Gawker Media, the company behind Kotaku.com, is developing Kinja, our collaborative blogging platform. We need a UX expert to make our software as elegant and pleasant to use as possible. And I suspect a game developer might be who we need.
We're currently hiring a UX Director in our New York office to spearhead improvements to Kinja. You've probably seen our experiments over the last year with new ways for our bloggers to collaborate with readers, in the comments and eventually beyond. While I believe wholeheartedly in the direction we're taking Kinja, I'll be the first to admit our implementations have been suboptimal.
This is due to two factors: we have lacked a UX Director with the vision and authority to implement a top-notch interaction experience across all our product teams; our boss, Nick Denton, is a tyrannical visionary type, who typically knows what he doesn't want more than what he does when it comes to UX. (You will be working with Nick directly, so consider that fair warning.)
In our conversations over the previous months, I've continually referred to lessons I've learned as a gamer and occasional game journalist about design. It is my belief that some of the best examples of large-scale UX successes in the world have come out of the video game and MMO development community, not just in user interfaces for experienced users, but in on-boarding and tutorial flow as well. (It's why I attend GDC when I can, even though I'll never be a game designer: the lessons I learn about managing user communities of millions of people are invaluable to my day job.)
I'm writing this personal note to Kotaku's game developer community because I believe there is someone out there in Game Dev Land who is well-equipped for this position at Gawker Media—a position that is among our most challenging and most important to the success of our lofty aspirations.
I should be clear that I'm not looking for someone to shallowly "gamify" Kinja by adding points and badges. The right person for this position will have the experience and wisdom to look at our user personas and platform goals—primarily, to provide the venue, mechanism, and incentive to reveal informational truth through collaboration—and to develop a UX strategy that facilitates that experience in an easy-to-grok, playful, and powerful way.
The job listing is on Greenhouse. (There are also junior positions for UX designers in our New York and Budapest offices, if you're not ready for a senior role.) Definitely apply through Greenhouse so your CV goes through the proper channels, but feel free to email me directly or comment in Kinja if you'd like some more information.
Might be a long shot, but given the vagaries of the game development business, I suspect there's a game developer out there who's ready to bring some expertise from that world into the world of collaborative online media—and I suspect we'd be better for it.