Senior Director, Head of Design at SMS Assist
SMS Assist serves more than 186,000 commercial and residential properties nationwide. We connect property owners in industries like retail and restaurant with a dense Affiliate network that specializes in more than 45 trades like landscaping, plumbing, HVAC, and more. Our Customer Service organization leverages our proprietary One by SMS Assist cloud platform to process thousands of work orders on a daily basis.
Every day we strive to provide the best service to our customers through an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for service, teamwork, and integrity. We offer a game room, fitness center, bike garage, SMS Serves philanthropy program, company events, a fun location along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and more. SMS Assist is a Moxie Awards winner, Chicago Innovation Awards winner, a Top 100 Digital Company in Chicago and has been named to the Forbes Cloud 100 list for all four years of its existence! The list ranks the top 100 private cloud companies across four factors: market leadership, estimated valuation, operating metrics, and culture.
The Senior Director, Head of Design is responsible for applying design thinking to SMS Assist product and operations for the purpose of transforming the property management industry and building sustainable advantage for the company. They are a key driver of human-centered design, a critical competence through the organization, and are charged with building up, nurturing and leading our team of user experience and visual designers, architects and researchers to accomplish this design transformation. They infect the whole organization in human-centered design thinking and doing, affecting this transformation with a high emotional intelligence and serving as a player-coach to model the desired behaviors.
- Recruit and coach a world-class team of UX and UI designers and researchers
- Lead the team in the development and implementation of a comprehensive information architecture and design system that brings coherence and simplicity to the full end-to-end workflow for all of our user personas and lines of business
- Help lead the organization in embracing and continuously improving its practice of dual-track scrum for the purpose of ensuring our development resources are efficiently applied to building the products customers most want and need
- Serve as an individual contributor on strategic programs—providing hands-on design development, research, workshop facilitation as needed on high-profile projects
- Develop a design workshop playbook of outlines, best practices, and tools for designers and product managers to leverage for organizing and executing high-impact, value-producing, delightful collaborative sessions with customers, affiliates and internal end-users
- Directly facilitate design sessions involving senior executive customers or customer-prospects from multi-billion-dollar companies
- Engage the larger organization, including operations teams, in the implementation of design-thinking as we streamline the human workflow in tandem with the digital workflow
- Establish human-centered design as a widely recognizable SMS Assist core competence and source of sustainable advantage
Instructions: Select pertinent skills from the list below and delete as necessary, then select a level from the Professional Skills Guide. If appropriate add a few words describing specific requirements under each skill.
These are the professional skills we would expect from an individual fully established in this role.
- Customer Service – Advanced
- Verbal Communication – Expert
- Written Communication – Expert
- Teamwork – Expert
- Relationships – Expert
- Organizational Awareness – Expert
- Learning Agility – Expert
- Analysis – Expert
- Problem Solving – Expert
- Process Orientation – Advanced
- Prioritization – Advanced
Role Specific Skills
- Expertise in a broad set of design-thinking frameworks, tools, methodologies such as persona development, journey-mapping, storyboard and wireframe development, immersion research, requirements discovery, longitudinal research, usability research, etc.
- Demonstrated success in communicating and collaborating with C-Level executives; exudes a mix of humility, gravitas and credibility
- Strong systems-thinking skills for driving an actionable information architecture and design system that supports top-level business objectives
- Demonstrated emotional intelligence in support of mission of implementing transformational human-centered design practices in a larger organization
- Strong communication skills—able to make the complex simple; can describe design decisions in terms of business implications and quickly translate business needs into design requirements; is known for great listening skills
People Management Skills
- Advanced proficiency in all people management processes, including recruitment, performance management and reward
- Advanced proficiency in building, growing and developing a team; including department structure design and resourcing
- Advanced proficiency in coaching and developing individual team members to reach their potential
- Proficient in engaging multiple teams through communication, processes, personal impact and influence
- Bachelor’s degree in information architecture, human factors, computer human interaction, graphic art, psychology or related field;
- 10+ years of experience with end-to-end software or process design
- 5+ years of full-time experience managing and growing an in-house design team
- Experience building and coaching multi-discipline design teams that are equipped to successfully collaborate in an agile/scrum discovery and development model
- A track record of making sense out of chaos and leading teams to the highest and most productive use of their resources
Other Relevant Qualifications
- Master’s Degree preferred
- Experience working in and leading agile/scrum development teams; familiarity with dual-track scrum and jobs methodology