Senior Design Researcher

Shanghai, China

In a nutshell:

IDEO Shanghai is in search of a Senior Design Researcher who is adept at uncovering human-centered insights, and skillful at translating these insights into meaningful opportunities for design and innovation. We are looking for someone who can inspire fellow designers, and lead with both empathy and conviction for the people we design for.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

At IDEO, our design always starts with people. We believe that meaningful solutions should deliver value for the people they are designed to serve. As a Design Research Lead, you will play a crucial role throughout the entire project process — using research to inspire our design teams, inform better prototypes, and elevate the perspective of our clients.

Once you are here you will: 

  • Lead diverse teams and engage clients through the entire project journey.
  • Design, scope, and run research that helps us tackle our design challenge.
  • Facilitate synthesis, generating insights and opportunities for design.
  • Creatively articulate the insights and stories behind our design concepts.
  • Manage multiple stakeholder needs both effectively and sensitively.

Relevant experience:

  • 3-6 years of qualitative research experience, with solid experience in China.
  • Proven ability to use human-centered insight to answer business questions.
  • Mastery of qualitative research methods, including research scope and design.
  • Strong presentation skills with a creative and compelling storytelling style.
  • Conversational fluency in Mandarin is a must.

We also welcome candidates from fields other than research, for example, documentary filmmaking, journalism, planning, or marketing, so long as you demonstrate the following:

  • Sharp analytical and sense-making skills;
  • Deep experience using investigative research to uncover human truths;
  • Business and consulting savvy, with an ability to think strategically;
  • Innate curiosity, and a passion for telling compelling human stories.

What does IDEO offer you? 

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and in your career.

Some previous projects to check out:

  • Innova: Designing a School System from the Ground Up (中文 | EN)
  • Hunter Gatherer: A Trusted Source of Food in China (中文 | EN)
  • North Face: Growing an American Brand in China (中文 | EN)

Application instructions:

If you identify with our values and would like to contribute to our studio, we’d love to hear from you. Please apply with a CV, cover letter, and a portfolio if you have one.


IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.