Principal User Experience Researcher/Designer #577

Washington D.C.
Nov 21, 2022
Dec 26, 2022
IT, Other
Full Time

Principal User Experience Researcher/Designer #577
Pay Band: SAA-11 - $100929-$151391
Remote Work Status: Hybrid / FLSA Status: Exempt
Posting Date Range: 11/17/2022-12/1/2022
This vacancy announcement closes at 7pm EST. Late applications will not be accepted.

The U.S. Senate, Sergeant at Arms (SAA), Chief Information Office (CIO), Process Management and Innovation (PMI) department is looking to hire a principal level User Experience Designer (UXD) with extensive expertise in UX research and interest in UX design. Qualification details are in the ‘Key Qualifications’ section below.

PMI’s Systems Design, Development, and Implementation (SDDI) team develops and maintains 50+ custom software applications built to support the U.S. Senate. The team includes approximately 20 total staff comprised of software engineers, user experience designers (UXD), and quality assurance (QA) analysts who work together using Agile methods to develop software.

Successful candidates are experienced experts in UX research with a keen interest in business applications. They excel at building customer empathy, advocating for customer needs, and collaborating in multidisciplinary teams in a fast-paced Agile environment. They have a learning mindset, are open to receiving constructive feedback and generous with offering it to others, they learn from mistakes/failures, and commit to making improvements.

The successful candidate’s expertise is needed to round out the UXD team who are experienced with best practices in usability, responsive UI design and development, ensuring accessibility for disabilities, and in participating collaboratively in agile (Kanban, Scrum) projects.

Key Qualifications
       • A minimum of 8 years in a User Research role or similar:

  • Creating and implementing effective research plans for new and existing applications by selecting the right research method based on time available and project needs
  • Leading quantitative and qualitative user research efforts; planning and facilitating discovery/co-creation workshops
  • Analyzing, summarizing, and presenting engaging research findings with recommendations for product and business changes
  • Writing clear, concise, and accurate research reports; regularly sharing UX insights product teams
  • Creating, maintaining, and following UX research roadmaps
  • Mentoring others on conducting user experience research and usability testing, best practices, and procedures; seeking feedback and give feedback on research
  • Creating and maintaining research repository to facilitate sharing insights and learning from past research efforts
  • Building collaborative relationships with other staff who are product owners, user experience designers, developers, stakeholders, users, trainers, and others to develop and implement research strategies for new and existing applications.
  • Working with key stakeholders, product teams, and others to identify research needs, suggest new methods to get at the key research objectives, assist defining metrics and KPIs and turn insights into actionable solutions

• Demonstrates strong and effective communication (written and verbal) and collaboration skills working optimally with diverse, cross-functional product teams to guide research decisions
• Adjusts well to changing focus/priorities and working within project constraints.
• Works independently and meets deadlines

Additional Desired Qualifications (Not required)

• 1 or more years' experience:

  • UI and Workflow Design - create wireframes and interaction flows to summarize possible solutions for automating processes; determine visual design standards, approaches, and practices; plan and conduct business analysis activities for purposes of identifying improvements in processes and ways to automate processes with technical solutions.
  • UX & Technical Writing - determine and create in-application help, instructions, and other information following writing for the web and plain language standards to reduce the need for external training. Mentors other UXDs on technical and UX writing best practices, and content strategy style guides.
  • Front-end Development - develop front-end code (HTML, CSS/SASS) that’s responsive to and accessible for people with disabilities (as described in Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act and the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines); implement and modify front-end frameworks/design systems (Vuetify, Material Design, Bootstrap).

Job Description

This is advanced professional and technical work designing and building responsive and accessible web applications supporting the Senate. Work includes extensive business process analysis, user research, front-end design and development to meet business and user needs. The incumbent must define and implement strategic user experience and business analysis approaches, obtain stakeholder buy-in, and lead front-end design and development of solutions. Work in this classification is distinguished from the Senior User Experience Designer by the scope, complexity and criticality of assignments, level of expertise, and project management responsibilities. Work is performed under the general direction of a Manager.

