Senior Design Strategist

Our team is growing and are looking for passionate and motivated people to join our awesome team!  We encourage anyone located in Australia to invest some of their time to explore our new opportunities, your location is not an issue to us.

Here at Portable

We care about people and the world. We seek out areas of social need and policy failure and make transformational change using research, design and technology. Our clients are as passionate as we are and are working in government agencies, nonprofit organisations and socially-minded businesses.

There are currently 60+ of us working as researchers, strategists, designers, technologists and producers towards our mission from our studio in Collingwood and working remotely from around Australia. Our Design team is made up of 20+ multidisciplinary human centred designers who work to understand and define the needs of people and organisations and bring them through a design process towards impactful solutions.


Then there's you

A Senior Design Strategist who guides our team and clients through the design process via in-depth, people-centered engagements. You'll help define a clear understanding of the complex needs of the people and organisations we are designing for and with, and design sophisticated and contextual strategies that make positive change a meaningful reality.

You’re first and foremost a designer. That means you build your practice on strong foundations of a process and mindsets to solve real problems for real people. You love being immersed in problems that are hard to define and hard to solve. You have a robust toolkit across human-centred design and strategic design, which allows you to walk into any number of environments and problem spaces with confidence. And more than anything you enjoy that moment when insights emerge to guide people, even entire organisations, towards new possibilities.

As a Senior, you consistently self-identify problems and seek advice, input and collaboration to solve them. Together with Leads, Seniors are also able to solve hard problems and work to reduce the likelihood of them occurring again. Seniors are able to consistently provide helpful advice to other designers in the team, and actively look to support them in their development and project delivery. You're proactive and effective in managing your time and priorities.

You're human-centred not only in your approach to design, but in your ability to collaborate with empathy with people and clients at all levels of experience. You lead by example for others and your excellent communication, relationship development and stakeholder engagement skills means you can effectively manage client relationships. You demonstrate courage in backing yourself and drive robust conversations that ultimately lead towards better outcomes for our clients, teams and the people we're designing for.


You'll be expected to have knowledge and experience in these areas:

  • Deep knowledge of HCD and UX research and design methodologies and application to a variety of problems, large and small, digital and non-digital
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams from research through to delivery
  • Analysis and synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data to produce meaningful insights and artefacts
  • Excellent written and verbal communication that articulates complex ideas in compelling stories
  • Designing and conducting ethnographic design research with diverse cohorts of people
  • Excellent workshop design and facilitation that creates a great experience for participants and generates fruitful results
  • Growing knowledge of emerging methodologies and technologies that inform a design practice to solve bigger, more complex problems


Expertise you may have that would complement our team's experience:

  • Service design
  • Systems thinking and design in complex systems
  • Policy design
  • Change management
  • Experience with measurement and evaluation for social impact
  • Academic and ethnographic research
  • Co-design and design research with people from diverse backgrounds, including those experiencing vulnerable circumstances
  • Experience in organisational change and large scale transformation projects
  • Subject matter expertise in a particular area of need, such as one of our impact areas (justice, mental health, family violence, government innovation, aged care)


As a Senior, you’ll be expected to deliver the following outcomes:

  • Consistent, independent, on budget and timely delivery of design work that meets the needs of clients and users
  • Risks and issues are identified early and solved in collaboration with your team
  • Strong client relationships are built and maintained to ensure confidence our design approach
  • Other designers are supported in managing and delivering their work (especially mids and juniors)
  • Knowledge has been shared and applied in order to improve the Design Strategy discipline, and to help others learn and develop (especially mids and juniors)
  • Significant contribution to Portable as a business has been made, including supporting our Business Development team to propose and pitch for mission-aligned work


If you were here last week, you may have:

  • Conducted desktop research that helps build our understanding of the use of online learning platforms and the associated challenges facing students in a remote context
  • Ran a four hour workshop in Melbourne (remotely) for a government client looking to reposition their service offering to citizens
  • Designed and facilitated a workshop to help a not for profit executive team in palliative care design their digital strategy and roadmap
  • Coached a less experienced member of the team to grow their design capability
  • Synthesised user research with a cross-functional project team to uncover insights about young people accessing mental health services
  • Collaborated with your team on final insight statements and user stories resulting from research on barriers faced by Aboriginal people when accessing justice online
  • Attended the weekly Design All-in with the rest of the design team to share practice reflections and insights
  • Contributed your expertise to improving the way our team of Design Strategists facilitate stakeholder sessions on impact and feasibility assessment of product and service ideas
  • Shared something weird and wonderful that you're strangely passionate about at our weekly Design Safari, where anyone can share the things from outside our work that inspire them
  • Taken some time out on a Friday afternoon to join the team for some pictionary, trivia or a game of ‘would you rather’ to see out the week


Here’s some of what we do to support the experience and wellbeing of our team:

  • We support a flexible working environment whether its from home or the office or a cafe
  • We're a family-friendly company who offer parental leave and part-time arrangements to allow for things like pick-ups and drop-offs or sick children
  • We’re feedback-friendly culture, where we make space for open and respectful sharing of feedback that helps us grow
  • We support our team taking mental health days as personal leave that they don’t need to explain or have a medical certificate for
  • Employee Assistance Program with The Mindroom for general wellbeing check-ins, assistance with career planning, or working through difficult or challenging circumstances
  • Twice-yearly salary reviews with no minimum service period
  • Our team can grow their career with our structured career pathways, generous professional development allowance and hands-on learning opportunities
  • Ongoing leadership coaching and development for leaders in the business
  • Indigenous cultural awareness training for our entire team
  • We work on meaningful projects that seek to have a positive impact in the world
  • Referral programs in place that can earn team members $1500 per successful referral


Remuneration for this role:

The salary band for this role is between $92,000 - $115,000 per annum (plus superannuation). Successful candidates will be made an offer within this range dependent on their level of experience and development opportunities. Our salary bands are reviewed twice a year and externally verified to ensure we remain competitive with market rates.


How to apply:

We are committed to building a diverse and equal team. People from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

To be considered for this role, please send us your resume and a short cover letter answering the questions below. Case studies are appreciated but not a requirement to be considered.

  • What’s attracted you to this role and why do you think it would be a good fit for you?
  • Tell us the most valuable thing you’ve learned about yourself as a designer over the past few years (and how you learned it!)
  • Tell us about a time you had to balance human-centred research findings with the business priorities of a client. How did you manage this?
Apply Now

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