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D-Ford Design Research Lead

Ford Motor Company
Dearborn, Michigan
Closing date
Oct 3, 2021

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Position Type
UX / Design Researcher
Organization Type
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Job Title:

D-Ford Design Research Lead

Job Description & Qualifications:

At Ford Motor Company, we believe freedom of movement drives human progress. We also believe in providing you with the freedom to define and realize your dreams. With our incredible plans for the future of mobility, we have a wide variety of opportunities for you to accelerate your career potential as you help us define tomorrow's transportation.

As a Design Research Lead you will...

- Lead interdisciplinary teams through the design process, where harmonious collaboration is imperative.

- Design and plan creative research, including recruiting users, experts, analogous companies and services.

- Conduct external benchmarking to inform the design research plan.

- Develop profiles and target users for research recruiting.

- Experiment with different tools and methods to execute on research plans, e.g. co-creation.

- Use, and help team to use, methods such as field observation, analogous research, conversations with experts and extreme users, concept evaluation, and participatory design to explore the edge of what's possible in the near and far.

- Design inspirational research experiences for your project team that generate actionable insights.

- Partner with other disciplines to develop visual aids for research, e.g. flashcards, storyboards.

- Work with the design team to create research stimuli to deeply understand user needs, uncover possibilities, and test assumptions.

- Facilitate research events such as co-creation workshops.

- Synthesize research findings and unearth systems-level patterns and frameworks.

- Help develop personas, user profiles, design principles and creative storytelling tools to enable designing for user needs.

- Make research findings relevant and impactful for design through a variety of formats such as insights, decks, stories, videos, experiences, and exhibits.

- Work with the team to test concepts and prototypes, and help the team iterate the design based on user feedback.

- Inspire the team through collaboration as well as direction, vision, and planning of all aspects of project work and deliverables.

- Balance team autonomy and guidance.

- Manage director support of content work, ensuring design critiques and key check-ins are scheduled and well organized.

- Manage the team budget, including compensation for participants and team travel.

- Manage communication with internal stakeholders and external partners.

- Support development of the Design Research practice across the community.

The minimum requirements we seek:

- Bachelor's degree in Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Humanities, Design or liberal arts degree

- Five or more years' qualitative research experience culminating in a sound ability to lead a team, scope a research process, lead fieldwork, and conduct interviews and user feedback sessions with working prototypes.

- At least two years' experience leading highly collaborative teams in human-centered design.

Our preferred qualifications:

- Master's degree or PhD in Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Humanities, or equivalent experience.

- Experience of using design thinking principles or methods in a formal, in-person setting.

- Experience of working with strategy, engineering, and design teams.

- Passionate about automotive and transportation industry.

- Experience of designing and/or facilitating group collaboration workshops.


A bit about us

We're in the midst of the biggest change the automotive industry has ever seen.

At D-Ford, you'll be at the heart of creating that future. You'll be at the cutting edge of Ford's most strategically critical work, designing people and society's needs into the heart of our next generation of products, services and experiences.

You'll also be designing at scale. Every day, Ford's vehicles and services support millions of people around the world. So, at D-Ford, we're not just inventing the future, we're operationalizing it, to help all those people move through their lives, better.


We drive human progress through empathy, creativity and design.


Our values are our guiding light, and the conscience for our work, and our people. We're looking for people who share this way of being - you don't need to be convinced of it, you just get it:

- ZOOM OUT We are curious about the world, designing systems and connections that enable people to move more freely.

- AMPLIFY OTHERS' VOICES We are inspired by the people around us, bringing their unique stories to the forefront of our designs.

- PUSH THE EDGE We provoke new ways of thinking about tomorrow's toughest design challenges, while grounded in what's possible.

- GET SCRAPPY We build in the open, rigorously testing, iterating and evolving our ideas with others.

- BRIDGE THE GAP We radically collaborate across teams, geographies, and philosophies, uncovering new insights to tomorrow's problems.

- WILD CARD Our strength comes from bringing our whole selves to the community-from introspective to playful or quirky. What will you bring?


We don't hire "Design Thinkers." We hire T-people. You:

- Have deep expertise in a craft

- Are comfortable working in relatively flat and dynamic teams

- Are passionate to work on ambiguous and complex future challenges

- Have a collaborative and empathetic mindset to solve problems with teams across Ford

Global communities ensure that we stay connected across the organization, and constantly push the impact of what we do. They can act as additional areas of responsibility, helping to push careers in different directions.

We have four global labs: Palo Alto, Detroit, London and soon, Shanghai.

You'll be part of a growing organization in the heart of Ford's Product Development Center to drive innovation from the inside out.

What you'll receive in return:

As part of the Ford family, you'll enjoy excellent compensation and a comprehensive benefits package that includes generous PTO, retirement, savings and stock investment plans, incentive compensation and much more. You'll also experience exciting opportunities for professional and personal growth and recognition.

If you have what it takes to help us redefine the future of mobility, we'd love to have you join us.

Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the United States on a permanent basis. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position, TN visa holders may be considered.

By choice, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or protected veteran status.

For information on Ford's salary and benefits, please visit: benefits-and-comp-LL6-sal-plan-1.pdf

Auto req ID:



Ford Motor Company



Skill Team:

Enterprise Product Line Management (EPLM)






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