Sr User Experience Designer - Ottawa, ON | SolarWinds | | 13/03/14
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Sr User Experience Designer full-time

Location: Ottawa, ON
Company Name: SolarWinds ()
Category: Design
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At N-able, we are focused on making software for IT professionals. Our sales method dictates that users see a value proposition within an hour of downloading a trial version of our products. That means user research and a good user experience play a critical role in our entire business model.

Some of the ways you may be asked to provide value include:

  • Turning high level product requirements into workflows and designs.
  • Taking a complex, technical problem and make an attractive, easy-to-use UI. This usually means asking a lot of people a lot of questions and thinking very hard.
  • Mocking up solutions to usability issues quickly – design solutions in minutes and hours, not days and weeks.
  • Conducting informal feature walkthroughs, usability studies, and other user research activities (primarily using remote meeting technology).
  • Thoughtfully incorporating user, developer, and product manager feedback in to design revisions.
  • Sharing and communicating research and designs with cross-functional, worldwide teams.
  • Participating in business and UI reviews with multi-disciplinary product teams.

What the UX designer does not do:

  • Create marketing banners and advertisements
  • Spend days making things look cool or pretty. We all like pretty, but making software that’s easy-to-use is critical to our business. Our sales method dictates that users must see value within an hour of downloading our software for evaluation. We focus on easy-to-use.


UX Designer currently working in software? Here’s what makes us different.

Engineering Relationship

  • Traditionally engineers view designer as the monkey who operates Photoshop to fulfill their own personal vision.
  • @ N-able harmonious, mutual trust, everyone focused on business.

Development Process

  • Traditionally designer suggests ideas, but Engineering builds what it wants.
  • @ N-able engineers build what the designer mocks up. Designer collaborates and incorporates feedback into the designs.

Ability to Impact the Business

  • Traditionally no ability to impact business because the designer has been marginalized into the Photoshop monkey position.
  • @ N-able the UX Designer is an important position. If the software is not easy to use, we can’t sell it. The UX Designer helps N-able sell more software.

Product Assignments

  • Traditionally the designer is stuck with a product forever.
  • @ N-able rapid growth means designers are never bored or "stuck" with the same product forever. There are always new and interesting problems to solve.

Career Growth

  • Traditionally no potential for career growth because there is only 1 designer at the company and no one thinks the designer should make much money anyways.
  • @ N-able a fast-growing UX team means there are more and more opportunities for designers. N-able promotes designers that have made the software easy to use.

UX Designer currently working at an agency or freelancing? Here’s what makes us different.

Client Relationship

  • Traditionally the client is always right, even when they are wrong. The client is more important than the user of the software/website.
  • @ N-able our users are our clients. We don’t guess what they want, we ask and give them opportunities to review our designs.

Design Revisions

  • Traditionally based on feelings of the most important person in the room.
  • @ N-able based on data from sales, user feedback, and technical details. At N-able, data is king.

Ability to Impact the Business

  • Traditionally no one is interested in the designer’s ideas. The client only listens to themselves or the creative director. The designer can’t impact anyone’s business.
  • @ N-able the UX Designer is an important position. If the software is not easy to use, we can’t sell it. The UX Designer helps N-able sell more software.

Product Assignments

  • Traditionally designers get assigned to whatever.
  • @ N-able managers assign work based on ability, availability, and designer’s interest in projects. Every designer should get some work that they enjoy.

Work Load

  • Traditionally unreasonably large. High burn out rate. Designers are considered cheap and disposable. They are worked too many hours. The agency makes its money by hiring cheap, young designers and working them as hard as possible.
  • @ N-able busy, fast paced at times, but manageable. N-able values its UX designers. The longer you’ve been here, the more you know the products, and the more you know the products, the more valuable you are. Keeping UX Designers around is important. N-able gives UX designers a reasonable work load and values work-life balance.


  • Requirements:

    • A portfolio that includes work examples and stories to share
    • At least 7 years of experience conducting user research for software products, web applications, and complex websites
    • Ability to draft UX deliverables (workflows, early conceptual designs, fixes to issues seen in usability, etc)
    • Ability to quickly document and share usability issues with teams (we need results in hours, not days or weeks)
    • Sense of humor

SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable IT management software to more than 100,000 customers worldwide – from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses. Focused on the real-world needs of IT professionals, SolarWinds products are downloadable, easy to use and maintain, and provide the power, scale, and flexibility needed to manage today’s complex IT environments. SolarWinds’ growing online community, thwack, is a gathering-place for problem-solving, technology-sharing, and participating in product development for all of SolarWinds’ products. Learn more today at .


SolarWinds is an equal opportunity employer.

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