About U.S. Digital Response

U.S. Digital Response (USDR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort that helps governments and organizations respond quickly and efficiently to support the critical needs of the public.

Leveraging a network of pro-bono technical expertise and modern, resilient technology, USDR addresses and uncovers solutions for common, systemic challenges that public servants are facing, leaving them better equipped to deliver services and support to millions of people nationwide.

We operate with humility and deep respect for our partners and believe that modern and resilient technology applied in the public interest can deliver people-centered services at the speed of need.

During our first 18 months, USDR built a year’s worth of deep partnerships with over 200 government and nonprofit partners, strong expertise across more than 300 projects, real-world impact to 18 million people, and repeatable processes to solve some of the most pressing challenges of this pandemic year.

Learn more about our last year in our U.S. Digital Response 2020 Highlights or by reading our recent press coverage.

About the Rapid Response Program

USDR’s Rapid Response program is expanding our in-house capacity to:

  1. Quickly respond to the urgent needs of governments in crisis, and
  2. Develop and maintain a portfolio of services that we can repeatedly deploy to governments.

Born out of the COVID-19 crisis, Rapid Response at USDR has evolved to recognize and rise to unexpected challenges faced by governments, from standing up new vaccine delivery programs to handling new influxes of populations in need of government services. We’ve also identified repeat plays that can quickly add value to government operations and upgrade service delivery, from website and communication audits with a focus on equity to procurement advice and vendor evaluation.

This role will be on the front lines of our response to government partners, working to scope partner asks into projects that USDR volunteers can deliver on and develop while also maturing a model for volunteer-powered services at USDR.

About the role

The Rapid Response designer-in-residence will own a portfolio of USDR offerings related to website and content audits, communication strategies, and user research. This is a dual hands-on and leadership role for a design researcher. You will supervise the work of volunteers and team members while also generating insights, defining user stories, wireframing and prototyping workflows, and validating with users. You’ll represent the voice of the user to USDR and our partners.

You might be a good fit for this role if you’re a senior UX researcher or designer with mentorship or team leadership experience.

This is a full-time, paid, one year position with benefits.

In this role, you will:

  • Work with new government partners to define the scope of their needs and USDR’s proposed solutions in these spaces. This is a good role for a creative, product-minded, user-focused designer who is comfortable creating direction, not just taking direction.
  • Define and shape the contours of USDR’s offering in each space for internal and external consumption, including what works and doesn’t, what is needed from the partner, and clear criteria for saying “yes” to a proposed project. This information will be used internally to enable team volunteers to triage incoming asks and externally to shape the top of the funnel for government and NGO requests.
  • Staff new projects with USDR volunteers and direct them in the implementation of the project. This is a hybrid hands-on technical and leadership role: in addition to leading the technical implementation of projects, you’ll have the USDR community’s resources at your disposal to manage. USDR’s volunteers skew senior and can often commit 10-20 hours per week to the work, but they shine most with support and guidance from a lead who can set context for them, help them understand how their work fits into the big picture, and clear blockers out of the way.
  • Collaborate with USDR’s marketing and outreach teams to tell the story of USDR’s work in this portfolio with a focus on growing the partner base for our repeat plays.
  • Alongside the other Rapid Response Program Leads and volunteers, represent USDR on calls with our government and nonprofit partners.
  • Represent USDR and the values of our Volunteer Oath in your work.

Qualified candidates will have:

  • 4+ years relevant design and/or user research experience understanding user needs, generating actionable product insights and then designing appropriate digital solutions.
  • A mature understanding of best practices for web and mobile design along with a passion for accessibility and building for underserved communities.
  • A diverse toolbox of research methods, which may include qualitative interviews, surveys, usability testing, and other methods used in service design.
  • A desire to get hands-on with the research and wireframing under ambiguous circumstances—we are constantly engaging with partners bringing new needs to us as the pandemic evolves; the opportunity to create clarity where it did not previously exist should be exciting to you.
  • Experience telling compelling stories and getting stakeholders on board with your work, process, insights, and decisions.
  • Experience as a design leader. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been a people manager, but you have managed work across multiple projects. You may have mentored interns, led task forces and working groups, or served as a domain expert in some specialization. In some specific way, you’ve been a force multiplier for the people around you.

Application Process:

  • Applications will be accepted until the role is filled, but the team will begin reviewing applications on October 27th. USDR will conduct an application and resume review, followed by a series of interviews with various members of USDR.

What you’ll get:

  • The Technologist-in-Residence role is a one-year appointment at U.S. Digital Response. The position is expected to begin November/December 2021. There is no guarantee of continued employment beyond the one-year appointment.
  • A competitive salary, consistent with similar roles in other tech non-profits in the Bay Area where USDR is headquartered. The annual salary range for this role is $120,000-$140,000, depending on experience.
  • Full health, dental and vision benefits.
  • A budget for team-level learning and development
  • A supportive community where everyone can thrive and find a balance between working hard to make a difference and taking care of themselves in a difficult time. This means that we are committed to a fully remote work environment (for US-based employees) along with flexible schedules and time off policies that work with your life.

Equal Employment Opportunity

U.S. Digital Response is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

We encourage and welcome all interested potential applicants, regardless of background or prior experience volunteering with U.S. Digital Response, to apply.