Ads Design Manager

  • Tokyo
  • Partial Remote
  • Full-time
  • January 13, 2023
Apply from Anywhere 👍
Relocation to Japan 👍
(Overseas visa sponsorship supported)
Language Requirements
Japanese: Not Required 👍
English: Business Level
Minimum Experience
Senior or above

About SmartNews

News can change the world, save lives, and bring us all closer together through empathy and understanding—but not if no one reads it. Out of hundreds of millions of articles and posts, how do we deliver the information that matters the most?

Founded in 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, SmartNews is a leading global information and news discovery company dedicated to delivering quality information to people who need it. We provide news that matters to millions of users thanks to our unique machine learning technology and relationships with over 3,000 global publisher partners. Our SmartNews app, available on iOS and Android, is already used in over 150 countries worldwide.

But we’re only just getting started, and that’s why we need someone like you.

If you’re looking for a company that’s small enough that your contributions have a visible impact on the company and product but large enough that you’re tackling interesting and challenging problems, then SmartNews is the place for you. Join us and wake up every day energized, knowing that you’re delivering the news people need.


  • Lead a team of Ads product designers and work closely with the Ads engineering, business, PMs to design leading Ads experiences for delivering impact on revenue.
  • Establishing the Ad design criteria and parameters for success to ensure good design quality.
  • Sync up regularly with Ad UX, Flyer, Ad manager team to know the plans, priorities, and requirements. Organize industry trends, research, and stakeholder feedback into actionable UX strategy.
  • Partner closely with JP & US design team, design foundation team, design ops team to align on projects, strategies and outcomes to improve consistency and overall user experience.
  • Define and implement creative solutions that balance the needs of users, businesses, and advertisers.
  • Mentor and lead designers to help create and improve the quality of work and ensure projects meet or exceed objectives.
  • Champion design at a systems level, guiding the in-house design system and advocating for reuse, scale, and optimized use across different channels and platforms.
  • Build trust, respect, and credibility with internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Learn, follow through, and improve our core processes setting designers and squads up for success and growth.
  • Provide direction all through the product lifecycle from concept work all the way through execution and release to ensure a high bar of quality.
  • Evolve a culture of inspiration, creative risk-taking and pride in craftsmanship.


Minimum Qualifications

  • 3+ years of managing local and remote design teams.
  • 7+ years of product user experience with an accompanying portfolio.
  • Experience with designing advertisements, B2B products, or tools for internal users.
  • Experience with working and thriving in an agile, matrix environment.
  • Ability to communicate strategy, lead reviews, and keep cross-functional teams informed of design decisions and opportunities.
  • Ability to provide clear, honest, and objective feedback.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to build consensus of complex and ambiguous initiatives from ideation to delivery.
  • Experience with leading collaborative workshops to share visions, align principles and influence product teams’ strategies and goals.
  • Experience with working with and contributing to the design system.
  • A strong understanding of iOS, Android design guidelines, and user-centered design processes.
  • Good knowledge of front-end mobile and web technologies

Preferred Skills & Experience

  • Love B2B services and driving business impact.
  • Direct advertiser experience or ads design experience
  • Good analytics and business understanding
  • Knowledge of mobile languages - iOS or Android, or HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • B.S. or M.S. degree in a technical or cognitive field
  • Multidisciplinary background such as Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Sociology, Comp. Sci, Data Vis, or Anthropology
  • Business-level Japanese


Perks and Benefits at the SmartNews Tokyo Office

  • Support program for employee’s self-development and well-being
  • Healthy lunches are prepared on-site daily in our SmartKitchen, located in our West Office building. You can even see the cooks at work!
  • Need a pick-me-up? Stop by ChikyuCoffee, our in-house coffee shop located in both the East and West Office buildings, and get a cup of gourmet coffee, espresso-based beverage, or other seasonal drink!
  • SmartNews provides all healthcare and social insurance benefits required by Japanese labor law
  • Visa sponsorship and Relocation support for overseas candidates. (If candidates meet eligibility requirements),

How to apply

Please submit your Updated CV and Portfolio.

Recently crowned Japan's latest tech unicorn, this company runs a wildly successful news service that’s powered by machine learning. It's an engineering-focused company (One of co-founders is an engineer) and they have offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Shanghai, Beijing that are apparently doing quite well too.

The mission of SmartNews is to discover and deliver quality stories to the world. Since its inception in 2012, the SmartNews app has been downloaded over 50 million downloads and maintained a monthly active user count of over 20 million.

In addition to being one of the most popular smartphone apps in Japan, SmartNews has worked hard on building their business in the US. They now have partnerships with over 300 major news publications in the US like CBS, Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, National Geographic and more. They’ve had a great deal of success due to their ML-based sorting and recommendation systems.

SmartNews has a highly diverse development team with many world-class engineers and others working from their offices in Japan,China and the US. They maintain a very strict hiring bar for technical hires and an engineering-driven culture that makes them one of the strongest tech companies in Japan when it comes to technical skill level.

SmartNews is looking to hire the best people regardless of background, so they’re willing to hire people that don’t speak Japanese and (under normal circumstances) bring them to Japan from overseas if necessary. Everyone works together as one team regardless of location, and SmartNews provides everything their employees need to do their best work and maintains a Silicon Valley-inspired culture for engineers in Tokyo.

SmartNews's policies during COVID-19 are as follows:

  • All interviews are being conducted remotely
  • Employees are working remotely following the government’s instructions
  • They've given everyone some monetary incentive to support working from home
View SmartNews's company page

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Ads Design Manager at SmartNews