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Interaction Design Lead, Design for Learning

In a nutshell:

IDEO’s Design for Learning Studio (D4L), located in San Francisco, is in search of a seasoned Interaction Design Lead capable of managing projects, with a focus on leading teams and clients towards integrating digital designs into products, services, experiences, spaces, and brands. We are on the hunt for a senior interaction design lead who will collaborate across disciplines to create design solutions for a diversity of industries, scale, and media. In this role, you get exposure to and involvement with all parts of the design process: proposal writing, client relationship development, user research, concept development, prototyping, working with developers and design stewardship. We’re looking for someone who is equally passionate about designing elegant user experiences as they are using systems thinking and human-centered design as a source of inspiration to solve complex problems for and with our clients and partners.  

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Strategic thinking is the underpinning of great design. This role allows you to shape our work, teams, process, and client relationships. You’ll focus on some of the most impactful work we do and lead projects that bring about change inside and outside of IDEO. Working at IDEO means you’ll tackle all aspects of the design process from user research to physical and digital prototyping to helping tell the project story to the client.

Once here you will:

  • Focus on a range of digital, large-scale and complex challenges. Key activities include design leadership, structured thinking to inform information architectures and other conceptual frameworks, talent development, and business development.
  • Have the opportunity to develop a unique point of view about the ways media and technology are impacting human behaviors and attitudes… especially around learning and education. Between understanding the pulse of our changing times and digging your hands into creating leading-edge solutions, you’ll help our studio build its technology chops while challenging the world to see opportunities it hadn’t yet noticed.
  • You’ll go out into the world for inspiration, and use research-based insights to spot opportunities for innovation within constraints.
  • You’ll champion the impact of design on everyday life.
  • You’ll build an understanding of the value, and dynamics of client organizations and partner with clients to drive innovation.
  • You’ll design digital, service, organizational, and systems experiences; think beyond screen UI.
  • You’ll work with an incredibly diverse and passionate group of world-class designers on a wide array of local and global challenges.

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.

IDEO’s education studio designs products, services, and systems that improve experiences for learners of all ages.  This could be as tangible as designing a tablet-based learning platform, and as far-reaching as redesigning an entire education system.  We nerd out over education trends and cool kid ideas in equal measure – and we hope you do too.

Some previous projects to check out:

Beyond 12: Helping Students Navigate College and Beyond

Wall Street English: Designing a Social Learning Environment in China

Lemann Foundation: A Digital Literacy App for Young Learners

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Giving Ed Tech Entrepreneurs a Window into the Classroom

Innova Schools: Designing a School System from the Ground Up

Relevant experience:

  • At least 6 years interaction design experience across a variety of digital media.
  • Master’s degree in Interaction Design, Graphic Design, HCI, New Media, or equivalent work experience.
  • You’re a confident and flexible leader of interdisciplinary teams where harmonious collaboration is imperative; your sweet spot is the intersection of design, technology, and social impact.
  • You’re a systems thinker; you love solving big, hairy problems and can logically visualize complex systems, user interaction flows, and beautiful user interface.
  • You’re agile; you can nurture a cohesive product vision and finesse visual designs at a vector or pixel level, if necessary.
  • You are passionate about building, managing, and continually evolving digital products throughout the product lifecycle.
  • You get what it takes to build something – regardless of the means. Overseeing a development partner or working with an in-house team, you’re comfortable vetting and aligning partners, and shepherding stakeholders on the journey of bringing software to market.
  • You can articulate a human-centered approach to design and be comfortable going out into the world for inspiration. You understand basic human-centered design philosophy, are comfortable with ambiguity and want to push design methodologies.
  • You are passionate about building, managing, and continually evolving digital products throughout the product lifecycle.
  • A passion for design, a pulse on emerging trends and technology, and a developed point of view about your work.
  • You can relate to individuals and nurture talent is also a requirement. You give and solicit feedback from other designers in order to continually raise our bar for quality.
  • You are able to distinguish between “good” and “great” work and are able to design flows and experiences that are simple and elegant.
  • Extensive experience with a variety of graphic design and interactive tools including InDesign, Illustrator, HTML/JS/CSS, Flinto, Sketch, Atomic, InVision, Principle, and Aftereffects.


Application requirements and instructions:

Please submit a resume, cover letter (yes, we read cover letters), and a portfolio or link.  

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.