Design Research Lead

IPEX Inc.

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Hello EPIC community! I have exciting news: I'm growing my team. I have five (five!!) open positions:

  • Design Research Lead
  • Design Researcher (x2)
  • Research Coordinator
  • Research Operations

My team is Customer Insight & Ideation, and covers the domains of Design Research, Ideation, and Strategic Foresight at IPEX. We help IPEX to figure out what to make next and refine the designs of products in development. IPEX makes physical products (pipes and fittings, connecting people with water and energy) and because our product development is on a time-scale of years (rather than following sprints that are measured in weeks or months) this is an opportunity to do more robust research in industry.

Please feel welcome to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you'd like an informal chat before applying (just make sure to include a message with your connection request).

Design Research Lead

IPEX is one of the North American leading providers of advanced plastic piping systems. Our mission is to shape a better tomorrow by connecting people with water and energy.

We currently have an exciting opportunity as a Design Research Lead. This role is based in our Oakville (2) location, and reports to the Manager of Customer Insight and Ideation.

Do not miss the opportunity to join a diverse group of people-centric professionals, thought leaders and rapid thinkers, entrepreneurs in spirit and status quo-fighters!

Job Summary

As a Design Research Lead, you’ll join our growing and collaborative Customer Insight and Ideation Team. Your role is a mix of doing research and mentoring direct reports.

At IPEX, the Design Research function is all about doing research with the real people in our market, to help us figure out what to make next and refine the designs of products in development. You’ll use techniques from UX research, usability research, social sciences and ethnography to make recommendations to cross-functional teams. You’ll get to work on challenging research projects and then see the results, participating in design meetings where you advocate for the customer’s point of view.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Design and conduct 3–6-month research projects which identify innovation opportunities, develop design criteria, and evaluate physical prototypes
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teammates in Innovation, Sales, R&D and Product Management; build buy-in and ensure that the research outputs will support the project/business decisions ahead
  • Participate in design meetings, following a scope of research; advocate for the customer perspective and help teams work with your research findings
  • Support Design Researcher direct reports to lead their own research projects and improve their skills over time
  • Define the scope of research projects before they are assigned to a researcher; recommend project resourcing assignments to manager
  • We anticipate up to 25% travel for this position (post-pandemic), primarily for on-site research throughout North America.

Qualifications & Experience

  • 5+ years experience doing qualitative research in an industry setting; exposure to prototypes, physical products, and B2B research during that time
  • Master-level degree in anthropology, psychology, human factors, or a related field or equivalent practical experience
  • Strong foundation in qualitative research methods (usability, in-depth interviews, field studies, card sorts, ethnography, etc.), ability to identify when qualitative vs. quantitative research is appropriate (executional quantitative skills preferred but not required)
  • Strong verbal, written and visual (e.g. diagrams, PowerPoint, etc.) communication skills
  • Evidence of ability to manage direct reports, coach and develop people
  • Working knowledge of qualitative data analysis (QDA) software, PowerPoint, Word, Excel
  • Nice to haves (let us know if you have them!): French language skills, Stage-Gate (or other product development process) knowledge, quantitative research skills

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