Design Research Director at Xero

Design, Permanent, Melbourne, AU melbourne design full-time
Posted 23 days ago

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses and their accounting and bookkeeping advisors grow and thrive. 

At Xero, our purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world. This purpose sits at the centre of everything we do. We support our people to do the best work of their lives so that they can help small businesses succeed through better tools, information and connections. Because when they succeed they make a difference, and when millions of small businesses are making a difference, the world is a more beautiful place.

About The Role:

The Design Research Director is responsible for the design research and quality for their team, working across all aspects of product design to deliver research insights that enhance the intuitiveness of Xero products for small businesses and their advisors. They lead a group of passionate researchers that help craft experiences for our customers across multiple product interfaces. As a member of the research leadership team, this role will help shape the evolution of Xero’s design research processes, the integration of research with product development and business strategy, along with Xero’s ongoing innovation. 

The Design Research Director helps scale the impact of design research throughout the organisation by both influence and direct responsibility. They serve as a senior partner working with GM, EGMs and C-suite executives as well as internal cross-disciplinary teams to ensure quality of relationship and work product. The Design Research Director works closely with the wider research leadership team on driving practices and initiatives together that benefit the product design team,  product organisation and business. They build strong relationships with all parts of the business to define viable approaches/methodologies in line with relevant industry standards and best practices.

What You'll Do:

Management and leadership
Manage a team of high-performing researchers, content designers, and managers.

Ensure they are motivated, engaged, and learning. Ensure that they have clear growth plans that are discussed regularly. Provide regular feedback to help them grow by having straight up, honest and kind conversations.

Support team members to build their research/content knowledge and skills so they can deliver their best work. Mentor other researchers/content strategists from across the business to grow their skills and help team members identify other people that they can learn from.

Support team members to collaborate effectively across Research, Design, Content, Product, Data, Engineering, Product Marketing and other research groups to deliver great product to our users and achieve business objectives. 

Cultivate a vibrant team culture within your team, Design Research, and Design. Demonstrate and encourage behaviours reflective of Xero's (and the team's) values. 

Collaborate with your peers to build and execute the long term strategy and vision for the team. Align your team to this vision and the overall strategy of Design, Product, and Xero. Allow your team to understand how their work contributes to Xero as a whole.

Model and drive a growth mindset and experimentation within the team. Help your team to learn and grow from failures.

Identify and prioritise future roles required in your team. Recruit new team members and ensure they have a good candidate experience. Onboard new team members so that they feel welcome and productive.

Working with Research Ops, implement the guidelines, tools and processes required to scale great research practices across Xero.

Collaborate with your peers to allocate the ‘right’ researchers to the right project, balance team members' growth and product teams' needs to make sure we are doing the right work for Xero.

Be a senior voice of design and research, both inside and outside of Xero, sharing it’s work, evangelizing its success, and articulating its vision.

Doing the work
Guide and support researchers and content designers (both within your team and across the wider research team) to excel at their work.

Work with your team and mentees to ensure high quality useful outputs are delivered in a timely, efficient way to meet business objectives.

Lead the approach for identification, analysis, and articulation of the user problem tied to specific projects and across the Xero product experience as a whole. Ensuring research and content outputs add true value.

Cross functional working
Work closely with EGMs, GMs PMs, Directors and POs across design and product to build trust and provide leadership in research, design and UX. Support researchers within your assigned portfolios to build and grow relationships with GMs and PMs.

Ensure EGMs, GMs PMs, Directors and POs are able to get the insights they need to build great products for our users.

Plan research activities that align to roadmaps, strategic priorities, and future opportunities.

Set timeframes and develop plans with the team, enabling them to work efficiently and deliver within agreed timeframes. 

Be instrumental in building a user-centred culture across Product and Xero that values the importance of our users and research through insights, training, presentations, workshops, support and encouragement.

Proactively identify areas (such as research, artifacts or activities) that will benefit the portfolio, and work with leaders to undertake these.

Collaborate with colleagues across other product areas to understand connections and opportunities to learn from what others have done, leverage each other's work or work in more efficient ways.

Growing UX capability in product - work with individuals and teams to improve their understanding of research and grow their participation in research activities.

Navigate and manage difficult scenarios - challenge our teams to think differently and lean into debates and constructive conversations with honesty, trust and care.

Partner with the voice of the customer, service design and key senior leaders across the organisation to shape how we conduct and organise our research and make the findings and insights accessible to all employees.

Practice improvement
Grow our research and content practices so that we are always improving as a team.

Encourage our teams to look at our practice with a critical eye - Collaborate with others to test ideas, share challenges and build quality in our practice.

Lead programmes of initiatives that make a significant difference to our team and the ways we work.

Introduce new technologies, techniques and tools to improve performance and process.

What You'll Bring With You:

  • Experience leading a team of researchers and/or content designers
  • A wide range of experience within the product, design or research industries
  • Experience working closely with a range of stakeholders
  • Deep and broad design research experience
  • An inclusive, collaborative approach that aligns with our values and contributes to making Xero a great place to work
  • You’re well-organised, passionate, pragmatic and empathetic
  • Expert communication skills
  • Thoughtful, effective, leadership skills
  • Why Xero?

    At Xero we support many types of flexible working arrangements that allow you to balance your work, your life and your passions. We offer a great remuneration package including shares plus a range of leave options to suit your well-being. Our work environment encourages continuous improvement and career development and you’ll get to work with the latest technology.  

    Our collaborative and inclusive culture is one we’re immensely proud of. We know that a diverse workforce is a strength that enables businesses, including ours, to better understand and serve customers, attract top talent and innovate successfully. We are a member of Pride in Diversity, in recognition of our inclusive workplace. So, from the moment you step through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.