I’m back from Vegas this week with an extra $300 in my wallet and a couple of great job opportunities on our World Online design team in Lawrence, Kan. We’re looking for a pair of junior interaction designers to work with our senior designers (that’s myself and Nathan Borror) in developing our stable of news web sites, which includes such properties as The Lawrence Journal-World, Lawrence.com, KUSports.com, The Steamboat Pilot, 49 ABC Topeka, and several more. You’ll be doing everything from writing HTML and CSS to Photoshop mockups to working with reporters and editors to — well, really, just about anything related to interactive design as it applies to journalism on the web.
Full job description and more details about World Online after the jump. If you’re interested, you can submit a portfolio and r’esum’e to David Ryan (dryan at ljworld.com), or feel free to e-mail me if you’ve got questions about the job, World Online, or Lawrence.
Junior interaction designer
World Online, a division of The World Company in Lawrence, Kan., is seeking an interaction designer to join its award winning team.
The Junior interaction designer will work closely with senior designers, programmers, reporters and editors to create, extend and develop sections and interactive features for multimedia news web sites as well as on products across print and television. Designers also help to extend the functionality of Ellington, our commercial online publishing system. Your experience should demonstrate an excellent understanding of design principles; an appreciation for developing the possibilities of online communication; and attention to detail and problem-solving. Your portfolio should showcase your best work and/or document projects for which you played a crucial design role.
- Ideal candidate will have college degree or have special experience and qualities.
- A sound understanding of the principles of interaction design and development.
- Excellent teamwork skills and ability to work with all types of direction from a diverse staff.
- Understanding of different platforms, browsers and other relevant Internet technologies.
- Ability to create, manage and multitask effectively under pressure.
- Relentless attention to detail and great enthusiasm for work and continued learning.
- Proficiency with applications used on and for the web.
- Ability to quickly learn new technologies and skills.
- Work on various projects across the company’s assets in print, online, and television.
- Work with complex, content heavy content management systems and associated technologies.
- Miscellaneous design and development work and maintenance.
- Work in collaborative team environment on all projects.
About the company and team
World Online is a wholly-owned subsidary of The World Company, which is a news and media company headquartered in Lawrence, Kansas (USA). We work on both internal projects for our news properties and external projects for clients of all types. We’ve been widely recognized as one of the most innovative new media operations in our industry. Several of our sites — such as lawrence.com, ljworld.com, and kusports.com — have repeatedly won major awards (what’s more, most of our flagship sites are going to be re-designed this year, so you’ll be involved in some very exciting proejcts).
We are also the birthplace of a little open source web framework you may have heard of (especially if you’ve been reading this site recently), name of Django. All of our work is Django-based, so if you’re interested in the framework, this is definitely the place to be (as an aside, the fact that our administration agreed to open-source a product built here is a good example of just how much they “get it”).
We work in what has got to be one of the most beautiful news centers in the world — a fast-paced and exciting enviroment that makes the days go by very quickly. Our team is small, but growing rapidly. We’re currently at one director, one editorial projects manager, five programmers, two designers, and a system administrator.
I could go on about the projects, the company, the management, and the facilities here (all of which are great), but what really makes this job so amazing is the people on this team. I sincerely believe there isn’t a smarter and more creative bunch of web people anywhere in the Midwest.
We also have a lot of fun while we work. Oh, and we’re a Mac shop. That counts for something, right?
About the town
Lawrence, Kansas might be the coolest town of its size in the world. Seriously. As Jacob said, “If you take every negative stereotype of Kansas and turn them on their heads, you’d get Lawrence.” We’ve got an incredible music scene (The New York Times called Lawrence “the most vital music scene between Chicago and Denver”), centered in a downtown area so active it put a mall out of business. The film scene here is also growing rapidly. Lawrence is home of the University of Kansas, so you’ll find everything you’d expect in a college town — lots of young people, lots of bars, lots of late-night hangouts, and all the pagentry that comes with one of storied NCAA basketball programs of all time.
Many people refer to Lawrence as being very similar to Austin, TX in culture and vibe (although Lawrence is smaller than Austin) — so if you’ve been to SXSW, you may have a decent feel for what this town is like.
The cost of living here is also pretty damn good. As Jacob noted when a pervious position was open at World Online:
If you’re used to the insane cost of living in most big cities, Lawrence will blow your mind. You’ll easily be able to afford a brand new apartment, or one within walking distance of downtown, or a turn-of-the-century house. Food’s incredibly cheap, too; the best barbecue dinner of your life is less than ten bucks.
Some very representative bits from Wikipedia about Lawrence:
- “While Kansas is one of the most conservative states in America, Lawrence is a tiny island of liberalism. Douglas County, where Lawrence is located, was one of only two counties in Kansas to vote for the Democratic candidate in the past four presidential elections. Douglas County was the only county in the state to reject the amendment to the Kansas Constitution prohibiting both gay marriage and civil unions in April, 2005.”
- “Lawrence also features the customary staples of college-town liberalism, such as an anarchist bookstore, two microbreweries, a half-dozen locally owned coffeehouses, and a law protecting gay people from discrimination.”
- “Downtown Lawrence, in particular Massachusetts Street, has a lively atmosphere and is filled with restaurants, galleries, shops, and music venues.”
- “Artwork, theater, and other related activities are some of the biggest parts of Lawrence.”
- “Clinton Lake is located approximately three miles (5 km) southwest of Lawrence and has areas for boating, swimming, and fishing.”
- “There are a variety of mountain biking venues, including the trails at Clinton Lake, and the river trails by the Kansas River.”
- “The inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas and was the only KU coach with a losing record.”
If you’ve made it this far, it should be safe to assume you’re interested in the position. So, send me an e-mail, or get over to the official job listing page and apply. We’re looking for people soon, but we’ll also keep the positions open for as long as it takes to find the right fit. One of the reasons this team has been so sucessful is that we’re relentless about finding the best people out there. If that’s you, let’s talk.