We’re looking for a Design Research Lead to join our San Francisco studio.
As part of a multi-disciplinary design team, you’ll work collaboratively with our partner organizations and the communities they serve across the U.S. to bring expertise and rigor to our research practices. This might look like shaping research plans, including learning goals, research methods, and participant mixes, facilitating research experiences that are rooted in dignity, trust-building, and power-shifting, or leading synthesis and insight generation.
At the Lead level, you’ll bring design research excellence to project work both as a collaborative project team member, and often simultaneously wearing the hat of Project Lead. Our Project Leads steward design projects with 3-4 multidisciplinary, multilevel designers, and a range of external partners. A Project Lead is simultaneously leading people, partners, project, and contributing to the work through their craft.
At IDEO.org, we are shifting our research practices to be more equitable in service of driving toward lasting, systemic change for the communities we serve. We believe that in order to do our work best, we need to partner more closely with the communities and individuals who are most impacted by the work of design. We are looking for someone who can help us shape the future of research practices that are: intersectional, equity-oriented, and driven by people most impacted by the topic at hand.
At our San Francisco studio, we’re looking for someone who can ground, inform, and evolve the craft of design research within our studio. This might look like sharing a perspective during a community lunch, acting as a guide to another project, or developing a “101” training with other design researchers to upskill our staff on a new competency.
In this role, you might be working with leaders across the U.S. to dismantle structural racism in the healthcare system, co-creating alongside families who have been impacted by the child welfare system, or working within a community to pilot a financial inclusion product.
What You Bring:
- 5+ years of lived or professional experience – we are open to candidates from a variety of backgrounds, we value and honor experiences developed in many ways, not just those developed through specific degree programs or conferred by credentials
- Design Research Craft: Design research experience, with a grounding in social science theory or behavioral science to make sense of data (e.g., a background in anthropology, sociology, etc)
- A clear practice around setting up research frameworks, lines of inquiry, participant mixes, research tools, and prototyping plans
- A design research practice equipped with a creative approach to generative research methodologies
- Familiarity with design research rigor that includes: modes of capturing observations quotes, theming, validation with secondary research, and transitioning to actionable insights for design
- Ability to lead teams through research processes, synthesis/analysis, and insight development
- Ability to connect design research learnings to opportunity areas for design, strategy, storytelling, and the creation of other relevant deliverables
- Awareness and sensitivity in how to hold design research conversations on heavy topics safely and thoughtfully
- Experience, Skills, Mindsets, & Behaviors to Elevate our Co-Design Practice: Fluency in co-design, human-centered design, participatory design, design justice, liberatory design, or other equity-centered design methodologies and qualitative research approaches
- An understanding of key equity concepts and frameworks as they relate to the U.S. and systems of oppression, inequality, and marginalization
- Experience shaping conditions that support meaningful participation – such as bringing an awareness for and ability to address power sharing within a group, bringing a trauma-informed and healing centered lens, or employing techniques to facilitate trust building
- A deep care for facilitating dignified, equitable design research experiences that are additive and not extractive to participants
- Experience with community building and collaborating across a range of stakeholders in service of collective action
- Project Leadership: Experience leading multidisciplinary teams and workstreams
- Familiarity with end to end design and how to participate in design, prototyping, and content / deliverable development
- Ability to guide multidisciplinary teams through an equity-centered co-design process, including partners and designers from other disciplines
- A practice of fostering psychologically safe spaces, trust, and accountability for teams, partners, and community members
- Bringing community engagement and co-creation methodologies in service of centering the voices, insights, and ideas of the most-impacted humans and project partners throughout
- Ability to develop a project plan, instilling project teams with the confidence and scaffolding to explore innovative design solutions
- A building of strong relationships, rooted in trust and shared goals, with partners and key stakeholders
- Balancing IDEO.org business needs, team needs, and partner needs
- Spanish language fluency is preferred
- Willing and able to travel within the U.S. ~20% of the time