c. £46k plus excellent benefits

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

London, Blackfriars / Edinburgh, Scotland or Cardiff, Wales – hybrid working arrangement.

We are recruiting for a Designer within our Sustainable Future Mission

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

About Sustainable Future and design at Nesta
Our Sustainable Future mission focuses primarily on reducing carbon emissions from the UK’s homes. Working with and alongside a range of partners, we are developing, testing and investing in solutions that could speed up adoption of heat pumps and other low-carbon technologies, support households in using their existing heating systems more efficiently and help people across the income spectrum use energy more flexibly.

Designers at Nesta play an important role in our work, and the design team has recently developed and launched nationwide digital services, tested the design of new policies, supported research into flexible energy use and experimented with AI interfaces to support heating engineers amongst many other projects.

The role
We are looking for an experienced designer who can confidently work across the entire design process, ideally with some experience relating to energy and/or sustainability. Nesta’s design team has a broad range of experience and different backgrounds, including design of services, behavioural interventions, digital technology, physical products, architecture, brand and graphics and many more. What we have in common is a focus on designing for social impact and for the benefit of people and the planet.

In this role, you will be part of a team of around twenty people who work full-time on the Sustainable Future mission, including researchers, behavioural scientists, data scientists and policy specialists. You’ll also interact with other methods experts from across Nesta, the Behavioural Insights Team, and partner organisations, who work on mission projects on a more ad-hoc basis. You will work with the mission Design Lead and one other designer, and will be part of a growing community of designers across Nesta’s wider Design and Technology practice.

This role is for someone who has worked on projects that have met the needs of end users, developing briefs and delivering solutions as part of an interdisciplinary team through an applied design process. Designers in the mission work on a range of different projects, meaning your tasks will vary day to day. The successful candidate will regularly:

  • Lead different forms of research and testing with end users
    Create physical and digital prototypes at different levels of fidelity
  • Guide and engage non-designers from inside and outside of Nesta through a design process
  • Clearly communicate project outcomes and make recommendations on direction of mission programmes

As a Designer, your work will involve using your design expertise to create solutions to some of society’s biggest problems. You will be expected to:

  • Plan, undertake and support user research to inform strategic decisions and the design of potential solutions.
  • Design, develop and test potential solutions with end users, as well as encouraging and supporting others to do so.
  • Facilitate workshops and design sprints to rapidly design, test and iterate prototypes.
  • Produce design iterations from low fidelity sketches to functional prototypes.
  • Support the end-to-end design of interventions often involving multiple channels, touchpoints and partners.
  • Ensure Nesta and our partners balance the needs of end users with business and social objectives.
  • Work with a multidisciplinary team to design, prototype and test innovative solutions.
  • Facilitate and participate in collaboration, including co-design or multidisciplinary working.
    Work with and support others within the mission and across Nesta to use design-led approaches.
  • Contribute to the identification, development and pitching of new work.
  • Contribute to improving Nesta’s approach to design.
  • Support the overall delivery of projects within the mission.

Required experience

  • Experience in a design discipline, such as service design, user experience design, product design, etc.
  • Experience working on multiple design projects that have met the needs of end users and stakeholders. Ideally working across the end-to-end journey of a service that involves multiple channels and touchpoints.
  • Experience undertaking a range of activities from client engagement to user research, prototyping and testing.
  • Experience of guiding non-designers through a design process.
  • User research: Ability to conduct and plan for interviews, observations, ethnographic/immersive research and other research methods. While you are not expected to be a quantitative researcher within the team, you are expected to be comfortable using quantitative data.
  • 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. You can be flexible and you are capable of proactive and reactive communication.
  • Facilitating decisions and risks: You know how to identify key risks with a design and strategies, and adapt to them using a range of techniques. You can generate multiple solutions to a problem and test them.
  • Community collaboration. You know how to work collaboratively within a group, actively networking with others and varying feedback for the appropriate time to ensure the discussion sticks. You can use your initiative to identify problems or issues in the team dynamic and rectify them.

Desirable experience

  • Experience of applying agile, lean and design thinking principles.
  • Experience of creating functional prototypes using code or other technologies.
  • Experience of designing interventions with a social purpose.
  • Experience of applying behavioural science principles to design
  • Experience of designing interventions relevant to our Sustainable Future innovation mission.
  • Experience working within and/or knowledge of the energy sector.

What we offer

Salary: circa £46k plus array of benefits, including private medical insurance, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based in Blackfriars, Central London, hybrid working arrangement (with at least 2 days working from the office)

Term: Permanent

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

Making an application
To apply for this role, please submit your application before 8:00am on the 21th May 2024. Interviews will take place w/c 3rd June 2024.

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’d like to explore.

Tagged as: Flexible hours