Blink ⟩ Head of Research
Blink is the user experience firm for the world's leading companies. We use Evidence-driven Design to create products that people use, love and remember.
We are looking for a Head of Research to help shape and grow our research practice. This person will be a strategic member of our research leadership team, supporting three key areas: 1) strategic oversight of the research practice and operations in a specific region, 2) assisting business development efforts as a research subject matter expert, and 3) serving as a mentor and manager to other research team members.
The ideal candidate thrives in a professional services and collaborative team environment in which they are responsible for supporting business growth, high quality delivery of services, employee career growth, and creating a positive customer and employee experience.
The preferred location for this position is San Diego or San Francisco, but we are also open to reviewing outstanding applications in regions where Blink already has an office (Seattle, Austin, and Boston).
What you will be doing:
- Ensure that delivery team meets Blink quality and consulting excellence standards while achieving high-impact results for clients. Ensure teams deliver research insights that lead to excellent design outcomes, demonstrable business value, and ongoing client relationships.
- Directly manage and mentor UX Research Directors and Principal Researchers.
- Serve as a billable resource, directing 2-3 research projects at a time, depending on resourcing needs.
- Support business development as a subject matter expert; determine appropriate methods, scope, estimate, and pitch projects that address client needs. Collaborate with Business Development team and General Manager to achieve sales goals.
- Work with Resourcing Manager and other Research and Design Heads to assign Research Directors to act as project owners on client projects. Recommend researchers and other staff members for assignment to project teams.
- Make staffing/hiring recommendations for office/region in response to demand for Blink consulting and specifically research services; strategically hire to fill execution gaps or augment research service offerings.
- Serve as key stakeholder for research lab operations.
- Level Directors and Research Practitioners within company technical and consulting skill categories using Blink's professional growth and skill rubrics. Work with General Managers and Human Resources to recommend competitive salary ranges at all levels of the research organization and equitable pay across the research team based on growth and skill rubrics. Work with Directors to promote Research Practitioners as they become ready.
- Coordinate with other Research and Design Heads to identify staff training and development needs. Work with Chief Cultural Officer, Chief Research Officer and others to address training needs.
- Collaborate with Chief Research Officer and other Research Heads to help scale and grow the organization, prioritize and lead local, regional, or company-wide initiatives such as incorporating or refining new services or product offerings.
- Build strong relationships with other teams and leaders at Blink to ensure a cohesive and cross-functional vision.
- Be a champion for research. Act as a strong voice for the role of research as it pertains to the User-centered design process. Articulate this point of view to our clients, other members of our internal delivery teams, and our marketing and HR stakeholders.
- Align reports on overall Blink company vision, cultural framework, and management practices. Lead by example, embodying leadership traits that include critical thinking, collaboration, empathy, and humility.
- Maintain awareness of market opportunities for UX research and design services through personal research and networking. Develop strategy for the research practice within a geographic region.
- Take opportunities to represent Blink as a research thought leader through public speaking and writing. Network within local UX community to raise Blink visibility.
What we are looking for:
- Prior management and leadership experience required. Supports a high performing culture and encourages a team-based environment to motivate and inspire staff to work collaboratively towards Blink's vision and goals.
- Experience managing and leading researchers and/or research team(s). Comfortable operating in a feedback culture, delivering both positive and constructive feedback to team members.
- 10+ years of professional experience designing and conducting a wide range of UX research activities.
- Expert-level knowledge of current UX research methods and tools and ability to prescribe single or mixed research methods, depending on research questions.
- Demonstrated business development experience as a UX subject matter expert.
- Excellent presentation, consulting, and written communication skills.
- Ability to articulate the value of UX research and design to clients and executives.
- Experience interacting with client stakeholders in a consulting leadership role.
Bonus if you have:
- Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in a relevant field such as human-centered design, cognitive psychology, information science, or equivalent hands-on experience to demonstrate a deep understanding of user research theory, methods, and practices.
- Direct experience managing user-centered design projects that include research components.
- Experience managing UX Designers and/or User-centered Design projects.
- Experience working in UX design, product development, or product management.
- Experience scoping and executing quantitative or mixed methods research work.
- Demonstrated thought leadership through public speaking or writing.