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One of the coolest Austin UX jobs around!

We are working with Essilor in their search for a Sr. Digital Designer for FramesDirect based in Austin, Texas.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: FramesDirect is a pure play. Remember those? They’re the online retailers with no brick-and-mortar stores and no omnichannel component. Like Amazon. Despite the incessant buzz about omnichannel, there are brilliant people out there who question the merits of an omnichannel strategy, and I can see their point. If you don’t have stores, then you have nothing weighing you down. If you do have stores, you’ll have to reinvent yourself.

Makes sense to me.

Searches like this are my favorite because pure play online retailers usually have a very strong “sense of self.” They know what their business is about, who their business is for, and why — exactly — their target customer should choose to do business with them versus every available option, including doing nothing.

Such is the case with FramesDirect, online purveyor of the world’s finest prescription eyewear. Founded by two optometrists, Dr. Guy Hodgson and Dr. Dhavid (yep, Dhavid with an “h”) Cooper, who ran a chain of successful optometry practices in Houston Texas, FramesDirect was founded on the premise that patients want a broader selection of better eyewear at lower prices than could be offered in brick-and-mortar stores.

Their timing was perfect.

FramesDirect launched in 1996 and was the first company to sell eyewear online. Later, the firm became the first company to sell progressive lenses online as a result of the groundbreaking innovation its founders were introducing. Today, FramesDirect is committed to using only the highest quality lenses, providing world-class customer service, offering the best selection of premium brand eyewear, and selling their merchandise at the lowest possible price without sacrificing quality.

As you can imagine, the market for eyewear is massive.

While I can’t give you the exact size of the US market for prescription eyewear, I can offer some proxies. In the United States there are roughly 20,000 optometrist offices with a combined revenue of $12 billion. I’ve recruited for Luxottica, and I’ve heard eyewear market size estimates as high as $20 billion. That’s $63 for every person in America (including babies!).

Demand for eyeglasses is driven by demographics, and the aging of the US population increases demand for eye exams and eyeglasses every year. Consider this: Boomers number nearly 80 million and make up 26% of the US population. Roughly one in 4 consumers is a Boomer, and every day for the next 18 years, 8,000 Boomers will reach age 65. Most of ’em will need prescription eyewear.

It gets better: Nearly 40% of Boomers are affluent and can afford to maintain a trend-right appearance. And while Boomers are by no means the only demographic to which FramesDirect sells, it’s nice to know that there’s an extraordinary volume of business to be done with the Boomer cohort, where the opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell frames and lenses is enormous.

About the Role

Reporting to the VP of Ecommerce, the Senior Manager Digital Design will work collaboratively with the Marketing, Sales and IT teams to accomplish the common goals of the organization. You will be responsible for design of all websites and digital marketing campaigns, and you’ll conceptualize new design ideas for the overall site theme, new site functionality, UX, branding, advertising campaigns, and marketing messages. Additionally, you’ll need to meet ongoing deadlines for projects such as web design, new functionality concepts, and marketing collateral.

You will need a strong understanding of CSS3 and HTML5 as well as web best practices, and you’ll lead UX enhancements in order to increase site conversion, taking into consideration all device types. Basically, your responsibilities will encompass design of all digital marketing programs including …

  • Conveying a consistent marketing message through design across all digital programs and from digital programs to the website.
  • Overseeing the concept, layout, copy, imagery for email and on-site banners.
  • Creating engaging emails using stock photos or in-house photos, and …
  • Creating landing pages, brand and promo banners to match site positioning throughout the site.

Additionally, you’ll need to have a good grip on SEO best practices, such as …

  • SEO implications of images vs. text.
  • Working with code that includes meta data and tags.
  • Management of other crawlable content, such as PDF file.
  • Brand message, consistency of visual corporate brand and product identity.
  • Creative development including research, conceptualization, design implementation and distribution of all digital media.
  • Typographic skills including layout of technical information in a manner that is both appealing and easy to read.

There’s a limit to what I can disclose here about FramesDirect’s UX strategies, tactics, and KPI’s – all of which I am happy to share with qualified candidates. What I can tell you is that we need a Senior Manager Digital Design who knows what s/he’s doing. Meaning, we’d expect you to bring the following things to FramesDirect’s table …

  1. Digital design experience, including sharp skills with the Adobe creative suite (absolutely required). Mad chops in Photoshop and Illustrator are both required.
  2. Transactional ecommerce experience. We want someone who has actually worked on an etail website and intimately understands a purchase funnel.
  3. Responsive design experience: Mobile, mobile, mobile.

Finally, you MUST be a team player. FramesDirect has a smallish team, and this role will only have one full-time designer reporting to it. Meaning, YOU must shift gears easily from conceptualization to creative, to development, to wireframes, to comps, to implementation. You gotta be be broad and versatile and comfortable in a lot of different areas.

But man! What a great gig! Go to to see what looked like before the firm’s VP of Ecommerce, Phil Young took over. The guy’s a star, and I’d want my own son or daughter to work for him. If you have the passion for online marketing and a strong desire to work in an entrepreneurial culture, this is definitely the right position for you.

View Harry Joiner's LinkedIn profileView Harry Joiner’s profile

Requirements / Core Competencies:

  • Strong digital design skills and fundamentals.
  • Strong knowledge of web technologies such as HTML 5, CSS 3.
  • Responsive design for all devices, all screen sizes.
  • Email design and production.
  • Ability to communicate fluently with business team, designers and developers.
  • Ability to gain a clear understanding of target consumer and key competitors.
  • Effectively manage all design resources, including one direct report and any external resources.
  • Ability to develop and a compelling visual identity and communicate and through a digital style guide.
  • A track record of establishing consistent, overarching design themes and patterns to enhance both brand and usability.
  • Strong knowledge of user interface design processes and methodology for Web-based applications.
  • Understanding of human factors principles and usability testing methodologies.
  • Solid project management and collaboration skills.
  • Familiarly with and ability to discuss, the latest trends in interactive development practices, and trends in emerging technologies.


  • 10+ years of experience and a track record of success in website design, UX and, digital marketing design.
  • Expert in Adobe Creative Suites with an emphasis in Photoshop and Illustrator. Knowledge of other applications such as Taco, Coda, or similar are a plus.
  • Bachelor degree or equivalent education and work experience.
  • Working knowledge of Google business apps including Gmail, Google Calendar, and creating documents via Google Docs.
  • Highly familiar with working in a Mac environment as well as familiarity with all peripheral Apple devices.
  • Understanding of photography both lifestyle and product.
  • Familiarity with SEO, Social Media and blogs (WordPress).
  • Print design experience in media such as catalogs and brochures.
  • Code versioning such as SVN, CVS, GIT, etc.
  • Experience working server side languages such as PHP, .NET.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Allan Seibert. To apply, CLICK HERE.  Candidates, please be sure to email Allan for additional information that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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