Senior Product Designer and Developer
Posted by Ruffwear on 09/21/2022
Industry Sector: Outdoor
Job Categories: Design & Development - Product
Country: United States
Job Type: Full Time
Required to Relocate: Yes
Required to Travel: Yes
Employee May Telecommute: No
Job Seeker Must Live Within:
Job Description & Requirements
Senior Product Designer and Developer
Location: Bend, OR (On-Site)
At Ruffwear, we believe success goes beyond making great gear. Started as a one-person endeavor in 1994, Ruffwear has gained the support of dogs and humans around the world and is one of Outside Magazine's 100 Best Places to Work. Known for innovative products that help people and dogs of all abilities enjoy outdoor spaces together, our “pack” values diverse thinking and voices from different backgrounds. We appreciate a willingness to take intentional risks that promote creativity, strengthen customer relationships, and reduce our impact on the planet. Our privately held company reinvests profits back into our business to keep it sustainable and nimble, and we partner with organizations like The Conservation Alliance to help protect the lands and waterways where canines and humans connect and thrive. Based in Bend, Oregon, we test our products and explore with our own dogs among our nearby forests, rivers, and mountains. Our headquarters recently underwent an innovative renovation to provide a workspace that enhances the wellbeing and creativity of our pack. Our warm and collaborative atmosphere fosters the sharing of ideas through respectful and stimulating dialogue and helps us implement new initiatives with gusto.
The Senior Product Designer and Developer is responsible for researching, creating, designing, and developing seasonal in-line products and R&D projects to support Ruffwear’s goal of building performance dog gear to enhance and inspire exploration for outdoor adventurers and their human companions. This position works collaboratively with Product Development Teams based in the U.S. and Vietnam, as well as the Marketing, Sales, and Supply Chain Teams to deliver market-leading in-line products from concept to pre-production and that meet the brand's long-range strategies, calendars, design ethos, and seasonal Go-To-Market (GTM) goals.
- Conducts Market and Consumer Research by attending trend seminars, trade shows, and relevant events, and presents findings to Product Development Team and cross-functional teams.
- Attends and/or leads focus groups to obtain consumer insights.
- Collect color and pattern trend research, and lead palette and print direction. Develops and presents the GTM design color and prints strategy.
- Performs empathetic research in the form of days in the field, identifying problems to solve through observation and personal experiences.
- Travel to relevant regions and/or events to gather insights and present findings to the team.
- Analyze and address findings from customer surveys, customer reviews, and wear testing feedback in partnership with the Product Operations Team.
- Lead and manage product design and development of assigned seasonal, R&D, DTC, and Service Dog projects.
- Ideation through sketching, CAD, and in-house 3D prototyping (cut-and-sew & 3D printing) to create functional and innovative solutions.
- Clearly present concepts and design thinking to the product team and apply feedback throughout multiple iterations.
- Nominate materials and trims from trusted suppliers, and identify areas for innovation and sustainability.
- Execute on product branding in accordance with Ruffwear’s guidelines, and lead new branding initiatives.
- Design custom graphics and patterns for products when applicable.
- Lead color direction on a product level, taking into consideration industry trends, outdoor inspiration, and cross category merchandising. Present direction to the merchandising team and apply feedback.
- Create and manage tech packs, artwork documents, and notes documents.
- Collaborate closely with Ruffwear’s Vietnam team to create patterns, samples, and assure manufacturability on all projects.
- Support the successful inspection of all samples as they arrive and communicate errors and revision requests to Ruffwear’s Vietnam team and factory partners via notes, documents and video calls.
- Provide key direction on fit testing and size grading, working closely with the Product Operations Team, Product Developers, and Ruffwear’s Vietnam team.
- Review costing throughout development, refining the design as necessary to meet design brief.
- Final pre-production sample approval and sign-off to begin commercialization.
- Support, as needed, product line management and marketing on copy and positioning in the briefs and final samples are successfully transferred into consumer-facing touch-points.
- Support successful execution of key launch moments in the GTM calendar.
- Support, as needed, go-to-market asset creation (video, print, social).
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee regularly works in an office setting (Ruffwear office or home office as necessary). Some evening hours are required in order to communicate with overseas partners.
International (at least 2x/year) and domestic travel (at least 2x/year) will be required. Some extended International travel may be required (three weeks or longer) for supplier and factory partner meetings.
Required Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, Fashion Design, Product Design or equivalent.
- 6+ years of experience in product design and development.
- A combination of years of experience and education may be taken into consideration.
- Experience working with technical soft goods.
- Full comprehension in computer-aided 2D design software (Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop).
- Full comprehension in 3D CAD software (Fusion 360, Solidworks)
- Proficient in Google Workspace/G-Suite.
- Experience in following up on projects to ensure designs are executed correctly.
- Experience working remotely and independently with overseas factories.
- High degree of curiosity and problem-solving skills.
- Passion for dogs and first-hand understanding of the interactive bond between canines and humans.
- Passion for the outdoors.
Preferred Education and Experience
- 10+ years of experience in product design and development.
- Working knowledge of all things Apple, including operating systems and apps.
- Experience in product design for the outdoor, apparel, or pet industries.
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities of the employee to do this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
For Ruffwear founder Patrick Kruse, exploring the outdoors has been a way of life since the beginning, whether by foot, bike, flying machine, or boat. And he has always searched for ways to include his canine sidekicks in all of his adventures.
Today, the performance dog gear company Patrick launched from his garage, Ruffwear, is present around the globe. Throughout our journey, we’ve remained true to our passion for enhancing and inspiring exploration for outdoor adventurers and their human companions.