Lead Product Designer

Join uplearn as they are looking for a Lead Product Designer

About Us

Up Learn has built the world’s most effective learning experience. We’ve done this by combining cognitive science, instructional theory and artificial intelligence

Up Learn’s mission is to create the most effective learning experiences in the world, and distribute access to as many students as possible 🙌

Up Learn started with A Levels and developed courses that are:

  1. Effective: 97% of students that complete Up Learn courses achieve an A*/A, starting from grades as low as Ds and Es
  2. Engaging: 1.6 million hours of learning thanks to Up Learn, and rising
  3. Scaling: tens of thousands of students use Up Learn today, either independently, or through one of our 300 schools, university or charity partners

Up Learn has been growing fast, and is backed by investors that share their vision, including leading venture capital firm Forward Partners and the Branson family (Virgin). Social impact is critical to Up Learn’s mission - for every student that pays, Up Learn gives a full scholarship to a student who can’t. We are growing our incredible, 50+ strong team.

The Role

After the first year you will have prepared all aspects of our Product Design for transformation, including atomic design system, strategy, and operations. You will have built the first in-house design team here at Up Learn, and laid the foundations for us to become a design-led company.

In the beginning you will get stuck in personally, embedding in one or more of our squads, interviewing our users and our customers, working with our Product Mangers - as well as our Learning Executives, Engineers, and Data team - to create designs for new features that are a level up; designs that exceed current expectations. You will build on everything we have in place today to produce these quick wins and rapidly build trust and credibility throughout the organisation, while learning first-hand how we got to where we are today.

At the same time, you will be interviewing internal stakeholders, including senior leaders and executives, to build and then articulate a picture of everything that Product Design needs to do over the next two years. This is likely to include a complete UX audit of the current platform (think Built for Mars UX case studies,) brand redesign, rebuilding our atomic design system as needed, hiring our first in-house design team and establishing design operations. We can’t do everything at once, and so you will prioritise this work to produce the highest short-term impact balanced alongside long-term strategic need.

We have built an effective and successful product so far without in-house design expertise. We believe that design now holds the key to our next level of performance, unlocking extraordinary growth potential. Reporting directly to the Chief Education & Product Officer, this is a huge role and a tremendous opportunity for someone with the knowledge and experience to take it on.


About You

If you don’t meet every requirement below, but you still believe you’re the right person for the job, we strongly encourage you to apply.

We are looking for a Lead Product Designer who understands that product design is an amalgam of art, mathematics, psychology and empathy. We are looking for a deep thinker and lifelong learner, as well as an adroit practitioner; someone who can exhibit both open-minded creative flare alongside structured and systematic thought. You will fit in well if you’re someone who devours books, articles and podcasts about design, always seeking to learn more and constantly develop.


  • You are experienced enough in planning and executing user research, including usability testing, that these tasks are now facile for you. Your capability here makes you an exemplar for others to learn from, including non-designers
  • You have a strong focus on UX, but in addition to easily building UX flows and low-fidelity wireframes, you can create highly polished pixel-perfect designs if needed
  • You have experience in building a Product Design function, establishing processes and best practice, and developing junior designers
  • Excellent communication skills are a must. You must be able to structure your thoughts and communicate what you have learned about our users and what you are thinking about what we should do next, and why, to people throughout the company, including non-designers and people outside of the Product function
  • You know how to prioritise more work than you have time for, balancing multiple projects against competing demands

Additionally, please be sure that you are comfortable with the following:

  • Working in a startup environment, where things can change fast and you might be asked to catch up quickly
  • A culture of personal and professional development and feedback - ideally this is an environment in which you thrive
  • Above all, you care deeply about Up Learn's mission to solve education and improve students' lives

At Up Learn, we welcome everyone and are committed to building inclusive teams. We celebrate differences and encourage everyone to join us and be themselves at work. We always follow the guidelines of the Equality Act in all aspects of recruitment, selection, employment, training, development and promotion opportunities at Up Learn.


What We Offer

Up Learn offers generous remuneration, equity share options, and a fun, friendly, high-calibre team that trusts you and gives you the freedom to be brilliant.

