EBI - European Bioinformatics Institute

UX Designer

EMBL-EBI - European Bioinformatics Institute

Hinxton, United Kingdom

Language: English (UK)
Organisation data: Web Development
Job number: EBI01452
Contract Type: Staff Member
Job Function: Technical Officer (gr. 4-6)
Closing Date: 29 July 2019

About the team/job

We need a User Experience (UX) Designer to join EMBL-EBI in our core mission of creating scientific web services that are useful, usable, and empower scientists worldwide to solve the biggest challenges in biology.

We are seeking an enthusiastic UX Designer to join our Web Development team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

This is an exciting role offering direct contact with teams in EMBL-EBI that are responsible for a wide range of established and cutting-edge scientific web services as well as the bioinformaticians and life scientists who use these services. The post holder will report to Jonathan Hickford, Head of the Web Development Team, and will liaise with other teams within EMBL-EBI to guide the UX design of their services.

The Web Development team currently includes three full time UX Designers acting as internal UX consultants and coaches to teams that do not have embedded UX expertise. You too will be serving as an internal UX consultant to these teams in projects ranging from a few weeks to several months. You will also be contributing to our UX training efforts through which we familiarise members of EMBL-EBI teams with fundamental UX practices and empower them to apply them to their own service under our supervision.

There are several other UX Designers working for particular services at EMBL-EBI and the neighbouring Sanger Institute as well as a wider community of developers, curators, data scientists and team leads who are interested in UX design in our campus. We are also contributing to the UX in Life Sciences (UXLS) initiative. As a member of the Web Development team, you will be expected to engage with this thriving community and contribute to efforts aiming at raising awareness about our UX activities.

Your role

Your responsibilities will include working with the service teams and UX colleagues in any or all of the following (depending on the project):

User Research

  • Organising and leading user research sessions (primarily user interviews and observations) to identify user needs of particular EMBL-EBI services;
  • Working with the service team to articulate the outcomes of user research (e.g. by developing problem statements, personas, jobs to be done, scenarios, use cases, etc.);
  • Combining insights from user research with other information (such as analytics, surveys, existing user feedback, etc.).


  • Organising and leading collaborative design sessions with members of the service team and representative users (e.g. running a design studio or a card sorting workshop);
  • Fleshing out the information architecture, interaction design and particular user interface elements of the service through sketches, wireframes, mockups and interactive prototypes of appropriate fidelity;
  • Incorporating and extending our pattern library and visual framework in these designs;
  • Organising and leading design reviews with various stakeholders (including members of the service team, UX colleagues and senior leadership).

User feedback

  • Conducting heuristic evaluations and sharing best practices on the design and evaluation of the service;
  • Organising and leading usability studies in close collaboration with the service team;
  • Working with the service team to summarise the findings of the usability studies and provide recommendations for improvement;
  • Contributing to the development of other metrics for measuring the impact of UX design and the value of the services that you support (e.g. via analytics and surveys).


  • Working closely with the service team and their stakeholders throughout the design process while remaining able to carry out particular tasks individually when needed;
  • Collaborating with UX colleagues in the preparation and execution of activities, contributing to our UX training efforts and adding to our shared knowledge of UX best practices;
  • Engaging with the wider UX community in campus and beyond and representing EMBL-EBI in relevant conferences and events.

You have

  • At least 3 years of experience as a UX designer or a similar role for web applications in a professional environment;
  • Strong facilitation, conceptualization and visual communication abilities, attention to detail and exceptional written and verbal communication skills;
  • Experience in information architecture, interaction design and visual design (each of which will strengthen our current set of skills).

You might also have

  • A degree or other qualification in UX Design or a relevant field;
  • Experience with User Centered Design (UCD) and/or Lean and Agile UX design methodologies;
  • An understanding of Agile software development practices;
  • An interest in life sciences and enjoying working in a stimulating and international culture.

Why join us

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of 'big data' in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind.

Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good.

As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 22 member states and two associate member states.

We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation. For more information about pay and benefits click here.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise - something you probably won't find anywhere else.

If you've ever visited the campus you'll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

What else you need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please click here.

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system.

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

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Don't forget to mention EuroBrussels when applying.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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