Design Director at MO
$158,000 - $187,000/year
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MO helps government leaders achieve their mission by designing intuitive and sustainable customer experiences that build trust and improve satisfaction. We use human-centered design to modernize and transform customer and employee experiences. We’re a small team of interdisciplinary creatives with mission, impact, and service to others deeply rooted in our DNA. We’re naive enough to believe we can change the world and bold enough to take the chance to do it.
We combine design thinking with agile delivery methods to drive visionary, human-centered products to market. Our custom solutions range in size from completely revamping an entire application to refreshing small pieces of a larger product. Everyone at MO directly impacts the direction and success of the company, and we own our roles. We value integrity, curiosity, and courage, and we operate collaboratively and with accountability while consistently challenging each other in the pursuit of excellence. At MO, we delight in creating one-of-a-kind products and experiences. Your imagination is the only limit on what you can do here!
Are you looking to make an impact? We are looking for a Design Director to lead a design team to help MO grow its reputation, business and people through Project Leadership, Design Leadership and Operations, and Business Development. This is a leadership role at MO. In your work and through your design leadership you will improve health outcomes for 9-22M+ Veterans, Caregivers, Survivors and Family Member by reducing barriers to accessing care and benefits at VA, improving a single-sign-on identity management system and omni channel service design for identity proofing, and championing Login.gov’s adoption within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Additionally, we are looking for this person to be a leader and cultural steward of the design team at MO, responsible for defining best practices and approaches that support a 21st century government, as well as building a diverse team and an inclusive culture that supports our people as we grow.
Successful candidates will have a track-record of building and sustaining high-performing design teams at scale. The willingness to dive in and build new systems and processes, sometimes from scratch, is essential, as is leading through influence within a matrixed environment. Previous experience working in a client services organization (i.e., consulting or a digital agency) is helpful but not required. A passion for the mission and civic design is a must have.
What You’ll Do
- You will oversee multiple projects at a time, or act as a day-to-day engagement leader, (sometimes with C-Suite oversight on key strategic accounts) and guide teams of designers, product managers, technologists, delivery managers and strategists.
- You will build relationships with clients while advising and supporting MO project teams.
- You will work across every stage of the project lifecycle to ensure that the concepts and design decisions are sensitive to both the needs of users and our clients’ businesses.
- You will chart a path forward together with your MO team, even when information is ambiguous and the project challenging.
- You should be eager to involve clients in the design process, highly responsive to feedback, and excited to present your team’s ideas in front of executives.
- You will lead or oversee multiple project teams to achieve the highest level of performance without compromising timelines and team harmony.
- You will create craft quality standards, with a deep understanding of the client’s goals, business requirements and constraints, for qualitative foundational and evaluative research, insight articulation, experience model development (e.g., customer journeys, behavioral archetypes, personas, service blueprints, etc.), design and testing.
- You will lead teams to develop insights, define and prioritize opportunity areas, and envision concepts.
- You will lead teams to create meaningful customer/user feedback loops through build, test, and learn cycles.
- You will lead teams to prioritize MVP features, build a backlog, and create strategic product roadmaps
- You are part of the design discipline leadership and will help cultivate the design culture and team.
- You will be responsible for managing and developing your direct reports, providing guidance and support for their growth, as well mentoring and supporting junior colleagues on the projects you lead through specific and actionable feedback.
- You will establish and build a design Community of Practice at MO, strengthen design practice standards and processes across MO, and improve quality and consistency of design at MO.
- You will serve as a thought leader for MO in the civic design and civic tech communities.
- You will participate in talent acquisition, either as a hiring manager, or member of hiring teams.
- You will collaborate on business development efforts with our growth team and fellow discipline leaders - crafting approaches, writing white papers and proposals, presenting to prospective clients, and leading design challenges.
- You will ensure that the projects you lead continue beyond their initial scopes, and identify additional opportunities within the client’s organization.
- You will create content for MO’s demand generation activities and establish yourself as a thought leader within MO and the broader civic design and civic tech communities.
What We’re Looking For
- A passion for social impact design and a leader in the civic design community.
- 10+ years of professional human centered design ‘thinking and doing’ consulting experience with specific Guru or Expert level experience in one or more areas of the product development lifecycle, as a Visual Designer, Interaction Designer, Service Designer, Product Designer, Design Strategist or Experience Designer.
- 3+ years leading and managing a mid-sized design organization and community of practice, or equivalent.
- Experience leading a design organization at scale (multi-team environment / lead of leads experience).
- Proficiency with contemporary research, design and prototyping tools and methods.
- Affinity with MO’s values, and a passion for creating products that meet people's functional and emotional needs.
- An outstanding track record as a design leader for experience strategies, design systems, products, services, and customer experiences that delight customers/users and achieve business results—creating organizational alignment in undefined problem spaces and leading teams from anxiety to clarity through the design process.
- Understands the nuances of delivery in a client service environment, builds trusting client relationships that enable the balance of protecting the team with appropriate push back, against maintaining client satisfaction and successful delivery of complex digital design and delivery programs.
- Empathetic designer and guru storyteller that can use verbal and non verbal communication to articulate pain points and describe value propositions with narrative that speaks to ethos, pathos and logos and aligns stakeholders with divergent priorities on the right problems to solve.
- High peer, end-user, or client satisfaction with the work products that you created.
- Strong leadership and collaboration skills, with the ability to guide high performing teams using persuasion and influence (rather than command and control).
- Operate inside desired culture, modeling behaviors and living our design philosophy—ability to build high functioning teams, facilitate communication, create and nurture an open, trusting culture where team members are comfortable raising questions, taking calculated risks, and supporting each other’s self-improvement.
- Strong presentation and storytelling skills.
- Willingness to travel for research, project delivery, and client meetings.
- Government or government contracting experience where cross-team and partner collaboration was required is desired but not required.
MO's Employee Value Proposition
- A fun, dynamic working environment with an energetic and diverse team
- A REMOTE first work environment
- An inclusive culture where everyone is welcome
- Competitive compensation commensurate with experience
- Opportunities for career growth
- Full health benefits (medical, dental, vision)
- 401K plan unlimited Paid Time Off (PTO)
- Short- and Long-Term Disability in addition to Life Insurance (company sponsored)
All MO leaders are expected to lead with humility, embody our core values in their leadership, and to hold their team accountable to the same. MO leaders are expected to ensure we are always growing by tackling hard problems, being strategic, and learning from others.
The starting pay range for this role is $158,000 - $187,000. In support of the Colorado Equal Pay Transparency Act, and others like it across the country, MO's job descriptions feature the starting range we reasonably expect to pay to candidates who would join our team with little to no need for training on the responsibilities we've outlined above. Actual compensation is influenced by a wide range of factors including but not limited to skill set, level of experience, and responsibility.
MO is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.
We value diversity and inclusion and encourage all interested candidates to apply. If you have more experience beyond what is detailed here, we’d be happy to take a look. If you meet most but not all of the requirements, we still want to hear from you.