Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Insights from federal digital design leaders

U.S. Digital Service

Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane have been on a roll lately featuring federal government design leaders on their Responsive Web Design Podcast.

The first episode, with U.S. Digital Service Designer Mollie Ruskin and Lead Front End Designer Julia Elman sharing insights into their design process and prototyping tools (OmniGraffle, Sketch, GitHub) and building the U.S. Web Design Standards, has excellent insights for those focused on this aspect of the civic experience.

Favorite quote from Mollie:

“I think that one thing that you have to just come to terms with in doing a project like this is that there are so many moving pieces and it’s a lot to keep track of all at the same time, and just to sort of like take a meditative, reasoned approach to that because it can be a daunting amount. I had been given that advice before I started, and it was about halfway through that I felt the zen of all of the pieces moving and realized that that was part of the beauty of doing this work, is that by us taking on this complex important problem, we were going to be making it easier for others moving forward. So, I would just encourage a can-do attitude and plow through those times where you feel like you’re building seventeen things all at once, because you will be.”

RWD has also featured designers from Vets.gov, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of State.

Seven reasons why you should apply for this federal government innovation fellowship

Photo: CFPB / Justin James

Photo: CFPB / Justin James

If you’re interested in working for the federal government with an agency that doesn’t have the institutional legacy of entrenched bureaucracy and truly gets design and open source innovation, and has a direct impact on American consumers, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just the opportunity for you.

CFPB is looking for the best and brightest designers, developers and security and data experts for its 2015 class of technology and innovation fellows.

Here are seven reasons why you should apply:

  1. CFPB openly supports a distributed work environment for its fellows. After an initial onsite immersion, fellows can work from wherever they please (but still get to visit DC once a quarter).
  2. It’s a two-year program, which means you have enough time to have a sustainable impact.
  3. You’re required to use the latest open source technologies, such as GitHub and WordPress, because they actually use these on a day-to-day basis.
  4. They are committed to open source and even have an established policy for that.
  5. This line in the FAQs: “If you like to learn new tools and technologies and pick them up very easily, we want to hear from you.”
  6. Their approach to design is probably better than anyone else in the federal government and they actually have a design manual that every agency should mimic (related: this “Design at CFPB” video).
  7. Mike Byrne works there!

Application deadline is July 14. Apply here.

For bonus points, view source on this page.