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Full-time Director of Design (Product)

at Lisa Hiraide in San Francisco



The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization supporting Wikipedia and other open knowledge projects. We operate the world’s largest and most popular information resource with global reach and impact.

Delivering excellent learning experiences and supporting collaboration at scale are among our principal goals as an organization. We work in the open, with a transparent and participatory process. Collaboration with our communities is at the core of our product development and we want design to guide this process. Wikimedia seeks a design director to mentor and empower a team of design practitioners to deliver useful, beautiful, and engaging solutions that our users love.


  • Mentor our team of designers. Provide input as an expert in design processes and methodologies to inspire and support a multidisciplinary team in creating world-class solutions
  • Foster a culture of design among the community and the organization. Build strong relationships and a shared understanding with other leaders in the organization as well as the volunteer communities that help develop our projects and their content, in support of effective collaboration
  • Lead design research efforts to understand people’s motivations and needs to inform product strategy at Wikimedia
  • Support product teams and coordinate their design efforts to ensure a coherent experience for users on different platforms
  • Manage one direct report; mentor, motivate and support their continuous professional development
  • Assist with headcount planning and manage team budget


  • Experience. At least 5 years leading teams in a substantial user experience design effort, with an additional 4-6 years working as a strong design contributor.
  • Impeccable experience as a leader, creating results in creative and effective ways
  • Bachelor’s degree and 12+ years related work experience; or equivalent experience; or Master’s degree and 8+ years related work experience
  • Advanced analysis skills, including in-depth evaluation of intangibles
  • Communication. Ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and persuasively across different audiences and multiple levels of the organization.
  • Collaboration. Experience collaborating with design researchers, product managers, and engineers to inform product strategy using human centered design methods.
  • Can speak clearly and confidently to internal Foundation groups
  • Must be able to work in our San Francisco, CA headquarters location (this is not a remote position)


  • Community. Experience in community-generated content products, especially with global communities in open knowledge and open source areas.
  • Design advocacy. Experience in driving design practices adoption through the different levels of an organization.
  • Presence in the broader design community with work, methods and ideas that are influential beyond their own organisation.
  • Passion for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects
  • Fluency in languages other than English
  • Understanding of free culture / free software / open source principles

How to apply

In order to be considered for this role, please submit the following:

Cover letter – Why do you want to work at Wikimedia?
Include links to your work (portfolio or showcase of past work)

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and hosts Wikipedia and several other Wikimedia free knowledge sites. Every month, the Wikimedia sites are accessed by more than a billion unique devices. Wikipedia consists of more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages. Every month, more than 250,000 volunteer editors contribute to Wikipedia. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501©(3) non-profit that is funded primarily through donations and grants. It currently employs over 300 staff members.
At the Foundation, we build technology to help people everywhere access Wikipedia, across devices and in nearly 300 languages. We engineer privacy for our readers and editors so they can safely and securely explore Wikipedia. We create programs and initiatives to make Wikipedia freely available to more people in more parts of the world. We build new tools for the community of editors so they can continue to improve and grow Wikipedia. Roughly a quarter of our budget goes to supporting the community that make the site possible, including through grantmaking programs that enable volunteers and enrich the information on the sites.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply.

Benefits & Perks

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off – vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays – including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments – long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues – diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people
  • for benefits eligible staff, benefits may vary by location

More Information

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Published on 27-10-2017