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Design Researcher

In a nutshell:

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help enable change in Japan through creativity. As part of a small studio that is still growing, this person must demonstrate a collaborative working style, great communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a non-rules based environment of innovation. We are seeking a Design Researcher to join our Tokyo Studio. We are looking for an individual who will guide and inspire teams into uncovering meaningful human-centered insights that drive great design and innovation for our clients.

Why is this role important for IDEO's work?

Great design is born out of great research. Our Design Researchers lead clients and teams through a journey of human-centered research to discover insights and inspiration and contribute to all phases of the design process.

Once here you will: 

  • Design and plan creative research, including sample design, screeners, field guides, etc.
  • Execute the research, including leading IDEO and client teams in the field
  • Synthesize and think about systems-level patterns and frameworks
  • Communicate and tell stories using writing, visuals, and verbal communication
  • Make research findings relevant and impactful for design through a variety of formats such as insights, decks, stories, videos, experiences, and exhibits.

Previous Projects (plus a Blog Post) to Check Out:

Relevant experience and mindset: 

  • Fluent in Japanese & English speaking and writing.
  • 3 to 6 years of qualitative research experience in Japan culminating in a sound ability to scope a research process, lead fieldwork, conduct interviews and do desk research.
  • Ability to synthesize research findings, uncover and articulate insights that will inform and inspire design.
  • Ability to work flexibly and efficiently, exercise a balance between research rigor and inspiration.
  • Passion and pulse for the Japanese marketplace and culture.
  • 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.
  • A multicultural individual who can guide projects in English and Japanese interchangeably. A typical project may require leading clients and researching in Japanese, while synthesizing with internal teams in English, and presenting results in Japanese.
  • An empathy and curiosity for how great brands, businesses and organizations navigate innovation and design.
  • Experience with unique and novel tools and methods to uncover key insights
  • Fluency in quantitative research methods. Ability to create and analyze surveys to impact design.
  • Creative storytelling abilities -- the ability to make an audience think/feel things they’ve wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Passion -- A  strong passion for improving people's lives through design.

Application Requirements:

To apply, submit a resume, cover letter, and the following Pop Quiz in the online application.

Pop Quiz:

As Design Researchers here in Japan, we are always on the lookout for interesting and unexpected people, places, and things that serve as great inspiration for design. Check out Mike Peng’s blog post about must-experience places in and around Tokyo: https://www.ideo.com/jp/blog/only-in-japan

If you were asked to help design a new and innovative hotel concept for the global market, what types of people, places, and/or things would you look to for design inspiration in Japan?

Please tell us 3 examples (people, places, or things) that you believe can inform or inspire the design of this new hotel concept. These examples can be completely outside of the hotel industry! Provide 3 pictures and a concisely written reflection (in English and Japanese) on each of your examples and why you think they are particularly inspiring.




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.