Stanford Web Services is a central unit providing web development, design and production services to University units. It is a partnership between the Office of University Communications and Information Technology Services. IT Services provides direct service to clients, with governance by University Communications.
The Web Designer position reports to the Web Services Manager. Working from a foundation of official and unofficial Stanford University colors, fonts, identity graphics, style sheets, and templates/themes — and augmenting these with original work as required — the incumbent will design effective, appealing web solutions to complex information presentation and “branding” challenges. This work requires a balance of creative inspiration and attention to community-embraced best practices to keep the management and publishing of Stanford websites scalable, consistent, and standards-compliant.
Specific duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, those noted below:
Service Support (75%)
Infrastructure Support (15%)
- As appropriate to the level (or “tier”) of service being provided to the client, create original design solutions — ranging from whole themes (tier 3) to layout/style variations (tier 2) to individual graphic elements and rich media (tier 1 and 2) — where pre-existing themes/templates and styles do not meet client needs.
- Create multiple and/or iterative (a series of) designs or design versions as necessary to achieve acceptance/approval.
- Create and/or modify CSS and HTML markup for Drupal and WordPress themes and other template delivery packages based on incumbent’s own or others’ designs that accommodate a range of client content/editorial requirements.
- Working with the team’s web developer, port designs to web content management (e.g., Drupal & WordPress) as application themes, templates, views, etc.; determine and apply theme settings as needed.
- Provide project manager with basic project coordination, as needed, for design tasks.
- Provide oversight and assistance to web editors as they apply styles and fit content into formats, views, and templates.
- Design, conduct, and respond to results of usability tests for websites and applications; act on findings from formal reviews, tests, and quality assurance (QA) activities performed by others.
- Perform selected website administration (“webmaster”) duties for existing clients (e.g., changes to site configuration and site user account settings, browser compatibility troubleshooting).
- For websites and applications that do not use standard themes or template packages, as needed, apply University-approved color palettes and provide custom versions of University graphics.
- Work with IT Services, University Communications, and Online Accessibility Program staff to ensure group's compliance with policies and standards around identity graphics, web content, and online accessibility.
Community Support (5%)
- Working with the Stanford web developer community, team-mates, and University Communications to provide non-custom, non-client-generated design work to keep the underlying framework of application themes (and self-service tools) running and improving.
- Look for opportunities to re-use design elements created for client work and fold them into the underlying framework (including self-help). Work with team-mates and IT Services infrastructure support staff to ensure that design additions and improvements through the service are made available to the entire Stanford community.
Professional Development (5%)
- Monitor and actively contribute to Stanford web publishing community through participation in support mailing lists (e.g., su_webmasters, drupallers, wordpress-users, mediawiki-users) and user groups (e.g., Open Source Lab, Mobile Aware Web Users Group, Mornings o’ Code); help promote design best practices.
- Keep skills and knowledge up-to-date/current with technology trends and best practices through interest groups and professional organizations, reading and research, and formal training and conferences/meet-ups.
This is an experienced level position that requires three to five years performing similar duties. The following skills/experience may be demonstrated from work experience.
Significant experience as a lead designer of websites and web application interfaces for large organizations or businesses (experience in a higher education environment is a plus).
Ability to translate original or provided design composites or mockups to current W3C and WCAG standards-compliant HTML and CSS code.
Significant experience designing for web content management systems, particularly Drupal and WordPress, including experience with “theming” for these applications (i.e., creating and applying application theme packages based on your own or others’ designs that accommodate a range of content/editorial requirements).
Familiarity and commitment to user experience and user-centered design principals.
Expertise with browser and platform differences and idiosyncrasies, and demonstrated ability to develop workarounds to accommodate specialized user/client needs.
Knowledge of graphic and general web design, including for mobile devices.
Experience using using desktop web content authoring and development tools Adobe Creative Suite (esp. Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver/Contribute, Fireworks, and Illustrator) and other web authoring/editing applications (e.g., CSSEdit, Coda).
Knowledge of and experience creating “high fidelity” website prototypes.
Knowledge of user profiling, usability testing, and quality assurance (QA) practice; ability to design, conduct, analyze, report on, and act on usability test and QA findings.
Knowledge of web analytics tools (esp. Google Analytics) and related analysis and reporting.
Demonstrated experience designing sites implemented with open source back-end server and development technology (e.g., Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), web-based authoring and development tools, and current W3C standards-compliant code Knowledge of Kerberos and/or Shibboleth authentication technologies a plus.
Understanding of and commitment to follow and/or enforce Web, University Identity, and Accessibility standards for web design and development.
Ability to interact positively with, and build consensus among, a diverse group of colleagues, clients, and senior leadership.
Ability to integrate previous technical, business, and personal experience to solve problems and evaluate current and influence new web services; ability to identify, clarify, and resolve complex problems which may span multiple areas or technical fields; demonstrated independent, creative, and self-directed problem solving
Ability to think strategically and to implement the services’ short and long-term vision and goals.
Experience working as a member of an in-house or agency web team.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
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