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UX Management

UX Management Roles at GitLab

Managers in the UX department at GitLab see the team as their product. While they are credible as designers and know the details of what Product Designers work on, their time is spent hiring a world-class team and putting them in the best position to succeed. They own the delivery of UX commitments and are always looking to improve productivity. They must also coordinate across departments to accomplish collaborative goals.

Product Design Manager

The Product Design Manager reports to the Senior Product Design Manager or the Director of Product Design, and Product Designers report to the Product Design Manager.

Job Grade

The Product Design Manager is a grade 8.

Responsibilities

  • Understand the technology and features of the product areas to which you are assigned, and have working knowledge of the end-to-end GitLab product.
  • Proactively identify large, strategic UX opportunities that span the product areas for which you are responsible and the product as a whole. Work with other Product Design Managers to drive cross-product initiatives.
  • Review UX deliverables (research, designs, etc.) that your team creates, and provide feedback to ensure high-quality output.
  • Identify strategic user research initiatives that span multiple stage groups (and possibly the entire product), and work with other Product Design/Research Managers to organize research efforts.
  • Evangelize the value of UX to cross-functional GitLab team members, and influence the Product Managers you support to prioritize UX initiatives.
  • Set up and manage collaborative processes within your team to ensure Product Designers and Researchers are actively working together. Make sure everyone has exposure to the work that is happening within the broader team.
  • Hire a world-class team of Product Designers.
  • Engage in social media efforts, including writing blog articles and responding on Twitter, as appropriate.
  • Hold regular 1:1s with every member of your team and create Individual Growth Plans with monthly check-ins.

Specialties

Read more about what a specialty is at GitLab here.

FE/UX Foundations

The Foundations team works on building a cohesive and consistent user experience, both visually and functionally. You'll be responsible for leading the direction of the experience design, visual style, and technical tooling of the GitLab product. You'll act as a centralized resource, helping to triage large-scale experience problems as the need arises.

You'll spend your time collaborating with a cross-functional team, helping to implement our Design System, building comprehensive accessibility standards into our workflows, and defining guidelines and best practices that will inform how teams design and build products. A breakdown of the vision you’ll help to deliver within the FE/UX Foundation category can be found on our product direction page.

What you can expect in a Product Design Manager, FE/UX Foundations role at GitLab:

  • Advocate for good product design practices and bring a deep level of subject matter expertise to the team.
  • Act as the experience owner of our Pajamas Design System.
  • Play a key role in both defining the direction of the category and regularly refining/scheduling issues during a given milestone.
  • Work with your direct reports to build out a UX strategy for your team.
  • Proactively learn other product areas in order to help your Product Designers propose design solutions that work for multiple use cases and scenarios across the product.
  • Proactively identify large, strategic UX opportunities within the Foundations team and the product as a whole. Work with other Product Design Managers to drive cross-product initiatives.
  • Review UX deliverables (research, designs, and so on) that your team creates, and provide feedback to ensure high-quality output.
  • Identify strategic user research initiatives that span multiple product areas, and work with other Product Design/Research Managers to organize research efforts.
  • Evangelize the value of UX to cross-functional GitLab team members, and influence the Product Managers you support to prioritize UX initiatives.
  • Track coverage of Pajamas components in the GitLab product.
  • Set up and manage collaborative processes within your team to ensure Product Designers and UX Researchers are actively working together. Make sure everyone has exposure to the work that is happening within the broader team.
  • Foster a safe space for your team, where they’re comfortable sharing feedback and advocating for change they see as necessary. 
  • Champion the importance of participation in critiques, content creation, and speaking engagements, while also participating alongside them.
  • Hire and retain a world-class team of Product Designers.
  • Hold regular 1:1s with every member of your team, and create Individual Growth Plans with monthly check-ins.
  • Collaborate with our VP of UX to define OKRs for our design practice. These OKRs will shape your team’s process, define your responsibilities as a manager, and feed into the responsibilities of your direct reports.
  • Play a part in the evolution of our design culture as we take the next steps in expansion.

Requirements

  • A minimum of 3 years experience managing a group of designers.
  • Solid visual awareness with understanding of basic design principles like typography, layout, composition, and color theory.
  • Proficiency with pre-visualization software (e.g. Figma, Sketch, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator).
  • Experience defining the high-level strategy (the why) and creating design deliverables (the how) based on research.
  • Experience driving organizational change with cross-functional stakeholders.
  • Passion for creating visually pleasing and intuitive user experiences.
  • Collaborative team spirit with great communication skills.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab.
  • Ability to use GitLab.

NOTE In the compensation calculator below, fill in "Manager" in the Level field for this role.

