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State Innovation Office Seeks Designers

In a Request for Proposals, the California Office of Digital Innovation indicates it is seeking to hire additional personnel.

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The state’s forward-thinking technology entity, created two years ago by Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers, is looking to make as many as three temporary hires.

In a Request for Proposals released Wednesday, the California Office of Digital Innovation (ODI) announced it hopes to hire “up to three independent contractors for a 12-month contract to serve as a Visual Designer.” Those hired will work remote and report to the deputy director of programs, per the RFP.

ODI was created July 1, 2019, by the governor and the Legislature with the passage of his first-ever state budget. That stood up ODI within the California Government Operations Agency to “deliver better government services to the people of California through technology and design” — working with state entities to “rethink, rebuild, and create services” via research, data and analytics, ultimately designing better services and helping state entities “build their innovation capabilities.” Among the takeaways:

  • The designer will do services for ODI including incorporating digital product design and visual design into agile development sprints, and “coordinating with researchers, UX designers, content designers, engineers, and product managers” on “strategic designs for people’s needs” via product ideation, interface mockups and prototypes. Those selected will also work with researchers and product managers “to plan research initiatives with internal and external partners and translate research findings into feasible design solutions that can be implemented by engineering teams.” The successful candidates will also build a strategy and process for creating “design elements that feed the California Design System”; expand design as an ODI discipline and core function “as a multi-disciplinary digital team and as a model across other state organizations”; and consult on the implementation of design system elements across products ODI supports including the covid19.ca.gov, drought.ca.gov, and cannabis.ca.gov websites.
  • Deliverables include conceptualizing user experiences for new and existing digital products via “user journeys, storyboards, task flows and other design documents”; designing “high-fidelity user interfaces for new and existing digital products with a focus on usability and accessibility and present designs,” building interactive prototypes for user interfaces “for the purposes of stakeholder feedback and usability testing”; and designing data visualizations that present data in engaging, easily comprehensible ways. There’s also contributing to and helping maintain the statewide design system “with a focus on UX/UI components and visual design style guides”; providing “visual design direction” and creating “graphical assets for digital campaigns”; creating visual brand identities; and evangelizing “the need for user-centered design with internal and external teams.”
  • Required qualifications include at least five years’ experience “practicing sound work habits” including working alone and with a team; within a “multidisciplinary team of engineers, product managers, UX researchers, content designers, data analysts, etc.”; and in agile environments. Also required is at least three years’ experience doing visual design for brands, campaigns, and/or design systems, including “creating visual identities and brand guidelines with respect to color, typography and other visual attributes,” a knowledge of “data visualization, infographics or other means making complex information easy to understand,” and “understanding and working within design systems.” Candidates must also have at least three years’ experience doing “UX/UI design for digital products and services,” including “using a user-centered process” and working through an “iterative prototyping process.”
  • A precise contract value is not stated. The contract term will be 12 months and may be renewed for up to three years, “depending on ODI’s continued need and contractor performance. While ODI continues to expand their work and is building its team of civil service employees, there is no guarantee of employment beyond the 12-month contract period and no guarantee that this role will become a permanent civil service position,” per the RFP. Responses are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 3. Applications will be evaluated Nov. 5-10; the top three candidates will be interviewed Nov. 15-19, and a notice of intent to award is expected Nov. 22 at 12 p.m.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.