Job Openings Design Researcher (Contract)

About the job Design Researcher (Contract)

Design Researcher

Freelance, remote

We are looking to bring on a smart, motivated Design Research to help grow our design agency. This is an opportunity to join a shortlist of approved designers at a growing firm on a freelance basis. You’ll work with us on a project-by-project basis to deliver high-quality work to our clients and level up how we design and scale ventures at ADG. We are looking for designers of all experience levels and backgrounds. If in doubt, contact us or apply!

Want to make a big impact at a growing design company?

ADG partners with startups, venture capital, and large corporations to design and grow new business ventures through venture design and accelerator programs. Our firm has the expertise to offer both consulting and design services. We design, create and support the development of new products and services that redefine contemporary life.

At ADG, we practice a Design & Society approach which balances user needs, systems-thinking and business strategy. ADG has a global portfolio of successful projects across every continent except Antarctica.

Some of these past projects include designing a new venture that rethinks the global supply chain with a Japan-based global automotive manufacturer and leading a startup accelerator that catapulted a former Soviet country, Georgia, into a regional startup and technological hub.

What you’ll do:

You will have the chance to collaborate with an integrated, global, and remote team of designers, researchers and strategists. Our work is fast-paced, never compromises on quality and pushes boundaries. Your work will never just sit on the shelf but will drive change from day one to decades into the future.

You will get to participate in the full process of building transformational innovations, including user and expert research, business and financial modeling, growth hacking, systems thinking and strategic foresight. You’ll get to learn, experiment and try while owning a critical piece of the puzzle.

As a Design Researcher with ADG, you’ll be expected to:

  • Deliver client projects - Add your unique perspective to planning and executing projects. Lead Design Research workstreams and take part in systems thinking, product design, business and financial modeling and other workstreams led by other designers. Help establish a repeatable, scalable and effective design research practice within ADG.

  • Lead user and expert research - Translate research questions into screeners and discussion guides to recruit appropriate participants that will advance the team’s understanding of the topic at hand. Conduct interviews and guide teammates as note takers and observers. Manage informed consent, incentives and participant communications as part of running an ethical research practice. Build research assets, including surveys and manage data using tools, such as Airtable. We’re interested in any methods you bring to the table for understanding people and the systems they live in, whether quantitative, qualitative or something new you’ve invented!

  • Guide synthesis and insights - Aggregate research data into tools like Dovetail or Miro. Support and lead the project team through synthesis to generate insights, including pain points, barriers, unmet needs and context. Connect the individual experience to broader systemic patterns to uncover and address meaningful opportunities. Define ideal customer personas and connect their needs with business capabilities and market forces.

  • Support workshops - Set up collaborative spaces and plan workshops, potentially involving clients, team members or paid research participant. Facilitate breakout rooms as needed and support pulling insights from the workshop’s outputs.

  • Stakeholder communications - Support and even lead work on stakeholder assets, including communicating the what, why and how of research to stakeholders and any ongoing findings.

  • Design and scale new ventures - This isn’t academic research. You’ll be hands on from the beginning shaping the creative and technical nature of new ideas then helping launch and scale them. You’ll ensure the team stays aligned with patterns uncovered in our research and solve real pain points as they build the product and underlying systems. As ventures scale, you may take on an interim role and help transition them to new leadership.

Attributes we’re looking for:

  • Self-starter – you don’t need the solution defined for you to be able to start tackling a problem.

  • Detail oriented – you’re able to manage complex projects, dependencies, and timelines to execute impeccably every time.

  • Highly communicative – you’ll be working remote for this role, so ask questions, keep up to date, and share progress regularly through our online channels.

  • Ambitious – you’re hungry for growth, high impact work, and learning from other smart team members and clients .

  • Analytical – critical thinking (quantitative and qualitative) drives our approach, and being able to break down problems and analyze its components with rigour is essential.

  • Systems and futures thinker – believe design has the potential to impact businesses and societies and can see how design choices we make now reverberate and impact the future

  • Values trust and good work – we do not negotiate on quality and build reputation through trusted partnerships.

  • Ideal experience – We are hiring for all experience levels. We prefer a relevant Bachelor or Masters degree but we also love to see a portfolio full of passion projects and experience in a variety of industries.


  • Join a roster of talented, global designers. Be pre-approved and the first to hear about meaningful work opportunities.

  • Project lengths vary from 2-day workshops to several months of in-depth design. We recognize and honor that you may be working with other clients or on your own projects.

  • Competitive rates based on level of experience and qualifications.

  • A supportive and collaborative environment where everyone owns a piece of the work and contributes to a larger whole.

  • Ability to work remotely anywhere around the world. Some projects have travel opportunities for in-person collaboration (often outside North America!). While we work primarily in PST we are open to considering candidates located anywhere around the world.

We’re happy you’ve made it this far! Our mission to reimagine contemporary life through design gives us energy everyday. If that’s something you’re also excited by, start the conversation by applying here.