Open Data Services is a growing workers co-operative. We deliver sustainable support for world-changing open data projects, including the Open Contracting Data Standard, the 360Giving open philanthropy initiative and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
We’re looking someone to join our development team, contributing to exciting projects and taking a lead on ensuring that users of our software and standards have clear and intuitive paths to use and learning.
Depending on your skills and interests, this role may also include element of community engagement, working to engage with contributors to our open source standards and software, research and development on new open data standards and software projects, and software maintenance on core tools such as our open data validation platform.
Role and responsibilities
In this role you will take the lead in ensuring that our standards, software, web services and standard documentation is designed with the user experience in mind. You will be working with existing user research and will be engaging with users to learn about their current practice, and contributing to the implementation of your designs.
Our users are a range of people coming from across government, civil society, activist groups, and include technical implementers, policy-makers, campaigners and academics. Our work help bring together groups around a common way of describing the information around a problem, to enable social change on topics ranging from more efficient grant-making, to reducing corruption in government procurement and to helping change our relationship with electronics and waste.
You will also get involved in a number of short-term research and development projects: where we help partners to understand the potential of open data through workshops, collaborative work and code. Don’t worry if you’re new to open data - we’ll provide extensive training and immersion in the world of open data.
On a day-to-day basis you will be:
Researching, conceiving, wireframing, prototyping, and mocking up user experiences for software, standards and documentation;
Collaborating with developers and analysts to put your designs into action;
Identifying and responding to issues (including from community contributors), solving problems, and documenting changes
Leading our efforts to make sure that our software, standards and documentation are accessible, approachable and relevant for the people using them
Attending daily standups with the team, and regular meetings with clients
Contributing to software and standards development planning
Contributing to the life of the co-operative
We practice agile development, and hold regular retrospectives to inspect and adapt our practice.
person specification: values
We believe in transparency, openness, kindness and co-operation. We recognise that these values can look very different in different people, and we’re working to avoid creating a monoculture. As a small organisation, each new person shapes the culture. If you share our values, we’ll make sure you fit in.
You will be joining a team whose backgrounds include software development, physics, philosophy, youth work and business analysis. We recognise the value that diverse backgrounds and experience bring to the co-operative.
person specification: skills and experience
We recognise that there are many paths to gaining the skills needed for this role. We are more interested in demonstrable skills and experience than in qualifications, but if you have them we'd like to hear about them.
With that in mind, we’re looking for the following essential skills, knowledge, and experience:
Extensive UX and interaction design experience;
Excellent written and spoken English;
Experience with either graphic design or copywriting;
Use of version control tools to manage collaborative development;
Understanding of open source;
Ability to work as part of a diverse team: including interacting with clients around the world;
Good communication skills: ability to communicate via email, video calls, ticketing systems, and collaborative documents.
Ability to communicate one to one, in small groups, and meetings and via presentations.
The following skills and experience are desirable. Tell us about any you can bring to the team in your application:
Experience designing for users across multiple cultural contexts;
Experience with information architecture design
Some front-end web development experience, or experience designing for web applications using modern JS frameworks (eg React, Vue.js, Backbone)
Experience developing or contributing to the design of data standards, ideally for open data;
Experience of communicating with users about problems, upgrades, changes;
Speaking languages other than English;
Prior knowledge of the open data movement and community and/or understanding of open source software and content licensing;
Ability to work as both specialist and generalist, supporting other team members with tasks such as software development work or design for publications
A demonstrated commitment to co-operative values;
We’re also interested in the ‘wildcard’ skills and experience you might bring to the team.
Location: We’re a UK-based distributed team and all work from home, with regular team meetings and co-working, often in Birmingham. Current team members are located in or near Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, London, Stroud, Nottingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Belfast.
You must have the right to live and work in the UK.
Remuneration & benefits: As a collectively run and owned co-operative, we operate a flat rate of pay for all staff. This is currently set at £36,000 p.a.
Open Data Services operates an auto enrollment pension scheme with 3% employer contributions. If you have an existing pension scheme, we may be able to make contributions to that. Our policy is to progressively improve employee benefits as the co-operative develops, with all co-operative members having an equal right to vote on benefits, dividends, and bonuses.
All employees, that have passed a successful probationary period, are entitled to become members. Each member is an equal owner of the business, and all members have an equal vote in decision-making.
Members are able to vote on profit distributions at the end of each year, part of which can be as a bonus to members. In the last year, we also voted on making contributions to a number of charities, open source projects, and to the Open Rights Group.
Training and development is encouraged with all employees allocated an equal individual training budget, set by the members.
We operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and provide the online tools and software you need for your job. If you don’t already have a home working set-up, or need to find local co-working space, we’ll help to get that all set-up.
We offer salary sacrifice Childcare scheme vouchers that allow employees to reduce their childcare costs.
Hours and holiday: This post is offered as full-time, though part-time applications will be considered . We welcome opportunities to work out a flexible and family friendly schedule with you. Full time hours are set at 37.5 hours a week with 33 days holiday a year (including bank holidays).
Within reasonable limits we operate a flexi-time policy. We have a short team call each morning to plan work for the day which we expect everyone to try and join - and then each set our schedules accordingly, striving for a good work-life balance. We are also committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable people to do their work