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Design & UX
Rakuten Kobo Inc.
00013037 Requisition #

Lead Product Designer

The Company:
Here at Rakuten Kobo Inc. we offer a casual working start-up environment and a group of friendly and talented individuals. Our employees rank us highly in terms of commitment to work / life balance. We realize that for our people to be innovative, creative and passionate they need to have healthy minds and bodies. With that in mind, we offer one of the best group benefits plans as well as gym discounts and a personal fitness budget. We hold an annual Wellness Day, host Lunch and Learns to promote a healthy lifestyle and provide fresh fruit daily and other healthy snacks. Teams love our Pooch program and say "dogs in the office make everything better".

Booklovers are thrilled to see that we offer employees a free device upon joining.  We encourage reading time as well as host frequent Lunch and Learn Author Series.

We believe in rewarding all our employees with competitive salaries, performance based annual bonuses, stock options and training opportunities.  For our growing Kobo families, we offer a maternity/paternity leave top up, as well as time off for the non-child bearing parent.

The Role:

Rakuten Kobo Inc. is looking for a Lead. Product Designer to join our Product Design Operations and Product Teams! Product Design Operations is responsible for building a design practice that is scalable, holistic and inclusive. Product Teams are responsible for connecting our cross-functional teams to our reader’s needs all over the world.

Reporting to User Experience Director, the Lead. Product Designer plays a vital role in delivering amazing product design capabilities and features to our users, bringing us closer to our company goal of enabling people anywhere in the world to read more. Our products are designed by readers, dedicated to readers. We are focused on crafting the best experience possible for all people, all languages, and all devices. The Lead. Product Designer will be responsible for: Leading design strategy, leadership, planning, and creativity.

The Person:

  • Strong ability to demonstrate design thinking, process and solutions.

  • Experience in data-driven design methods with A/B testing.

  • Experience in qualitative user research concerning with the ‘why’ than the ‘how’.

  • Proficient in creating wireframes, UX/UI design tools and prototyping tools.

  • Excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills.

  • Strong ownership and collaborative mindset to ship products.

  • Great leadership in collaboration, design strategy, planning and creativity.



  • Lead and facilitate stakeholder workshops to drive opportunity understanding and gap analysis.

  • Lead user opportunity mapping and how it provides business value.

  • Lead product design discovery and definition techniques.


  • Working alongside various practices such as architects, developers, researchers, analysts, product owners and product management.

  • Opportunity to work on multiple platforms such as the eReader, Apps, and Responsive Web.

  • Working and aligning across three different geos and time zones and being able to deal with Cultural Diversity and Differences in Cross-cultural Project Teams.

  • Establishing a culture of respect and transparency.

  • Lead design vision of product roadmap.

  • Lead how to integrate customer centric research findings into product design decisions.

  • Lead how to ensure the product teams’ understanding of the WHY and building of the WHAT.


  • Translating business requirements, end user needs and input from cross-functional Business units into differentiated design solutions.

  • Lead design stories and design acceptance criteria.

  • Lead how to measure product design release outcomes.

  • Lead design optimization user stories.

  • Lead how to evolve our design centric culture by focusing on user intent, user needs, and shareholder value.

  • Lead how to build a best in class design system and component library.

  • Lead our design artifacts, the status quo and competitive benchmarks.


The Skillset:


  • Minimum 7-10 years previous experience as a product designer, UX designer, information architect, interaction designer, or visual designer.

  • High proficiency with Sketch, Figma, InVision, Zeplin, Creative Suite, and prototyping tools.

  • A portfolio demonstrating artifacts such as taxonomies, flowcharts, wireframes, interaction design specs, visual design, journey maps, personas, and prototypes.

  • Ability to articulate and rationalize your concepts or process through white-boarding.

  • Ability to facilitate stakeholder workshops and enable collaboration.

  • Interest in user testing methodologies to help conduct studies, create protocols and present findings in an agile environment.

  • Extensive experience designing for multiple form factors and platforms such as iOS, Android, and responsive web.

Nice to Haves:

  • Previous experience working in eReading, ecommerce, entertainment, and software environments.

  • Experience working with teams in an Agile environment, using an iteration backlog, and comfortability being part of a product development team.

  • Awareness of the capabilities of react.js, html, and css.

To Learn More About Kobo:

Rakuten Kobo Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. Accessibility accommodations for candidates with disabilities participating in the selection process are available on request.  Any information received related to accommodation needs of applicants will be addressed confidentially.

Rakuten Kobo would like to thank all applicants for their interest in this role however only qualified candidates will be shortlisted.

About Rakuten Kobo Inc.

Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 6 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any Reader’s style including Kobo Clara HD, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading and audiobook listening app for Apple® and Android®. Kobo’s award-wining eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.

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