About Clearleft

Clearleft is an employee-owned collaborative team of designers and technologists who share a passion for transforming people’s lives through digital design. We were the first user experience design agency in the UK and have since grown to work with design leaders and organisations across a multitude of sectors, including the likes of Penguin Random House, Virgin Atlantic, Lloyd’s of London and The Wellcome Trust. As the creators of world-renowned events such as Leading Design and UX London we’ve trained thousands of designers and leaders from across the globe in our international conferences, workshops and retreats.

Midweight Design Engineer

We’re looking for a design-friendly front-end developer with demonstrable skills in pattern-based prototyping and production to join our friendly and supportive team in the heart of Brighton.

You’ll get to tackle big, interesting challenges for diverse clients — we’ve worked with the Natural History Museum, EngineeringUK, Queen Mary University, Carlsberg and Virgin Holidays to name a few.


Your role as a design engineer is essential in helping us articulate design intent for our clients through:

  • Modular design & development: You understand and utilise a modular, systematic design & development process and are able to create production-ready HTML/CSS/JS components, patterns and pages that have been browser-tested and debugged, with emphasis on accessibility, performance and progressive enhancement.
  • Rapid prototyping: You can create responsive, component-based prototypes using HTML/CSS/JS to bring design intentions to life, ready to be shared with stakeholders and/or validated with users.
  • Collaboration & communication: You’re familiar with working together in cross-functional teams with designers and other disciplines, and you’re able to articulate your processes jargon-free to clients and stakeholders.
  • Tooling: You’re familiar and comfortable with using development and build tools for auditing performance and improving workflows.

Depending on your prior experience and seniority, it would also be advantageous for candidates to be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Design systems: You have experience with using design systems, integrating existing patterns or components into a workflow.
  • Documentation: You’re able to think and create with a patterns and systems mindset, and keen to share that thinking with others via documentation, usage and discussion.
  • Frameworks: A particular framework isn’t as important as the concepts underpinning all the frameworks. You can demonstrate an eagerness to learn the right framework for a particular project. If you believe that server-side rendering is a must-have rather than a nice-to-have, we’re definitely on the same page.

What you value

We’re looking for smart, enthusiastic, and self-motivated people who thrive on the freedom, support and trust to do the job they love. If you want to do the best and most fulfilling work of your career, in a culture free from hierarchical and bureaucratic constraints, Clearleft is the ideal place for you.

You’re flexible

You’re able to adapt and flex to the situation at hand, in order to tackle exciting front-end challenges with the latest advances in web development, putting user experience over developer experience. You don’t use technology for technology’s sake and are open to using new methods, frameworks and tools that benefit users and clients.

You get under the skin of problems

You insist on a deeper understanding of the problem before rushing into solutions, even if that sometimes means starting out with ‘just enough’. You focus on the needs of the people using the products and services you’re developing or prototyping, but are also able to understand the complexity involved in balancing them with the client’s organisational goals or technical constraints.

You’re adaptive

You’re happy to jump in feet-first, trialling new ideas and approaches with a growth mindset. If you don’t get things right the first time, you’re resilient, and progressive about learning and adapting for the next time around. You can manage your own time but are comfortable multitasking and working effectively with various roles in a fast-paced design studio that includes design, events, research, operations, strategy and other developers.

You’re a visual thinker

You understand the benefits of making complex ideas simple through diagrams, concept maps, sketches or other visual thinking techniques. You enjoy working through ideas with clients and colleagues, but you’re also hands-on enough to help bring those ideas into reality.

You’re articulate

You understand that success can often rest on the quality of communication. You prefer discussion over emails and documents. You pride yourself on expressing your ideas clearly and with a strong sense of purpose that encourages trust from your colleagues and clients, whether that’s a conversation around a whiteboard, an innovative prototype or selecting the right framework for a project.

You’re collaborative

You do your best work collaborating within cross–functional teams and know that shared understanding is the critical factor in achieving a successful outcome. You instinctively share your ideas with colleagues and peers, and love to see them adapt and evolve as a result of constructive criticism.

You value outputs, but know that outcomes are what matter

You know the best way to tackle complex problems is by remaining adaptable. You understand and respect the differences between the various research, design or development methodologies (such as Lean or Agile), while not following any practice unthinkingly. You have an array of techniques to draw upon, but focus on the outcomes of your work, rather than fetishise how it’s delivered.


  • Competitive salary £35,000-£40,000 per year, depending on experience.
  • Employer-contributed pension up to 5%.
  • Flexible, family-friendly working hours.
  • 30 days annual leave as standard.
  • £1,200 training budget each year.
  • A friendly, creative studio environment two minutes walk from the seafront.
  • The option to work remotely.
  • Regular social gatherings to bring the studio together (from picnics to countryside walks and days out further afield).
  • Cycle-to-work scheme.
  • Sabbatical policy (after 5 years).
  • Wellbeing allowance - during UK lockdown (should we enter another).
  • Charity donation matching.
  • Discretionary income tax-free annual staff bonus; one of the perks of being an employee-owned company.

Does this sound like you?

If so, please send a short email to tessa@clearleft.com, telling us why you’re right for this role and point to a CV, resume or portfolio of your work.

We’re more interested in understanding your approach to tackling development problems than seeing a collection of code.

We would also be grateful if applicants could complete our confidential Equality Monitoring Form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5W9DPBJ this is not a mandatory part of the application process and is anonymous.

The application deadline is June 4th, 2021.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Some things worth noting

  • This is a full time, permanent role
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.
  • Due to UK government restrictions we are currently all working remotely from our homes. Once restrictions are lifted we will be returning to the studio in Brighton.
  • We welcome applications from people who do not live in Brighton. There would be an expectation that all employees gather as a group, monthly and in-person where possible.
  • We endeavour to get in touch with candidates within two weeks of you contacting us to let you know if we’d like to chat more.
  • Our selection process typically begins with a casual phone call prior to a more formal interview process, currently all conducted online.
  • We categorically won’t be working with recruitment agencies on this appointment. Even if you are different from all the others.
  • We are committed to promoting equal opportunities in employment. All job applicants will receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.