User Experience Strategist Fellow

  • Full-time

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact.

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

The Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT) oversees most major technology projects for the City of Philadelphia (CoP), ensures continuity of the City's technology operations, and finds new ways to help the public interact meaningfully with technology. OIT uses technology to help City employees do their work better and helps residents get what they need from municipal government.

What We Offer:

Impact - The work you do here matters to millions.

Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it?

Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs

Benefits - We care about your well being

Agency Description


There are three City of Philadelphia agencies involved in the Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit project. (See description of the Toolkit project in the below “position summary” section.) The agencies leading the work are PHL Service Design Studio and the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service. The Office of Innovation and Technology is leading the implementation of the Toolkit within the City’s ecosystem. The user experience strategist fellow will report to the Office of Innovation and Technology’s Digital Transformation team, but work fulltime on the Toolkit project. 

The eight-month user experience strategist fellow position is funded through the City’s Operational Transformation Fund (OTF), which is a $10 million internal City fund where transformative municipal projects are invested in over the next two fiscal years (2022 and 2023). Across different City departments, OTF projects are implementing people-centered and sustainable solutions that focus on efficient and equitable service provision to benefit Philadelphians. OTF project teams receive ongoing support and assistance from the City’s Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), which manages the OTF, and participate in activities as a cohort. (See the press release for more information: 

About the PHL Service Design Studio: 

The PHL Service Design Studio (SDS) sits within of the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer and supports service improvement efforts across City government. The Studio believes the City is closer to creating a more equitable Philadelphia when residents and colleagues, who’ve been historically marginalized by government actions, can access and deliver municipal services with ease and agency. To support this belief, the Studio collaborates with residents, direct service staff, and leaders to design accessible and trauma-informed services that honor the diverse needs of Philadelphians. For more information, please visit our website at and Twitter @DesignStudioPHL. 

About the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service: 

The Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service (MOCEVS) helps residents make positive change in their communities. Toward this goal, we work to reduce barriers and expand capacity for participation in government. Our programs support local, community-driven problem solving and include trainings for individuals and groups through the Civic Engagement Academy; national service opportunities, including the Community Resource Corps and Serve Philadelphia VISTA Corps; and local service opportunities through the Mayor’s Volunteer Corps and more. 


About the Office of Innovation and Technology: 

The Office of Innovation & Technology (OIT) oversees most major technology projects for the City of Philadelphia, ensures continuity of the City’s technology operations, and finds new ways to help the public interact meaningfully with technology. OIT uses technology to help City employees do their work better and helps residents get what they need from municipal government. Additionally, OIT offers an innovation service portfolio focused on developing municipal government’s capacity for creativity and innovation.

Job Description

About the project you’ll be working on: 

Community engagement is the foundational way government opens its doors to connect communities to programs and services, better understand community need, share decision-making, and honor work already occurring in neighborhoods. However, many communities won’t and can’t interact with government because we’ve either broken their trust or haven’t created the conditions for their engagement. 
The impact? Communities of color, people with disabilities, people who have limited English proficiency, people who lack digital access, people who have low digital literacy, and historically marginalized groups are refused entry into engagements with us (i.e., the City). As a result, our policies, services, and programs can reinforce marginalization as the people most impacted by our decision-making don’t have the opportunity to give voice to their needs. 

To address these realities, the PHL Service Design Studio and the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service have been working on an Equitable Community Engagement Toolkit in collaboration with City engagement staff, community groups, and Philadelphia residents. The Toolkit is a Citywide initiative that will transform how the City of Philadelphia thinks about, plans for, and facilitates engagement with the communities we serve. It’ll include a vision and guiding principles, strategies and tools, evaluation resources, training, and a cultivated community of practitioners made up of City engagement staff and community members. All guidance will be accessible online within the platform. 

For the past 18 months, the Toolkit team has been working closely with City engagement staff, community groups, and residents to better understand engagement barriers that span language, disability, and digital access issues. In addition, the team has focused on how inequities based on a person’s race are exacerbated by the City’s engagement practices. In the new calendar year, we’ll transition from co-design to writing and building Toolkit guidance based on our deep work with community. By fall of 2022, we’ll start to pilot the Toolkit guidance with City agencies and community members to test its efficacy. 

