Design research is one of the foundations of our practice, finding applications in almost all aspects of consulting and independent work of the studio. As a Sr.Associate for Design Research and Strategy, you will partner us in our efforts to catalyse innovation and disruptive thinking amongst businesses and non-profits alike. This role is imperative for bringing a rigorous research-based understanding of the varied contexts in which we operate - cutting across for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and across a wide range of domains - and helping frame and manage the innovation process through which a highly skilled but diverse team within Quicksand can engage with the challenge at hand.
We are looking for individuals who are able to demonstrate a clear understanding of systems design and an ability to express project outputs through a combination of both primary and secondary research and a strong skill in communicating design concepts through insights, prototypes, storyboards, sketches and other forms of story-telling and visualisation.
Some specific responsibilities of this role are:
Planning and Leading Design Research Studies
- Develop iterative design, research and testing plans leading to the desired project outcomes in response to project briefs
- Design discussion guides, research probes, tools and participatory exercises with research subjects
- Lead and facilitate in-field conversations and discussions
- Facilitate co-creation sessions and workshops with a variety of stakeholders
- Manage research logistics (travel schedules, participant recruitments, research rewards, consent etc)
- Document in-field findings through note-taking, rapid sketches and the use of rich media like film and photography
- Supplement primary research with secondary research and analysis
Synthesis and Concept Development
- Use a variety of tools such as personas, journey maps, system maps, affinity clusters etc to synthesise research findings and distill user insights
- Develop user-centered design solutions for the given problem statement
- Apply rapid visualisation, prototyping and concept development skills to express emerging solutions in the form of storyboards, scenarios, design fiction, sketches, data visualizations etc.
- Work with team members, external partners and vendors to collaboratively develop design solutions and express solution concepts
Presentations and Report Writing
- Create infographics, presentations, and written reports as part of interim and final project outputs
- Be an enthusiastic storyteller who is excited about uncovering insights around people, behaviours, and systems, and communicating them in novel ways
- Anchor project management related activities - manage client expectations, communication, project deliverables, timely delivery, project scope, and financial discipline
- Manage project profitability by keeping a control on project timelines, budgets and resources deployed
- Collaborate with a team of peers, juniors, seniors and external partners to successfully deliver a project, ensuring that roles and responsibilities are properly defined and gaps or lapses if any are proactively addressed to avoid compromise of quality in any fashion
- Identify new competencies that the studio may need and build partnerships with external agencies to deliver on project mandates
- Participate in business development, taking the lead in identifying areas of interest for the studio, conduct extensive research, and manage a pipeline of potential opportunities
- Assist in developing proposals, thinking through an appropriate process in response to the request for proposal and managing client communication to clarify and iteratively modify the proposal and have a firm grip on project finances
- Identify new areas of growth for the practice (including new client segments, new practice areas) and proactively build, manage, and convert a business pipeline
- Contributing to thought leadership at Quicksand by writing blog posts, articles, social media bytes that summarise your experiences from various projects and independent enquiry
Successful candidates will be passionate about exploring aspects of the world through a critical and constructive eye. You’d be an extremely talented design researcher, with skills in observation, interaction and co-creation.
Some specific qualifications you would need to have are:
- A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in design/ sociology/ visual anthropology from a leading program in India or abroad with a specific focus on research
- 4-7 years of professional practice in your chosen field/s
- High level of skills and experience with design research tools and methods
- High level of skills in some foundational design softwares such as those in the Adobe Creative Suite
- Skills in design and development of research-based media - reports, summaries, books, online content, infographics, funding proposals, design development research, rich media based content and so on
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of any other Indian languages would be a definite plus but is not mandatory
- Ability to think critically and have exceptional attention to detail
- A nuanced understanding of applied research to drive actionable research outcomes
- Evidence of experimentation with research ideologies, tools and approaches
- Some evidence of independent creative work would be viewed very positively
- A roll-up-your-sleeves attitude towards your work
The position will be based in Bangalore, India. It will also involve a chance to meet and work with people and communities across the spectrum for projects, as well as travel to workshops, client meetings and the occasional company offsite!
A compensation package commensurate with your skills and experience will be designed for you.