Director of User Experience

Full-Time Anywhere

Character Lab is looking for a Director of User Experience. Reporting to the COO, Dr. Sean Talamas, the Director of User Experience will lead user research, user interface design, and product management for Character Lab Research Network’s digital platform. This is an exciting opportunity for a user-centered, innovative professional to have strategic impact by ensuring our Qualtrics-built digital platform meets the needs and expectations of our diverse users, including students, teachers, school administrators, and academic researchers. We believe our goal – to advance the science and practice of character development – cannot be reached without seamless interaction design grounded in deep empathy for each of these audiences.

Our digital platform is hosted by Qualtrics, and combines standard Qualtrics products with custom products designed in collaboration with and developed by Qualtrics’ engineering services teams. This unique combination of technology allows Character Lab Research Network to facilitate character development research activities at our partner schools in a convenient and secure online format.

The Director of User Experience will define and oversee the design process of our digital platform, manage a team of UX researchers and product managers, execute end-t0-end user-centered design process along with other internal goals, develop product roadmaps, maintain relationships with key external partners such as Qualtrics, lead projects to improve the UX of our existing offering, and spearhead new directions which address unmet user needs.

About Character Lab

Character Lab is a nonprofit devoted to advancing the science and practice of character development. We were founded in 2012 by two educators (Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph) and one scientist (Angela Duckworth) who see character development as essential to helping all children thrive.

Our research has shown that success and well-being depend on a multitude of strengths that are organized into three dimensions: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual. Interpersonal strengths like gratitude and empathy enable caring relationships with other people; intrapersonal strengths like grit and growth mindset enable achievement; and intellectual strengths like curiosity and humor enable a fertile life of the mind.

To advance the science of character development, Character Lab connects leading psychologists with middle and high schools across the country. To advance the practice of character development, Character Lab translates research findings into Playbooks, instructional materials co-created with scientists, educators, and designers. To learn more, seeour most recent Annual Letter.

Our culture is both challenging (we’re never done improving) and supportive (one of our core values is excessive generosity). We are a small team of full-time designers, educators, and scientists (and one dog) under one roof. To learn more, read our Culture Book.



  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 8 years of professional experience in user research, user interface design, user experience, product management, or related fields/disciplines

  • A strong scientific background is preferred

  • Track record of user-first advocacy in complex projects which include other interests

  • Expert understanding of design patterns and best practices on mobile and web

  • Experience managing product roadmaps and product development cycles

  • Experience engaging stakeholders and getting buy-in on user-centered approaches

  • Experience leading and managing UX researchers, designers, and product managers

  • Natural facilitator who leads meetings to productive, collaborative outcomes

  • Deep understanding of how to apply lean UX research methods on quick timelines

  • Strategic thinker who isn’t afraid to get tactical when needed

  • Comfortable with people, clarity in communication

  • Proactive organizational skills lead to disciplined project management

  • Comfort leading a dynamic, diverse startup to rapidly iterate, build, test, and launch

  • Fierce work ethic and a sense of purpose which aligns with Character Lab’s mission

  • Required skills:  Product / UX visioning, lean UX, human-centered design, open-ended discovery methods, user interface design, rapid prototyping, user research, user experience testing, product roadmap development, project management, data analysis

  • Able to understand and collaborate with: data scientists, agile developers, external/remote development teams, academic researchers, executives / board members


Key Responsibilities

  • Lead UX / UI process for the organization

  • Translate business objectives into well-considered, lean design projects

  • Translate user research into actionable insights which are easy to understand

  • Take a disciplined, data-driven approach to prioritizing UX research and design work

  • Manage and guide research activities to identify opportunity, insights, and pain points

  • Manage and guide design activities to create winning solutions to key problems

  • Manage Character Lab’s long-term product roadmap across our various offerings

  • Work with a cross-functional, diverse team to achieve UX goals within constraints set by organizational objectives, research objectives, school objectives

  • Continuously monitor analytics of our platform in the wild and point out new opportunities to better understand or improve UX

  • Work collaboratively with vendors to ensure seamless UX within technical constraints

  • Help create a culture of innovation through cycles of iterative learning and ideation

  • Advocate for students, teachers, school administrators, and academic researchers

  • Facilitate collaborative workshops which bring the team together to handle complexity

  • Constantly think through Character Lab’s offerings from the perspective of end-users

  • Additional responsibilities as assigned


Physical Demands/Environmental Factors

  • Frequent, prolonged, and irregular hours of duty

  • Occasional travel for work-related responsibilities and needs



Competitive salary is commensurate with experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.