Lead Product Designer

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States


Founded in August 2014 out of a Duke dorm room, Smart Metals has become the largest electronics recycler on the Eastern seaboard in under 2 years with no signs of slowing down. The company partners with some of the nation's largest OEMs, logistics providers, consumers, and repair/refurbishment vendors to recycle their electronic materials. With facilities in North Carolina and northern California, we currently source electronics materials (cell phones, computing, network telecom and numerous other categories) from as far as Northern Europe, South America, and Southern China. In addition, SMR exports product to the Middle East, Central Europe, and all over the Asia Pacific Region.

At the core of our success is a web application, built using the Phoenix Framework and Elixir. This webapp helps run our day-to-day operations and captures data from all of our processes. This data is then used to generate valuable insights that help us solve our own operational pain-points. In some cases, this data is also used to inform process and product design for our clients.

The vision for tech at Smart Metals is to build on the success of this application and to go further in identifying and solving problems in a human-centered manner. These problems could be our own, or those of our clients. In essence, tech is adding the idea of human-centered 'design-thinking' to our DNA. The future of our tech is not limited to our webapp, and a lot of the problems we want to solve haven't even been identified yet. The goal is to encourage a new way of thinking across the company that is less analytical and more empathetic.

This is where the role of a Product Designer fits in. You will get embedded into our operations and business development processes, while leading our tech team in thinking about what problems to solve and how to solve them. You will also work with our managers at various levels to help them use design-thinking in their day-to-day work.

The Role

This role involves the following:

1) Work on our internal web application. Specifically, identify how it can make life easier for everyone at the company from the operators on the floor to the CEO, and help implement those solutions.

2) Work closely with our business development team to apply design-thinking to identify and solve problems for some of our bigger clients. These are clients where the relationship is less transactional and more based on the services we provide.

The Culture

The Product Designers time will be split (70/30) between the tech team and the users of that tech.

The tech teams operates out of a co-working space (Industrious) in downtown Charlotte, NC. The foundation of our webapp was designed and built by Thoughtbot. And we've adopted a lot of our their practices to foster creativity and collaboration. For instance, we like to let design lead development. We also follow Test-Driven Development, do regular code-reviews and have a workflow loosely based on AGILE. Every Friday is investment day, where the team works on side-projects for the personal growth and development of each member on the team. This is also the time to hack on ambitious projects and try new technologies.

There are two main types of users for our tech - our internal operations and our clients. You will spend a significant portion of your time on the floor in our warehouse (mainly in Statesville, NC). This is a very busy industrial environment. You will also spend time with the business development team - in person, on calls and occasionally on client sites.

Selection Process

1) Evaluation of resume, past experience and portfolio
2) An in-person interview (including a design challenge) at our office in Charlotte

You will be contacted with a decision within 10 days of your in-person interview.


We want someone with a minimum of 5 years of experience doing product design. Significant experience leading a design team is also important. Being able to create wireframes and create product roadmaps is essential. The ability to make business cases for design ideas is also very important.

Being able to write clean, scalable HTML and CSS (or SASS, LESS etc.), and JavaScript is a great plus. However, the tech team already has an experienced frontend developer on-board, who could help you learn or improve. Experience with Single-Page Applications is also a plus.

Experience in designing products outside of the realm of web could also be very useful.


Salary and Bonus

$130,000-$150,000 plus bonus based on experience and expectations.

Additional Benefits

In addition to your salary and bonus, we will provide you with:

- 100% personal healthcare coverage

- company-paid phone (on request)

- life insurance

- 401K plan through Smart Metals

- Paid time off

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