Design Manager, Khan Academy Districts and Assessments
ABOUT KHAN ACADEMY
Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission to deliver a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Our proven learning platform offers free, high-quality supplemental learning content and practice that cover Pre-K - 12th grade and early college core academic subjects, focusing on math and science. We have over 155 million registered learners globally and are committed to improving learning outcomes for students worldwide, focusing on learners in historically under-resourced communities.
Our students, teachers, and parents come from all walks of life, and so do we. Our team includes people from academia, traditional/non-traditional education, big tech companies, and tiny startups. We hire great people from diverse backgrounds and experiences because it makes our company stronger. We value diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as necessary to achieve our mission and impact the communities we serve. We know that transforming education starts in-house with learning about ourselves and our colleagues. We strive to be world-class in investing in our people and commit to developing you as a professional..
Imagine being a teacher in Sarasota, Florida, three years after the pandemic started, with a classroom full of 6th graders who haven’t had a normal year of school or learning since 2019. It’s the reality of so many educators and students who use Khan Academy – and our team is uniquely positioned to help them when they need it most.
We’re looking for a Design Manager to join District Experience, Reporting & Insights, and Assessments. The heart of this role is driving the design strategies and solutions for our suite of Khan Academy Districts products – not just the design process itself, but how we’re meeting business objectives and creating a competitive advantage in the market. Someone with a background working in early-stage startups, influencing service design, and wearing multiple hats will feel right at home.
As a people manager, you’ll lead a small team of senior, high-performing designers who create solutions and experiences that enable our Districts partners to implement Khan Academy successfully in their schools, unlocking improvements to learning outcomes for students. You will act as a force multiplier for your peers, reports, and cross-functional teams, applying your expertise as you guide and coach folks across several different active projects. You will also use your strong process and project management skills to improve how Design contributes within their product teams and positively impacts business objectives.
As one of the Khan Academy Districts leads, you will develop a deep understanding of the historically under-resourced districts and communities we serve, analyze and synthesize what we know about our users and the market, and generate hypotheses around creating value for school districts, with District Administrators as your primary stakeholder.
We have no end of fascinating challenges that can only be solved with a deep empathy for our users, diligent product & UX thinking, and a strong drive to make a positive impact. Some questions we’re working on answering right now are:
- How do we support teachers who are dealing with the impact that the pandemic had on learning?
- How do we help students with learning gaps catch up to their grade level?
- How do we center schools serving historically under-resourced communities in our product design and development?
- How do we reach more school districts so our learning experience gets used in more classrooms?
- …and more
The best part? Our work really matters: catch Sal talking to CNBC about low math and reading test scores.
You will play a vital role on an inclusive, collaborative, small but mighty Design team, helping us fulfill the mission of the organization: to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. We genuinely care about people and value compassion in our everyday interactions. You’ll be able to be yourself, feel valued, supported, learn and grow, no matter how experienced you are.
WHAT YOU'll DO
- Lead and support a group of experienced, high-performing product and visual designers in their work, collaborations, and careers.
- Partner with Product, Engineering, Content, Data, Marketing and other departments to shape an inspiring vision and strategy for the future of our Khan Academy Districts experience.
- Leverage your previous B2B and/or B2B2C experience to navigate the tension between customer needs and what’s possible, thinking on your feet and looking for opportunities to do a little work in order to get customer requests met.
- Identify opportunities to design useful generative AI features that support the JTBDs of District Administrators and School Leaders, particularly around assessment and reporting.
- Set a standard of operational excellence by driving the design side of projects effectively through project management, clear communication, and a focus on outcomes.
- Actively participate in design critiques and performance reviews, both in delivering feedback to teammates to strengthen their work, but also in soliciting feedback on your own work.
- Cultivate a growth mindset (another one of our values) by contributing to design best practices for organizational needs such as design critique, integrating our brand into the product, modeling emotional maturity and continuous feedback, etc.
- Serve on the Design Leads advisory board, helping the Design Director provide professional development through Creative Gym (our team growth program), facilitate team meetings, interview and hire, onboard and offboard employees, etc.
- Write about, present, and share what you have learned, both internally and with the wider Design community via our blog and industry events.
WHAT YOU BRING
- You have 6+ years of relevant experience as an in-house individual contributor, and at least 1 year of experience as a people manager of product/UX designers.
- You are outstanding across interaction design, prototyping, and information architecture, with a good eye for visual hierarchy, balance, space, etc.
- You have experience with service design, e.g. service blueprints and ideal journey maps.
- You have the ability to juggle ambiguous and broad problems/opportunities along with smaller well-defined projects.
- You have exceptional verbal and written communication skills for technical and non-technical partners, internally and externally.
- You are comfortable in ambiguous situations and dynamic environments that run similar to a startup, where you regularly interact with and gather feedback from Senior Leadership.
- You are scrappy, have a bias toward action, and love moving fast.
