Nesta Designer
Location London, United Kingdom
Application deadline 3 March 2021
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary GBP46,300 plus excellent benefits
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We are Nesta. The UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale new solutions to society’s biggest problems, changing millions of lives for the better.

We confront challenges that affect millions of people, from chronic childhood inequality to ill-health and the climate crisis.

We believe that innovation is more possible now than ever before. We see opportunities to mobilise citizens and influence behaviour. A wealth of private and public capital that can be used more creatively. Pools of data to mine.

And so we draw on these rich resources by bringing together multidisciplinary teams: data scientists, designers and behavioural scientists, practitioners at the frontline, academics; and people with lived experience.

Together, we design, test and scale new solutions to society’s biggest problems. We partner with frontline organisations, build new businesses and work to change whole systems. Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to put ideas to the test.

The role

As Designer you will work on a range of different projects within one of Nesta’s missions, meaning your tasks will vary day to day.

Key roles and responsibilities

This role is for a design specialist who has experience in using a variety of design skills in an applied setting. The successful candidate will support the work of the mission team by supporting the delivery of design-led approaches as part of our innovation partnerships, including working with the Design Manager, as well as with others with different backgrounds and skills.

As Designer, your work will involve using design expertise to support the mission, building strong stakeholder relationships, reviewing evidence and making recommendations about how Nesta can achieve its vision. Working on the end-to-end project cycle, you will also be expected to:

  • Plan and conduct primary user-centred design research, including interviews, observations, data analysis
  • Identify analogous situations/behaviours/populations and user groups we can research
  • Use design tools, methods and approaches to support the understanding of each Innovation Mission
  • Design prototypes to test new solutions with user groups
  • Facilitate and participate in collaboration, including co-production or multidisciplinary working
  • Work with others within the Innovation Mission to use design-led approaches
  • Support the overall delivery of projects within the Innovation Mission

Experience and skills

Minimum qualifications:

  • Deep expertise in a specific design discipline, such as service design, systems thinking, user-centred design or visual design
  • Experience in applying design principles to a project or programme of work
  • Ability to conduct and plan for interviews, observations, ethnographic/immersive research and other research methods
  • Quantitative literacy, while you are not expected to be a quantitative researcher within the team, you are expected to be comfortable with quantitative data
  • Evidence-based design: you are able to work with others to use evidence (qualitative and quantitative) to inform the design of projects, products, and services
  • Ability to build contextual competence fast
  • Broad understanding of a range of design specialisms, and technical expertise in at least one: service design, design thinking, or an equivalent design discipline


  • Experience in Agile working
  • Coaching and facilitation skills
  • Excellent writing skills to tailor content to different audiences
  • Experience in paper, physical (maker skills) and/or digital prototyping