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STEM Product Designer

Product | Mountain View, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us:

KiwiCo is an innovative eCommerce company that sparks kids’ creativity and curiosity through offline and online materials and inspiration. We offer kids a delightful, engaging way to explore, create, and learn. Our core offering is a subscription service that delivers curated hands-on projects to kids ages 0-16+ along with an online store and content. We take great pride and ownership in the products we build and in the community of parents and kids we serve. We’re backed by leading investors and were named one of the "20 Startups to Watch" by Business Insider. Our offices are located in Mountain View, CA.

Role and Responsibilities:

We’re looking for a Product Designer to join our team and spearhead the development of compelling STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) projects for kids. You are an independent go-getter, with strong engineering intuition, interested in fulfilling our promise to delight kids and families with hands-on, educational projects and content. As a Product Designer, you are responsible for owning and driving the development of projects from initial conception through to manufacturing and shipment. You are a pro at all aspects of the design process, can efficiently and effectively drive project timelines, and can prioritize to balance and hit company quality and margin targets. Responsibilities include:

  • Ideation, brainstorming, and research of hands-on STEM product concepts. We’re a fun, creative bunch. We love whiteboards, sticky notes, nerding out, and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to squeeze into a 3”x7”x10” crate.

  • Prototyping and design iteration. Physical prototyping is our bread and butter, a daily activity that brings life to our ideas, informs design decisions, and drives our process forward. We like to get our hands dirty, move quickly, and iterate often.

  • Product testing and analysis of user feedback. We hold weekly product testing sessions with kids, and the feedback we glean from these sessions deeply impacts our product direction. As a Product Designer, you manage these sessions, as well as review, analyze and integrate post-shipment feedback from our customers into our future designs.

  • Material sourcing and sampling. As awesome as our ideas may be, the execution of these ideas is just as important. We work closely with our Sourcing and Operations teams, as well as our manufacturers to ensure that our products meet the highest quality standards. As a Product Designer, you write product specs, sample materials, work with manufacturers, and are responsible for spreadsheets to track product quality and cost, ensuring we hit company targets.

  • Editorial. A project is only as good as its instructions. We work closely with our Editorial team to create compelling and clear instructions sets, as well as magazine content and DIY activities.

  • Project Management. As a monthly subscription service, we always have multiple projects cooking at the same time. Product Designers are responsible for owning and driving product development timelines forward, hitting quality and margin targets, and integrating with other teams within the company to ensure that our products seamlessly integrate with broader company objectives.

Required Qualifications

As a start-up celebrating creativity and development, we believe and encourage the same in our team.  We seek team players with an infectious positive energy, great initiative, and a get-it-done attitude.  Candidates must thrive in ambiguity and love a rapid pace. You must also be a strong project manager, capable of simultaneously driving timelines, while balancing product priorities and broader company objectives. You must have a strong desire to learn and improve. A strong work ethic, communication skills, and high levels of empathy are crucial for the role. You:

  • Are passionate about kids and creativity. You love kids and the power of hands-on learning and development. STEM projects are your jam, and you love bringing a spark to a child’s eye as they learn something fun and new.

  • Have 4-8+ years experience designing physical products. You have experience with all aspects of the product development process, from conception through to a finished product. You are passionate about the design process and tirelessly pursue excellence in all aspects.

  • Have strong science and engineering fundamentals. Our projects cover a variety of STEM subjects, from physics to chemistry to biology, mechanics to electronics to material science. You don’t need to be an expert in all things STEM, but strong fundamentals and intuition, paired with the ability to learn quickly are important for the job.

  • Have strong physical prototyping skills. You’re a pro with an X-acto knife, and can MacGyver your way through building almost anything. Taking an idea from your head to a physical prototype and then rapidly iterating comes naturally.

  • Are an effective problem solver, with a hands-on “get things done” mentality. You are eager and able to solve challenges and tackle opportunities, identify potential issues and hurdles, and develop ways to get around them. You can adapt quickly to figure out innovative ways to get things done.  

  • Have solid project management skills and the ability to multitask. We move fast. Effective prioritization and organization to stay positive and proactive in an ambiguous environment is a must. We always have several projects on the burner, so efficiently and effectively driving timelines, while balancing product objectives and broader company goals is essential.

  • Are detail & process-oriented.  We move quickly, but we bring care and thoughtfulness to everything we do. We care deeply about the details, and strive for excellence in every aspect of the product development process. You own the development process from start to finish, and ensure that our t’s are crossed and our i’s dotted.

  • Have broad operating range. In addition to being thorough and detail-oriented, you’re able to see the big picture. Based on your understanding of the broader implications, you think critically and act strategically.

  • Have great collaboration & communication skills. We work closely with our Operations, Sourcing, Editorial, and Marketing teams. You have exceptional communication skills that allow fluid cross-functional team discussions, projects, and collaborations. You are a true team player, and leader for more junior Designers.

  • Always learning. As a growing startup we’re always faced with new and exciting challenges. We enthusiastically own our many hats, and dive into the unknown. We love to learn, grow, and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

  • More about you:  You're positive, motivated, dynamic, thoughtful, creative, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial with excellent judgement.

Desired Qualifications

  • B.S. in Engineering, Science or Design.

  • Proficient in Adobe Suite.

  • Experience with 3D CAD modeling software.

  • Manufacturing experience

  • Experience designing hands-on, educational projects for kids.

  • STEM enthusiast- a nerd and maker at heart.

If you’re passionate about designing and producing enriching, delightful products for kids, we’d love to hear from you!

Please include a cover letter highlighting your background and describing your interest in addition to your resume.