IDEO.org Nairobi has an opportunity for an experienced Design Researcher who’s curious, inquisitive, and adept at uncovering human needs and translating them into opportunities for design. As part of a multidisciplinary design team, you’ll be responsible for planning and conducting qualitative research with diverse communities, and then helping to develop solutions to the needs you discover.
Great design researchers come from a number of diverse backgrounds—like anthropology, journalism or psychology. The most important qualification is that you have professional experience connecting deeply with a variety of people, crafting interview questions, and translating what you learn into clear lessons, strategies, and action plans.
- Build empathy for the people we’re designing for through first-hand conversations, leading your team through fieldwork to explore how people behave—their challenges and aspirations
- Create research plans, identify the right questions to ask, and collaborate with other designers to find creative ways to answer them
- Ensure that our research follows IDEO.org’s and our partners’ ethical guidelines at every step of the process and make sure that all research activities are performed with utmost respect for participants
- Explore analogous experiences in other fields as design inspiration, bringing diverse perspectives to each project
- Employ a variety of traditional and non-traditional research methods, including interviews in people’s homes and on the streets, shadowing participants, participatory observations, expert interviews, and even putting yourself in the shoes of the people you’re designing with by trying out how it feels to perform an activity or experience a situation the way they do.
- Lead the analysis of data collected in the field (a process we call synthesis). This will include debriefing and discuss user feedback with your teams—collaborating to turn research into potential directions for design.
- Share compelling stories from the field to inspire teams and our partner organizations, paving the way for smart and passionate design.
- Clearly communicate complex concepts to a variety of audiences
- Contribute to IDEO.org culture.
Relevant experience and mindset:
- You can demonstrate a strong portfolio of professional work and, articulate the choices you made throughout a project
- You have 3-5 years of relevant work experience.
- You’re passionately curious, attuned to human behavior, and comfortable operating in any environment—from an informal settlement like Kibera to the national Ministry of Health.
- You’re excited about rooting great design in human needs, motivations, and behaviors
- You have demonstrated experience planning and leading research activities, such as interviews, group sessions, and observations.
- You can add a unique perspective to your research and to our teams, such as writing & storytelling, strategic thinking, or business design.
- You’re able to work in diverse work cultures and comfortable with non-hierarchical organizations.
- You’re able to switch seamlessly between self-directed independent work and highly collaborative teamwork.