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As we look to grow the OpenIDEO team, we could think of no better way to find design talent than through our own platform.


We’ve long been impressed by the talent demonstrated on OpenIDEO. Every day, we see diverse skills from entrepreneurship to all shades of design coming together to collaboratively address societal challenges. It’s inspiring to watch but also greatly intriguing. 

As we look to grow the OpenIDEO team, we wanted to leverage our open, collaborative platform to recruit a talent from our community. The Join Our Team Challenge seeks to find a Visual and User Experience Designer to join our team in IDEO’s San Francisco studio for a 3-month contract position, with the possibility of extending to a longer term role. 


  1. Is the designer a systems thinker, who can logically visualize complex systems, user interaction flows and beautiful user interfaces? 
  2. Does the designer have strong visualization skills, with a command of typography, color, grid and hierarchy as it relates to user interface design? 
  3. Does the designer have a passion for design, a pulse on emerging trends and technology, and a developed point of view about their work? 
  4. Does the designer have 3+ years of relevant experience?
  5. Does the designer bring a new approach to communicating ideas and has the ability to design for global and diverse audiences?  


  • Application Phase (April 3rd - April 28thTo be considered, applicants will be asked to answer basic questions, share a link to their portfolio and upload assets in response to the Design Brief, described below.
  • Community Vote Phase (April 28th - May 5th) Following the Application Phase, we’ll draw on the power of the OpenIDEO community to help review candidates for two weeks. Results from the Community Vote phase will influence the final selection but won’t be the only indicator of success. Members from the OpenIDEO, IDEO talent and IDEO creative teams will also review all applications and grade them according to the specified criteria. 
  • Shortlist and Interview Phase: (May 10th - May 22nd) Candidates who offer the best fit for this role will be invited to interviews with the OpenIDEO team. 
  • Top Candidate Announcement: (First week of June) OpenIDEO’s new Visual and User Experience designer will be announced. 

This is not only an opportunity to be considered to join our team but also a way for you to get feedback from our talented community, both inside and outside of IDEO. We also encourage you to be generous with your feedback to other designers, the more you give the more you get. 

We look forward to celebrating the amazing talent that exists within this community. 


The following exercise is representative of the work the OpenIDEO Visual and User Experience Designer will take on with us. This is a fictional Challenge, intended as a way for us to familiarize with your approach and process. 

Have fun with it! :) 

The Fictional Context:

OpenIDEO has partnered with a couple of foundations to launch an open innovation Challenge focused on diversity and inclusion. The ‘fictional Challenge’ is calling people all over the world to submit ideas and insights that foster dialogue and connections between people of diverse backgrounds.

Your Task:

Engage, excite and activate people from all over the world to participate in our ‘upcoming’ fictional Inclusion Challenge!

The Deliverables:

To promote the Challenge, OpenIDEO has decided to launch a digital and physical outreach campaign. Please upload one of the assets below to your application form in the Application Phase. This is an opportunity for you to go wild and have fun.  


  • A poster or handout to put up in cities around the world. 


  • A mock-up for a digital experience that encourages people to participate in the challenge. A digital experience can be:
  • A wireframe for a landing page that points to the Challenge
  • A wireframe redesigning the brief page  
  • A series of memes to be shared in social media 
  • A template for an email campaign 
  • Any asset that can be shared online to promote the Challenge

OpenIDEO Brand Assets:

Please incorporate our colors and fonts into your design. 


What do I need to do to be eligible?

You answer all questions in the Application Phase by the deadline: April 28th.

You meet the criteria specified above.

What if I live outside of San Francisco?

  • We will cover relocation expenses for up to $2,000 .
  • Our talent team will work with candidates who need any visa support.

What is the start and end date of this role?

This is a 3 month contract position with possibility of extension. The Top Candidate will be announced on the first week of June 2017 and we expect candidates to be able to start by June 26th. 

What is the timeline?

  • Application Phase - April 3rd - April 28th
  • Community Vote Phase: April 28th - May 5th
  • Shortlist + Interviews Phase : May 10th - May 22nd
  • Top Candidate: June 5th - June 9th
  • Start Date: Latest  by June 26th
  • End Date: 3 months from start date

What does it mean to be part of the Shortlist + Interviews Phase ?

We will send an email to the whole OpenIDEO email list recognizing shortlited candidates and will showcase their deliverables at our San Francisco studio. 

Will OpenIDEO use my work?

OpenIDEO might be interested in using submitted materials to tell the story of this Challenge. If we're interested in featuring your work in the future, we'll ask your permission and recognize you as the designer. For more information on our privacy policy check out our Terms and Conditions 

I’m confused about the Inclusion Challenge. Is that a real open innovation challenge that will be hosted in the future on OpenIDEO?

We don’t have any plans to launch the Inclusion Challenge int he near future. It’s a topic we are passionate about, however, and we’d like to eventually find sponsors to support inclusion-focused challenges. 

This challenge is now over.
59 ideas
59 final ideas
5 final ideas


Join the conversation:

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I am very interested in participating in the Join the OpenIDEO Team Challenge as a Visual and User Experience Designer. It sounds like something I'll enjoy and be passionate about. I just have one question: I currently work full-time as a Senior Visual Designer, given that the role is a 3-month contract position, can I still apply?

Thank you.

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Hi, my name is Kate. I'm a project director of I also need a designer. Have you found anyone? Can you give me contacts?

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I think this is the best way to find the team members from the website itself. I am sure that there are highly talented members of this community who can be selected to the main team. And this contest would actually help in finding them.

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When will the top candidate be announced?

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Hello Jason Rissman and the OpenIDEO team! For the Shortlist + Interviews Phase, will participants be notified of an interview during or after the current phase? :)

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The FAQs say to answer the application questions by today, April 20th, but the deadline listed everywhere else says April 28th. For everyone's peace of mind (including my own), can someone clarify? Thanks!

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John Rim I don't work for OpenIDEO but it seems like they shifted the deadline for applications forward one week. So once I apply my work will be better – the extra time will help :) Good luck with your work!

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What about candidates outside of the US?


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I'm not working at IDEO but in the brief it says that the IDEO team will work with those who need a visa. So I think you can apply. I know I will and I need a visa :) Scott Shirbin