D-FORD Design Researcher

Location: Palo Alto, California US


This position is no longer open.

Job Number: 4707

External Description: Design Researchers lead a multidisciplinary team through a journey of human-centered research to uncover insights that contribute to all phases of the design process. They champion the voice of the user and leverage inspiration to discover hidden opportunities.

As a Design Researcher you will...

  • Design and plan creative research, including recruiting users, experts, analogous companies and services.
  • Experiment with different tools and methods to execute on research plans, e.g. co-creation.
  • Use and help the 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.
  • Conduct external benchmarking to inform the design research plan
  • Develop profiles and target users for research recruiting.
  • 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.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in social, behavioral, or cognitive sciences, such as Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Cultural Studies, or Design
  • 2+ years of work and/or education experience applying research insights to products and services.
  • 2+ years of work and/or education experience of using human-centered design, design thinking principles or methods in a formal, in-person setting.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Master's degree in Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Design or equivalent work experience.
  • Experience of designing and/or facilitating group collaboration workshops.
  • Experience of working on highly collaborative teams, or other multidisciplinary teams.
  • Passionate about the automotive and transportation industry.

A bit about us
We're in the midst of the biggest change the automotive industry has ever seen.

Just as cars changed the world over the last century - creating the driver, highways, gas stations, and malls - self-driving cars, electric powertrains, and connected vehicles will radically reshape how we live, work, and play, our cities and society themselves, in the next hundred years.

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:

    We are curious about the world, designing systems and connections that enable people to move more freely.
    We are inspired by the people around us, bringing their unique stories to the forefront of our designs.
    We provoke new ways of thinking about tomorrow's toughest design challenges, while grounded in what's possible.
    We build in the open, rigorously testing, iterating and evolving our ideas with others.
    We radically collaborate across teams, geographies, and philosophies, uncovering new insights to tomorrow's problems.
    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
Alongside everyone's role as a designer of world class design content, you will also be expected to contribute to a range of communities to maintain our creative culture. We call theseCommunity Hats.

They can range from stewarding the lab, leading a workshop, mentoring others, contributing to publications, hosting a tour with executives, bringing your maker skills to build prototypes, or leading your craft in a global community of like-minded designers.
These global communities will 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.


Join our team as we create tomorrow! We believe in putting people first, working together, and facing challenges head-on, because we're Built Ford Tough. We're one team striving to make people's lives better while creating value, delivering excellence and ultimately going for thewin.

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.

Ford Motor Company is 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.

Job Number: 40387BR

Community / Marketing Title: D-FORD Design Researcher

Location_formattedLocationLong: Palo Alto, California US



© 2020 Ford Motor Company | Privacy