Lead Designer

Transcend - Remote - Full time

Transcend - Remote - Full time

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Start Date: Immediate

Role Type: Full-time

Location: Flexible

Who We Are:

Transcend is a national nonprofit that leads innovation in school design in close partnership with visionary school operators around the country. We focus on innovation in every aspect of the holistic design of schools -- from the aims of school, to students’ experience, to the use of time, to the roles of educators and families and surrounding communities, to physical space, and much more -- to prepare all students for far greater success in the 21st century.

We do this through:

  1. developing and replicating new school model designs, in close partnership with visionary school operators (in district, charter, and independent schools)
  2. building a diverse, cross-disciplinary force of talent for the sector, who can perform the deep R&D needed for school innovation
  3. building and sharing actionable knowledge for the sector on how to do school model innovation and change management

The Opportunity:

In its current form, school will never reach our highest aspirations -- even with herculean efforts. It was never designed for anything close to this. But the system as we know it can be redesigned. Our school partners are ambitious and brave and are driving efforts to redesign this system so that all kids can thrive.

In order to accelerate and sharpen those efforts, Transcend is growing our team focused on the early stages of the innovation journey (we call this stage “Dream and Discover”). As a team, we will explore multiple paths (from light touch to more intensive) to supporting partners at this early stage. This role will lead user research, product design and learning experience design for our partners, ensuring that we’ve built beautiful and user-friendly materials, tools and assets to strengthen our work with schools.


Specific activities will vary week-to-week and will evolve dynamically as befits a thriving startup, but core responsibilities include:

Design User Experience & Products

  • Serve as a design advisor for Transcend and our school partners as we work to codify school models and school model components
  • Drive the development of beautiful and user-centered print and web-based products and services
  • Systematically collect, analyze, and use data to make design pivots
  • Effectively communicate findings, conceptual ideas, detailed design, and design rationale both verbally and visually

Adult development + coaching

  • Shepard school operators through the first stage of school design work (we call this Dream and Discover)
  • Utilize design-thinking methodology to elicit pioneering ideas, and support school operator in making model choices and trade-offs.
  • Design and facilitate experiences that push the team to ideate and generate out-of-the box solution

Other workstreams contributing to building Transcend’s school innovation work

  • Contribute to long term Dream and Discover strategy and direction
  • Contribute to our ongoing research and development efforts, including running R&D cycles, ongoing data collection, and continuous improvement
  • Cultivate the pipeline for future dream and discover partnerships

Who You Are:

You believe deeply that all students deserve an excellent education, and that too few receive that today. You are excited about creating something new and you want to roll up your sleeves and engage in the messiness that comes with going places that no one has been before. Creativity runs through your veins and you derive immense joy in designing beautiful products that delight their intended user. You’re not afraid to think outside of the box and push boundaries. You’ve also had opportunities to hone your leadership chops, and know how to influence and guide senior colleagues to provide input, identify priorities and make decisions. You have a sense of humor, and want to work with others who do, too!

To thrive in this role, you will:

  • Have demonstrated ability to design, build, launch, and iterate/improve on compelling products; bring a portfolio of design work executed by yourself or a team you led, that showcases exceptional, user-centered product design
  • Bring experience establishing a design vision/strategy and leading a team toward achieving it
  • Be proficient in a variety of user research methods: Card sorting, Collaboration, Competitive evaluation, Concept modeling, Contextual inquiry, Diagramming, Ethnography, Facilitation, Graphic facilitation, Heuristic evaluation, High fidelity prototyping, Interviewing, Personas, Scenarios, Sitemaps, Sketching, Specifications, Strategy Development, Surveying, Task Flows, Team-building, Usability testing, Wireframes, Workshops
  • Bring passion for creating innovative, breakthrough new school models that generate unprecedented results for students
  • Exhibit a strong and demonstrated commitment to advancing equity and justice in education and beyond
  • Have an entrepreneurial hunger to build, learn, and lead in an ambiguous context
  • Bring excellent oral and written communication skills, specialty in refining copy
  • Bring experience with graphic and web design
  • Be comfortable with clients / teams, working as a collaborator and advisor, and the ability to confidently and credibly share your point of view and expertise
  • Have a deep and demonstrated passion for Transcend's mission and alignment with ourcore values


  • Experience in K-12 schools; in districts and charters or education non-profits, preferably with direct experience with design, innovation, 21st century skills, change management and/or “next generation” school models
  • Have extensive experience working with diverse populations in terms of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status; bilingual (English/Spanish) /bicultural preferred.

Join Us!

Please note that a resume and portfolio is required. No cover letter required.

At Transcend, we celebrate, we support, and we thrive on difference and diversity for the benefit of our team members, our partnerships, and our community. Transcend is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and hires without consideration of race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

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Ux / Graphic Design

Experience Level

Mid Level


Transcend is a national nonprofit that leads innovation in school design in close partnership with visionary school operators around the country. 

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