Design, Technology, Mule, and You

A job listing.


Hi, I’m Liam Campbell. I work on technology at Mule Design. We’re a 15 year-old interaction design studio in San Francisco. We’re known for our goal-driven, evidence-based process and our outstanding work for many wonderful clients.

Mule is hiring a Design Technologist. We use that term to mean, “someone who is passionate about making great design real using web technology.” This is our primary technical role, but there’s a lot more to it than writing code. Mule is small. Everybody contributes to the overall strategy of our projects and our team.

This is the part in most technical job postings where there’d be a list of software and tech that you should be proficient in, but I want to write that list as little as you want to read it. Being a successful Mule has less to do with the tools you use, and more to do with what you do with them.

Here’s what a Design Technologist does at Mule:

  1. Prototyping. We make prototypes to validate or demonstrate design. Sometimes these are low-fidelity, for getting an idea across quickly. Other times they’re high-fidelity, and act as a final step before implementation.
  2. Researching technology. Every client we take on comes to us with a unique set of problems and constraints. We need a combination of existing knowledge and insatiable curiosity to identify the particular solution for them—and convince them that it’s the right one.
  3. Communicating. We are a client services studio. We are in daily contact with our clients, whether over the phone, face-to-face, or in writing. Everybody at Mule is a skilled communicator.
  4. Evaluating design through a technical lens. Good interactive design works in harmony with technology. A good design technologist can see through an interface to its underlying logic, and correct it or clarify it as they see fit.
  5. Making and sharing tools. We do not give designers fish. We give them fishing line. The technology team is constantly working on ways to bring designers closer to high-fidelity, client-ready code. We listen, teach, and facilitate as much as we build.
  6. Learning. As a work culture, Mule is not about the New Hotness™. But it’s foolish to ignore the great work being done in the design and tech world around us. Part of our job is separating the wheat from the chaff to keep our work swift and modern.

We care less about experience than passion and grit. The right person for this job loves to learn and to teach. They have strongly-held opinions, but can change them in the face of superior reasoning. They don’t mind having an (amiable) argument to make the team’s work better. If this sounds like you, then read on.

How to apply

Write an email to Tell me briefly why you are the right person for the job. Don’t attach anything. People make it through our job application process without us ever seeing a résumé. Save yourself time and don’t write one.

I look forward to your email. I really do. At Mule we get to make great work for wonderful clients. I can’t wait to see what you, future teammate, can bring to us. Let’s get to work.

Further reading

One of our co-founders, Erika Hall, wrote a generalist job listing a couple months ago. It goes into more detail about our process.

I wrote a piece for Dear Design Student a little while ago about cover letters. It might help.

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