Design View | Design articles and news from Andy Rutledge

1/30/08

People, Work With Me Here

A few short months ago, Angela Conlon and I launched a design consultancy called Unit Interactive. Since that time our enterprise has grown by leaps and bounds and we’ve quickly outgrown our 2-person workload. In fact, we’ve blown the idea of a 2-person workload out of the water. We have to turn down excellent projects nearly every week and we’re not happy about that.

This is a cry for help. No, really. Our groovy little Unit is awash in cool projects and we need a world-class designer/developer to join our team. If this describes you and you're in the Dallas area Metroplex, heed the clarion call!

But wait! Let me first describe the kind of person we’re looking for and then describe how we at Unit get our groove on. We’re pretty particular about most things and our clients are very particular. If after reading the following you’re compatible with both sides of this equation, we would certainly like to talk to you.

Basic info on the position
First of all, we’re in Plano, Texas (in the Dallas Metroplex). This position is for full-time contract-to-hire and we’re primarily looking for someone to work on-site in our office. We may consider remote candidates, but only as a second choice.

Salary is competitive. At present we offer no insurance or 401K benefits. We’re a bootstrapped startup, for goodness sake. Those things are surely coming, but not for a while yet.

You

Skills
We’re looking for someone who is a formidable Web designer, with particular emphasis on interface design skills directly supported by a deep and clear understanding of the many facets of user experience. This means that we’re looking for a designer who is essentially a junior psychologist; who knows what makes people tick, knows how different sorts of people prefer to interact with interfaces in differing contexts, and knows how to design for specific contexts.

We’re looking for a designer who, in addition to the above, knows how to discover a client’s spectrum of business needs and desires, knows how to discover the client’s brand needs and constraints, and then produce designs that balance these elements elegantly—all the while remaining true to the viewer/user needs, desires, and expectations.

We’re looking for a designer who is comfortable running a discovery or kickoff meeting while sitting at the table with the CEO of a billion dollar corporation. We need someone who knows precisely what value he/she brings to the project and can confidently convey that information to a room full of skeptical corporate middle managers; communicating in a compelling and convincing manner. This is not a position of design obscurity. You will be a point-person on every project in which you’re involved, and you’ll interact directly with the client.

You should be comfortable playing with sketches before you touch a digital tool. You must be practiced at writing your XHTML and CSS from scratch, by hand. You must be well-versed in the conventions of Web standards, and particularly with semantic markup and modern CSS and cross-browser considerations. Bonus if you’re comfortable writing JavaScript and/or playing with various JS libraries, or if you’re practiced at CMS integrations.

While I do the bulk of the project management, our new team member should be capable of and practiced at running a project solo, from beginning to end.

Education
Princeton, Community College, or Hard Knocks; doesn’t matter. Your diploma won’t be doing any work around here. But you must be educated, either formally or self-driven. You must be highly articulate, and as comfortable conversing with captains of industry as you are conversing with your buddies.

Tools
We need someone who is technically proficient in the Adobe/Macromedia suite of graphics tools, focusing primarily on Photoshop/Fireworks. For XHTML and CSS development, whatever tool you prefer is fine.

Work Habits
We understand that creative people work differently than most other people. Whatever your approach to the workday, we’re likely simpatico. But we at UI don’t miss project deadlines. If you’re comfortable missing a deadline now and then, please do not consider working with us. Punctuality, in all of its forms, is essential to our work here.

Gear
Bonus if you have your own badminton racquet, baseball glove, or Frisbee. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy …and makes Jill no firecracker either.

Us

Angela and I started Unit Interactive with a very clear purpose and vision. We want to work in a manner that we know to be best for us and for our clients, and we want to focus on the work that allows us to bring the most value and benefit to our clients. So we concentrate on what we do best and let other competent professionals take care the things we’re less proficient at.

We therefore regularly turn down projects. We’re not the right consultancy for every need and we don’t take projects where we are not able to provide substantial benefit to the client. We’re not in business to fill up our project queue; we’re in business to provide effective design and quality work. We don’t take projects where we’re not capable of or somehow prevented from doing these things.

We take our work very seriously, but ours is a very un-serious office. After all, Unit is a company founded by designers. Being creative professionals necessitates a different environment and approach to work than is appropriate for other professionals. We get this. We work hard, play hard, and work …different.

We need to grow. We want to grow. But we want to grow the right way. We have far more work offered to us than we could possibly take and we want to have more opportunity to take on good projects. At present, we’re a very small enterprise and so we can’t offer the sorts of benefits to our team members that larger companies can. But we aim to change that and hope to find the right people to travel that road with us.

If all of this sounds like a good fit for you and you think you’re a good fit for us, and you’re in the Dallas Metroplex, we want to hear from you. If you’d like to talk with us about this, please first or simply send us a contact form from the UI site, and we’ll then proceed with more direct contact.

C’mon people, work with me here. Seriously.

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