Civilla Designer/Researcher

remote 1 week ago
Civilla is looking for an experienced Designer/Researcher to join their team. Apply by February 26!

Mission-driven research and design

Civilla is seeking an experienced Designer/Researcher to join our team. As part of a multi-disciplinary design team, you'll help us streamline access to public benefits in Michigan and across the country. Working directly with government, you'll create services that improve the lives of millions of Americans.

At Civilla, you'll be the research and design expert for our projects, deeply understanding the needs of end users, crafting simple and usable solutions, and working closely with our government partners.

A successful candidate will be an organized self-starter with solid experience conducting research, developing insights, and designing in complex service environments. You'll lead an approach to research and design that is rooted in equity, building meaningful relationships with people who are most impacted by your work and checking personal biases and assumptions. With a focus on our public benefits work, you will conduct qualitative and quantitative research to better understand and improve peoples' experience accessing our country's largest benefit programs.

We're looking for a teammate who's a quick learner, optimistic, detail-oriented and collaborative-ready to roll up their sleeves and join a team that's helping to change the way our public-serving institutions work through human-centered design.

What you'll do

  • Project Management - Manage multiple work streams and deliverables within a larger project plan.

  • Plan and conduct creative research using qualitative and quantitative methods.

  • Synthesize information and identify systems-level patterns and frameworks.

  • Deliver high-quality design work including leading Civilla and client teams in the field. Design, test, and deliver training and communication materials to government staff and key stakeholders to support project implementation.

  • Communicate and tell stories through written, verbal, and visual communications.

  • Make research findings relevant and impactful through a variety of formats such as reports, presentations, videos, and facilitated experiences.


  • A minimum of 3-5 years as a researcher or designer in a professional working environment. Experience working in the public sector is preferred.

  • Proven ability to scope research, lead fieldwork, conduct interviews, perform desk research, lead synthesis and communicate findings to stakeholders.

  • Strong visual design skills with experience designing printed media and digital services. Familiarity with common industry design and collaboration tools such as Adobe Creative Suite, Mural, Sketch, Asana, etc.

  • Experience working with or living in low-income communities and building relationships with people from diverse socio-economic and geographic backgrounds. Individuals with personal experience being enrolled in public benefit programs are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Ability to think strategically, assess trade-offs, and make decisions based on insights gathered through research.

  • Ability to work flexibly and efficiently, balancing research rigor with an openness to new methods and approaches.

  • Ability to multi-task and hold a variety of responsibilities within complex project plans. Ability to self-manage and effectively prioritize your work is a must.

  • An empathetic, collaborative and positive mindset. Ability to form strong relationships with our team and partners.

  • Exceptional written/verbal communication and storytelling skills. Ability to conduct research in a second language preferred.

  • Open to learning, committed to personal growth, and proactive about seeking feedback.

  • A passion for contributing to mission-driven work on a highly collaborative team.


Application: Send your resume, portfolio, and a two-minute video introducing yourself and why you're excited about this role. We will accept applications on a rolling basis but applications received by February 26, 2021 will be prioritized.

Structure: This is a full-time contract position, with the potential to transition to a permanent role in 6-9 months. The position is scheduled to start in early-mid April.

Location: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Civilla is currently remote-only. This position will be remote at least until Fall 2021. Our design studio is based in Detroit and we anticipate returning to in-person work once a vaccine is widely distributed.

Salary: $6,250/month

Come as you are: Civilla values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans, and people of all ages to apply.

Civilla is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

Note: Civilla cannot sponsor applicants for work visas at this time.

If you have any questions, contact Kari at

About Civilla
Civilla is a non-profit design studio dedicated to changing the way our public-serving institutions work