Platform Design Manager

Mike Knoop
Mike Knoop / February 21, 2018

Hi there!

We're looking for a Design Manager to help manage and grow our Platform Design Team at Zapier. Are you excited to foster a user-centered design culture in 100% remote company? Then keep reading!

We know applying for and taking on a new a job at any company requires a leap of faith. We want you to feel comfortable and excited to apply at Zapier. To help share a bit more about life at Zapier, here are a few resources in addition to the job description that can give you an inside look at what life is like at Zapier. We hope you'll take the leap of faith and apply.

Zapier is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace dedicated to pursuing and hiring a diverse workforce

About You

You put your teammate's and customer's needs first. You enjoy helping and enabling designers do great work. You set design strategy by aligning business strategy and our user's needs. You use data and user research to make human-centered design decisions. You challenge assumptions about what makes a design successful through encouraging divergent exploration and talking to users.

You're technically inclined. The Platform team is responsible for all of the apps on Zapier. Notably, we have over 1000 partners who create, test, launch, maintain, and improve apps on the Zapier platform – and add dozens every month. The Platform is unique inside Zapier. They have two users: the end-users who use the apps on Zapier and the developers/partners building the apps. Serving both users effectively requires getting to know some of the technical inner-workings to help your team design effective solutions.

You wear many hats. You are constantly learning and leveling up your management skills. You have the relevant design skills to build rapport with the Design Team. On a regular basis you can expect to be holding one on ones with designers, thinking through tricky design problems, reviewing design iterations, and helping prioritize design needs across the company that align with our business strategy.

You have experience hiring and managing UX Researchers and Designers. This isn't your first rodeo. You may not have hired or managed hundreds of people before, but you have hired, trained and managed before.

You love collaboration and feedback. You understand successful design doesn't happen in a vacuum or in secret. You believe in sharing work early, openly, and often. You enjoy working closely with Product Managers, Engineers, Data Scientists, and Customers to help make the Design Team's designs achieve effective results.

You know how design impacts development. You've built functional web apps before. You understand the technical complexities a design might introduce, and can work through them with your teammates. You don't believe in “tossing designs over the wall,” and would dread doing so.

Things You Might Do

Zapier is a small, fast-growing, and remote-first company, so you'll likely get experience on many different projects across the organization. That said, your primary goal is to help achieve better design outcomes and here are some things you'll probably do:

  • Hold weekly one on ones with members of the Platform Design Team (Product Designers and UX Researchers).
  • Build rapport with each member of the Platform Design Team and work hard to help them level up their skills
  • Collaborate with platform leadership to understand business strategy and apply it to your team's work
  • Work to serve developers, product managers, and business development teams at our 1000+ partner organizations
  • Collaborate across functions to help set roadmaps that will achieve business goals through design
  • Advocate for and teach design skills across the organization. Find ways to involve non-designers in the design process through design sprints and other creative means
  • Help champion our Zapier design standards and visual identity
  • Provide feedback on design solutions through wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes
  • Participate in user research and other experiments to inform design decisions
  • Give, seek, and receive thoughtful critical feedback
  • Give back to the community via open source, blog posts, and sharing design team work
  • Help recruit, onboard and train new Design Team members at Zapier
  • Help customers via All Hands Support to learn about Zapier and the product

About Zapier

For the past six years, Zapier has been helping people across the world automate the boring and tedious parts of their job. We do that by helping everyone connect the web applications they already use and love.

We believe that there are jobs a computer is best at doing and that there are jobs a human is best at doing. We want to empower businesses to create processes and systems that let computers do what they are best at doing and let humans do what they are best at doing.

We believe that with the right tools, you can have big impact with less hassle.

We believe in small teams. Small teams are fast and nimble. Small teams mean less bureaucracy and less management and more getting things done.

We believe in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. All teammates at Zapier agree to a code of conduct.

The Whole Package

Location: Planet Earth.

If you want to work remote, that's great. If you want to work near others, that's cool too. Our team of 100+ is distributed because it lets us work with the best people. You don't have to be located in the USA either. Some team members live in the United Kingdom, Thailand, India, Nigeria, Taiwan, Guatemala, New Zealand, Australia, and more! You just need the skills and drive to succeed in this role and the ability to work from anywhere.


  • Competitive salary (we don't use remote as an excuse to pay less)
  • Great healthcare + dental + vision coverage*
  • Retirement plan with 4% company match*
  • Profit sharing
  • 2 annual company retreats to awesome places
  • 14 weeks paid leave for new parents

Pick your own equipment. We'll set you up with whatever Apple laptop + monitor combo you want plus any software you need.

Unlimited vacation policy. Plus we require you to take at least 2 weeks off each year. We see most employees take 4-5 weeks off per year. This isn't a vague policy where unlimited vacation means no vacation.

Work with awesome companies around the world. We partner with great software companies all over the world and you'll constantly get to interact with people from these great companies.

*While we take care of our international folks as best we can, currently, healthcare and retirement plans are only available to US-based employees.

How to Apply

We have a non-standard application process. To jump-start the process we ask a few questions we normally would ask at the start of an interview. This helps speed up the process and lets us get to know you a bit better right out of the gate. Please make sure to answer each question.

Complete this form with answers to the questions below. Make sure each answer stands alone as we review question-by-question instead of applicant-by-applicant.

  1. Please tell us why you’re a good fit for this Design Manager role.
  2. How many people have you managed in the past? And what were your responsibilities managing them?
  3. Tell us about the different design job roles you've directly managed. If you’d held a non-manager design role in the past, tell us what that role was.
  4. Describe a management challenge you've encountered and overcome that is unique to managing a design team.
  5. Describe your preferred level of involvement in solving design problems (eg. establishing process and mostly delegating to your team vs. mostly working alongside your team to wireframe solutions). Discuss the pros and cons of this preference.
  6. What resources would you recommend to a first time manager? And why?
  7. Zapier has a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion in everything we do. How do you ensure to promote design to be user-centered and inclusive experiences?
  8. Please share links to any public work (portfolio, dribbble, linkedin, github, personal website, etc.)
  9. Where did you hear about this role?
  10. For interview scheduling purposes, what time zone are you located in?
  11. Optional: Share anonymously some demographic information about yourself to help us better track trends related to the backgrounds of candidates interested in working at Zapier in order for us to build a team that represents the users at Zapier and the broader world population.

Finally, wait for us to reply! You are going to hear back from us, even if we don't seem like a good fit. In fact, throughout the process, we strive to make sure you never go more than seven days without hearing from us.

Apply Here

Zapier is an equal opportunity employer. We're excited to work with talented and empathetic people no matter their race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or age. Our code of conduct provides a beacon for the kind of company we strive to be and we celebrate our differences because those differences are what allow us to make a product that serves a global user base.