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Play Lab, Experiential Designer

Please apply by Friday, July 30th, 12pm PST

IDEO’s Play Lab is looking for an Experiential Designer who is passionate about transforming hearts and minds. Experiential designers create memorable, engaging, multi-sensory events for a wide variety of audiences. Designing across physical spaces and digital technologies, experiential designers at IDEO bring a human-centered lens to designing unforgettable moments.

Role summary:

IDEO’s mission is to have disproportionate impact through design.

We design products, services, environments, and experiences for organizations seeking new ways to provide value to their customers. IDEO’s Play Lab is looking for an experiential designer who is passionate about designing meaningful experiences that build trust and psychological safety, stoke curiosity and creativity, increase engagement and collaboration, and provoke new perceptions and behaviors.

As an Experiential Designer at IDEO you will work collaboratively, creatively, and flexibly within interdisciplinary teams and with our clients on a variety of projects that invite audiences to engage with spaces, services and products in new ways. 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.

You may have a background in event production, game design, program curation, facilitation and/or experiential storytelling - we are reviewing applications across the entire spectrum of Experiential Design.

Once you are here you will:

  • Collaborate with designers with different backgrounds such as environments designers, service designers, interaction designers, game designers, and software designers to develop holistic experiences for our clients and their users.
  • Work globally with clients and other IDEO studios
  • Learn on the edges of your field and continuously broaden your ‘T’
  • Identify and solve problems for clients in many categories and industries such as healthcare, automotive, finance and consumer products
  • Create experience prototypes that communicate a design and help tell a project’s story to potential user and client stakeholders.
  • Champion the impact of design on everyday life

Some previous projects to check out:

Bridging music and technology through an interactive exhibit

Creating an out-of-this-world STEM-learning experience

Helping a technology brand connect with China’s young consumer

Sparking a conversation around policing in NYC

Helping young adults make smart money decisions

Depth in one or more of these areas is not required, but encouraged:

  • Environments Design - uniquely envisioning systems in which tools, spaces, and people interact; creating holistic, branded experiences that integrate both physical and digital environments across several industries
  • Service Design - designing interactions as part of a greater service; being thoughtful about how the orchestration of the service may impact how someone will interact with a specific touchpoint
  • Interaction Design - creating holistic, seamless solutions for a constantly-changing landscape; designing across machine learning, AR/VR, augmented intelligence, physical computing, connected devices, and text-based chat, taking a human-centered approach to bring to life intuitive, unified experiences
  • Communication Design / Illustration - the quest to tell better stories; striving to conjure the greatest emotional impact
  • Game Design - applying game design mechanics and principles to build mastery, facilitate discovery, and create communities

Relevant experience & mindset


  • Experience producing events and experiences for a wide variety of audiences
  • Ability to tell compelling project stories to clients.
  • Experience working with designers from different backgrounds and integrating your design ideas with theirs.
  • Experience with Design Thinking / Human-Centered Design


  • Passion for experience design and learning new methods of designing unforgettable experiences. You know the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ and are able to not only identify and evangelize best practices, but push boundaries and explore new territory.
  • Team skills: You work best in a participatory, team-based environment. You support and inspire teams through collaboration as well as direction, vision, and planning of deliverables.
  • Communication: You have strong verbal and visual presentation skills, as well as an articulate point of view about design. You understand the value of design within a business context.
  • Prototyping: You are ready to learn from failure, embrace an iterative process and you understand that success comes sooner with trial and error. You have experience in delivering both low and high fidelity prototypes.
  • Openness: Designers need to be flexible and open-minded. You are optimistic, generative, and open to new ideas and ways of working
  • Human-centered: You can articulate a human-centered approach to design and are comfortable going out into the world for inspiration. You understand basic human-centered design philosophy, embrace ambiguity, and want to continually evolve design methodologies.

Question about you:

Please include your answer to the question below in your cover letter.

What do you think is the most well designed experience in the world? Be specific! Why do you like it? If you could make it even better, what would you do?

Application instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and portfolio. Your portfolio should include at least 4 examples of experiential design projects – these projects can be a mix of work related and personal projects. In particular, we want to hear about the process involved in developing the design or project. 

Please apply by Friday, July 30th, 12pm PST



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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