Freelance position in Toronto / Apply by Oct 5

Experience Designer

Want to design for good? Tired of making products and services that advance a corporate interest — rather than a social cause? Come on board to help us strengthen the emotional health of newcomers to Canada, by taking an early co-designed idea into a full-fledged prototype!

More about the role:

We’re looking for a freelance Experience Designer to help our interdisciplinary team translate Emotions Library from a paper concept into a small-scale service. Emotions Library is a brand new concept, emerging from a year of ethnography and co-design with older Arabic-speaking newcomers and Filipino young people. Emotions Library makes, collects and spreads stories about the ups and downs of life in Canada, helping newcomers navigate new emotional terrain.

Photo taken from behind two women sitting side by side on the floor, with a coffee table of materials in front of them, and holding one item together.
We met MaryJo (left) while doing ethnography at a night school. She joined our team! Here’s she’s testing the concept of Emotions Library with another newcomer parent. Now, we’re bringing Emotions Library to life.

As our Experience Designer, you’ll help us to develop and test the user journey for Emotions Library, quickly making touchpoints across channels (digital and face-to-face), collecting user feedback, and iterating based on emergent learning. We work rapidly: moving from visual sketches to low-fidelity mock-ups in a day or two, and then heading out to community to run interactions and measure impact. Our goal with Emotions Library is to figure out what kind of story content strengthens resilience, and then to package and deliver that content to newcomers.

To excel in the role, you’ll need to be a strong (and fast!) maker and doer, with real skills in the digital domain, and a capacity to create print touchpoints too. Indeed, this is a role that requires versatility: you can toggle between UX, graphic, and service design: zooming in to specific interactions and zooming out to how those interactions sit within an overarching service journey and theory of change that is grounded in user research. That means you’re the kind of person who loves going between the computer and the community to engage with real people.

Nuts & bolts:

  • Freelance agreement
  • Minimum 5 days a month
  • Based in Toronto
  • Able to start by mid-October 2019
  • Willing to join weekly team huddle
  • Open to more days as the project shifts
People lined on either side of a long table covered with a table cloth and lots of decorations and designed materials with the sign "What if life was in full colour?"
Testing early service concepts with paper mock-ups

More about you:

  • You have at least 3 years of experience in some combination of UX design, service design and visual communication design, and know how to prototype service experiences across channels. You’re familiar with tools like journey maps and service blueprints, and can offer examples from your portfolio.
  • At heart, you’re a maker. You love to create stuff, whether that’s digital or physical: from digital tools or forms, to websites and InVision prototypes, to delightful brochures and posters, or flow charts and process diagrams. Even if you’re not equally skilled in all of these things, you can make do and learn by doing.
  • You have a strong aesthetic sense, but know when to make a touchpoint high versus low fidelity.
  • You seek feedback, and are not too precious with what you make. You like to be challenged, and feel motivated by users engaging with what you create.
  • You’re a problem-solver. You know how to break down a concept into parts, and find off-the-shelf products you can hack or quickly build on to bring those parts to life.
  • You’re curious and humble; open to learning more and wanting to incorporate social science thinking into your repertoire.
  • You’re a motivated team player, who steps up to the plate when needed and can also be flexible. You enjoy working at a fast-pace and can deliver on time (or maybe just in time)!
  • Big Bonus: You’re an avid consumer and maker of content (e.g podcasts, films, photo stories, blogs, zines, etc.) in either your personal or professional life, and have some discernment about what makes for compelling and engaging material.

More about us:

We’re a one of-a-kind design shop in Canada. Our portfolio includes adult learning platforms for folks living with a disability, new family-led networks, after school services for young people at risk, and brief interventions for street-involved adults with addictions. Behind everything we make is a heavy dose of intentionality.

Over the past year, we’ve partnered with two non-profits (North York Community House and Options Community Services) to re-imagine the newcomer experience. Thanks to funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, we’re co-designing, testing, and (hopefully) spreading the next generation of community supports.

How to apply?

  1. Send us your resume and portfolio: highlight your role and the work you’re most proud of, and least proud of.
  2. Send us two examples of services with digital and face-to-face components that you think are amazing. Tell us why.
  3. Email your files by October 5th to anna@inwithforward.com