Product Design Lead

Full-Time Blackfriars, London Closes: 2023-05-24

£57k-£69k plus benefits

Blackfriars, London – Hybrid Working

This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them.

We are recruiting for a new Product Design Lead – Collective Intelligence

About Nesta
We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at

Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design helps create new ways for communities to use technology to harness their insights, ideas and power to act on the problems that matter to them and create the futures they want. We know well-designed systems can help promote healthy collective action at scale, but too often technology is designed to solve the needs of individuals or large organisations.

Our mission is to design digital tools and products that allow communities to respond collectively to challenges, and that help public and voluntary sector institutions strengthen trust and collaboration with citizens.

We help our partners to understand where and how collective intelligence approaches can help address the problems they’re working on. We apply collective intelligence design – which brings together insights from diverse groups of people, with new sources of data (such as sensor or mobile phone data) and digital technologies (including AI) – to develop bespoke solutions to those problems. We use rigorous research methods to test, learn and evaluate each solution.

The Role
Nesta is looking for an exceptional end-to-end digital product designer to lead the design and prototyping of new digital ‘collective intelligence’ solutions. At the heart of CI design is the ability to effectively combine insights and actions of large crowds, data and digital technologies to tackle complex social challenges. This is a unique opportunity to apply, shape and develop expertise in an emerging area of innovation practice, working with our partners and clients all over the world in a social-purpose enterprise. As well as leading the development of new collective intelligence solutions, you’ll support and mentor your direct reports, and help advance our own practice – drawing on our key resources including the Collective Intelligence Design Playbook. As part of an interdisciplinary team, you’ll work with the Centre’s software developers, researchers and product managers to create high impact digital solutions, tools and services to help tackle climate change, improve health and increase civic and democratic participation. And you’ll draw on a wide range of collective intelligence methods from crowdsourcing, to citizen science and online deliberation.

You will be responsible for:

  • Leading the design, testing and delivery of digital CI solutions that help deliver social impact
  • Line-managing the work of the CI designer
  • Planning, undertaking and supporting user research with knowledge on how to generate insight from individuals and observations.
  • Synthesising and sharing results from user research with stakeholders
  • Designing, developing and iterating potential solutions with end users
  • Facilitating workshops and group discussions to build insight, build buy-in or design solutions.
  • Designing and running rapid prototyping sprints.
  • Producing design iterations from low fidelity sketches to functional prototypes.
  • Supporting the end-to-end design of CI solutions often involving multiple channels, touchpoints and partners.
  • Product strategy and leadership, ensuring the vision and strategic goals for the product are clearly articulated and understood by all product team members
  • Creating and testing UX flows, wireframes
  • Visual interface design, including branding and aesthetics
  • Interaction design, including: application design, high-fidelity prototyping
  • Planning and managing your work and the work of the design team
  • Championing and role-modelling agile approaches to product design and development
  • Helping to create product roadmaps, ensuring they are informed by user insights and focused on outcomes
  • Designing and delivering CI Design training programmes
  • Creating new frameworks, processes and guides for CI Design
  • Supporting business development activities, including supporting pitches, developing project plans and budgets, and managing stakeholder relationships
  • Providing client/partner management and project leadership where needed.

Experience, Skills and Mindset:

  • Substantial experience as a digital product designer working end-to-end
  • Experience designing for complex web, mobile and/or desktop products
  • Expertise in several core design skills, including UX core skill, prototyping and service design
  • Experience leading on multiple design projects that have met the needs of end users and stakeholders. Ideally with responsibility across the end-to-end journey of a product/service that involves multiple channels and touchpoints.
  • Experience of leading and managing a range of activities from client engagement to user research, prototyping and iterating.
  • Experience of guiding non-designers through a design process.
  • User research: Ability to conduct and plan for interviews, observations, ethnographic/immersive/lived experience research and other research methods.
  • Evidence and context-based design: You are able to work with others to use evidence (qualitative and quantitative) to inform the design of projects, products, and services. You can absorb large amounts of conflicting information and use it to produce simple designs.
  • Prototyping: You have experience in using a variety of methods of prototyping and user testing; and know how to choose the most appropriate ones. You know how to solicit feedback to iterate on ideas.
  • Communication skills: You can listen to the needs of users, stakeholders and partners, and interpret them in a way that is clear for both audiences. You know how to manage stakeholder expectations, as well as give and receive constructive feedback
  • Collaboration skills: You know how to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary Agile team
  • Planning & time management: you are able to plan and manage multiple projects and competing priorities, as well manage the work of team members. You are experienced in working to tight deadlines.
  • Ability to raise the quality of others’ work through work reviews and critiques, thorough documentation, guidance, teaching and mentoring
  • Experience of designing workshops and leading them as a design facilitator
  • Ability to think strategically and systemically to identify opportunities to leverage collective intelligence in new ways to help achieve Nesta’s mission goals
  • A self-starter with a curious and open mindset, with a willingness to learn and apply new methods, and ability to carry out self-directed research
  • An enthusiasm for, and commitment to, becoming a recognised expert and practitioner in Collective Intelligence Design


  • Experience in designing products that use at least one of the core ‘collective intelligence methods’ such as crowdsourcing, citizen science or GIS
  • Practical experience of designing and delivering products that enable collective action or behaviour change
  • Front-end development skills- HTML/JS/CSS
  • Knowledge of multiple collective intelligence methods
  • Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence
  • Experience of designing products with a social purpose

What we are offering

Salary: £57-£69K (subject to seniority and experience), plus excellent benefits

Location: Central London, Blackfriars – hybrid working.

Term: Permanent

Hours: Full time (37.5 hours a week) – negotiable, open to four days/flexible hours

Making an application

To apply for this role, please submit your application before 8:00am on the 24th May 2023.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you would like to explore.

Tagged as: Flexible hours