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Instructional Designer/Writer, IDEO U

In a nutshell:

IDEO U, located in San Francisco, is in search of an Instructional Designer/Writer. We seek someone who thrives at the intersection of education, storytelling, design and technology.

You will be responsible for transforming IDEO’s breadth of knowledge on creativity, strategy, and design thinking into focused, online learning experiences. You’ll work closely with a content and production team to write, design, and develop cutting-edge educational experiences. Must be a great writer, visual storyteller, and instructional designer–someone who knows how to create unique ways to help people see, try, share, and reflect. You should have a strong sense of brevity and clarity, an eye for detail, and organizational chops to distill content into compelling experiences.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

For the last 30 years, IDEO has been teaching Design Thinking, Creativity, and Innovation to our clients through consulting engagements. Now, with IDEO U, we are teaching and empowering others to develop design thinking skills, ignite their creative capacity, and build their collaborative muscles. As part of the IDEO U team, you will work alongside a team of producers, content experts, designers, product managers, and marketers to create exceptional online instructional experiences for a global community of learners.

Once here you will:

Design and develop engaging online educational courses

  • Connect with thought leadership across IDEO (and beyond!) to harvest and research stories and content, synthesize what you learn, and turn it all into a structured set of lessons and project-based activities for a global audience.
  • Use your instructional skills to write, design and develop unique, online learning experiences. Elements you will design/write include: video scripts, course outlines, interactive exercises, IDEO U learner communications and reflections, frameworks and tools, project-based activities and assignments.

Bring the craft of synthesis and writing to all aspects of the IDEO U learner experience

  • Write succinct, engaging scripts for short online instructional videos.
  • Tell corporate or business stories and case studies in compelling, non-trite ways.
  • Adapt your writing to suit the stage of development – quickly draft multiple iterations/options for some moments or write with detailed rigor for others.
  • Edit with thoughtful ruthlessness :).
  • Write in a tone that’s punchy and playful, consistent with existing IDEO and IDEO U content (see links below for context).

Work collaboratively across a diverse team

  • Collaborate with the production team in video filming, editing and production. This may involve travel to strategic sites around the globe.
  • Collaborate with the Product Team to bring the learning experiences to life on our platform.
  • Contribute to how we will express the educational experience and brand visually, creatively, digitally on our LMS and across our digital ecosystem.
  • Develop content for marketing videos emails and advertisements/adwords/social media
  • Contribute to design research and user feedback sessionsPlay a role in the story approvals process.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We work hard–but we balance this pace with playfulness, passion, and purpose. We make sure everyone at IDEO has time 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 of an individual’s career.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • 3-5 years background in a relevant industry such as teaching/instruction, journalism, curriculum development or Ed Tech.
  • Instructional design expertise. Understanding of pedagogy and instructional approaches, curriculum design and assessment. Experience teaching and designing instructional content for workshops, classes or online.
  • Simplifier of the unsimplified. Efficient at breaking down specialized or complex content, and distilling it into beautiful, clear copy that most humans can understand. Expertise in research, synthesis, and/or journalism a plus.
  • Exceptional writing and visual communication skills. Strong storytelling skills are essential.
  • Multi-tasker. Manage your own time well, with an attention to detail and an ability to work cross-functionally, efficiently, and effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Efficient and elegant. You’re skilled at balancing efficiency and quality by knowing when to roll up your sleeves to scrappily get things done, and when to slowdown, take a breath, and craft elegant details.
  • Many voices. You bring a range of writing styles and can change tone/delivery depending on the audience. From political to playful. Poetic to precise. Corporate to soulful.
  • Quick learner, adaptable and comfortable in navigating ambiguity.
  • Able to spot interdependencies with attention to details. Instructional design is all about both seeing the big picture of an experience while minding all the details.

Other nice-to-haves:

  • Experience with screenwriting or film production. You understand the production process – working with editors, producers and designers.
  • Track-record making cool, engaging content in different media formats  (podcasts, films, activities, blogs, workshops etc).
  • Familiarity with Design Thinking, Innovation, or Creativity topics.
  • Experience working with Learning Management Systems (e.g. NovoEd).

Learn more about IDEO U:

IDEO U is an online school where anyone can unlock their creative potential through design thinking and collaboration.  Check out our website to learn about our work, team, and network.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please submit a portfolio, resume and cover letter (yes, we read cover letters). We are looking to fill this role quickly!

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.