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Design Researcher

Sundberg-Ferar k

Walled Lake, MI

Oct 29
Job Description

A cover letter is required to be considered for this position

We are looking for someone whose hunger to learn is never satisfied and their passions lie in the challenge of discovering vast amounts of knowledge and knitting that together to make complexity seem simple. To design meaningful solutions, it’s imperative we understand the human needs that live at the center of every experience. Our Design Researcher will inform and inspire our team and our clients with meaningful insights that are compelling and understandable, while also assessing and validating potential solutions to help articulate prioritized innovation opportunities.

Everyone at Sundberg-Ferar also contributes as a creative member of the team, so you will need to be comfortable picking up a pencil or marker and some sticky notes and getting your hands dirty, contributing ideas and putting your thoughts down on paper. This role does not require full industrial design level drawing skills, but the ability to communicate and contribute ideas is essential to the team’s success.

You will need to thrive in moments of ambiguity and have a passion for finding patterns and developing compelling evidence stories. Our clients are all rooted in human experiences, but you need to be able to lead research programs with not only business to consumer models, but business to business frameworks where the client’s customer and the end consumer both play an integral part in the success of a solution. You will be involved at various stages of our design and engineering projects, providing the team with research insights to fuel innovation, address usability concerns, or bring clarity to unmet needs. We will rely on you to translate learnings into functional and emotional specifications that guide our team and our clients toward successful results.

Bottom line, we are only able to design and engineer innovative products and experiences that are rooted in knowledge, wisdom and inspired thought. Your role on our team will be at the center of that philosophy and vital to our success to provide our clients with inspired innovation. We are looking for entrepreneurial minded individuals who are eager to grow our research team and make a difference in the world through meaningful innovation.

Essential skills:
• Work in collaboration with clients and project teams to create a research strategy that meets the unique needs of every project aligning with client goals and articulate proposed plans and expected outcomes.
• Identify the appropriate primary or secondary research techniques and work with the team and our clients to facilitate activities such as qualitative and quantitative studies, focus groups, field research, stakeholder interviews, web surveys, etc.
• Create Macro and Micro level trend observations to inspire innovation workshops.
• Moderate individual interviews or group sessions with research participants and provide detailed notetaking and thematic summaries.
• Be able to think critically and analyze the desired functional and emotional experiences of various stakeholders from the client’s internal team, to purchase influencers, to end users.
• Communicate the research and design story by developing presentation assets such as journey maps, attribute models, user summaries, personas, video content, etc.
• Synthesize data and develop functional and emotional attribute models.
• Identify and manage external research partners for recruiting, on-site location logistics, national and international research projects requiring extended support teams, and manage budgets for these outside resources.
• Be an active and attentive listener, keen and unbiased observer, and creative thinker.

• Minimum five years of work experience in primary and/or secondary research activities such as: statistical analysis, qualitative and quantitative analysis, product usability testing, survey design, observational or ethnographic studies, focus group moderating, conducting individual interviews
• Experience with and competency in qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques; must display comprehension of the strengths and limitations of the different research methods, inclusive of when and how to apply each, based on project objectives.
• Proven, successful experience in the integration of consumer research into a business’s product design efforts.
• Bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing, Industrial Design, Cognitive or Social Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology, Information Science or other related field. A working experience of the equivalent is also acceptable for the position
• Excellent communication skills – verbal and written. Fluent English language skills.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Creative Suite applications
• Willing and able to travel, domestically and internationally

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the US without sponsorship.
Due to COVID all staff is working remotely through the end of 2020.


About Sundberg-Ferar:

Since 1934 Sundberg-Ferar has been creating great product designs that have been hugely influential to culture and human experiences throughout the home, on the road, and in the sky. A full-service product design consultancy out of Detroit, we connect art with science to create meaningful products that drive value and fulfill core user needs. We design with purpose, innovate with emotional and functional intent, and deliver real, manufacturable solutions.
Through our collaborative methodology that includes industrial design, research, engineering, innovation strategy and prototyping, we identify the right kind of different to drive businesses forward.

We are a multi-disciplinary and design-dense team. Each of our staff has depth of knowledge and experience in multiple categories and throughout the entire design process. We’re thinkers and tinkerers who’d be creating even if it wasn’t our job. We know that inspiration doesn’t happen alone in an empty room with a blank sheet of paper. It takes a team willing to keep each other accountable, push one another, get dirty, share some laughs and sometimes even shed some blood sweat and tears together.