UX Engineering Jobs at the Big 5 Tech Companies2018-06-25
If your dream job is a balance between UX design and technical-know-how, then this list of UX Engineering jobs is perfect for you. In this article we’ll look at UX Engineer positions offered by the tech industry’s Big 5 companies (Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google).
Each of these companies offer positions that bridge the gap between design and development. Disclaimer: Given the nature of this article (and the fast-paced tech industry in general), some of the positions listed may be filled by the time you read this. Search the company’s career page for ‘UX Engineer’ to find similar positions.
Why the Big 5 Tech Companies?
The Big 5 are not the only companies to offer UX Engineer positions. They’re not necessarily the top 5 tech companies on the Fortune 500 list either (IBM and HP are both ahead of Facebook). However, the Big 5 are often regarded as “the best places to work” by many in the tech industry.
UX Engineering at Amazon
Among the big 5 tech companies, Amazon has the lowest Glassdoor rating (though, not by much) of 3.8 stars out of 5. In the past, Amazon suffered complaints against their harsh work-life balance and demanding culture. Today, however, many employees are reporting that Amazon has improved their focus on employee satisfaction.
Technically, Amazon does not have a position called “UX Engineer.” However, considering most UX Designer positions do not require programming skills, Amazon’s Sr. UX Designer - EC2 position could probably be more appropriately described as a UX Engineer position.
Sr. UX Designer - EC2
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is technology that sits on top of Amazon Web Services (AWS). It allows companies to easily scale their server capacity according to how much is needed.
The EC2 team is currently looking for a Sr. UX Designer that knows the ins and outs of User Experience and is highly proficient in HTML, CSS and JS.
Here are the responsibilities and qualifications, found on the job listing:
- Owning the design process, from research, through conceptual design, UX design, testing, and html/js prototyping
- Presenting work to stakeholders, developers , and other designers in AWS
- Designing conceptual wireframes, high-fidelity mockups, information architecture diagrams, interaction specifications, and functional prototypes
- Contributing UX patterns and guidelines to the AWS design system
- At least 7+ years of experience as a user experience designer, interaction designer, information architect, or similar UX-related role.
- Fluency in best practices for information architecture and interaction design, user-centered design process, as well as strong knowledge of user experience principles and techniques.
- At least two years of experience working in a collaborative team and directly with developers for implementation of designs.
- Ability to delivers UX solutions for problems of large scope and complexity . Engaged with management in design planning and goal creation.
- Is considered an expert in combination of core UX and front end engineer disciplines , e.g., user interface, interaction design, information architecture and/or visual design.
- High proficiency in web technologies including HTML, CSS, and JS, capable of producing html prototypes.
UX Engineering at Microsoft
Before there was a Big 5, there was a Big 4 and Microsoft wasn’t on that list (depending on which list you looked at). Between the web browser that everyone loves to hate (Internet Explorer) and the not-so-successful Windows Phone (and several other flops), Microsoft seemed to be past their prime. However, under current CEO, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s market cap has more than doubled in the last 4 years.
Microsoft currently has a Software Engineer, UX/UI development position, as well as a Senior UX Engineering Manager position.
Software Engineer, UX/UI development
Unlike the traditional “front end” UX Engineer, the Software Engineer, UX/UI development position can be filled by someone with C# or C++ skills.
The responsibilities and qualifications are listed below. You can see the full job listing here.
- B.S./ M.S in Computer Sciences or Engineering
- A proven track record in UX/UI design and development
- Experience & interest in health technology
- Desire and ability to carve clarity out of uncertainty
- Willingness to jump into any problem space across multiple domains and to course correct, if needed
- Humility and a drive to be a “learn it all”
Senior UX Engineering Manager
If you are looking to step away from the day-to-day responsibilities of a UX Engineer and would rather oversee a team of UX Engineers, Microsoft has that option too.
- Provide deep technical leadership to a team of highly-passionate, cross-platform UX Engineers.
- Onboard, mentor, and grow the careers of a team of UX Engineers.
- Coordinate planning and execution of technical projects with internal design, engineering, and product management teams to deliver great experiences.
- Contribute technically to projects. Be able to hold your own in technical discussions, influence strategically, and develop perspectives that make our products and tech stacks better.
- 5+ years of designing, developing, and shipping production software.
- 3+ years managing technical teams, either directly or on a project/v-team basis.
- Experience developing and shipping mobile applications (iOS, Android)
- Great written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present technical information in a clear and understandable manner to non-technical audiences.
- Track record of driving projects independently, taking calculated risks, and executing on them successfully.
- Excellent hands-on design, coding, problem-solving, and debugging skills.
- Experience with delivering projects using Scrum/Agile methodologies.
- BA/BS degree in Computer Science, HCI, related degree, or equivalent professional experience
- Experience designing, developing, and shipping 3D AR/VR/MR experiences
UX Engineering at Apple
Apple is believed to be the biggest reason UX Design exploded over the last decade. After the release of the first iPhone, other companies, large and small, responded in a hurry to hire UX professionals.
