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Head of Design Research

With proven experience in leading, managing, and inspiring others, you’ll have a passion for building and directing creative teams of researchers and designers. Also, like us, you champion the belief that design is an agent for change.

You will report into the CEO, and have responsibility to lead consultants towards delivering award winning work. Working to define the research, ideation, and design processes, you’ll be responsible for driving and supporting your colleagues to deliver the best possible outcome for our clients. You will be responsible for hiring, developing design and research strategy, as well as being a key advocate for Design Research and Service Design.

You will have a minimum of 10 years professional experience, which includes a proven track record working in human-centred design, possibly including design research, service design, or associated design practices. With extensive experience across the end-to-end design process, in a mix of settings, you’ll have a portfolio that supports this.

You will be confident working directly with clients to define their challenge, question their briefs, and recommend established and innovative approaches to suit their objectives. You will be comfortable working across multiple projects, working in a continually collaborative environment, leading, supporting, mentoring, and inspiring the Spotless team.
Your responsibilities fall into three main areas:


Design and delivery

  • Wide experience across a full range of research and design skills, tools and methods, with an understanding of the best approach to adopt, given the client’s needs.
  • Consulting and collaborating with client stakeholders to deeply understand, map, and solve their business and organisational challenges. Delivering impactful outcomes through high quality deliverables, which map the audience’s needs.
  • Establishing and maintaining high quality and standards for the fundamentals of research and service design.
  • Ensuring client requirements are properly understood, the UX and service design solution is appropriate, and service delivery meets the project objectives and timeline.



  • Leading, inspiring, mentoring, and coaching multidisciplinary teams to produce exceptional services and experiences.
  • Taking a leading role in supporting business development, to maintain a healthy business pipeline, by responding to briefs, preparing proposals, and presenting at pitches.
  • Getting involved in the strategic direction of the agency.


Operational management

  • Conducting regular feedback sessions with your direct reports. Also, running professional development planning sessions twice a year.
  • Foster team building and collaboration, including creating channels for communication, resolving emerging issues, building a positive culture, organising team building events, and creating workshops to explore or resolve topics.
  • Other day-to-day responsibilities commensurate with being a key member of the senior management team.


Your skills and capabilities include

  • Extensive experience delivering end-to-end design solutions, expertly utilising a broad mix of research methodologies, design solutions, and strategic thinking.
  • Bringing design solutions to life through various means including prototypes, user journeys, scenarios and service blueprints.
  • Working directly with clients at all levels of seniority, to demonstrate how design practice can solve their business challenges.
  • Leadership of a delivery team including hiring, people development, establishing team structure, and setting the strategic direction, with some input into budget setting.
  • Excellent communication (spoken and written) and interpersonal skills, including storytelling capabilities, to communicate findings to a non-technical audience.
  • Highly motivated and self-managing, with good time management skills and the ability to deliver to budget and deadlines.
  • Experience working within a studio / creative agency environment. Client-side/ in-house experience is also desirable, but not essential.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Service Design, Human Computer Interaction, Psychology, UX/UI design, Product Design, or other relevant fields. A Masters degree is a bonus, although the emphasis will be for practical, hands-on experience.



  • Generous commission scheme on any leads generated
  • Annual bonus linked to company performance
  • Free books from companies like Rosenfeld Media
  • Annual training budget to attend conferences
  • Company pension scheme
  • BUPA healthcare
  • Virgin gym membership
  • 25 days holiday per year


How to apply

You must have the legal right to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Please submit your covering letter, CV and portfolio to Feel free to contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7168 7526 or drop us a quick email if you have any questions.