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Design Researcher

In a nutshell:

IDEO is currently seeking a Design Researcher for our Munich studio.

At IDEO our design researchers lead experienced teams and clients through the research process to develop thoughtful and inspiring insights. These insights inspire our clients and designers to create solutions that deliver a positive impact in the world around them.  

Clients come to IDEO to design the future of their business. Client relationships include projects where we can apply a whole range of research approaches including generative, rapid and nimble iterative loops of prototyping, user feedback, qualitative and quantitative studies. The various approaches to research bring us confidence and move ideas closer to implementation in the market.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Design Researchers make the biggest impact by bringing to life the voice of the people they’re designing for and connecting the internal design team and client organization to the human experience. We count on them to strengthen our digital fluency (eg. using digital tools for research or in-context user testing of digital platforms and products) and to push the edges of how we search for insights and inspiration for both internal and client initiatives.

Once here you will:

  • Be responsible for structuring human-centered research programmes from a bespoke blend of methods appropriate to each challenge
  • Lead the internal and client teams through fieldwork, analysis of findings and insight development,
  • Create inspiring ways to tell stories from research throughout the design process
  • Turn insights into design opportunities and collaborate with teammates to create innovative products, services, spaces, interactions and experiences
  • Experience the process of great ideas emerging from a deep understanding of people, business and technology

As an IDEO Munich Design Researcher, you’ll travel around Europe and the rest of the world to explore diverse human behaviour, contexts and lifestyles. You will lead teams through bespoke research plans and while you may be accountable for the plan and associated logistics, every member of the team will contribute and collectively produce research findings that will inform and inspire strategic decisions and design solutions. As a team, you will translate research insights into powerful stories that shift hearts and minds.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

Some previous projects to check out:

Here are some examples of projects that our research team have contributed to and led, in Munich:

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • A track record of qualitative research experience culminating in a sound ability to scope a research process, lead fieldwork, conduct interviews and perform desk research to discover insights first-hand. Since most of our projects require a global perspective, experience running research across more than one market is a plus.
  • You have experience with qualitative research - you have written discussion guides, conducted expert interviews, and have some experience with using ethnographic research methods.
  • Interest in exploring quantitative research, running surveys and segmentation studies is a plus.
  • Ability to synthesise research findings to uncover and articulate insights that will inform and inspire design. Design Researchers must be able to lead the team (and often the client) through the analysis and synthesis processes – distilling down to focus on the most important insights, linking them together in frameworks or principles for design.
  • Ability to shape and lead strategic, systems thinking based upon insights gathered through research. Experience working within a variety of industries and/or background in organizational/business/brand/systems design is a plus.
  • Exceptional communication and storytelling skills; fluency and confidence in inspiring teammates and clients with user-driven rationale.
  • Ability to work flexibly and efficiently, exercising a balance between research rigor and inspiration. We are looking for people who can maintain a high degree of rigor throughout, but who also experiment in their approach and methodology.
  • High comfort level in working within a self-directed culture and navigating ambiguity.
  • Openness to critique from other disciplines and curiosity to learn from a spectrum of perspectives. 
  • Interest in how the world is changing, what this means for designers and businesses, and the confidence to share your point of view on the future.
  • Must be fluent in German.
  • At least 2-3 years experience in a similar function or role.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please answer this short Pop Quiz in your cover letter

Tell us about a research programme where you a) led the team to try an “unconventional” way of gathering insights, or b) wish you had been able to try a more experimental method in your approach.   

Please detail:

  • The challenge you were trying to solve
  • Your specific role on the project
  • The “unconventional” research approach, methods selected and why
  • Some key learnings about the topic and/or the team’s experience
  • The impact of your research findings on design or business strategies

If you identify with our values and would like to contribute to our studio, we would love to see your CV and cover letter (addressing the pop quiz above). Deadline for applications is Friday 30th November 2018.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.