San Francisco

Associate Design Director, Industrial Design

What will you be doing?

Industrial Designers are responsible for the design of physical products and touch points, considering usability, look and feel, and manufacturing. They define product architecture and features, physical workflows and user experience, design language & aesthetics, colors & materials, and product technologies. They work closely with strategists, researchers, and other design disciplines to shape “convergent experiences” involving physical, digital, service and brand components. You are expected maintain a depth in the craft of industrial design, and your fellow frogs will rely on you to:

  • Conceptualize product designs and physical interactions using sketching, 3D CAD and renderings, hand built physical mock-ups and 3D prints, and guide junior designers in these activities
  • Define product design language and aesthetic directions that can make the product iconic, unique, and recognizable while fitting with the brand what the target user’s desire
  • Explore product architectures that consider details of how people would use and perceive the product, usability, ergonomics, and the human factors of the experience
  • Craft details and signature elements in the product that are meaningful, make people love the experience, and build long-lasting relationships and routines
  • Build virtual and physical prototypes to simulate the experience with the product, how it looks and feels, its interaction, and how it might be manufactured or assembled

This is a leadership role at frog. You will lead client conversations within your domain, providing articulate recommendations and helping guide client choices. You will lead project teams and business development pursuits. You will share your expertise internally and externally through training, development of new tools and methods, and thought leadership. You are expected to help frog to grow its reputation, business and people through Project Leadership, Discipline Leadership, and Business Development.

Project Leadership:

You will have primary responsibility for project delivery as a day-to-day engagement leader (sometimes with Director or Executive Director oversight on larger, more complex programs), and guide interdisciplinary teams of designers, technologists, program managers and strategists. You will build relationships with clients while advising and supporting the frog project team with leadership and hands-on engagement. 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 frog 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. On a typical project you will:

  • Lead a project team to achieve the highest level of performance without compromising timelines and team harmony
  • Plan and conduct design research focused on product use and experience
  • Analyze and test product usability, ergonomics, and workflow
  • Develop user experience scenarios and journeys integrating physical and digital interactions
  • Explore and develop aesthetic directions for individual products and for cross-product design systems
  • Create product design documentation and collaborate with customer and 3rd party engineering teams during development.
  • Set quality standards, with a deep understanding of the client’s goals, business requirements and constraints, for qualitative foundational & evaluative research, insight articulation, experience model development (e.g., customer journeys, behavioral archetypes, service blueprints, etc.), design and testing.
  • Lead and contribute to develop insights, define, and prioritize opportunity areas, and envision concepts
  • Lead and contribute to creating meaningful customer/user feedback loops through build test & learn cycle
  • Lead and contribute to prioritizing MVP features, building a backlog, and creating strategic
    product roadmaps

Design Leadership:

You are part of the design discipline leadership in your studio and will help cultivate the design culture and team. Specifically:

  • You will manage direct reports and coach and mentor junior colleagues, providing guidance and support for their growth, and specific and actionable feedback
  • You will participate in talent acquisition, either as a hiring manager or member of hiring teams

Business/Account Development:

  • You will collaborate on business development efforts with our BD Team and fellow discipline leaders - crafting approaches, writing proposals, and presenting to prospective clients
  • 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 frog’s demand generation activities and establish yourself as a thought leader in industrial design

We want you to have:

  • 8+ years of professional industrial design experience
  • Highly developed design skills, demonstrated in your portfolio of recent work
  • An outstanding track record as a design leader and contributor for experience strategies, design systems, products, services and customer experiences that delight customers/users and achieve business results
  • Confident presentation and storytelling abilities
  • Experience collaborating in multifunctional teams as the industrial design lead
  • Proficiency with contemporary research, design, and prototyping tools and methods
  • Affinity with frog’s values, and a passion for creating products that meet peoples functional and emotional needs
  • Willingness to travel for research, project delivery, and client meetings
  • Business level ability in English

It would be a bonus if you had:

  • A university degree in Industrial Design, Architecture, or a related design or engineering discipline
  • Experience working in a variety of organizations (start-up, corporate, agency/consultancy)
  • Academic, professional, or life experience from outside the design field that enriches your perspective as a designer
  • Published thought leadership, with a track record of presenting and teaching in public forums and a social media presence.
  • Proficiency in additional language(s)

Application Instructions

  • As part of your application, please include a link or PDF of your portfolio of recent work, highlighting your abilities and experience relevant to the role, with specific examples of how you work, think, collaborate, and contribute to great design outcomes. Please note that we are unable to accept any applications without a portfolio.
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