Lead Designer

Des Moines, IA | Full-Time

We’re looking for a Lead Designer to join us in building the future of science education tools. This diverse role will span the product design process from initial user research, assembling prototypes, and building visual assets, to guiding the final implementation of your solutions. The ideal Lead Designer will be a strong creative who can empathize with our users and build outstanding product features that solve real needs.

You Will

  • Communicate closely with product and content teams to deeply understand the users. You’ll strive to learn about real needs and wants to design the best possible solution.

  • Rapidly prototype and ideate on solutions. Quickly mockup low and high-fidelity designs in software packages like Sketch and InVision.

  • Conduct user research sessions. Collaborate with colleagues in product and content to test your solutions with users.

  • Set the standards for our design organization. Define, document, and maintain workflows and processes to help other designers succeed.

  • Represent the product and brand at conferences. Travel to key events to give talks and demonstrate our processes and products.

You Have

  • An entrepreneurial mindset. You have a bias toward action and a drive for delivering value.

  • Proven experience designing interactive experiences. You have extensive knowledge of the entire design process including user research methodologies, information architecture, design strategy, wireframing, high-fidelity mockups, and prototyping. You’ve preferably played a key role in shipping 1-2 projects.

  • Familiarity using and/or building design systems. You understand atomic design principals and languages eg. Google Material Design, IBM Carbon, or HP Grommet.

  • Experience designing for inclusivity. You embrace accommodating those with visual and other disabilities and can create solutions compliant with various rules and regulations eg. ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.1 compliance.

  • The ability to implement your designs. You can create visual assets with tools like Photoshop or Illustrator.

  • Experience with project management tools. You’re proactive in discovering what your colleagues are doing, and communicate the status of your tasks through tools like Trello or Asana.

  • A willingness to learn. Learning is a backbone of not only the product we’re building but our culture. You can adapt to new processes and tools, and are eager to share your knowledge with others.

Nice to Haves

• Experience with 3D modeling (eg. C4D, Maya, etc).

• Knowledge of or hands-on experience with front-end technologies eg. HTML, CSS, JavaScript

• Experience working on an education product, or understanding of learning theories.

• Working knowledge of game engines (eg. Unity, Unreal, etc).

• Science knowledge (chemistry, physics, an/or biology).

• XR (Virtual reality an/or augmented reality) experience.

You’ll Get

  • To improve the learning experience for potentially millions of students.

  • To work with a nimble, mission-driven team.

  • A compensation package including salary, equity, PTO, and 401k match.

  • Generous healthcare coverage including medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance.

  • Opportunities for personal learning and professional development.


Substrate Games is headquartered in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa, which enjoys a rapidly developing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Thanks to a low cost of living and high quality of life, Des Moines is frequently featured as a top place to live for young professionals and growing families. Here you’ll find the ability to own a home, commute to work in less than 20 minutes, and enjoy a friendly and welcoming community of smart, hard working people. Des Moines is home to nationally recognized events including the Des Moines Art Festival and the Iowa State Fair, as well as numerous locations for hiking, biking, and more. If that’s not enough, Omaha, the Twin Cities, Kansas City, and Chicago are just a weekend trip away.

Substrate Games is an equal opportunity employer.


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