Design Research Lead

Job title: Design Research Lead
Contract type: Freelance
Location: Beaverton
Industry: Retail
Remote: No
Reference: 411743
Contact name: Adrienne Salzwedel-Bass
Job Published: January 01, 1970

Job description

Our global footwear and apparel client is hiring a Design Research Lead on an 8 month contract that is likely to extend and could lead to fulltime opportunities. This position is eligible for benefits and sick time. 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 Digital team. This is an exceptional opportunity to contribute to our client's Innovation agenda by better understanding our consumers and putting their needs at the center of our 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.




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.


Your key responsibilities are to:

  • 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, you’ll be operating in the Advanced Innovation Collective at our client where you’ll partner primarily with Footwear Innovation, Apparel Innovation and Space teams, as well as our client's Sports Research Lab, Global Consumer Insights and Knowledge, and other downstream business teams.



  • 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
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