Design Lead

The Service Design Studio helps further the City’s use of human-centered design methods. The Studio team is versed in design tools, experienced in developing in-person and digital services, and focused on addressing poverty-related challenges.

The Design Lead will use their expertise and experience to work collaboratively with team members and partners to research and design public services and programs that focus on decreasing poverty and increasing opportunity for New Yorkers. They desire to proactively address issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion within the context of service design and advocate for centering the voices of New Yorkers - our residents, community-based service providers, frontline staff and other stakeholders - through our service design processes, tools and outputs.

They will also work closely with design, program and evaluation, data, product and technology team members to enhance and expand NYC Opportunity’s programs and products and will contribute to elevating, strengthening and executing the wider office’s strategies.


The Design Lead comes with solid experience managing multi-stakeholder projects, developing and executing human-centered research plans, conducting fieldwork, capturing and synthesizing information from various stakeholders, and analyzing and developing key insights that can lead to actionable solutions and measurable outcomes.

Responsibilities include:

  • Research, design, prototype, develop, and test new and existing public services.
  • Contribute to the identification of new projects and offerings including development of strategy, design, deliverables and final products.
  • Facilitate design process with stakeholders inside and outside government.
  • Provide design feedback across team projects and incorporate team feedback into projects.
  • Conduct user research and testing including outreach, planning, and facilitation.
  • Turn user research insights into actionable items and deliverables, including journey maps, research reports, enhancement lists, etc.
  • Develop wireframes, mockups, final design documentation, and style guides for new and existing services.
  • Prepare decks, agendas and other facilitation materials to run successful stakeholder meetings.
  • Develop and design curriculum for service design trainings and workshops.
  • Review and maintain design related deliverables from development teams, vendors, and external partners.
  • Contribute to identification of current product enhancements and new offerings including development of strategy, design, deliverables, and final products.
  • Participate in or support office wide or cross-agency working groups that need technical assistance or thought leadership.
  • Contribute to city-wide design standards and initiatives
  • Perform duties as assigned by the Director of Design.
  • Advocate for centering communities when designing programs and services.
  • Contribute time and skill in promoting and storytelling the work of the Studio and the larger office. You see yourself as an ambassador for the work.

  Skills We're Seeking

We understand that candidates may not have all of the skills we are seeking below. We encourage those interested to apply even if they do not meet all of them. We are looking for talented individuals to join our team.

Commitment to the mission of advancing greater equality and opportunity.

Experience working closely with communities who are engaging with public services and programs and/or has lived-experience engaging with public services and programs.

Experience in policy, government or non-profit, in particular with low-income and vulnerable youth and families is a plus.

Meeting and workshop facilitation (preparing facilitation guides, building agendas, leading discussions and co-design sessions).

Understands and has employed participatory research and community-centered design research and engagement practices.

Strong interpersonal and empathy skills: Self-reflective, takes time to observe, develop and foster relationships with team members and partners.

Strong analytical skills and ability to understand and synthesize complex systems. Strong communication and presentation skills, both verbal and written.

All hands on deck attitude: Comfortable working in a fast-paced bureaucratic environment, can pivot their work and respond to rapid requests willingly.

Project management experience, especially with multiple stakeholders (Crafting scope of work documents, writing design briefs, managing timelines and coordinating schedules, building strategic plans, etc.).

Experience with an agile, iterative development processes.

Technical skills that are preferred, but not required: Adobe Creative Suite, Figma, MIRO, or other prototyping or visualization platforms.

Strong communication and presentation skills, both verbal and written.

  Education and Experience

A master's degree from an accredited college in social design, anthropology, public administration, public policy, economics, information technology, data science, finance, sociology, political science, urban studies or a closely related field, and two years of satisfactory full-time professional experience in government, or non-profit or social impact sector.


A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and four years of professional experience in the areas described above.

  Benefits and Compensation

This is a permanent, full-time position offering competitive salary and benefits. The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $105,000 commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To learn more about the New York City's Employee benefits, visit the NYC Office of Labor Relations.

Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States. We are unable to provide sponsorship to prospective employees.

  How to Apply

Please fill out the application form. The form will prompt you to upload a resume and cover letter.

In addition to the application form, candidates will have to complete a separate application on the NYC job portal (Job ID: 532989).

Due to the volume of applications received we may not be able to respond to every application.



This position will require work from our office in Downtown Brooklyn. Please note that as of September 13, 2021, NYC government employees are no longer working remotely.

All new staff are required by the City of New York to be vaccinated against Covid-19.