You will have the chance to define the future of education and make a meaningful contribution to the lives of thousands of students, and:

  • Remuneration
    • 💰 Salary: £80,000 - £100,000 (salaries and bands are reviewed annually in September)
    • 📈 Equity options
    • 💸 Employer-matched pension
    • 💳 Perks scheme offering discounts & rewards at 30,000+ brands including up to 55% off cinema tickets
  • Health & Wellbeing
    • 🦷 Level 6 (highest level) dental insurance
    • 👶 Significantly enhanced maternity and paternity leave
    • 🚲 Cycle-to-Work: we are registered so you can buy a bike and accessories tax-free
    • 👓 Eye Test & Glasses Reimbursement
    • 📚 Company library: we have hundreds of books in our company library, topped up monthly with the most highly requested books. You can borrow a book whenever you like
    • 📖 Unlimited budget for any work-related books you need
    • 🚑 Emergency support salary advance
    • 🏥 Mental health first aiders
    • 👨‍👩‍👧 Family access to Up Learn: your family and close relatives get unlimited access to any Up Learn course for free!
  • Time
    • 🏖️ Minimum 35 days of paid holiday per year made up of: 26 days of bookable holiday, plus UK bank holidays, plus unlimited ‘extra days’ (i.e. if you need a few more days, no problem)
    • 🏡 Hybrid working environment with two days in the office per week (one team day and one company day) and the rest is up to you!
    • 💻 Ability to work remotely for longer periods
    • 🕰️ Flexible working hours
    • ⭐ 1 fully paid day for volunteering at a charity or not-for-profit of your choice each year
  • Social
    • 🏰 Annual company off-site where we get out of the city and take a break together
    • 🏃 Free sporting activities like 5-a-side football games, lunch-time jogs, badminton games, paid-for monthly CrossFit sessions
    • ☕ Unlimited delicious coffee (high-end coffee beans) at the office, tea selection and other soft drinks, plus unlimited snacks and fresh fruit
    • 🥂 Weekly ‘Friday celebrations’ with a huge range of drinks, from craft beer to frozen margaritas, alongside soft drinks, smoothies, and fruit juice
    • ☕ Paid for coffee breaks (a great chance to get to know the team)
    • 💃 Regular team outings like go-karting and skiing
  • All in addition to
    • Influence, trust and impact inside a well-funded VC-backed startup that's scaling
    • A spacious and bright private office in Old Street, with delicious coffee, a selection of teas and unlimited snacks and drinks

    Our Core Values

    1. Live for Learning
      We are open-minded and have a never-quenched thirst for learning, expanding our experiences, getting feedback, iterating and improving
    2. Strive for Consistent Excellence
      We hold an extremely high standard, pay attention to the details and take pride in consistency
    3. Objective and Rational
      We think from first principles, avoid biases, use believability, regulate our emotions and are obligated to dissent when we disagree
    4. Relentlessly Resourceful
      We are honey badgers, we don’t compromise, we work smart and get the job done
    5. Caring and Compassionate
      We demonstrate care and compassion for ourselves, each other and for students

    Our Process

    If this sounds like it’s for you, we can’t wait to hear from you!Inviting someone to join our core team is a big deal for us and we put a lot of time and effort into the process. If we figure out we’re not perfect for each other at any stage we’ll make sure we provide you with detailed and constructive feedback.
  1. Send us your CV, and design portfolio, and tell us in 150 words or less why you’d be great for this role.
  2. We’ll invite you for a 30-minute phone or video call to learn more about you, your goals, and your experience. You’ll also be able to ask questions about Up Learn and the role.
  3. We’ll then ask you to select a case study from your portfolio that you're especially proud of and talk us through it, and invite you to interview with members of our Learning team.
  4. Finally we will give you an exercise that’s relevant to the role, invite you to interview with our Product and Engineering team, and then run through a more detailed interview with our CEPO and CTO to hear more about you and your experience.
  5. If everyone’s happy, most importantly you, we’ll make you an offer to join our team.