Principal Content Designer

Remote from
Salary, USD
135,000 - 202,000/yr
Job function
Design & Creative
Job type
Full Time,
Job posted
Apply before
8 Dec 2023

About Upwork

The world’s work marketplace.

Actively Hiring

Upwork ($UPWK) is the world’s work marketplace. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

Last year, more than $3.8 billion of work was done through Upwork by skilled professionals who are gaining more control by finding work they are passionate about and innovating their careers.

You will report into the Director of Content Design and sits within the UX design team at Upwork.

As a Principal Content Designer, we’ll rely on you for your experience, your logic, and your holistic product design, not just your writing. In fact, a UXCD knows that writing is the very last mile of the job. You will partner with the Director of Content Design to act as an influencer and knowledge resource at a Principal contribution level across the company.

The Principal Content Designer will be comfortable operating with product ambiguity, passionate about creating something from the ground up, have an exceptional eye for detail, and love solving customer problems and exploring new ways to serve Upwork’s clients and freelancers. You will lead cross-functional design initiatives and collaboration and represent content design with high visibility across the company, creating better outcomes for the people we serve. You’ll do all this as part of a thriving and energetic remote team that has great benefits and values diversity and inclusion.

Your Responsibilities:

  • An expert understanding of how to apply content design in a product context. This means working with broad cross-functional teams (often in sprints), thinking in terms of entire product experiences, including all supporting flows and interactions rather than static pages, as well as deep experience with how language works as a system to support users, bringing our brand voice and goals for our users forward, meeting users where they are.
  • Collaboration and leadership as core values. We’ll look for a professional who focuses on highly-strategic problems at an organizational level, creates vision for content design by partnering with leadership teams in all areas of the org, and provides leadership, direction, and mentorship to junior and senior content designers as well as educating cross-functional partners on the role of content design throughout the product development process.
  • Expert knowledge of architecture and taxonomies. Our team must help draw the roadmap that our users traverse. Expert control of taxonomy, ontology, logic, information architecture, and information hierarchy are essential skill sets.
  • The ability to conduct research or find data to support their decisions. (this could be partnering with UXR on interviews or by looking through customer support data like chat and call logs). It’s critical that this person is able to challenge their own assumptions and can recognize when they need to change their approach or opinion.
  • Excellent writing skills. Our team also leads writing for our product, and this person will need the skills to represent us well—bringing advanced skills, process setting, content design thought-leadership and expertise to Upwork.
  • Seeking a content design team. This person wants to mentor, partner with, and continue to learn and grow from other content designers. They’re excited about sharing their work and getting thoughtful feedback from other word lovers.

Your Responsibilities:

  • Own or influence multiple complex projects beyond your immediate team, often involving a strong understanding of technical, development, or business aspects. Leverage understanding of high level business goals, the product, and the users to identify opportunities to remove friction. Partner with PMs, designers, and researchers to define project requirements and accurately list tradeoffs.
  • Bring a highly strategic point of view at the org level. Craft content design deliverables that consistently level up the user experience at the org level. Advocate for and defend own work based on industry best practice, brand cohesion, and quality of ideas. Teaches out point of view on content design, backed by personal expertise, design rationale, customer data, and industry trends at the department level or above.
  • Lead content design critiques and ceremonies to share your work and provide feedback to others. Lead other cross-functional team ceremonies, partner with colleagues, and delegate tasks as the project requires. Engage stakeholders and provide clear context on project status and rationale.
  • Evolve Upwork’s content design practice by establishing new workflows and coaching cross-functional departments. Lead by example and inspire others to be consistent through focus, delivery, and impact. You actively and intentionally contribute to the global content design community. You may be sharing your knowledge with others through mentoring, training, or onboarding. You’ve honed your expertise in a particular area of study, like accessibility, information architecture, content mapping, etc.
  • Identify constraints (technical, financial, legal) and tradeoffs when making decisions and advocate for the right balance between user needs and business goals.
  • Strategically evaluate work with stakeholders, business partners, and leadership. Be accountable for quality of work at the discipline level while driving improvements at the org level
  • Stay on top of leading-edge industry trends and best practices and integrate them appropriately, getting buy-in at the highest level when needed

What it Takes to Catch our Eye:

  • A portfolio is required. While we’re not picky about the format, we want to see your thought process, how you solved problems, and the impact you made.
  • Proven experience and thought-leadership as a product-focused (saas experience strongly preferred) content designer who has worked at the senior, staff, lead, or principal level.
  • The ability to advocate for content design and help others understand its value. Cold facts aren’t always enough. At times, you’ll need to bring the warmth of a proficient storyteller to get everyone on the same page.
  • Expert in Figma, Docs, Miro (or equivalent flow diagram/whiteboarding tools). You must be skilled in not only using these tools for work but using these tools to drive alignment, communication, and influence
  • Examples of visual thinking. We’d love to see information architecture, whole product design thinking, concept diagrams, journey maps, and any other examples.
  • Soft skills that will help your team look beyond the interface and focus on what matters to the people who use our platform

Content design in the industry

In the past, our work has been known by many names. These days content design continues to evolve as a discipline as we expand our powerful skill sets into a practice that encompasses information architecture, logic, taxonomy, and flows as well as branded language and focused, accessible UI.

Content design at Upwork

We use design methods and research to understand user behavior and how it should inform our work. We’re collaborative problem solvers, and our goal is to create better outcomes for the people who use our platform. We own and govern product architecture, logic, and content patterns. We also write usable, useful, and responsible interface content that speaks in the voice of Upwork—a conversation with your mentor over a cup of coffee.

Top priorities/expectations for this role

  • Three months: Join a cross-functional product team and sync with them. Develop a regular cadence of delivering usable, useful, and responsible content design.
  • Six months: Contribute ideas to the content design practice at Upwork, share about our practice with partners across the org.
  • Twelve months+: Document and share several stories of the impact of their work, showing how content design played a role.

The annual base salary for this position in California and Washington ranges from $135,000 – $202,000. The range displayed reflects the minimum and maximum salary for this position in California and Washington, and individual base pay will depend on your skills, qualifications, experience, and location. Additionally, this position is eligible for the annual bonus plan or sales incentive plan and eligibility to participate in our long term equity incentive program

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What position is Upwork hiring for?

Upwork is hiring a remote Principal Content Designer from

What type of employment does Upwork offer?

This is a Full Time role.

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