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Qualitative and Quantitative Design Researcher

In a nutshell:

IDEO Palo Alto is looking for a Design Researcher with deep qualitative and quantitative expertise who can lead research across many different types of projects including generative “blue sky” innovations, rapid and nimble iterative loops of prototyping and user feedback, and both qualitative and quantitative validation studies that bring confidence and move ideas closer to market launch. Imagine using your research skills to design the hospital of the future, learn about user needs from a  scrappy prototype of a digital nutrition service, or confirm that a new-to-the-world voting system will work accessible and delightfully everyone with the right to vote. Our researchers think in big inspiring strokes and think in detailed meticulous specks, at the same time.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

IDEO is a deeply human-centered creative consultancy. We seek inspiration from the people who are the intended users of the products, services, and experiences that we design. We strive to create emotional connections to people -- and we get our most compelling designs from this empathic connection. Design research is at the heart of IDEO’s work. We uncover insights by spending time with people, conducting thoughtful qualitative and quantitative research, and creating deep empathy within our design teams and with our clients.

Once here you will:

As a Design Researcher, you’ll travel domestically and globally to explore diverse human behaviors and lifestyles. You will work with multidisciplinary teams of IDEOers with vastly different skills, from industrial design to product engineering to graphic design. You will use a dozen different research methods to generate insights for design, from ethnographic observation to in-home interviews to large-scale quantitative surveys to the analysis of quantitative datasets (both existing and new). You’ll translate research insights into powerful stories that shift hearts and minds. Storytelling and communication skills will be critical as you build empathy and understanding for users through carefully crafted written, oral, and visual narratives.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • 7+ years of relevant professional experience in applied research outside of academic coursework. This might include design research, market research, applied social sciences (sociology, anthropology, economics, psychology), management consulting or business, investigative reporting, or other professional experience using applied research methods (for example, in public health, social work, or education).
  • Knowledge of one or more of these statistical software packages: SPSS, SAS, Stata, R, or Python.
  • Fluency in a variety of qualitative research methods, such as: conducting one-on-one interviews and ethnographic-style fieldwork, moderating group conversations, running live prototyping sessions, conducting co-design workshops, usability testing, and engaging users remotely.
  • Familiarity with a wide variety of quantitative research methods, such as: measurement or metric design, advanced statistical analysis (clustering, regression, conjoint), quantitative or mixed methods survey design and analysis, web analytics and analysis, A/B testing, quantitative program evaluation or testing of early designs and prototypes, semantic and/or network analysis, or other data science approaches.
  • Impactful and passionate communication skills, particularly when it comes to presenting the results of research to people without deep research experience, or facilitating the research process to others.
  • Ability to facilitate research and within highly collaborative multidisciplinary teams, including teammates without research backgrounds.
  • Designed and executed multiple studies integrating quantitative and qualitative research across industries, such as health, mobility, technology, retail, entertainment, or others.

Nice to have:

  • Advanced degree in social sciences, applied sciences, economics, marketing, statistics, or informatics.
  • Behavior change or behavioral economics expertise.
  • Experience applying research insights to designing new products, services, experiences, programs, or organizations.
  • Visual communication skills, such as photography, graphic design, illustration, filmmaking or other fine arts.
  • Experience working in international and multicultural settings.
  • Fluency in other languages such as Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, or German.
  • Content expertise in health, mobility, product, tech, entrepreneurship, or marketing/branding.
  • Experience working in consultancies or other professional services organizations, particularly supporting clients from large or Fortune 500 companies.
  • Experience working with tech startups, particularly during the creative phase of startup launch.

Some previous projects and resources:

A New Way to Vote for the People of Los Angeles

Beyond Cars: Designing Smarter Mobility

Transforming the Way You Learn about Your DNA with a Genomics Startup

A Day in The Life of a Design Researcher

Application instructions:

If you identify with our values, are excited about great design, and would like to contribute to our studio, we would love to see your resume, cover letter, and portfolio. Your portfolio should include 3 examples of projects you’ve worked on in a research capacity. We recommend choosing projects that illustrate your breadth of qualitative and quantitative research skills in a variety of scenarios. We know that you are a researcher, and perhaps not a graphic artist, but use this portfolio as a way to showcase your communication skills, both visual and written. In your description of 3 example projects, include details on:

  • The challenge you were trying to solve
  • The industry you were working in
  • Your specific role on the project
  • The research approach and both qualitative and quantitative methods you used
  • Some of your key learnings, or insights
  • The impact of your research findings on design or business strategies.

We know that many of you are coming from fields outside of design. That’s excellent! We think of design very broadly. So, include examples of products, services, programs, businesses or organizations, or experiences to which your research has contributed. The portfolios that are most successful during the initial screening process are those that emphasize how you used your research skills to create something new as opposed to evaluating or understanding something that already exists. 

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.