About your position: 

We’re looking for a seasoned user experience professional who’s committed to designing accessible digital environments that work across platforms and devices. You’ll be a fulltime member of the multi-agency and cross-disciplinary Toolkit project team made up of service design strategists, engagement practitioners, content strategists, a visual designer, and a software developer. In collaboration with the team, you’ll lead the design of the Toolkit — relying on the City’s digital content and design standards ( 

Please note this position is a full-time, eight-month opportunity from April to November 2022, and that the City of Philadelphia requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated.  (See the Qualifications and Additional Information sections for other requirements.) 

Essential Functions

In this role, you will:  

1) Lead the design of the digital Toolkit. 
●    Lead requirements gathering activities.
●    Synthesize requirements into documents that clearly articulate the Toolkit’s features. 
●    Create workflow diagrams and other documentation that aid in the comprehension and sustainability of the Toolkit. 
●    Create sketches, wireframes, and prototypes that incorporate best practices in user experience design, usability, accessibility, and responsive strategies.
●    Ensure all work is in line with City of Philadelphia’s digital content and design standards (

2) Manage design-related work.
•    Lead project partners and team members through the design process.
•    Work openly and collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team to effectively implement design recommendations. 
•    Evolve design efforts based on stakeholder feedback.
•    Offer and take constructive feedback around project output and process. 
•    Develop design-related project timelines based on level of effort to complete tasks. 
•    Proactively manage self and design-related tasks to ensure deadlines are met. 
•    Communicate the status of work, challenges, and successes clearly and honestly to all project partners. 
•    Problem-solve through ambiguity and when challenges arise. 

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

•    Equity-focused: Ability to respect, honor, and center the voices of residents and staff who have been marginalized by government actions in all that you do. 
•    Excellent communicator: Ability to explain complex subjects in simple ways and the logic of your decisions.
•    Relationship-builder: Ability to work with a variety of people and personalities and cultivate strong relationships to ensure healthy collaboration. 
•    Curious: Ability to practice active listening, ask questions to get at the root of a problem, and be open to receiving/giving constructive feedback. 
•    Humble: Ability to operate beyond ego and self-interest. 
•    Compassionate: Ability to empathize with people’s experiences, and based on that understanding, take appropriate action. 
•    Rigorous: Ability to be detail-oriented and intentional in your work. 
•    Organized: Demonstrated ability to manage projects, estimate timelines, rework a project approach based on unforeseen challenges, work well under pressure, and set/meet reasonable deadlines. 
•    Proactive: Ability to see opportunities, navigate barriers, be self-directed, and problem solve solutions. 
•    Resilient: Ability to learn from mistakes and return to work after experiencing a setback. 

Knowledge, skills, and abilities 
•    Ability to design for accessibility accommodating for varying ability and digital literacy levels.
•    Ability to sketch; create concepts, wireframe, produce sitemaps and user flows; and create clickable prototypes.
•    Ability to clearly express complex information through design.
•    Ability to design for consistency with standards.
•    Ability to clearly and effectively present ideas and deliverables to a range of stakeholders.
•    Ability to drive project work streams with minimal oversight.


Candidates should have: 
•    Four to five years of professional experience at a design firm or a graduate degree plus three years of professional experience. 
•    A design-related degree or relevant industry experience.
•    Experience collaborating on multidisciplinary teams.
•    Three years managing project relationships with colleagues, clients, and project stakeholders.
•    Proficiency with tools and applications that support design and prototype creation.

Nice-to-have skills: 
•    Experience with community-based and participatory design 
•    Experience working in the social impact space or complex service environments

Additional Information

Salary: $60,000 for eight months.

All applications should include the following: 
•    A one-page cover letter clarifying your interest and qualifications for the fellowship. 
•    Your resume or curriculum vitae. 
•    At least three work samples that demonstrate your UX design expertise.  

Application materials are due no later than January 21, 2022. We won’t accept or review incomplete applications.

Did you know?

  • We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program qualified employer
  • 25% tuition discount program for City employees (and sometimes spouses and dependents as well) in partnership with area colleges and universities
  • We offer Comprehensive health coverage for employees and their eligible dependents
  • Our wellness program offers eligibility into the discounted medical plan
  • Employees receive paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays
  • Generous retirement savings options are available

*The successful candidate must be a city of Philadelphia resident within six months of hire

Please note that effective September 1, 2021 the City of Philadelphia is requiring all new employees to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19. 

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to faqpchr For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: