UNITED STATES

Chicago, IL, United States

Freelance Lead Experience Designer

Isobar is a digital agency committed to delivering robust, innovative, world-class solutions. We design and build everything from content-rich brand experiences to sophisticated business platforms to dynamic media and entertainment apps. Isobar’s breadth of clientele means that our people have a broad range of industry and platform opportunities to explore. Full collaboration between our technology, user experience, creative, business, and marketing teams ensures we create complex, award-winning, slam-dunk work.

Experience Strategy & Design (ESD) at Isobar

User-centered design is core to how we conceive, design and deliver innovative digital experiences at Isobar. We consider the experience practice to be the nexus between business, audience and design expertise. We expect every member of our experience team to be able to analyze, design and execute across these three realms, while working in close collaboration with counterparts in other disciplines as well as with our clients.

At Isobar we value people who have a passion for great design, relish tackling complex problems, are able to communicate ideas effectively, and are eager to learn and adapt to new technologies, industries and methods. From the most junior designers to the most senior ESD leadership, we expect our experience practitioners to be hands-on at every stage of the digital product creation process. They must be able to grasp complex business objectives and craft a differentiating approach that exceeds the expectations of users—all while ensuring the product meets its technology requirements. Post-delivery, our experience professionals frequently oversee the product’s continuous improvement as a result of iterative testing, changing market demands, updated business requirements, new user needs, etc.

Position Overview

Isobar is seeking an Experience Design Lead who is committed to creating multi-channel, interactive experiences for complex consumer and corporate digital initiatives. We hire critical-thinking, creative problem solvers who can perceive a product’s design as an extension of a client’s business strategy. Such practitioners inherently understand and ensure the design is intuitive for users and a joy to use.

The Experience Design Lead will work under the direction of Directors for all ESD activities and deliverables. The Experience Design Lead will be involved in projects from the beginning to maintain the experience vision from concept to finished product. The role also directly manages junior ESD practitioners while collaborating with creative and technology counterparts in a co-creation environment.

Responsibilities
  • Contribute to the thought leadership of an interdisciplinary team that includes other experience designers, visual designers, copywriters, technologists, business analysts, strategists, and project managers within Isobar and our client counterparts
  • Work closely with ESD leadership and other ESD team members to manage an experience project thread
  • Advocate user-centered design best practices across a project thread
  • Directly oversee ESD project teams (entailing up to four practitioners)
  • Shepherd the design process, drive decisions and track issues
  • Assist in client communications and estimating resource needs and schedules
  • Work closely with client teams to uncover business needs, develop design strategies, present and defend the design team’s work, and build consensus
  • Plan and conduct user research and requirements-gathering work sessions
  • Facilitate or participate in experience workshops with clients, subject matter experts and users
  • Conceptualize and design user interfaces and information architecture
  • Direct creation of personas, journeys, scenarios, wireframes, prototypes, workflows, interaction and experience models, and functional specifications, and ensure deliverables are client-ready
  • Plan and conduct usability testing to evolve designs based on the findings
  • Lead quality assurance testing activities from an ESD perspective
  • Aggregate and communicate research findings, conceptual ideas, detailed design, and design rationale, both verbally and visually
  • Be a constant advocate for great user-centered design
  • Lead or participate in client presentations, workshops and discussions
  • Act as a mentor to more junior team members
  • Assist in recruiting and business development
Required Experience / Skills
  • At least 5 years of experience in digital design practice
  • Experience in leading user research and usability testing
  • Strong knowledge of user-centered design principles, methodologies, best practices and approaches, particularly as applied to web- and mobile-based applications
  • Demonstrated experience and portfolio examples of complex design problem-solving efforts for sophisticated transactional digital products or services, (e.g., complex CMS implementations, eCommerce solutions, custom digital product or service solutions, omnichannel implementations, etc.)
  • Excellent communication, organization and team interaction skills
  • Ability to function as a thought leader as well as an individual contributor
  • Commitment to constantly improving one’s skills, staying current with developments and trends in the industry, and sharing this knowledge with others
  • Experience with design and prototyping tools such as InDesign, Axure, and web-based frameworks
  • Strong knowledge of channel factors and considerations (responsive and adaptive web, native mobile and tablet, TV, wearables)
  • Knowledge of web technologies and associated accessibility standards (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Native)
  • Experience with multi-channel design efforts for major brands
  • Understanding of analytics and the ability to communicate how they affect design decisions
  • Experience managing small teams of other designers