Design Research Director

Toronto, CA

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Posted 1 month ago

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses and their accounting and bookkeeping advisors grow and thrive. 
At Xero, our purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world. This purpose sits at the centre of everything we do. We support our people to do the best work of their lives so that they can help small businesses succeed through better tools, information and connections. Because when they succeed they make a difference, and when millions of small businesses are making a difference, the world is a more beautiful place.
The Design Research Director is responsible for the research and quality of their team. They work across all aspects of product design to deliver research insights that enhance the intuitiveness of Xero products for small businesses and their advisors. They lead a group of passionate researchers that help craft experiences for our customers across multiple product interfaces. As a member of the research leadership team, this role will help shape the evolution and scale the impact of Xero’s design research processes, the integration of research with product development and business strategy, along with Xero’s ongoing innovation. 
They serve as a senior partner working with GM of Design Research, EGMs and C-suite executives as well as internal cross-disciplinary teams to ensure quality of relationship and work product. They will closely with the GM of Design Research and the wider research leadership team on driving practices and initiatives together that benefit the product design team, product organization and business. They build strong relationships with all parts of the business to define viable approaches/methodologies in line with relevant industry standards and best practices.

What you'll do

  • Create a team of high-performing design researchers who work collaboratively with their teams counterparts to create exceptional customer experiences that deliver business results.
  • Build the team’s knowledge, skills and behaviors so they can deliver their best work.(i.e. recruitment, performance feedback, staff training and career development).
  • Collaborate with your peers to build and execute a unifying customer-centric strategy that deeply integrates marketing, product and service.
  • Research: Lead the approach for identification, analysis, and articulation of the user problem tied to specific projects and across the Xero product experience as a whole. Ensuring research outputs add true value. 
  • Working closely with GMs of Design, Product Design Directors and product teams to see research insights and content patterns add value to all product design strands. 
  • Work closely with senior stakeholders including GMs, EGMs and C-suite and as well as internal cross-disciplinary teams to ensure quality of relationship and work.
  • Be a senior voice of design and research, both inside and outside of Xero, sharing it’s work, evangelizing its success, and articulating its vision.
  • Partner with the voice of the customer team and key senior leaders across the organization to shape how we conduct and organize our research and make the findings and insights  accessible to all employees.

Alongside the research leadership team:

  • Implement the guidelines, tools and processes required to scale great research practices across Xero
  • Develop guidelines or best practices for conducting research (continuously update playbook)
  • Help build a culture synonymous with valuing the importance of research and the impact it can have on customer engagement and business results. 
  • Build out relevant practices, rituals and culture within our product design organization.

Success looks like

  • You have a team of researchers that are highly motivated, high-performing, collaborative, growing and learning, and love working at Xero.
  • Your team is successfully delivering insights that are  directly impacting great decisions being made across Xero.
  • You are a key contributor to the Research and Design leadership teams to:
  • Build a culture within the team that focuses on doing our best work, experimenting, collaborating and delivering real value to our customers by partnering with product teams
  • Build and execute a unifying design research vision and strategy for Xero
  • You support the Research Design Leads to implement guidelines, tools and process required to scale great research practices across Xero
  • You are a senior voice of design research, both inside and outside of Xero, sharing work and evangelizing the success of our users.
  • You have strong relationships across the business, in particular with:
  • Product GMs and EGMs
  • Teams involved with users such as voice of the customer, CX and Sales teams

What you'll bring

  • Significant experience leading UX and/or research teams with a proven track record of hiring diverse teams, developing talent, and leading with positivity and inspiration.
  • Deep and broad experience with design research across methods, industry, and products.
  • Ability to navigate ambiguity, create clarity, and drive design research excellence throughout the organization.
  • Excellent collaboration skills and ability to create long-lasting trusted partnerships that enable teams to make better products and experiences
  • Strong presentation, verbal and written skills
  • Ability to influence and speak the language of business and design research simultaneously and to mixed audiences.
Why Xero?
At Xero, we are empowered to bring our ‘whole self’ to work. Our collaborative and inclusive culture is one we’re immensely proud of. We know that a diverse workforce is a strength that enables businesses, including ours, to better understand and serve customers, attract top talent and innovate. We care about learning together and celebrate our teams’ continuous improvement and career development. 
We offer a great remuneration package, including compelling benefits and perks, like Xero shares. We also support flexible working arrangements that allow you to balance your work, your life and your passions. Our Canadian Xero family includes Hubdoc, an automated data capture platform and we have offices in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. From the moment you step through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.
Job tags: Product design Research