Sr Design Researcher in Brookfield, Wisconsin

Date Posted: 4/2/2021

Job Snapshot

Employee Type: Full-time
Job Type: Product Design
Date Posted: 4/2/2021

Job Description

Are you looking for a career with a growing company and the opportunity to help build the role of Design Research as a core competency for a business? Looking for a challenging and quick paced environment? Then look no further than our Senior Design Researcher role for Milwaukee Tool.

 

Milwaukee Tool is an industry-leading manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, accessories and hand tools for professional users worldwide.

Since the company began in 1924, Milwaukee Tool has led the industry in both durability and performance. With an unwavering commitment to the trades, Milwaukee continues to lead with a focus on providing innovative, trade-specific solutions. Whether it is through their leadership in LITHIUM-ION technology, as seen in the M12™, M18™ & M28™ Systems, time-saving accessories or innovative hand tool products, Milwaukee is dedicated to delivering a steady stream of advanced solutions for the trades that offer increased productivity and unmatched durability.

 

To do this, Milwaukee takes the time to work side by side with real craftsman to understand the demands of a constantly changing workplace and how they can best deliver solutions that help the user work both faster and smarter. Milwaukee knows that professional users sweat the small stuff, and so do they. They pay attention to the small details that that make a big difference. This user focus not only leads to solutions for real jobsite challenges, but fuels the disruptive innovation seen across all product lines.

 

Milwaukee offers benefits on your first day of work (health, dental, vision, life insurance, 401k) and an excellent working environment that includes an on-site cafeteria, state of the art fitness facility, organized fitness classes, recreational sports leagues and company outings.

 

You must be permanently eligible to work in the U.S. without sponsorship for this position.

 

Senior Design Researcher

 

The Design Research team at Milwaukee Tool sits within a collaborative user-centered design and technology development group focused on the fuzzy front end of product development. We are tasked with informing the entrepreneurial spirit of the company, influencing and inspiring the direction of the business through strategic and functional findings. In this role you will be leading the research efforts of highly collaborative and diverse teams of Engineers, Industrial Designers, and Product Managers to inspire and influence key decision makers on new solutions for the construction industry. As a senior member of the team you will also provide leadership in developing new methods and approaches, championing Design Research and Design Thinking at Milwaukee Tool, and coaching and mentoring junior-level researchers as needed.

 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design and conduct multi-faceted research plans to learn about all aspects of the construction trade. These plans typically include qualitative discovery research on jobsites, primary and secondary research exercises to understand the competitive product set, and evaluation of mock-ups and preliminary concept prototypes in field.
  • Build, grow, and maintain a network of users to understand their evolving needs and work context. Establishing strong relationships with our end users is critical to conducting appropriate discovery research, co-creating solutions, and eliciting honest feedback.
  • Analyze and synthesize research findings into key insights that inform opportunities for new feature sets, functionalities and business approaches.
  • Plan and facilitate hands-on tool evaluations, team workshops, and analysis sessions. These participatory co-creation sessions result in a common ground of familiarity with a tool and its use, while inspiring creativity and collaboration within your team.
  • Present research findings in an engaging and concise manner to key stakeholders across the business. You will need to communicate through well-crafted presentations and events that educate and inspire your team through photos, video, diagrams, storytelling and demonstrations.
  • Experiment with new approaches and methodologies to achieve ingenious results. As a research group we encourage new ways of thinking, and we want you to help us build new tools and methodologies appropriate to the work we do.
  • Champion the importance of User-Centered Design and Design Thinking throughout the company.
  • Mentor and coach junior researchers as appropriate.

 

Required Skills

  • You are curious, not just about your research topic but also the company, your co-workers, and your process
  • You are comfortable working in the ambiguous "fuzzy front end"
  • You are a strategic thinker who looks not only at the stated problem but at the space around it
  • You are proactive and open to changing research plans on the fly based on new information
  • You have strong communication skills and can get your ideas across to engineers, industrial designers, and marketers alike
  • You link everything back to our core end user's activities and needs to provide insight for developing breakthrough products
  • You are a team player, focused on bringing the team along on the journey
  • You have passion for the importance of user insights in the product development process and are ready to champion those insights
  • You are comfortable facilitating conversations with multi-disciplinary teams
  • You make non-obvious connections and revel in talking about ideas
  • You are proficient in Microsoft Office, with some experience with editing video and 2D software (ex: Adobe Creative Suite)

 

Desired Skills

  • Experience within a design consultancy a plus
  • Some familiarity with quantitative research methodologies, study design and data analysis
  • An appreciation of how quantitative and qualitative research methodologies play best together
  • Master's degree preferred

 

Education and Experience Requirements

  • Master's or Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Business, or Engineering
  • Five years + experience in the fuzzy front end of product development with an understanding of innovation methods and design thinking
  • Five years + experience using qualitative research methods including observation, interviewing, and contextual inquiry
  • 25-35% overnight domestic travel
  • Upon an interview, must be prepared to present on a project and its methodology

 

 

Milwaukee Tool is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

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