Interim Head of Service Design and Research

Website dxw dxw

About us
dxw works with the public and charity sectors to create user-focused services and products that improve lives.

We’ve been around since 2008 and worked on lots of projects that have made a real difference – things like helping to track aid spending and exploring how to improve digital collaboration between local authorities.

dxw has ambitious plans to grow in the coming years and we see the design practice playing a crucial role in this.

We’re looking for a design and research specialist and active member of the design community who shares our values to help lead the growth of our design team.

This is a transitional role for someone passionate about coaching design leaders into the next phase of their career.

We think it’s important to have diverse teams and aim to create an environment where everyone is supported to do their best and be themselves.

About the role
As Head of Service Design and Research, you will be responsible for helping accelerate the growth of the different specialisms in the design team, working with leads to build and establish capability, supporting teams and individuals to produce the best work for our clients.

You will coach, mentor, retain and attract new talent, as we build a leading design practice for the public and charity sectors. This includes facilitating or creating performance frameworks and career development paths for managers and leads.

You will work closely with the Director of Design, the Head of Design, the research principal and the design discipline leads to ensure consistent career frameworks, consistent ways of working across the design team, and effective working with other disciplines in dxw.

As the Head of Service Design and Research, you will be an advocate for dxw, promoting our mission and our work to existing and new clients, identifying market opportunities for dxw design services, and helping to shape sales proposals and pitch for work.

You will manage quality and the utilisation of service design, research and content staff on client work, working with managers to match team members with the right type of work for them and our clients.

The role will involve some billable work for clients, influencing and guiding direction on complex projects. We will agree on a reasonable baseline together that reflects our pipeline of work.

About you
We’re looking for someone with experience of managing and coaching a team of specialists and as a senior practitioner of research and design. You have advised and coached teams covering a range of research and design methods and tools in the past.

You have experience in spotting opportunities and winning new business.You create capability within teams and think strategically about how to position our offer. You can identify strategic opportunities to develop a plan to grow the design team.

You inspire stakeholders and colleagues to empathise with their users and customers, and make sure everything that gets delivered has a clear and evidenced user and business need.

You actively promote the work of your team, increasing awareness of the importance of service design with colleagues and in the market.

You influence and contribute to introducing research and service design methods into the delivery practices embedded across all company projects, internal and external.

You have a positive, supportive approach to your line management and pastoral care responsibilities and are able to work well with different team members and beyond the design team.

You have worked with policy teams and know how the design of a service can contribute to delivering policy outcomes.

Benefits & terms
12 month fixed term contract.

You can be based anywhere in the UK. When current restrictions are lifted, some projects might involve weekly travel within the UK, often to London or West Yorkshire but sometimes elsewhere, for client work.

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer visa sponsorship or a relocation allowance for this role. Applicants must be eligible to work within the United Kingdom at the point of application.

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