Design Lead

Cambridge, MA +2

This role may be based in any one of our three US studios: San Francisco, Cambridge and Chicago, or remotely anywhere in the US. Please note that this role may require a moderate amount of traveling for in-person or hybrid projects. 


We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis starting July 11th after our North American Rest Week. Please apply well in advance for the best chance at selection for this interview cycle. See "How to Apply" at the end of this post for instructions on how to submit.


In a Nutshell

IDEO is looking for a Design Lead for our Writing craft discipline. The role is an inspirational leader on small teams of unique voices who is a lover of words and storyteller. You will apply your craft in the power of words to lead and inspire teams and clients, consulting and creating design outcomes that help them make more strategic choices, driven by human-centered design. 


The Full Scoop

At IDEO, our design often points to a vision of a future that does not yet exist. Therefore, narrative and strategic clarity is essential to this role, to help us deliver on that vision through the work, aligned with human needs as well as our clients’ goals. In this role, you’ll work through complex client challenges and tackle all aspects of the design process, from user research to prototyping and communicating the overall project story to the client team. You’ll have the opportunity to shape compelling creative and strategic design outcomes across a diverse portfolio of projects that involve brand building, product, service, and experiential design, strategic guidance, and much more. Our clients are in diverse industries across health, media & technology, transportation/mobility, learning, food, financial services, consumer products & retail.


Once here, you will:

  • Lead the communication design process with project teams, collaborating with designers of different backgrounds, including design researchers, industrial designers, business designers, and interaction designers to develop holistic design outcomes for our clients
  • Anchor client partnerships of all kinds, from nonprofit organizations to multinational CPG players and innovative startups, consulting them to navigate ambiguity and create compelling design outcomes—from strategic brand foundation and brand expression, to product design, organizational purpose, values and vision, digital experiences, packaging, environmental design, and more
  • Synthesize and leverage insights from people and culture to design creative solutions that are a fit for our clients brands and offers, and the people they serve, through compelling storytelling and creative expressions
  • Turn purpose and strategy into aspirational stories through visuals, writing, and other media


Relevant Experiences and Mindsets: 

  • 7+ years of professional writing experience crafting deliverables (e.g., design concepts, scripts, storyboards, briefs, manifestos, videos, handbooks, guidance documents, etc.) that inspire change
  • Experience leading and collaborating within multidisciplinary teams, including bringing teams and clients along with you on the journey of creative development—project management experience is a plus
  • You thrive on complex and ambiguous challenges, providing clients with the clarity needed to move their business forward with understanding and empathy for their business context
  • Experience with and passion for working with brands, creating compelling brand expression and narratives, as well as designing strategic brand foundations (purpose, positioning, personality, values, brand architecture, naming)
  • Experience participating and/or facilitating in design research and synthesizing to distill insights from research to craft compelling value propositions connected to human needs

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