Human - Centered Design Strategist

Position can be done remotely or in Chicago office
Job Terms:
W2, Hourly, Depends on Experience
Start date:
posted by:
Blythe Churchill-Joell

Job Description:

We are seeking an experienced and dynamic design professional to consult with our large Fortune 500 client, with a proven track record of successful design management and execution. The consultant position requires a deep understanding of user centered design principles, excellent creative problem-solving skills, an exceptional sense of human behaviors, the ability to translate customer insights into compelling and integrated product solutions, and the drive to influence others through vision and captivating possibilities.

Key Skills for this role:

  • Defining and leading contextual research efforts (situational interviewing, ethnographic studies, etc.) that support customer need finding and deeper understanding of behaviors, attitudes and emotions as a way to uncover and characterize new opportunities, solutions and innovations.
  • Collecting, analyzing and extracting broader insights through the in-depth investigation and integration of multiple sources of information that includes, but is not limited to, primary research, secondary research, trends analysis and competitive intelligence. This requires the ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, and to deeply understand core drivers that will inform the strategic design direction.
  • Synthesizing unstructured problems and insights into tangible understanding that can easily be communicated to others through graphical visualization, sketches, videos, and verbal presentations. This includes the use of such techniques as mind mapping, scenario creation, storytelling and journey mapping along different touchpoints that highlight user goals, interactions and experiences.
  • Breaking down complex issues into appropriate models that reframe the problem space in ways that spark new ideas around holistic, customer-centered solutions. This will require bringing many POVs together within meaningful frameworks as a tool to guide collaborative and iterative solution development around the specific challenge.
  • Applying various tools, techniques and methods at various stages of the design and development cycle that support ideating, combining and clearly defining successful new offerings, alternative solutions, innovative services and product-service systems. The ability to facilitate multi-disciplinary workshops and ideation sessions will be a critical activity.
  • Leading iterative research to guide the creation and evaluation of new concepts or solutions. This would include online boards, co-creation design sessions, usability studies, crowd sourcing techniques and other similar methods.
  • Bringing emerging concepts to life through visual designs (sketches, illustrations, computer renderings, workflows), prototypes or other methods that communicate the idea in a compelling way. This will be required to test and optimize solutions with customers, partners or stakeholders, as well as inspiring others in the organization around the range of possibilities.
  • Aiding in the identification and development of test & learn pilots or quantitative research that validates new concepts with targeted end users. Includes guiding further concept iterations based on results, documenting detailed design criteria of validated solutions, and supporting the development of specific business cases to secure appropriate approvals and funding for full-scale development.
  • Applying a strategic lens across all insights and design activities to guide the development of a long-term product roadmap and new idea portfolio.
  • Collaborating closely with cross functional teams, building strong relationships across business segments and managing external design resources as an extension of internal capabilities.
  • Developing and promoting opportunities within the broader organization for the use and application of design thinking methodologies as a key approach to successfully solving complex and ambiguous problems. A key goal is to begin shifting the organization towards a design and innovation culture.
  • Setting direction and managing competing priorities to ensure the most prudent use of resources.

Client Description:

Our national insurance industry client practices what it preaches, and has a strong health and wellness focus as part of their company culture. As a part of their organization, even as a freelancer, you can expect to be included in that culture!

What else can you expect from this organization?

  • As a congenial and collaborative culture, they’ll welcome you as an equal contributor, and value your opinion when it comes to creative and marketing project creation and delivery.

  • They’re fully committed to an Agile environment, adopting and utilizing standard Agile practices daily.

  • These folks are committed to getting it right, and as such, are quite focused on metrics and ROI. “Measure twice, cut once” is a common phrase that could possibly apply to their project teams. That’s why they value candidates with previous knowledge and experience in designing & managing to drive metrics, and have a keen eye for those with insurance industry experience.

    • Prior knowledge of and familiarity with industry acronyms is a plus.

  • This is very much a matrixed organization, so bring your A-game and communication skills! You’ll be networking with any number of stakeholders related to your creative and marketing projects.

  • Being a larger corporation, the meeting schedule is sometimes heavy. With a strong ability to stay organized and focused on your deliverable, you’ll thrive here!

Certain locations benefit from on-site fitness center facilities, Starbucks, and free parking. Our advice? Bring your walking shoes! Your day has a built in mini-workout. Parking in the CT facility tends to be a bit of a walk from the (very large!) main building, but that will make your fitness tracker happy!

Benefits for Consultants

Aquent talent are eligible for a generous health-and-wellness package.

Our plan includes: Medical Insurance Aquent offers access to comprehensive In and Out of Network plans, with contributions toward monthly premiums and often with eligibility within two months of starting work. Retirement Savings Plan Aquent offers a 401(k) plan, managed by a leader in the retirement field, with immediate vesting.

Other features:

  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Professional training
  • Discounts and Perks



  • 5+ years experience working as a User Experience Designer and/or Human-Centered Design Strategist or similar role focused on interaction design and innovation
  • Bachelor's Degree in related field and ideally a Master's Degree in Human Factors, Innovation or Human Centered Design
  • An intellectual curiosity, be enterprising by nature and blend ingenuity with business acumen.
  • A strong understanding of design thinking methods and their practical application in a corporate setting. Direct experience with interaction design and service and experience prototyping (both virtual and physical) is a benefit.
  • An extreme sense of empathy to define the context of a problem while balancing it with the right level of rationality that enables the development of engaging and appropriate solutions.
  • Passion and confidence with a skill of persuasive communication and articulate storytelling.
  • A belief in the power of teamwork and diverse thinking where collaboration is considered a must for delivering the greatest success.
  • An open mind, a positive attitude, and a sense of humor.

Successful candidates will be required to pass a drug test and background check prior to start