Senior Advisor, Design Thinking

Washington, DC
May 05, 2021
Jun 04, 2021
Full Time
Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. As a trusted source for news and information, we work to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security, and personal fulfillment.

Under the direction of the Director of Design Thinking, the Senior Innovation Design Thinker will use human-centered design (also referred to as design research or design thinking) research methodology to probe, assess and evaluate behaviors of targeted groups of people and then translate that knowledge into meaningful information and system designs to inform concepts and improve products. The incumbent will identify underlying cultural constructs and their expressions for specific groups of people, and identify the authentic connections within the ecosystem and help create breakthrough ideas.

This role will also maintain and manage innovation tools to be utilized by the enterprise.

  • Cultivate deep understanding of 50+ consumers/members through human center design including assessing needs, identifying pain points/barriers, ideating value proposition and solutions
  • Define, structure, and conduct in-person ethnographic research, in person and remote usability evaluations according to targeted metrics
  • Conduct research to explore and evaluate desired experiences, analyze research data, present findings, and make prioritized design recommendations
  • Clearly communicate research findings with a strategic voice, with prioritized recommendations and potential design solutions to developers, designers, and project sponsors through visually compelling presentations and documents
  • Facilitate and motivate cross-matrix teams in design thinking workshops and design sprints
  • Conduct Subject Matter Expert (SME) and consumer interviews and focus groups moderation as part of the insights gathering process
  • Aid in synthesizing data on 50+ consumers from various sources to garner key insights, identify opportunities and recommend direction to project sponsors
  • Contribute to concept generation, iteration and concept development
  • Participate and lead rapid prototyping as part of design sprint process
  • Facilitate and lead workshops across the Association leveraging design-thinking principles/practices
  • Contribute to the formal Innovation Training curriculum by participating in and leading training workshops/lunch & learns etc. in concert with Champs and Hatchery team members
  • Assist in fostering and expanding the Innovation Champs network through training, networking, speakers etc.
  • Bachelor's degree
  • A minimum of 6 years of relevant project management, innovation and operations experience required with a minimum of 2+ years' experience in design thinking.
  • Ability to demonstrate organizational skills and possess a clear understanding of the convergent and divergent phases of an innovating process to be able to inspire and support innovation teams and startups in a meaningful way.
  • This role requires a strong passion for innovation, a high level of comfort navigating ambiguous and unregimented opportunities and attention to detail. This individual is highly personable, empathetic, inquisitive, and analytical and uses these skills to inspire others, consult and guide individuals utilizing innovation tools and manage the resources needed in the innovation lab.
  • Consumer research, client management skills a plus
Compensation and Benefits

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401(k); 100% company-funded pension plan; health, dental, and vision plans; life insurance paid time off to include company and individual holidays, vacation, sick, caregiving, and parental leave; performance-based and peer-based recognition; tuition reimbursement; among others. Visit for more information.

As a result of the COVID pandemic, all interviews will be held virtually and all non-essential employees will continue to work remotely until further notice.
Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.