As a company that’s known for it’s design and attention to detail, you would be hard pressed to find any UXer that doesn’t love their job at Apple.
Apple currently has two UX Engineer positions. The UI / UX Software Developer seems to focus more on the design-side of things, while the other UI Engineer (Web / IOS) puts more of an emphasis on development.
UI / UX Software Developer
- 5+ years experience in user-centered design with hands on experience throughout the process, from user research to developing prototypes and collaborating on implementation.
- Experience in delivering wireframes, UX flows, mockups, interactive prototypes, design specifications, final assets as well as personas and use case development is required.
- Ability and passion to understand distinct user groups quickly and distill complex needs into clean, understandable solutions.
- Understanding of information architecture, design patterns and interaction design.
- Work as part of a cross functional team, partnering with users, product owners, business analysts and development teams to deliver business value.
- Familiarity and ability to promote appropriate usability testing and user research endeavors
- Programs knowledge: familiarity with design and prototyping softwares, such as Sketch, Adobe XD, Omnigraffle or equivalent
UI Engineer (Web / iOS)
The UI Engineer position focuses less on UX and more on development. Much more. If you want to find yourself knees-deep in code, but still work on the UI, then this position might the one you’ve been looking for.
- Knowledge in UI design & development (Web-based / iOS) with understanding of accessibility and semantic mark-up.
- Ability to analyze business requirements, and developing efficient solutions keeping the UX principles in mind.
- Have knowledge in building responsive web solutions that satisfies cross browser compatibility.
- Strong problem solving, debugging, and performance tuning skills.
- Knowledge of software design, development plus working knowledge of the full SDLC
- Good knowledge of Object Oriented and SOA design concepts
- Hands-on experience with Eclipse, Xcode, Instruments, UNIX, SCM, UML, and/or other object-oriented development methodologies.
- Ability to multi-task and manage tasks with varying priorities.
- Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Development and delivery of products; help shape system requirements, and develop analysis-level documents that reflect the requirements
- Adhere to best UI / UX practices to promote code quality and to improve product efficiency
- Work with project managers and vendors on defining the scope, milestone, deliverables, and resources needed for the project
- Perform regular design and code reviews and participate in debugging and coding to resolve issues.
- Develop prototypes and POCs to demonstrate new ideas or illustrate the use of new technologies and how to apply it into our systems
- Own and review deliverables for accuracy, quality, application performance and completeness
- Work with the QE/QA team to create and refine processes and technical standards for the Corporate Systems area.
- Keep up to date with latest technologies and tools and evangelize their value within the development teams
- Strive for top quality results and continuously look for ways to improve and enhance system reliability, performance, and security.
- BS and/or MS Computer Science or Equivalent field.
- Ability to work across all layers of the application
- Knowledge of Spring Framework, XML, JSON and REST services.
- Knowledge of the iOS SDK performance tools and optimization techniques
UX Engineering at Facebook
With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating from employees, Facebook currently sits at #1 on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. Facebook seems to have the best grasp on work-life balance among the Big 5, which is likely one of the biggest reasons why the company is #1.
If you’re looking for a UX Engineer position around front-end development, then you are out of luck. However, if you’re excited about working with Virtual Ritual, then Facebook’s VR UX Engineer position might be for you.
VR UX Engineer
Unlike the traditional front end UX Engineer role, the VR UX Engineer position prefers programming experience with C++ and/or C#.
- Architect efficient and reusable 2D and 3D UI system that drive complex VR applications
- Prototyping new interactions and features with an eye toward intuitive usability and feel
- Collaborate with Product Designers, Product Managers, and Software Engineers to deliver compelling user-facing VR products
- Identify and resolve performance and scalability issues
- Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field
- 3+ years experience in developing user interfaces in 3D applications
- Experience in 3D math, linear algebra, and techniques
- Demonstrated experience interfacing with other teams to incorporate their feedback and vice versa
- Virtual reality experience (Rift, Vive, Gear VR, etc.)
- C++ and/or C# programming experience
- A combination of Windows, Android, and game console programming experience
- Unity 3D experience
- Experience in UX design or game design
- Thrives in dynamic, fast-paced environments
UX Engineering at Google
In 2015 Google had the #1 spot on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list. Today the company sits at #5, but if you exclude the non-tech companies from the list, then Google is the #2 best place to work, behind Facebook.
Out of the big 5 tech companies, Google was the first to offer a UX Engineer position…I think (need to verify that). In any case, it seems Google is the only one to provide information about UX Engineering, outside of the typical job listings. This video illustrates what it’s like to be a UX Engineer at Google.
Google has multiple positions around UX Engineering. Traditionally, the role was split between UX Engineer, Design and UX Engineer, Front End. However, others have popped up more recently, specifically for Data Visualization, Android, AR/VR, Nest, and Project Soli.
