Job Details

Design Strategist

NWEA, Portland, OR

Job - Technology

Close Date: 04/30/2020

Design Strategist

To Apply…

Please submit your resume, a cover letter, and a portfolio or sample that demonstrates your design facilitation experience or a human-centered design engagement.

About This Role…

At NWEA, we believe in K–12 students and the teachers, administrators, and families who make education possible. Drawing on 40 years’ experience and a wealth of powerful data, our vision is to transform education by empowering students and teachers. As the NWEA Design Strategist, you’ll be the linchpin in furthering that vision. You’ll drive innovation throughout the organization, helping product teams discover creative solutions to our educational partners’ most pressing problems.

With a strong bias for action, experimentation, and iteration, you will guide multidisciplinary teams as they translate business problems and ideas into testable hypotheses. You’ll coach teams on rapid prototyping methods and help devise user testing scenarios aimed at evaluating value, usability, feasibility, and viability.

As someone who thrives on the natural friction inherent in balancing business aims, user desires, and technical realities, you are an expert in harnessing positive contributions from a wide variety of disciplines. In this unique role, you’ll help advance our human-centered design practices and scale Design Thinking across the organization.

Your Next Challenge…

Apply an iterative, Design Thinking process to support cross-functional product teams (Product, Experience Design, Research, and Engineering) in solving complex, product- and service-design problems
Design experiments and activities to gather evidence, test assumptions, and evaluate hypotheses
Encourage a laser-like focus on delivering early and continuous value to our partners; instill a customer-centric product design and development culture
Facilitate workshops with stakeholders across the organization using the Design Thinking process and human-centered design tools to generate and evaluate ideas
Lead customer journey mapping and other design insight, ideation, and problem-solving sessions
Guide those unfamiliar with Design Thinking through the process; build confidence and skills across the organization
Advocate strongly for Design Thinking time for teams, allowing them to rapidly problem solve, experiment, and innovate in pursuit of prioritized business objectives
Work with teams to craft compelling stories and visual models to communicate discovery insights and opportunities

Skills and Abilities…

Skilled at helping teams clearly define problems and identify root causes
Holds an unshakeable belief that great products are the result of true collaboration
Learns by doing; leads others in identifying and testing assumptions
Possesses strong persuasion and negotiation skills; finds mutual ground and practical solutions
Thinks and acts nimbly; is consistently learning and improving processes
Commands the room without stealing the spotlight; has a strong personal presence
Experienced in leading others through the UCD/HCD approach to problem solving and in using Design Thinking to create innovative solutions
Experienced in designing and facilitating multiday design workshops
Demonstrates excellent information synthesis and real-time documentation skills; habitually follows the maxim of “ABC (Always Be Capturing)”
Comfortable facilitating conflicting viewpoints; ensures an equal voice from all stakeholders
Creates safe, energizing, creative environments—both physically and psychologically—that allow all participants to design with confidence
Coaches teams in matching rapid prototyping tools to appropriate levels of fidelity
Uses storytelling to share teams’ discoveries, influence business partners, and generate excitement about an idea or initiative
Deeply committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility

Education and Background…

BA/BS degree in HCI/HFE, information design, industrial design, industrial engineering, web design, psychology, anthropology, social science, marketing research, or related field; an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered in lieu of a degree
4+ years of recent experience in human-centered design, service design, product design, design strategy, or another applicable field
Demonstrated experience applying Design Thinking principles and tools to deliver customer value
Experience in group facilitation, including with groups of organizational leaders
Basic understanding of front-end/UI technologies and software engineering
Basic comfort with sketch-noting, graphic facilitation, and storyboarding
Familiar with Google Venture’s Design Sprint model, Eric Reis’ Lean Startup principles, the work of Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, IDEO’s Design Thinking model, service design and the work of Silicon Valley Product Group
Familiar with Agile methodologies, SAFe, and software development lifecycles
Familiar with Pragmatic Marketing and lean portfolio management
Familiar with customer journeys, storyboards, ecosystem maps, and process flow diagrams
Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro), Keynote, and InVision skills helpful, but not required

About us…

NWEA® is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency—and provide insights to help tailor instruction. For 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative pre-K–12 assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™. Educators trust our professional learning offerings to accelerate student learning and our research to support assessment validity and data interpretation. Our tools are trusted by educators in more than 9,500 schools, districts, and education agencies in 145 countries.

What We Can Offer You…

At NWEA we not only offer a competitive base salary, we offer a 15% contribution of eligible employees’ base salary to a defined contribution 403(b) retirement savings plan; career development opportunities; an awesome work culture and environment; we also offer industry leading benefits and perks that are focused on supporting our employees’ holistic wellbeing. To learn more about what we can offer more, click here.

NWEA strives to make diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) practices the center of our work. Our organization’s mission, Partnering to Help All Kids Learn, is the foundation for our DEIA commitment as we work to reflect, value, and support the educators, students, colleagues, and communities we serve. We seek to empower and engage all stakeholders in the research, services, solutions and products we provide, our organizational culture, and the partnerships we establish with schools, districts, states, and countries.

NWEA endeavors to make accessible to all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please call us at (503) 624-1951 or e-mail us at and let us know the nature of your request, your location and your contact information. This is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

NWEA™ is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. For our EEO Policy Statement, please click here. If you’d like more information on your EEO rights under the law, please click here

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