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Design Research Lead


Job ID: 53321

Design Research Lead
Do you have a passion to uncover insights that inform and inspire innovative digital experiences? Do you have a deep command of experience research and a mastery of user centered design principles? If so, we might have the perfect opportunity for you. Our client’s Advanced Innovation organization is seeking an experienced, empathetic and passionate Design Research Lead to join the NXT Digital team. This is an exceptional opportunity to contribute to the company’s Innovation agenda by better understanding consumers and putting their needs at the center of the design and development process.

We’re looking for someone who has mastered a variety of qualitative research methods and who will craft research to uncover deep user needs and values, as well as to test the experience solutions designed to address those needs. This researcher is equally adept at conducting field research as at creating persuasive frameworks for an innovation strategy driven by consumer insights.

We’re looking for a strong and vocal user advocate who will be a sought-out resource across the organization, distilling consumer insights that drive empathy and action while establishing a culture of continuous learning.

Design Research Lead Responsibilities
In this role, you’ll work closely with a multidisciplinary team of designers, product managers and other stakeholders to help shape future services and experiences for our consumers.
Identify new areas for Innovation to explore based on awareness of key behavioral, cultural and societal shifts.
Manage the research roadmap – help determine research priorities based on key strategic initiatives, identifying and collaborating on briefs, and identifying business questions to explore through research.
Partner with product and design teams to drive the user research approach, process and deliverables, applying a variety of qualitative methods to discover whitespace opportunity, explore propositions and validate solutions.
Design, plan, and lead ethnographic / qualitative research efforts (and quantitative research where appropriate) to articulate consumer truths and reveal latency of unmet consumer needs.
Moderate and facilitate user interviews that elicit authentic behaviors and feedback.
Lead synthesis of qualitative and quantitative findings and deliver compelling storytelling to inform, influence and shape new product and service concepts.
Champion user-research best practices including methods and measurement throughout the organization.
Develop a strong understanding of our consumers, business objectives and company mission.
Maintain consistent, clear and actionable consumer advocacy to fuel an inclusive, human-centered design culture.
As the Design Research Lead for NXT Digital, you’ll be operating in the Advanced Innovation Collective where you’ll partner primarily with Footwear Innovation, Apparel Innovation and Space teams, as well as the Sports Research Lab, Global Consumer Insights and Knowledge, and other downstream business teams.

Design Research Lead Qualifications
Proven ability to plan, lead, execute and deliver compelling and actionable user research in a fast-paced environment, balancing both speed and rigor.
Expert in uncovering consumer needs through a variety of qualitative research methods.
Deep familiarity with experience design best practices and industry trends.
Excellence in moderating and facilitating individual and/or group interviews.
Ability to synthesize findings that translate into actionable insight.
Proven experience developing deep insights and consumer advocacy in product teams.
Exceptional communication, facilitation and presentation skills. Gifted storyteller, adept at crafting deliverables (presentations, frameworks, video and infographics) that persuade, influence and inspire multi-disciplinary teams.
Command of user experience principles, design methodologies and collaborative problem solving.
Team leader who thrives as an in-demand SME.
Experience conducting and executing research globally, including in non-English marketplaces.
Portfolio of past work and case studies that illustrate an understanding of consumers and actionable direction for new experiences.
Digital agency, startup or R&D organization experience is a plus.
7+ years with user-centered, qualitative research methodologies in a multi-disciplinary product, e-commerce or innovation environment.
BS in HCDE, Human Factors, Cognitive Psychology, or related field.

Benefits are available to eligible VanderHouwen contractors and include coverage for medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability, and matching 401k.

About VanderHouwen 
VanderHouwen is an award-winning, Women-Owned, WBENC certified professional staffing firm. Founded in 1987, VanderHouwen has been successfully placing experienced professionals throughout the Pacific Northwest and nationwide.  Our recruitment teams are highly specialized in either Technology and IT, Engineering, or Accounting and Finance career markets. Our recruiters value building meaningful, professional relationships with each candidate as well as developing honed knowledge of companies' staffing needs and workplaces. Partner with us to land your next exciting career.

VanderHouwen is an Equal Opportunity Employer and participates in E-Verify. VanderHouwen does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local, state or federal civil rights laws.