Head of UX at Sports Reference

Posted: July 1, 2019

LOCATION: Philadelphia/Interwebz

REPORTS TO: Sean Forman, SR President


Sports Reference LLC is searching for a UX Designer to join our current group of eleven employees for work on our group of sites: Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, Pro-Football-Reference.com, Hockey-Reference.com, and Sports-Reference College Football, College Basketball, and FBref.com.

This is a new position designed to support the five full-time software developers currently on staff.

Goals and Tasks for Your First Year (In rough order of importance)

  • Our Play Index features are in need of a redesign and we are relaunching them under the Stathead name as subscription services. You will need to provide design materials for the redesign of all PI tools on our sites. This is very time sensitive and is our top priority. We intend to have all of the sites launched by the end of 2019.
    • Create an overall new design for tools include look and UX design
    • Create common patterns for recurring widgets on our forms
    • Throughout the process test the design with users of varying skill levels
    • Work directly with developers (in a manner that maximizes their productivity) to implement the design in templating system and css, and then with developers as they roll the changes onto the site
    • Design all supporting pages and views such as login, account creation, payment, and support pages.
    • After launch, seek out user feedback and implement improvements with an emphasis on improving business results and user success.
  • As additional new products are discussed, planned, or brainstormed, you will create new designs (of varying fidelity) to spur and aid these processes.
    • These designs will range from sketches, to wireframes, to interactive mockups.
    • The ability to contribute ideas due to a personal interest and/or experience in sports will be much appreciated
    • The ability to produce responsive designs is vitally important.
    • None of this requires you to code the solutions yourself, though the ability to do so would likely be considered an advantage.
    • Sports Reference tries to be very user-focused, so we will want new designs tested at multiple stages, so the ability and willingness to get a great deal of user feedback will be needed.
    • Once designs are approved by consensus, these designs must be guided through to launch on the sites.
    • But the work doesn't stop there as we want followup post-launch to make sure that our designs and launches are meeting user needs.
  • In 2016, we converted our sites to a new common css library and templating system, but there has been no followup to make certain that our sites are presenting the same data and navigational elements in the same way. In the next year, you will create a design/pattern library and style guide that memorializes the Sports Reference Way of design and development.
    • The goal of this library will be to give current and new developers and designers a clear guide for what to do in most of the situations that arise in their work. How should tables be ordered, how should sections be titled, when should you use various controls and navigational elements.
    • This task will require close work with developers and a collaborative and understanding demeanor to move our sites towards our stated guidelines.
    • This will be a living document that shall be updated as new patterns are produced, and it will be your role to educate our staff on the use of new patterns.
  • Sports Reference does not have a dedicated person in the project management role. The role is mostly covered by Sean Forman (president). As your comfort level with Sports Reference processes and staff grows, we will evaluate whether adding some project management tasks to your job description would be appropriate.
  • Sports Reference strives to be an innovative company, so we will expect you to keep up with new trends and tools that may benefit or threaten Sports Reference now or in the future.
    • This would include your ongoing professional development which we will support.
    • We also expect you to be an active participant in company discussions relating to new ideas, features or problems to be solved,
    • and also special projects related to company objectives as time and skills allow.


A qualified candidate will satisfy the following:

  • evidence that they are capable of meeting the goals listed above,
  • evidence of innovative design thinking,
  • evidence of the ability to organize vast amounts of data,
  • have a history of getting things done (and done well), and
  • No degree is strictly required, though we would likely view a Bachelor’s or advanced degree as some evidence of the ability to get things done.


  • Sports Reference is located in Philadelphia and non-Philadelphia candidates will be considered on an equal footing to those who are local. Please indicate in your cover letter if you are able to work out of our Philadelphia office.
  • This is a full-time job as a User Experience Position.
  • Applicant is preferred to have a legal right to work in the United States. Please let us know in your application if you do not have the right to work in the United States. We'd have to look carefully at those cases as we have never had the opportunity to hire a foreign employee.

Sports Reference is a growing company with 11 employees (you would be #12), so your work will be highly visible and have a definite and immediate impact. We reach over twelve million users each month and served over 1 billion pages in 2018.

Even though we are a small company, Sports Reference has a generous benefits package.

  • We cover full health and dental insurance costs for full-time employees and their dependent children. Spouses may enroll at employee expense.
  • We have a Simple IRA retirement plan with Edward Jones and match up to 3% of your annual salary.
  • We pay all premiums for life and long-term disability insurance for all employees.
  • We provide up to $7,000/year in continuing education benefits.
  • Even if you live in or near Philly, you have the option to work remotely multiple days a week, and your work hours are generally yours to determine.
  • Any parent welcoming a new child to their family is entitled to 13 weeks of fully paid leave, and up to an additional 26 weeks at half-time.
  • Employees begin with 18 days vacation per year (and earn up to 30) and an additonal 7 paid company holidays.
  • Annual bonuses tied to a percentage of the company's end of year profits.
  • Salaries commensurate with your ability level and experience.

Sports Reference LLC does not discriminate in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, military service eligibility, veteran status, marital status, disability, membership in any other protected classes, or on the basis of sports franchise preferences.