As the video above suggests, Google’s UX Engineer role is the “bridge” between design and development. Google UX Engineers collaborate with UX Designers, UX Reseachers, Data Scientists, and Backend Developers.
UX Engineer, Design
If you want to spend less of your time writing code and more time designing the interface, then this UX Engineer, Design position might be the job you’ve been looking for.
- Explore product concepts to find promising directions that address both human and business needs.
- Build prototypes to assist in user research, using low- to high-fidelity techniques and/or build design tools to empower a design team.
- Collaborate daily with UX designers and researchers.
- Support multiple projects simultaneously while meeting tight deadlines.
- Advise front-end engineers on UI implementation best practices.
- Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, HCI, Design, or equivalent practical experience.
- 4 years of development or prototyping experience.
- Experience in UI development in a platform (such as web, Android, or iOS).
- 5 years of development or prototyping experience.
- Body of design work demonstrating strong design process, and interaction and visual design skills.
- Effective leadership, communication, project management, and organizational skills.
UX Engineer, Front End
If you would rather spend more time building the interface and optimizing for performance, then the UX Engineer, Front End position might be more your style.
- Work closely with UX designers, project managers and back-end engineers to implement versatile front-end solutions to tricky web development issues.
- Embrace emerging standards while promoting best practices in order to push the limits of what a browser can do.
- Manage your own time, and work well both independently and as part of a team.
- Launch, iterate and make a difference. Provide front-end coding expertise, and be ready to make our products better for our users.
- Design and develop the front ends of user facing products.
- BA/BS degree in Computer Science, HCI, Design, or equivalent practical experience.
- 4 years of relevant work experience in software development.
- Experience designing and implementing complex UIs.
- Experience with a scripting language, such as Python, Ruby, etc.
- Experience with and a passion for user-interface design.
- Strong sense of web design and attuned to the fundamentals of user experience, including accessibility.
- Ability to communicate to all levels of users (internal and external), strong problem-solving skills, adaptable, proactive and willing to take ownership.
UX Engineer, Data Visualization
The UX Engineer, Data Visualization role is an interesting and unique opportunity to develop data visualizations that actually make sense.
- Help the Cloud Datavis UX team develop data visualizations for internal and customer facing interfaces.
- Develop a deep understanding of internal data models – write complex queries and manage data transformation to enable analytics,reporting and product features.
- Help analyze, visualize, and provide analytics on data/metrics to build reporting solutions to support various company initiatives.
- Participate in the creation and support of data visualization development standards and best practices across the company.
- Explore and recommend emerging technologies and techniques to support/enhance common UX patterns and components.
- Experience in Computer Graphics (OpenGL, 3D modeling, linear algebra) and related tools.
- Experience with SQL (MySQL, Postgres or Oracle RDBMS)
- Experience with responsive user interfaces and data visualization; Experiences with application frameworks (Angular, Vue, React), and graphics libraries (D3.js, Three.js, Vega, Processing).
- Experience building good, collaborative relationships across geographically distributed teams.
- A creative and analytical mindset to present information based on established design principles.
- Familiarity with user research methods or experience working closely with researchers.
- Familiarity with cloud computing or data center technologies.
- Passion for finding the stories buried in petabytes of data and are able to build insightful tools and data products that amplify cognition and lead to action.
Android UX Engineer, Design
The Android UX Engineer position is perfect for the UX Designer + Android Mobile Developer .
- Deliver innovative, engaging prototypes using the latest in front-end technologies.
- Advise, collaborate with, and synthesize feedback from UX designers and researchers.
- Fulfill several project requests simultaneously while meeting tight deadlines.
- Serve as a mentor for junior UX engineers and peers.
- BS degree in Computer Science, related technical field or equivalent practical experience.
- 3 years of android application development experience.
- Experience with development on mobile platforms
- 7 years of experience developing clean, beautiful Android applications.
- Fluency in one or more of: Python/PHP/Ruby, Flash/ActionScript, Objective C or Java
- Fluency in Java and Android SDK.
- Excellent leadership, communication, project management, and organizational skills
UX Engineer, Design (AR/VR)
Like Facebook, Google also has a UX Engineer focused on virtual and augmented reality. If you have experience C#, C++, and Java, then this position might be the one for you.
- Develop prototypes utilizing the latest internal and external technologies (e.g. AR, VR, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Hardware etc).
- Apply design and product sensibility to your work and contribute to prototype ideation.
- Serve as a source of technical knowledge and help for the rest of the team.
- Be a team player who can work in a highly collaborative and supportive environment that encourages creative thought.
- Share new perspectives and be open to new ideas and paradigms.
- Experience with C#, C++, and Java.
- Experience with Unity, AR, VR, Computer Vision and Machine Learning.
- Experience working on a UX-focused prototyping or research and development teams.
- Experience with hardware prototyping (Arduino, etc).
- Unity graphical experience (e.g. shaders, rendering, etc).
- Ability to quickly learn and apply new technologies.
- Developed collaboration skills.
That sweet spot between design and development exists. It’s called UX Engineering.