Senior Design Researcher

Milwaukee Tool

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Senior Design Researcher

Milwaukee Tool is an industry-leading manufacturer of heavy-duty power tools, accessories and hand tools for professional users worldwide. 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 through our 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 provide leadership in new methods and approaches, championing Design Research and Design Thinking at Milwaukee Tool, and mentoring junior-level researchers as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Design and execute multi-faceted research plans to learn about all aspects of the construction trade. This typically includes discovery research on jobsites, primary and secondary research to understand the competitive product set, and in-field evaluation of mock-ups and preliminary concept prototypes.
  • 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 to familiarize your team with a tool and its use, and inspire creativity and collaboration.
  • 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.

Required Skills

  • You are curious about your research topic as well as 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 flexible and willing to change research plans on the fly when necessary
  • 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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