Associate Design Director (CX)

Wunderman Thompson

Department: Experience

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Who we are:

At Wunderman Thompson we exist to inspire growth for ambitious brands. Part creative agency, part consultancy and part technology company, our experts provide end-to-end capabilities at a global scale to deliver inspiration across the entire brand and customer experience.

We are 20,000 strong in 90 markets around the world; our people bring together creative storytelling, diverse perspectives, inclusive thinking, and highly specialized vertical capabilities to drive growth for our clients. We offer deep expertise across the entire customer journey, including communications, commerce, consultancy, CRM, CX, data, production, and technology.

Who we are looking for:

Wunderman Thompson Midwest CX is seeking an Associate Design Director to be responsible for championing the visual design team and work with a portfolio of Fortune 500 clients across a variety of industries. You have a few years of experience mentoring visual designers and are an expert in visual and user-centered design principles. You’re someone who can synthesize and translate abstract and complex concepts into simple and thoughtful design solutions that solve business problems and deliver inspiring experiences. Where our clients see insurmountable challenges, you relish in the opportunity to show them the path to success.

You will be instrumental in mentoring visual designers across all phases of projects from strategy to design to launch. This person will be providing oversight and direction for the quality/execution of design output across multiple projects. You will be delivering distinctive client service and authentic client experiences to build long-term relationships that grow the business. 

The Associate Design Director will take a lead role in new business pitches, proposal development, and project initiation and collaborate with cross discipline leads.  You will collaborate with senior leadership in efforts to attract, retain, and grow design talent. You will partner with other senior leaders within the organization to develop new initiatives to create opportunities to advance an open and inclusive environment that empowers team members and continues to elevate the culture of Wunderman Thompson CX. 

You’re someone who thrives at the intersection of data, technology and creativity and have a thoughtfulness in how you develop the delicate balance between form and function in your designs. You’re a visual designer at your core, but have a deep understanding of UX, a strong strategic point-of-view about both the art and science behind your work. You have a unique ability to translate visions into reality, inspiring those around you. You’re an empathetic champion of the customer, with an insatiable curiosity for their motivations, actions, and how you can forge a connection between them and the brand. You believe that the best products are created in collaboration with both clients and internal teams to envision and iterate design concepts, and deliver world-class experience design solutions. You have an ability to look at a problem, deconstruct it, and devise a way to make it better through design. You’re a restless futurist and innovator, inspired by brands and emerging technologies, while remaining keenly focused on the practical needs of today’s brands.  

The Experience Design (CX) Midwest team with Wunderman Thompson consists of both Experience Design and Experience Strategy experts. This team is responsible for driving the overall strategy and design of cross-platform experiences and innovations for global clients that effectively improve users lives and deliver clients’ business results. They’re responsible for translating the complexity of human behaviors and motivations into the creation of inspiring, beautiful, and functional experiences that influence the communications, products and services we create for our clients.  This team has deep expertise in user-centered design thinking, digital product and service design, end-to-end ecosystems, innovation and vision setting, and design thinking for connected/smart experiences and emerging technologies.

What you’ll do:

  • Mentor | Provide mentorship and support for Experience Design (Visual) staff. Execute and guide teams to create outstanding and cohesive visual design work across the client portfolio.
  • Partner with Clients | You’ll serve as a trusted strategic advisor to all levels of clients, leading them and earning their trust by demonstrating credibility in your craft, an unbiased perspective and unique take on their business challenges, a passion for their brand and their customer, and an unwavering focus on their success.
  • Innovate | Provide analysis and artifacts to help devise world-class insights that contribute to thoughtful and potentially disruptive strategies, by helping develop deliverables such as research plans and analysis, experience briefs, customer journeys, roadmaps, and participating in workshops. You’ll provide strategic inputs throughout the creation of the products – from vision and conception to launch and optimization.
  • Collaborate | You’ll serve as a subject-matter expert in all things visual design and help lead both clients, team members and peers to help think about opportunities that solve business challenges, while meeting brand and customer needs. You’ll work closely with a multi-disciplinary group of Content Strategists, UX Designers, Project Managers, Account Teams, and Technologists demonstrating and inspiring by showing your knowledge of your craft.

Who you are:

  • Systematic Creative Thinker | You’re a thoughtful, elegant problem solver that crafts inspiring visual solutions rooted in a deep understanding and grasp of the technical and analytical side of creativity. You’re a whole-brain designer, innovative with an obsession for data, patterns and how disparate parts of a system work together. You’re relentless about improving the way humans experience the digital and physical world.
  • Curious & Detail-Obsessed | You’re passionate about delivering experiences that are more than just answering a client’s problems, and innately curious about human motivations and needs. You enjoy following the solution through all stages of the process so that the integrity, consistency, and fidelity of the experience is delivered with a high-level of craft.
  • Influencer & Communicator | You’re not only amazing at your craft, but you also know how to educate, persuade, and drive projects, inspiring both clients and more junior members of the design team. You have a demonstrated ability to synthesize and present your work to client and internal audiences of all backgrounds. You have excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills required to make the complex feel and sound simple and compelling.

What you’ll need: 

  • Minimum 7 years of experience in a digital or integrated agency or consultancy with a minimum of 5 years of client-facing experience.
  • Experience with working in a progressive, creatively-driven agency environment that has embraced digitally-led thinking and XS/XD principles as part of the core creative process.
  • Expertise in the formal elements of visual design, including typography, color, layout, balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity.
  • Proficiency in using Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, InVision and Zeplin.
  • Ability to create conceptual prototypes that convey motion and behavior.
  • Strong conceptual thinking in both visual and interaction design, as well as a solid understanding of designing intuitive functionality, interactions, and usability principles.
  • An understanding of front-end development, including HTML, CSS, iOS, and other technologies.
  • Expertise and experience working with WCAG 2.1 A/AA standards.
  • Proven track record executing visual design tasks for complex website builds involving redesigns, site consolidations, and brand integrations.
  • Experience working across multiple parallel work streams and within an agile environment.

Wunderman Thompson is an equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion or belief, sex, age, national origin, citizenship status, marital status, military/veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or other protected group status. We believe in creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion and strives to recruit a diverse slate of candidates to help us achieve that goal.

At Wunderman Thompson, we are committed to actively building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcomed, valued and heard, and is treated with dignity and respect.  As leaders and creative partners across industries, it is our responsibility to cultivate an environment reflective of our greatest asset; our people. We believe that this commitment inspires growth and delivers equitable outcomes for everyone as well as the clients and communities we serve.

Wunderman Thompson is a WPP agency.  For more informationplease visit our website and follow Wunderman Thompson on our social channels via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  

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