Product Designer

Hybrid: Remote with optional office time in Johannesburg


Contract or Permanent

About Kandua

Kandua is a mission-driven tech startup. We build easy tools that empower people professionally. Tools that shorten the distance between having a skill and making a living from it. Our flagship product, Kandua.com, is South Africa’s #1 online home services marketplace: A seamlessly designed platform, that connects great home service providers to the people who need them, powered by pioneering technology and a passionate, talented team. We’ve made over R200 million in work opportunities and 100 000 jobs possible for vetted Pros – and we’re just getting started. Learn more about Kandua here.

We’re looking for a Product Designer to join us in building beautiful and useful tech. 

UX at Kandua is mission-critical, with unique challenges

  • We have to deliver an online experience to service providers – who tend not to be familiar with the internet and its well-established design patterns. Perhaps a little like your grandparents.
  • Given the amount of time and money invested in each project, the stakes are high. Also, given the number of services we offer (over 50), the experiences can be extremely disparate – think renovating a home vs fixing a leaking geyser. We need to find ways of guiding these varied, high stakes experiences to a positive outcome – but since we are not the service provider, we have a limited ability to control it.
  • We have partners who use our platform to complete their own service offering (e.g. hardware stores) – this adds yet another stakeholder’s experience to optimise for.

What will your responsibility be?

You’ll interface intimately with product, engineering, and data. At Kandua – there are currently 3 product streams. Each stream has a product manager. Engineering & data, like you, are shared across them all:
  1. B2C Marketplace
  2. B2B Marketplace
  3. Pro SaaS
1. Research a broad problem, on which you’ll collaborate, often together with clear objectives, with the collective of product managers. You then go off, speak to users & do relevant tests and desk research. You help us build clarity about the problem, and make some suggestions about what the solution could look like.
2. Designing a high-fidelity solution to a problem. Sometimes this will be a solution to a problem defined in step 1. Sometimes, the product manager will have done Step 1 themselves – perhaps with a bit of your guidance and input.
2.1. Sit in on all discussions about the problem and solution – absorbing context and contributing ideas
2.2. Iterate the solution – bringing it all the way from a concept to creating high fidelity wireframes yourself, using a design system that you will build out
2.3. Test those wireframes on users before engineering implementation begins
Sometimes the problem & solution will be bite size and this whole step will take less than a day. Other times, it will span multiple weeks.
3. Reviewing the work of engineers who implemented the designs (and inevitably made some calls – were they the right calls?)

Will I be doing all of the above myself? Or will I have the support of a team?

In the immediate term – and for the next year (very approximately) – you’ll be doing it yourself – unless the work falls outside of general UI/UX design – for e.g. if we need a fancy animation or illustration. The above responsibilities should fill 4-5 days of full time work per week.
Thereafter, if both the business and our relationship grows as we expect, you’ll build out and lead a design team. Throughout, you will be also expected to drive and maintain a design culture within the team which includes but is not limited to: running training/experience share with PMs on best practice, ensuring customer feedback is clear and pervasive through the organisation, input into engineering processes.  

Core attributes

You absolutely need to have:
  • Deep human empathy, paired with an appreciation of the inevitability of the bottom line
  • An obsession with the context of a problem, and the ability switch rapidly between different ones
  • A high-level frame of reference, while meticulously carving up the complex reality on the ground
  • High standards, without being a perfectionist. You can make sensible compromises and assumptions.
  • Independent thought, directed at winning as a codependent team
  • A set of robust design & research processes that you work with (e.g. Service Design, Journey Mapping, Empathy Mapping, Usability testing, etc), but ultimately the flexibility and desire to be useful – whatever it takes.

You should also understand:

  • How software is built (bonus points for knowing some HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  • Marketing and conversion funnels
  • How to design an experiment
  • People of widely disparate cultures to your own

We want someone with a few years of design experience.

As such it would be a little strange if you aren’t competent using tools for:
  • Wireframing – like Balsamiq
  • Prototyping – like Figma
  • Mapping – like Miro
  • High-def UI design – like PhotoShop
  • Presenting – like Powerpoint