Design Research Lead

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Thomas J. Watson said it best: “Good design is good business.” Visualization is critical to discovering data-driven insights and effectively communicating that knowledge to others. Designers at IBM work to create experiences that work together, work the same, and work for our clients. Does the thought of creating the platform at the heart of solutions like Watson, Blockchain, IoT, and Security excite you?  If so, read on!

Your Role and Responsibilities
Design researchers uncover insights, inform design decisions, and forge new opportunities to improve business outcomes through the rigorous study of people and the ecosystems in which they exist. They continuously build team understanding and empathy through empirical observation, experience, and making.

The Lead Design Researcher will conduct independent generative and evaluative design research on multiple aspects of products and experiences across the Government, Health and Human Services portfolio within Watson Health and work closely with other designers and cross-functional stakeholders to create intuitive user-centered designs.

Our environment is ever changing and requires a candidate who is flexible, thrives in ambiguity, and can effectively collaborate across cross-functional groups and locations.

Responsibilities include:

  • Planning and project management of research efforts – responsible for the creation and execution of design research plans to guide and inspire design and development across the full offering life cycle
  • Synthesizes, communicates, and applies actionable insights and experience models to guide offering strategy, design and adoption acceleration
  • Synthesize actionable insights and models that illuminate the experiences and needs of Watson Health target users as intellectual capital in support of the Watson Health mission
  • Define long term design research strategy and informs overall strategy and approach for offering projects and innovation initiatives
  • Help grow and elevate the Design Research practices in Watson Health, Government, Health and Human Services
  • Promote the adoption of Design Thinking across Watson Health
  • Direct workshops, ideation sessions, and contributes to thought leadership across IBM Design
  • Build a positive culture of experimentation, trust, creativity, and happiness
  • Align studio and team with ongoing vision, mission, and strategy
  • Work with individuals to set goals and evaluate progress
  • Champion the craft of design research within the organisation

Required Technical and Professional Expertise

  • Be curious, inventive, questioning, open to critique and have a ton of initiative
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Portfolio/work samples at any fidelity including information radiators such as personas, mental models, diagrams, etc.
  • Visualizations of complex user experiences: flows, scenarios, etc.
  • At least 5-10 years’ experience conducting user research with responsibilities and skills similar to the list above.
  • Evidence of research project planning, implementation & evaluation.
  • Familiarity with research in product development methods and practices Agile, Scrum and Lean
  • Experience working on complex products with multiple user groups
  • Readiness to travel up to 25% annually
  • English: Fluent

Demonstrated ability to:

  • Identify and communicate high priority questions and opportunities for research to lead team towards strategic opportunities and tactical improvements
  • Identify and communicate appropriate research methodology to address research opportunity
  • Support recruiting of appropriate participants for research plans and goals
  • Conduct research methods and activities to capture qualitative and quantitative data
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data to generate insights
  • Deliver compelling stories to communicate actionable insights for team and stakeholders
  • Design research methodologies including primary and secondary research, interviews, usability testing (primarily remote) and surveys
  • Translate research findings into specific, prioritized recommendations to improve product designs

Preferred Technical and Professional Expertise

  • Foundational understanding of UX design
  • Experience With Conducting Primary And Secondary Research
  • Excellent collaboration skills with a persistent curiosity
  • Experience with research tools (e.g. UserZoom, survey tooling,, Optimal Workshop, etc.)
  • Experience working with distributed teams, even better if you have international experience
  • Data analysis and statistical analysis experience