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter.
  • Interview with Product Designer In this interview, the interviewer will want to understand the experience you have as a manager, what type of teams you have led, and your management style. The interviewer will also look to understand how you define strategy, how you work with researchers, how you handle conflict, and how you dealt with difficult situations in the past. Do be prepared to talk about your work, your experience with Design Systems, and your technical ability.
  • Interview with Product Design Manager In this interview, we want you to share specific examples from your work that provide insight into a problem you solved as part of a project you led. We'll look to understand the size and structure of your team, the goals of the project, how you/the team approached research, how you synthesized research data to inform design decisions, what design standards and guidelines you worked within, how you collaborated with the wider team, and the overall outcome. Broadly, we want to hear how you identified what needed to be done and then guided your team to the end result. A formal case study is not required but welcomed.
  • Interview with Director of Product Design In this interview, the interviewer will want to understand the experience you have as a manager, what types of teams you have led, and your management style. The interviewer will also want to understand how you define strategy, how you work with researchers, how you handle conflict, and how you've dealt with difficult situations in the past. Do be prepared to talk about your work, experience with Design Systems, and your technical ability.
  • Interview with Director of Product (Product Management) In this interview, the interviewer will want to understand how your career experiences will set you up for success at GitLab. They will also look to understand how you work with cross-functional partners, the domains you've worked in previously, and the types of teams you've led.
  • Interview with VP of UX In this interview, the interviewer will want to understand the experience you have as a manager, your experience working remotely, and how these two elements of your career intersect. They will also look to understand your technical skills and the types of products you've worked on previously.

Senior Product Design Manager

The Senior Product Design Manager reports to the Director of Product Design, and the Product Design Manager reports to the Senior Product Design Manager.

Job Grade

The Senior Product Design Manager is a grade 9.

Responsibilities

  • Define and manage performance indicators for the Product Design team by actively contributing to the product design KPIs on the UX KPIs page in the handbook.
  • Actively advocate for Product Design throughout the organization by ensuring Product Design responsibilities are reflected in the Product Development Flow.
  • Help drive cross-product workflows by having an awareness of what's happening across all sections through active participation in design reviews, UX Showcases, and Group Conversations.
  • Faciliatate the creation and execution of product design OKRs in collabration with the Product Design team and UX Leadership.
  • Ensure UX is prioritized by working with product leadership to identify opportunities for validation and better cross-functional collaboration.
  • Coach Product Design Managers on how to conduct 1:1s, growth, and feedback conversations with their direct reports.
  • Conduct quarterly skip levels with your reports' direct reports.
  • Participate in Opportunity Canvas reviews by asking questions and providing feedback that focus on a great user experience.
  • Hire and retain a world-class team of Product Designers and Product Design Managers.

Requirements

  • A minimum of 3 years experience managing Product Design Managers.
  • Solid visual awareness with understanding of basic design principles like typography, layout, composition, and color theory.
  • Experience defining the high-level strategy (the why) and helping your team tie design and research back to that strategy.
  • Experience driving organizational change with cross-functional stakeholders.
  • Passion for creating visually pleasing and intuitive user experiences.
  • Collaborative team spirit with great communication skills.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab.
  • Ability to use GitLab.

NOTE In the compensation calculator below, fill in "Manager" in the Level field for this role.

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter.
  • Interview with Product Design Manager. In this interview, the interviewer will focus on understanding your experience with driving design strategy, managing managers, and influencing the wider organization in which you worked. Examples of large, complex projects that had a significant impact on product experience will be helpful. Broadly, we want to hear how you identified what needed to be done and then guided your team to the end result.
  • Interview with Director of Product Design. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experience you have as a manager, what types of teams you have led and your management style. The interviewer will also want to understand how you define strategy, how you work with researchers, how you've handled conflict, and how you've dealt with difficult situations in the past. Do be prepared to talk about your work, experience with Design Systems, and technical ability, too.
  • Interview with Director of Product (Product Management).
  • Interview with VP of Engineering.

Director of Product Design

The Director of Product Design reports to the VP of UX, and Product Design Manager and Senior Product Design Manager report to the Director of Product Design.

The Director of Product Design role extends the Senior Product Design Manager role.

Job Grade

The Director of Product Design is a grade 10.

Responsibilities

  • Define and manage performance indicators for the Product Design team by independently managing product design KPIs on the UX KPIs page in the handbook.
  • Actively advocate for Product Design throughout the organization by ensuring Product Design responsibilities are reflected in the Product Development Flow.
  • Help drive cross-product workflows by having an awareness of what's happening across all sections through active participation in design reviews, UX Showcases, and Group Conversations.
  • Independently manage the creation and execution of product design OKRs with feedback from the Product Design team and UX Leadership.
  • Ensure UX is prioritized by working with product leadership to identify opportunities for validation and better cross-functional collaboration.
  • Communicate significant product design strategy decisions to leadership and the wider company.
  • Coach Product Design Managers on how to conduct 1:1s, growth, and feedback conversations with their direct reports.
  • Conduct quarterly skip levels with your reports' direct reports.
  • Participate in Opportunity Canvas reviews by asking questions and providing feedback that focus on a great user experience.
  • Hire and retain a world-class team of Product Designers and Product Design Managers.

