visual design, or service design.
- Experience working in collaborative, open environments (such as open source communities).
What’s it like to work at Protocol Labs?
Protocol Labs mission is to improve humanity’s most important technology, the Internet. We build protocols, systems, and tools to improve how it works. Today, we are focused on how we store, locate, and move information. Our projects include IPFS, Filecoin, libp2p, and more.
- As a distributed team, we hire anywhere in the world, and at various levels of experience (entry, senior, staff). We look for people with unique perspectives and diverse backgrounds.
- We have a great benefits package, including parental leave, contributions to your retirement, competitive pay, and unlimited time off. For U.S.-based employees, we also provide platinum-level health, dental, and vision coverage for you and your family.