IOTA Foundation – Product Owner / Researcher.

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Product Owner / Researcher – East Africa

About IOTA Foundation:

The IOTA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Berlin, Germany. The Foundation’s mission is to support the development and standardization of new distributed ledger technologies (DLT) that drive permissionless innovation ecosystems, in particular, the IOTA Tangle. The IOTA Tangle is an innovative type of DLT specifically designed for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) environment. It is an open-source protocol facilitating novel Machine-to-Machine (M2M) interactions, including secure data transfer, fee-less real-time micropayments, and the collection and dissemination of sensor-based and other types of ‘oracle’ data.

About TradeMark East Africa:

Trademark East Africa (TMEA) is an aid-for-trade organization that was established to grow prosperity in East Africa through increased trade. TMEA operates on a not-for-profit basis and is funded by the development agencies of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK, and the USA. TMEA works closely with East African Community (EAC) institutions, national governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations. This role is funded through TradeMark East Africa under the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline programme.


We are looking for a Product Owner/Researcher with a minimum of 5 years of work experience. You will be a part of testing and delivering brand new products for the trade ecosystem in collaboration with Trademark East Africa, government agencies in East Africa and the IOTA Foundation.

As the Product Owner/Researcher, you will be the primary end-user advocate, applying a strong understanding of UX methodologies and best practices to produce digital experiences which delight and inspire diverse audiences. The role of a Product Owner/Researcher is broad and you will operate across several key phases from Discovery, Define and Design to Implementation, Test and Deploy.

We are building and testing the use of blockchain technology to support traders in East Africa to reach global markets by digitizing and simplifying the interactions with governments and border agencies.

The team will include 7 people plus support from teams in TradeMark East Africa and within the IOTA Foundation. Multiple test pilots are now being planned for rollout. In order to help scale this growth, as the Product Owner/researcher, the responsibility is two-fold:

  • Support discovery processes for research and onboarding of new stakeholders to map user journeys & stakeholder needs for each pilot.
  • Continuous test and validation to improve the experience of using the TLIP application (Trade Logistics Information Pipeline).

You will work with senior designers in the IOTA Foundation for professional feedback, support and input. In collaboration with Trademark East Africa, we will engage new sectors (tea, coffee, fish, textiles etc) as well as government institutions to continuously map their collaboration and trading processes. This includes trade certificates, data exchange and other official approvals needed for exporting to overseas markets. Alongside the technical teams we are designing and transitioning processes into digital journeys to improve the EAC region’s global competitiveness. Thus, you will have a critical role to ensure we fully understand and deliver high-quality services for all involved stakeholders in export/import processes.

The position is initially based on a 12-month contract with an opportunity for extension. The role is open to candidates in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda or Tanzania. The candidate will be expected to work remotely and must be open to travel in the region for meetings and workshops.


  • Lead the stakeholder engagement for specific areas of work including requirements gathering, stakeholder validation, user testing and engagement and validation with other work-streams
  • Review and prioritise user requirements, often across complex, diverse audience types, cross referenced with business critical objectives and goals, demonstrating sensitivity to a wide variety of factors
  • Plan and facilitate effective workshops from workshop planning and design, through user engagement and facilitation to results and translating outputs into materials that improve the UX of a project
  • Research will include building questionnaires, document workshop interventions and compile conclusions into reports
  • Facilitate and document workshops with stakeholders across the East Africa region to map their business processes including their pains/gains/expectations of a fully digital service for export/import processes
  • Collaborate with the UI and graphic team to produce storyboards, scenarios, flowcharts and wireframes, turning them into fully-fledged UI designs.
  • Effectively communicate research findings, conceptual ideas, detailed design, and design rationale both verbally and visually
  • Work closely with development teams to ensure that design specifications are implemented
  • Support the project team in any other organisational-wide efforts when required


  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience in creating and implementing product development
  • Excellent knowledge of UX methodologies and best practices; research, persona creation, needs analysis, site maps, taxonomies, wireframes and prototypes.
  • A design related degree, or equivalent industry experience
  • Candidate needs dem
  • Demonstrable experience with stakeholder management and general understanding of business requirements
  • A passion for creating fluid products that connect with people
  • Strong self-management with a friendly approach
  • Must be able to function as a close collaborator or equally as an individual contributor
  • Expert proficiency with design and prototyping tools, ideally Figma, in order to integrate with the project team and help deliver your projects
  • Knowledge of web & mobile platforms, and their capabilities / limitations. HTML, CSS and JS knowledge is a bonus in order to understand the challenges of development.
  • Excellent communication and organisation skills
  • High written and spoken proficiency of English
  • Proven track record of project deliverables

When applying, please provide case-study examples of your work explaining your approach and decision-making as part of the design process.


  • Constant challenges and ability to grow skills
  • Being part of a growing team in East Africa
  • Being part of a growing global organisation delivering cutting edge technology to global players
  • Opportunity to be a high-impact contributor
  • Work with the best engineers in their field
  • Freedom in planning – with responsibility for delivering
  • Casual and fun work environment

How To Apply


The IOTA Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.




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