Lead Designer - Principal Consultant

Location:Greater London
Job Type:Full Time

Become part of the team

Designers at PA have deep practitioner specialist skills across any or all parts of the design spectrum - from design strategy and IA, UX, interface design, through to prototyping and movement. We however display a generalist attitude; an understanding of the whole design process, and can easily navigate, communicate and practice the full spectrum.
We have practical delivery skills to make actual things rather than just pictures of things. And these skills constantly evolve – so we self-teach a lot.

We are passionate about the intersection between Design, UX and Front End and the possibilities for innovation at those boundaries. We work in mixed discipline highly collaborative teams, committed to building better experiences and truly believe that user experience is the responsibility of the whole project team.

Lead Designers act as a visionary, leading the evolution of design best practice and ensuring creative excellence in every aspect of delivery and offer to clients.

As Lead Designer, you will have design responsibility for multiple streams of work, across multiple clients. You will support the CDO in leading the long term creative output, with shared responsibility for the welfare, creativity, performance and profitability of the Design Team.

You will develop strong, long-term strategic relationships with clients, shaping their understanding of digital practice and increasing their confidence when commissioning digital experiences.

You will formulate and articulate design strategy and processes. You will lead the end to end design aspects of our work and ensure it is robust, progressive and commercially strong.

What you’ll do:

As Lead Designer you will have been developing responses to complex digital ecosystem problems for 7+ years within an agency or design studio. You will therefore have extensive experience and advanced knowledge of a wide range of design tools, design software, techniques and processes - and know when to use them. Your key tasks and responsibilities will be to:

  • Formulate and lead design strategy and processes
  • Clearly communicate design direction to others; oversee and direct the team but be ‘in’ the work yourself, with rolled up sleeves
  • Direct and produce artefacts across the full design spectrum as required by projects
  • Challenge inappropriate ideas and solutions
  • Build and manage relationships with internal teams and clients
  • Present, explain and justify design solutions to clients
  • Assist with managing the pipeline of future design work and the pipeline of designers - and assign designers to projects
  • Be involved in pitches and new business proposals
  • Have line management responsibility for designers: develop coaching, mentoring and training plans, organise and run performance appraisals, input into salary negotiations/ reward management
  • Assist with recruitment and onboarding of new staff.

What we're looking for

Key Skills:

Leadership

  • Accurately scope, estimate effort and define activities for large complex programmes of work (e.g. in proposals/SOWs)
  • Know the team well, their skills and interests; cast blended teams that compliment and challenge each other
  • Identify the way forward, set the design direction
  • Set and manage clear expectations about quality and speed of project output
  • Recognise opportunities for specialist engagement and oversee their contribution.

Practitioner

  • Be an outstanding and highly skilled and experienced design practitioner covering all aspects of digital responsive interaction design
  • Be able to use the usual design and prototyping software to the highest level (eg: Sketch, Illustrator, Invision, Axure, Omnigraffle, Sublime/Atom, Keynote, pen and paper)
  • Confidently sketch target customer experiences, journeys and interfaces in collaborative teams and in workshops with clients.

Communication

  • Accomplished at using storytelling techniques (that are human, impactful, accessible and captivating) to convey information, argument and persuasion in formal pressured settings, to large senior audiences
  • Able to have full and frank conversations, employing sensitivity and robustness in equal measure
  • Challenge and question using different critique techniques, offering praise when deserved; actively seek feedback on own output and management approach.

Collaboration

  • Actively form, manage, sustain and deepen strategic relationships with colleagues and clients
  • Make confident public guesses: comfortable proposing early hypothesis, as a starting point to collaborative iteration (happy being publicly wrong too)
  • Engage in and lead vigorous debate, make final decisions when necessary and take full responsibility for the team approach
  • Improve and ratify answers by seeking peer input and review; recognise default patterns and thinking and challenge

Continual Learning

  • Keep up to date with specialism advancement, assess direct application to real projects
  • Be self-taught, understand new things by trying them, doing them, building them
  • Be committed to driving up the level of design expertise across the business; provide design expert advice to project teams and clients
  • Spot gaps in the team’s knowledge and formulate training plans
  • Make others around you better by consciously teaching and unconsciously inspiring

The Big Plus - In addition to the above, we’d love it if you:

  • were able to code
  • had a background in brand development and strategy
  • were an active member of the design community

About You:

  • You are delightfully non-ego driven and passionate about what you do
  • You’re constantly learning and challenging your own thinking
  • You inspire others around you to be better and enjoy mentoring / knowledge sharing
  • You have a strong work ethic, are well organised, and can manage complexity across multiple projects
  • You have an eye for detail and are an exceptional communicator
  • You are collaborative, friendly, ‘hunchy’ with bags of initiative

Benefits

  •  Private medical insurance
  •  Interest free season ticket loan
  •  25 days annual leave with the opportunity to buy 5 additional days
  •  Company pension scheme
  •  Annual performance-based bonus
  •  Life and Income protection insurance
  •  Tax efficient benefits (cycle to work, give as you earn)
  •  Voluntary benefits (Dental, critical illness, spouse/partner life assurance)

About us

We’re an innovation and transformation consultancy that believes in the power of ingenuity to build a positive-human future in a technology-driven world. Our diverse teams of experts combine innovative thinking with breakthrough-technologies to progress further, faster.

With a global network of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 clients, we’ll offer you unrivalled opportunities for growth and the freedom to excel. Combining strategies, technologies and innovation, we turn complexity to opportunity and deliver enduring results, enabling you to build a lasting career.

Isn’t it time you joined us?

Diversity Statement

PA is committed to building an inclusive and supportive culture where diversity thrives, and all of our people can excel. We believe that greater diversity stimulates innovation, enabling us to fulfil our purpose of ‘Bringing Ingenuity to Life’, supporting the growth of our people, and delivering more enduring results for our clients.

We only recruit, promote and reward our people based on their contribution, without regard to gender, race, disability, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or marital status.

We welcome international applications, but we are unable to offer sponsorship for work permits, so you will need to have the full right to live and work in the UK. Unfortunately, your application will be automatically rejected if you do not have these rights.