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Design Researcher

In a nutshell

IDEO San Francisco is in search of a Design Researcher who is radically inspired by people, gathers great insights, and contributes those insights to a design team creating products and services.  

Please read the application instructions carefully. We will only consider candidates who provide a resume, cover letter, and portfolio.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Human-centered insights and a deep understanding of people and culture are critical to how we do our best work. Design Researchers guide clients and teams through this research to discover, interpret, and communicate insights & opportunities in an inspiring way, while contributing to all phases of the design process. Researchers at IDEO help our teams use design as way of understanding people and culture while at the same time using what we learn to inspire and inform design.

Once here you will

  • Lead the research portion of a project, synthesize insights, translate these findings to catalyze design and strategic decisions, and collaborate with the team to turn those learnings into powerful design and stories.
  • Going beyond simply capturing insights, you will be using them to inspsire your teams and clients, thereby putting design in motion.

Relevant experience

  • Minimum of 5 years of qualitative research experience culminating in a sound ability to scope a research process, gather insights from secondary research, lead fieldwork, and conduct in-context interviews and observation.
  • Experience using quantitative methods in an applied, professional context to drive insight and understanding in service of design and decision making.
  • Experience drawing from a variety of research methods–interviews, observation, diary studies, prototyping, surveys, user testing, and experiments–at different stages of the design process: to inspire early design work, inform the initial opportunity, collect formative feedback to support iteration, and validate a go-to-market solution.
  • Exceptional communication and storytelling skills. Fluency in multiple media for storytelling–while grounding storytelling in research–a bonus.

In addition you have

  • The ability to bring your personal interests and passions to the role to provide a unique perspective to research–whether from modern art, trends in architecture, esports, 19th century history, or whatever gets you going
  • Openness to learn from people who are much different than you and a willingness to challenge your own assumptions
  • A desire to keep digging into insights, going beyond the obvious to identify what is truly unique or different about what you’re seeing in the world
  • Evidence of a voracious appetite for experimenting with new tools and technologies that push learning in new directions, reach people in new ways, or compliment depth of insight, with scale
  • Fluency and confidence in inspiring teammates and clients with user-driven rationale along with the experience not only to tell stories, but translating insights into actionable ideas/design
  • Ability to work flexibly and efficiently, exercising a balance between research rigor, extreme organizational skills, and inspiration
  • 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

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 relevant projects to check out

Application requirements and instructions

Please apply with a resume, cover letter, and a portfolio. A portfolio should consist of a highly curated set of projects that demonstrates:

  • A variety of approaches and projects
  • How you help turn insights into actionable design opportunities, products, services, or experiences
  • Your ability to communicate in a clear, concise way

For team-based work, please indicate your role. A portfolio can be web-based, a PDF, or whatever you feel best communicates your work.

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.

Apply now
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