Examples of Work
Leads the user-centered research and usability testing efforts of web applications; documents, summarizes, and presents findings with recommendations for product and/or business process changes; advocates for user experience best practices. Leads the development and testing of custom front-end code to ensure cross-browser compatibility, responsiveness, functionality with assistive technology, and compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and most recent Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) recommendations. Leads business requirements gathering, coaches product owners and customer advisory groups, and acts as a proxy product owner; plans and facilitates product discovery meetings; researches business processes. Leads the design of technical solutions of web applications to meet business and user needs across the Senate; creates prototypes and documents specifications. Creates and maintains the in-application help, instructions and release announcements to the Senate Community following Plain Language Writing Act of 2010 standards. Determines the user interface, information architecture, and design process standards, approaches, and practices used across Senate web applications. Mentors others across the Chief Information Officer (CIO) organization on user experience and team processes and strategic approaches; provides feedback and guidance on design, development and usability efforts of web application. Determines visual/brand identity for applications; creates color schemes, style guides, and visual elements for applications, e.g., logos, icons, information graphics.

Minimum Qualifications

Work requires a Bachelor’s degree in Human Factors, Interface design or a related field, and eight to ten years of experience in designing and developing responsive, compliant, and accessible solutions; or any equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the following knowledge, abilities and skills:

  • Knowledge of user-centered design methods, usability testing, information architecture, interaction design, and accessibility best practices.
  • Knowledge of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 standards. Knowledge of Plain Language Writing Act of 2010 standards.
  • Knowledge of front-end web development best practices including: responsive and mobile-first design approaches.
  • Knowledge of Agile methodology and development best practices.
  • Knowledge of, or ability to learn, Senate rules and regulations.
  • Ability to develop custom front-end code and style sheets which are cross-browser compatible (functional on all Senate-supported web browsers), responsive (adapts to different device screen sizes), and accessible for people with disabilities (compliant with Section 508 standards, and functional for those using mouse-less navigation, screen readers, and other assistive technologies).
  • Ability to implement and customize front-end frameworks.
  • Ability to determine the appropriate technical solutions to meet business and user needs.
  • Ability to design and prototype solutions using wireframing tools.
  • Ability to plan and facilitate product meetings/workshops, user research activities, and usability tests.
  • Ability to determine possible product and/or business process changes based on business analysis, user research and usability test findings.
  • Ability to summarize and present user research, usability test findings, and recommended product and/or business changes to business owners/customers, technical team, and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to present solutions to business owners and customers and other stakeholders for review and feedback.


Work requires sitting and operating a computer for extended periods, with occasional standing, climbing, pulling and safely lifting up to 25 pounds.

Licenses, Certification and Other Requirements
This position requires that the applicant obtain and maintain an applicable U.S. Government security clearance. Applicants must be U.S. citizens in order for the SAA to submit your application for a security clearance. For education requirements please see Minimum Qualifications.

Conditions of Employment
To be employed by a Senate employing office in a paid position in the continental United States an individual must:
1. Be a U.S. citizen;
2. Be lawfully admitted for permanent residence and seeking citizenship as outlined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(3)(B);
3. Be (i) admitted as a refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157 or granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158 and (ii) have filed a declaration of intention to become a lawful permanent resident and then a citizen when eligible; or
4. Owe allegiance to the U.S. (i.e., qualify as a non-citizen U.S. national under federal law).

Employment is contingent on background / security investigation results.  


The SAA provides a highly competitive benefits package for all SAA staff. Our benefits extend beyond health care coverage to help provide employees with student loan reimbursement, professional development, transportation subsidy, TSP/retirement savings, access to our Employee Assistance Program, and more! For more information regarding SAA’s benefits, please visit 


As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the SAA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you are interested in applying for employment with SAA and need special assistance or an accommodation to complete the application process, please submit your request to email with “Accommodation” in the subject line.


If you are identifying as veterans' preference eligible under the VEOA, please use this link to complete your application for Veterans' Preference AFTER you apply for this position. The link will also be available on the "Thank You" page after you have submitted your job application.

Candidates only need to apply one time for veterans’ preference to be considered for all future veterans’ preference positions within the Senate Sergeant at Arms. 

  • All supporting documents must ONLY be provided within the Veterans’ Preference Application and within the stated deadline of the job announcement.
  • Late applications for veterans’ preference will not be considered.
  • Documentation to obtain veterans’ preference will not be considered if attached to the job application.
  • If you need to revise or resubmit your Application for Veterans' Preference/documents, please withdraw your previous Application for Veterans' Preference and resubmit. If you require assistance, please email
  • To view additional information regarding the VEOA, please click here.

An applicant who declines to self-identify as a disabled veteran and/or to provide information and documentation regarding his/her disabled veteran’s status will not be subjected to an adverse employment action, but the individual may be ruled ineligible for veterans’ preference.

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