Requirements

  • A minimum of 10 years experience managing designers, and leading design for a product company.
  • Solid visual awareness with understanding of basic design principles like typography, layout, composition, and color theory.
  • Proficiency with pre-visualization software (e.g. Figma, Sketch, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator).
  • Experience defining the high-level strategy (the why) and creating design deliverables (the how) based on research.
  • Passion for creating visually pleasing and intuitive user experiences.
  • Collaborative team spirit with great communication skills.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter.
  • Interview with Product Design Manager or Director of Product Design. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experience you have as a manager, as well as what type of teams you have led and your management style. The interviewer will also be looking to understand how you define strategy, how you work with researchers, how you've handled conflict, and how you dealt with difficult situations in the past. Do be prepared to talk about your work, experience with Design Systems, and technical ability, too.
  • Interview with Director of Product (Product Management).
  • Interview with VP of UX.

Vice President of UX

The Vice President of User Experience will report to the Executive Vice President of Engineering, and Senior Managers and Directors of Product Design, UX Research, and Technical Writing report to them.

Job Grade

The VP of UX is a grade 12.

Responsibilities

  • Set a UX vision that aligns Product Design, UX Research, and Technical Writing with overall company objectives.
  • Communicate broadly about important UX initiatives, setting an ambitious UX vision for the department, product, and company.
  • Manage the UX budget, including compensation planning, non-headcount budget allocation, and tradeoff decisions.
  • Interface regularly with executives on important decisions.
  • Identify ways to elevate the GitLab product experience, manage initiatives to address those concerns, and track and communicate about progress.
  • Help UX leaders grow their skills and leadership experience.
  • Foster an open and collaborative culture based on trust in the UX department, where everyone feels empowered to do their best work.
  • Ensure that UX is well-integrated into the Product Development Flow, and advocate for process changes that help product management, engineering, and UX work together to build a great experience.
  • Define and promote design guidelines, best practices, and standards, and help to drive GitLab's design system forward at a strategic level.
  • Work with product leadership to prioritize research efforts, so that we validate whether we're solving the right problems in the right ways.
  • Ensure that Development is included in the UX process by offering the opportunity to participate in and understand the outcomes of user research, give early feedback on upcoming designs, and participate in design system strategy.
  • Define value-driven quarterly UX OKRs, and manage their execution.
  • Represent the company at conferences, in media, in blog articles, in YouTube videos, and in other public venues.
  • Hold regular skip-level 1:1s with all members of their team.
  • Hire and retain a world-class team of Product Designers, UX Researchers, Technical Writers, and their managers.

Requirements

  • A minimum of 10 years experience managing designers, researchers, and writers and leading design for a product company.
  • Solid visual awareness with understanding of basic design principles like typography, layout, composition, and color theory.
  • Passion for creating visually pleasing and intuitive user experiences.
  • Collaborative team spirit with great communication skills.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter.
  • Interview with a manager on the UX Leadership team. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experience you have leading managers, as well as what type of teams you have led and your management style. The interviewer will also be looking to understand how you define strategy, how you've handled conflict, and how you dealt with difficult situations in the past. Do be prepared to talk about your work, experience with Design Systems, and technical ability, too.
  • Interview with a director on the UX Leadership team. In this interview, we will be looking for you to give some real insight into a problem you were solving as part of a large initiative you led the work on. We'll look to understand the size and structure of the team, the goals of the project, how you/the team approached research, how you used research to inform decisions, and how you collaborated with the wider team. Broadly, we want to hear how you identified what needed to be done and then guided your team to the end result.
  • Interview with VP of Product.
  • Interview with VP of Engineering.

As always, interviews and the screening call will be conducted via video.

See more details about our hiring process on the hiring handbook.

Performance indicators

Career Ladder

For more details on the engineering career ladders, please review the engineering career development handbook page.

About GitLab

GitLab Inc. is a company based on the GitLab open-source project. GitLab is a community project to which over 2,200 people worldwide have contributed. We are an active participant in this community, trying to serve its needs and lead by example. We have one vision: everyone can contribute to all digital content, and our mission is to change all creative work from read-only to read-write so that everyone can contribute.

We value results, transparency, sharing, freedom, efficiency, self-learning, frugality, collaboration, directness, kindness, diversity, inclusion and belonging, boring solutions, and quirkiness. If these values match your personality, work ethic, and personal goals, we encourage you to visit our primer to learn more. Open source is our culture, our way of life, our story, and what makes us truly unique.

Top 10 reasons to work for GitLab:

  1. Work with helpful, kind, motivated, and talented people.
  2. Work remote so you have no commute and are free to travel and move.
  3. Have flexible work hours so you are there for other people and free to plan the day how you like.
  4. Everyone works remote, but you don't feel remote. We don't have a head office, so you're not in a satellite office.
  5. Work on open source software so you can interact with a large community and can show your work.
  6. Work on a product you use every day: we drink our own wine.
  7. Work on a product used by lots of people that care about what you do.
  8. As a company we contribute more than we take, most of our work is released as the open source GitLab CE.
  9. Focused on results, not on long hours, so that you can have a life and don't burn out.
  10. Open internal processes: know what you're getting in to and be assured we're thoughtful and effective.

See our culture page for more!

Work remotely from anywhere in the world. Curious to see what that looks like? Check out our remote manifesto and guides.

Git is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and our use of 'GitLab' is under license