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UX Designer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Location: Cambridge, Hinxton
Salary: £2,631.99 monthly starting salary after tax (Grade 5).
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 18th June 2019
Closes: 29th July 2019
Job Ref: EBI01452

About the team/job

We need a User Experience (UX) Designer to join EMBL-EBI in our core mission of creating scientific web services that are useful, usable, and empower scientists worldwide to solve the biggest challenges in biology. 

We are seeking an enthusiastic UX Designer to join our Web Development team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

This is an exciting role offering direct contact with teams in EMBL-EBI that are responsible for a wide range of established and cutting-edge scientific web services as well as the bioinformaticians and life scientists who use these services. The post holder will report to Jonathan Hickford, Head of the Web Development Team, and will liaise with other teams within EMBL-EBI to guide the UX design of their services.

The Web Development team currently includes three full time UX Designers acting as internal UX consultants and coaches to teams that do not have embedded UX expertise. You too will be serving as an internal UX consultant to these teams in projects ranging from a few weeks to several months. You will also be contributing to our UX training efforts through which we familiarise members of EMBL-EBI teams with fundamental UX practices and empower them to apply them to their own service under our supervision.

There are several other UX Designers working for particular services at EMBL-EBI and the neighbouring Sanger Institute as well as a wider community of developers, curators, data scientists and team leads who are interested in UX design in our campus. We are also contributing to the UX in Life Sciences (UXLS) initiative. As a member of the Web Development team, you will be expected to engage with this thriving community and contribute to efforts aiming at raising awareness about our UX activities.

Your role

Your responsibilities will include working with the service teams and UX colleagues in any or all of the following (depending on the project):

User Research

  • Organising and leading user research sessions (primarily user interviews and observations) to identify user needs of particular EMBL-EBI services.
  • Working with the service team to articulate the outcomes of user research (e.g. by developing problem statements, personas, jobs to be done, scenarios, use cases, etc).
  • Combining insights from user research with other information (such as analytics, surveys, existing user feedback, etc).


  • Organising and leading collaborative design sessions with members of the service team and representative users (e.g. running a design studio or a card sorting workshop).
  • Fleshing out the information architecture, interaction design and particular user interface elements of the service through sketches, wireframes, mockups and interactive prototypes of appropriate fidelity.
  • Incorporating and extending our pattern library and visual framework in these designs.
  • Organising and leading design reviews with various stakeholders (including members of the service team, UX colleagues and senior leadership).  

User feedback

  • Conducting heuristic evaluations and sharing best practices on the design and evaluation of the service.
  • Organising and leading usability studies in close collaboration with the service team.
  • Working with the service team to summarise the findings of the usability studies and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Contributing to the development of other metrics for measuring the impact of UX design and the value of the services that you support (e.g. via analytics and surveys).

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