Product Designer (UI/UX Designer)

  • Tokyo
  • Partial Remote
  • Full-time
  • September 21, 2022
Apply from Anywhere 👍
Relocation to Japan 👍
(Overseas visa sponsorship supported)
Language Requirements
Japanese: Fluent
English: Fluent
Minimum Experience
Mid-level 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 the hundreds of millions of articles and posts published, how do we deliver the information that matters the most?

Founded in 2012 in Tokyo, SmartNews is a leading global information and news discovery company dedicated to delivering quality information to the 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 currently 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 so that your contributions have a visible impact on the company and product but large enough to have you tackling exciting 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.

About the role

You will join the news experience team to create leading products and evolve existing features for the JP market. You will advocate for users, influence teams and create meaningful end-to-end experience globally.

You will have high product ownership, work in a highly collaborative, and rapidly growing environment. You will also work closely with a multidisciplinary team such as user researcher, design foundation team, illustrators, data scientist and design ops.

The ideal candidate is able to approach problems holistically and create a simple solution with a keen eye for subtle details.

Your responsibilities includes

  • Creating aesthetic, simple, delightful design solutions to complex problems.
  • Build user-centric products and own product experience from initial concept to product launch.
  • Polishing visuals, interactions, and holistic experience based on user behavior.
  • Shaping cohesive, inclusive, Industry leading user experiences and contributing it to the design system globally.
  • Reviewing features implemented by engineering and providing guidance to ensure pixel-perfect experience.
  • Partnerships - Collaborate with cross-functional partner teams to develop industry leading product solutions for news media
  • Communications - Share and present concepts, designs, ideations, prototypes and design decisions to a wide range of stakeholders and partners
  • Focus - Execute on the scope and complexity of product work while building on the integrity of the design principles and user needs


Minimum Qualifications

  • A portfolio of design projects that demonstrates interaction design, visual design, and problem solving.
  • Experience designing end-to-end solutions with a strong user-centric approach.
  • Experience in conducting user research and user tests independently.
  • Passionate about polishing design details with strong visual and interaction design skills.
  • Familiar work with and contributes to the design system. A deep understanding of iOS and Android design guidelines.
  • Ability to communicate conceptual ideas and design rationale within a user-centered design process.
  • Ability to provide clear, honest and objective feedback to make your partners and peers better.
  • Open-minded and capable of embracing feedback from others to improve your designs and process

Nice to have Experience

  • Experience in infographic design, dashboard design, information architecture design.
  • Experience in establishing a visual guide or design system.
  • Experience in micro interaction and animation.
  • Fluent in both English and 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 candidates who meet eligibility requirements, SmartNews can sponsor visas.

To support a smooth transition for candidates who are moving to Japan from overseas, SmartNews partners with a travel service provider.

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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Product Designer (UI/UX Designer) at SmartNews
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