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VP Software Product Design

Date: Aug 15, 2019

Location: Boston, MA, US, 02110

Company: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Job Requisition ID: 15781

Additional Locations: 

The VP of Software Product Design is responsible for inspiring, enabling, and leading HMH to deliver consistently great software user experiences (UX) for all our software.  They will be fluent in UX design principles and methodologies, as well as agile software design and development best practices.  In addition, they should have a strong visual sense and aesthetic, setting a world class standard for the products we deliver.


They also need to be an inspiring leader and a great communicator.  They will lead and develop a global UX team, work very closely with HMH product management and engineering teams, and collaborate with multiple functions across the organization.  They must be comfortable evangelizing design principles and esthetics, collaborating and communicating effectively, working transparently, and engendering trust and respect throughout the organization.



  • Recruit, lead, inspire, mentor, and retain a global team of fantastic product designers and user interface specialists.
  • Articulate, champion, and build support for a consistent world class design culture, process, and user experience for HMH software.
  • Apply your deep understanding of user research to ensure that what gets built solves real user problems in a way that is delightful and scalable across cultures, platforms, and ability levels.
  • Innovate unique user experiences for teacher, student, and administrator workflows that feel and act better than the best consumer experiences.
  • Embrace a build-measure-learn approach to quickly releasing and continually improving our products based on real user experiences.
  • Work with designers, product owners, developers, and business partners to deliver on product requirements with high quality.
  • Establish and manage to delivery timelines for your team that support the timely and efficient development and evolution of HMH software.
  • Monitor and understand key product metrics with an eye toward continuously improving them through ongoing product innovation.
  • Develop, evolve, and own the style guide for HMH software user experience.
  • Be a key partner to other senior leaders across the Technology Solutions Group and the company.


  • Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent Work Experience
  • A minimum of 10 or more years of design experience at user-focused technology or media companies.
  • A minimum of 10 or more years of leading high-performance design teams.
  • Track record of customer obsession and innovation.
  • Deep knowledge of full user experience design process and ability to continually improve concept to design to development processes.
  • Passion for design and design tools.
  • Experience defining and delivering commercially successful user-friendly products.
  • Superior written, verbal, and visual communication skills. 
  • Ability to speak the languages of business, engineering, and design.
  • Aptitude to collaborate with designers, product managers, engineers, data scientists, marketing leaders, and content experts.
  • Capacity to lead, inspire and organize teams to deliver optimal, beautiful, and noteworthy user experiences.
  • Ability to communicate design rationale to internal team and other stakeholders.
  • Capability to bring drive and creativity to projects during all phases.
  • A focus on quantitative and qualitative user research to complement your keen design instincts.
  • Track record of hiring diverse teams, developing talent, and leading with positivity and inspiration.

Physical Requirements:

  • Might be in a stationary position for a considerable time (sitting and/or standing).
  • The person in this position needs to move about inside the office to access file cabinets, office machinery, etc.
  • Constantly operates a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a calculator, copy machine, and computer printer.
  • Must be able to collaborate with colleagues via face to face, conference calls, and online meeting.


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company dedicated to changing people’s lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. As a leading provider of pre-K–12 education content, services, and cutting-edge technology solutions across a variety of media, HMH enables learning in a changing landscape. HMH is uniquely positioned to create engaging and effective educational content and experiences from early childhood to beyond the classroom.  HMH serves more than 50 million students in over 150 countries worldwide, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is an equal employment opportunity employer and participates in E-Verify. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, or other protected group status.

Nearest Major Market: Boston

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