- You know how to build strong relationships cross-functionally and bring people into the conversation when their input and buy-in is crucial.
- You bring a lean approach to product design and regularly ask yourself: how do we learn quickly and ship regularly? What’s the most concise experience we can deliver that still provides value?
- Bonus if you have experience with growth-stage products or designing for growth.
Qualities we value in ourselves, and those who join our team:
- Introspective, mature, and emotionally intelligent.
- Invested in your own growth and the growth of our Design team.
- Proactively seek out the people/information you need to move work forward and unblock yourself.
- High comfort level working within a strong product and pedagogical vision from our CEO Sal Khan and our CLO Kristen DiCerbo, PhD.
- Able to balance the immediate tactical needs of helping deliver and ship features with scouting ahead for what’s next.
- Willing to roll your sleeves up and pitch in when a project goes off-script.
- Passionate about education and designing engaging learning experiences, deeply curious about how and why people learn.
- Bonus if you’ve worked at a startup before.
NOTE: Submitting a portfolio with your application is required. We're looking for a portfolio that demonstrates exceptional design solutions that are aligned to business objectives within tight timeframes and constraints.
PERKS AND BENEFITS
We may be a non-profit, but we reward our talented team extremely well! We offer:
- Competitive salaries
- Ample paid time off as needed – Your well-being is a priority.
- Remote-first culture - that caters to your time zone, with open flexibility as needed, at times
- Generous parental leave
- An exceptional team that trusts you and gives you the freedom to do your best
- The chance to put your talents towards a deeply meaningful mission and the opportunity to work on high-impact products that are already defining the future of education
- Opportunities to connect through affinity, ally, and social groups
- And we offer all those other typical benefits as well: 401(k) + 4% matching & comprehensive insurance, including medical, dental, vision, and life
At Khan Academy we are committed to fair and equitable compensation practices, the well-being of our employees, and our Khan community. This belief is why we have built out a robust Total Rewards package that includes competitive base salaries, and extensive benefits and perks to support physical, mental, and financial well-being.
The target salary range for this position is $152k-$165k USD / $190k-$206k CAN. The pay range for this position is a general guideline only. The salary offered will depend on internal pay equity and the candidate’s relevant skills, experience, qualifications, and job market data. Exceptional performers in this role who make an outsized contribution can make well in excess of this range. Additional incentives are provided as part of the complete total rewards package in addition to comprehensive medical and other benefits.
MORE ABOUT US
The Design Team is a diverse, close-knit group of Designers and Researchers that spans many disciplines. We’re passionate about designing for the complexities of education and solving real problems for real people. We regularly make time to share, learn, create, and play as a team. What keeps us here: dedication to learners, our craft, and nurturing our unique, low-ego, rigorous culture. We listen carefully, think deeply, and move quickly, to help millions of learners all over the world.
- Sal’s TED talk from 2011
- Sal’s TED talk from 2015
- Sal's TED talk from 2023
- Our team: http://www.khanacademy.org/about/the-team
OUR COMPANY VALUES
Live & breathe learners
We deeply understand and empathize with our users. We leverage user insights, research, and experience to build content, products, services, and experiences that our users trust and love. Our success is defined by the success of our learners and educators.
Take a stand
As a company, we have conviction in our aspirational point of view of how education will evolve. The work we do is in service to moving towards that point of view. However, we also listen, learn and flex in the face of new data, and commit to evolving this point of view as the industry and our users evolve.
Embrace diverse perspectives
We are a diverse community. We seek out and embrace a diversity of voices, perspectives and life experiences leading to stronger, more inclusive teams and better outcomes. As individuals, we are committed to bringing up tough topics and leaning into different points of view with curiosity. We actively listen, learn and collaborate to gain a shared understanding. When a decision is made, we commit to moving forward as a united team.
Work responsibly and sustainably
We understand that achieving our audacious mission is a marathon, so we set realistic timelines and we focus on delivery that also links to the bigger picture. As a non-profit, we are supported by the generosity of donors as well as strategic partners, and understand our responsibility to our finite resources. We spend every dollar as though it were our own. We are responsible for the impact we have on the world and to each other. We ensure our team and company stay healthy and financially sustainable.
Bring out the joy
We are committed to making learning a joyful process. This informs what we build for our users and the culture we co-create with our teammates, partners and donors.
Cultivate learning mindset
We believe in the power of growth for learners and for ourselves. We constantly learn and teach to improve our offerings, ourselves, and our organization. We learn from our mistakes and aren’t afraid to fail. We don't let past failures or successes stop us from taking future bold action and achieving our goals.
We insist on high standards and deliver delightful, effective end-to-end experiences that our users can rely on. We choose to focus on fewer things — each of which aligns to our ambitious vision — so we can deliver high-quality experiences that accelerate positive measurable learning with our strategic partners.
We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, or Veteran status. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we encourage candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply.