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Head of User Research and Design

  • Location England
  • Job-type Contract
  • Reference BBBH112536

A large Government client are seeing a Head of User Research and Design - Interim. This is a remote position, inside of IR35 to start as soon as possible.
Number of Direct Reports: 7 + wider community of 10-20 others
As Head of Research and Design, you'll lead the user centred design (UCD) community. You'll manage a team of specialists working across the organisation to redesign and improve how we support multiple projects that we're running. The team are at the heart of an ambitious multi-year programme of transformation. This role is part of the leadership team.
You will be a recognised subject matter expert with the credibility and experience to embed user centred approaches across the organisation and shape the development and capability of our growing community of UCD professionals.
Initial priorities for the role are to

  • grow and support the UCD community and evolve the team structure to make sure the right people are in the right places. Includes recruitment of interim contractors to a few priority vacancies.
  • provide guidance and direction for the work of teams including end to end cross-channel service redesign and products and platforms that are cross cutting
  • raise awareness among colleagues of what it looks like to design for user needs and outcomes and work iteratively, bringing subject matter expertise to the senior leadership of the transformation team.

Job accountabilities and responsibilities:

  1. Lead the UCD team and wider community, fostering a diverse, supportive, creative culture that delivers desired outcomes and acts as an example
  2. Develop and grow the skills of the community to best support the ongoing transformation and broader workstreams, exploring diverse recruitment options
  3. Oversee recruitment of new UCD team members and growth of the wider community, including permanent and interim roles, contractor and supplier selection
  4. Work with colleagues across the organisation to agree and establish work that designs and improves products, platforms and services to meet needs of users and to better achieve policy and organisational outcomes. Help teams to work end-end and across channels, making services more inclusive and accessible.
  5. Contribute to shaping the work of teams to best achieve desired outcomes, setting and embedding high quality standards and principles, including what's needed to meet or exceed the Government Service Standard where appropriate
  6. Resolve problems and provide appropriate challenge so that we continuously improve the services we deliver, working with stakeholders and service teams to do so
  7. Develop improved ways of working and awareness with colleagues ensuring the work of the UCD team is effective, impactful and aligned
  8. Work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure alignment of vision and approach
  9. Collaborate with other Heads of Communities, as well as across government, to coach, mentor and be mentored, continually raising the standards of community management

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience
Skills, knowledge and experience:

  • You'll have expert UCD skills with a background in one or more of the UCD disciplines and good knowledge of the others
  • You'll have experience of leading a UCD community and guiding work across teams
  • You'll be familiar with the GOV.UK service manual, the service standard and recommended approaches to delivery and codes of practice
  • You'll have strong influencing, negotiating, communication and listening skills
  • You'll be able to talk about the value of UCD clearly and be able to relate it to the priorities of others
  • You'll be able to influence work of others in a constructive way
  • You'll have experience of working in an agile environment and shaping work for success, including experience of working with user research insight and defining impact through metrics
  • You'll have experience of working within constraints, while providing challenge and overcoming constraints where appropriate
  • Have a related degree and/or relevant industry and leadership experience

To find out more, please send your CV to Lauren Pocknell at Investigo