Civic Designer, Innovation Team

What we’re looking for:

The Baltimore Innovation Team (i-team), within the Mayor’s Office of Performance and Innovation, seeks a candidate with human-centered design expertise, an understanding of racial and social equity, and a systems thinking approach to serve as a Civic Designer. The i-team uses data and design to create sustainable change for the city of Baltimore. We translate human-centered, data-informed insights into solutions to better residents’ lives, working on one intractable issue at a time. We are looking for a creative, mission driven, and resourceful Civic Designer to bring citizen insights and behaviors to the forefront. The ideal candidate will bring a citizen-focused mindset to driving change, innovation, and development on our current priority areas. The Civic Designer will have a reporting relationship with both the Civic Design Lead and the Deputy Director of Innovation.

What you would be doing:

  • Design and plan creative research, including research plans, interview guides, field guides, etc

  • Execute and document the research with team members

  • Synthesize research, uncovering insights, and connect those insights to design

  • Communicate and tell stories using writing, visuals, and verbal communication

  • Make research findings relevant and impactful for design through a variety of formats such as insights, decks, stories, videos, experiences, and exhibits

  • Facilitate ideation and co-design sessions with the team and stakeholder groups to develop collaborative solutions

  • Develop prototypes to test solutions, document learnings from testing, and iterate

  • Create project plans and manage projects once they are ready for implementation

  • Understand users' needs, motivations, and pain points, and align them with the goals of the city to deliver innovative, positive, and high-impact user experiences – for both service delivery workers and citizens

Qualifications & Mindset

  • 2 to 5 years of human-centered design and qualitative research experience

  • Degree in Social Design, Experience Design, Psychology, or related field. Relevant experience may be substituted

  • Exceptional verbal and visual communication skills, and strong organizational skills

  • Deep empathy and a commitment to social equity

  • Proven ability to scope research, lead fieldwork, conduct in-context interviews and observation, and gather insights from secondary research

  • Experience working with low income, vulnerable populations and a trauma-informed approach to interviewing

  • Proven ability to synthesize research findings and translate insights into tangible ideas

  • Experience facilitating co-design sessions with diverse stakeholder groups

  • Proven skill at crafting low and high fidelity prototypes

  • Experience conducting user testing and usability sessions for analog and digital prototypes

  • Ability to pivot and adapt while managing projects

  • Openness to critique from other disciplines and curiosity to learn from a spectrum of perspectives

  • Proficiency in Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, and Google Docs/Slides/Spreadsheets

  • Experience working in government is a plus

  • A passion for improving people's lives through design and a love of Baltimore

How To Apply

If you meet the qualifications and align with our values, we would love to hear from you!

Please apply by COB Monday, July 1st by sending a CV, cover letter, and a portfolio to the Civic Design Lead, Emily Ianacone at We strongly recommend sending your files together in a consolidated pdf. Please also include a link to an online portfolio in your CV if you have one.

Your pdf portfolio should include 3 examples of projects you’ve worked on in a design capacity. Use this portfolio as a way to showcase your communication skills, both visual and written. In your description of 3 example projects, include details on:

  • The challenge you were trying to solve

  • The industry you were working in

  • Your specific role on the project

  • The research approach and qualitative methods you used

  • Some of your key findings, or insights

  • What ideas took shape from these insights

  • How you approached prototyping and later implementation

  • The desired and actual impact of your solution