Design Research Manager (Design Experience)
Auckland, New Zealand /
Design – Research /
Join the team redefining how the world experiences design.
Hey, g'day, mabuhay, kia ora,你好, hallo, vítejte!
Thanks for stopping by. We know job hunting can be a little time consuming and you're probably keen to find out what's on offer, so we'll get straight to the point.
Where and how you can work
Our flagship campus is in Sydney, Australia but in Aotearoa, we have a hub in Auckland that we call home to our local operations. And with that, you have choice in how and where you work. That means if you want to do your thing at our Auckland hub (if you're nearby) or at home or a bit of both, it's up to you.
What you’d be doing in this role
As Canva scales change continues to be part of our DNA. But we like to think that's all part of the fun. So this will give you the flavour of the type of things you'll be working on when you start, but this will likely evolve.
We’re looking for a Design Research Manager to join the Design Experience Supergroup, based anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.
About the Design Experience Supergroup
The Design Experience team at Canva is on a mission to build powerful, yet simple tools that empower anyone to design anything. We work on the core editing components and tools that people around the world use to design everything from social media graphics, to documents, to videos and more.
Pursuing our mission not only supports our existing user base, but we believe will also empower people from around the globe to find and use Canva for the first time; contributing directly to our company-critical Monthly Active User targets.
So far we’ve launched a range of features and products, but we have so much more to uncover. As the UX Research Manager for the Design Experience Supergroup, you will help us deliver a number of critical initiatives to achieve our company-level strategy of providing an outstanding experience for all Canva users. We want to make Canva the tool that empowers everyone to design anywhere.
About the UX Research team
At Canva, our users are at the heart of everything we do. Our UX Research team plays a vital role in the vision and success of our company. One of the best things about Canva is how much everyone across the business cares about users and improving their experience - you’ll never have to sell anyone on the value of user research.
Our team conducts qualitative and quantitative research to inform design decisions, product strategies, and identify opportunities. We believe that research findings are most powerful when they’re out of reports, and actively being applied and used by product teams. Researchers partner with PMs, designers, engineers, and marketers to help them better understand Canva’s multi-faceted user base, solve complex challenges, and improve the product experience for millions of users worldwide.
Our research team is diverse, collaborative, and supportive. We each bring unique strengths and interests to the group and encourage each other to grow in our craft every day.
About the role
We’re searching for an experienced UX Research Manager to lead a team of researchers within the Design Experience Supergroup. Research projects you’ll oversee directly tie to Canva’s company-wide goals, so increasing user understanding and identifying key product opportunities is of critical importance.
Your sphere of ownership includes:
- Prioritizing what research is happening across the entire Supergroup, including proactively identifying gaps in knowledge.
- Ensuring all research conducted across the Supergroup is high quality; helping elevate research findings into truly design-inspiring and business-impacting insights
- Influencing product and business decisions at the senior leadership level, sharing research insights and opportunities, and acting as the voice of the customer.
At Canva, we approach management differently than other companies. We call managers “coaches” because this reflects the type of relationship we’d like you to have with your direct reports (“coachees.”). As a UX Research Coach, you’ll work with several researchers, unlocking their potential to maximize their own performance. We value autonomy, setting crazy big goals, personal growth, and self-reflection.
Additionally, our managers are “player-coaches.” This means that you won’t solely be managing researchers. You’ll keep one foot in the craft – this could mean synthesizing findings across previous studies; providing consultative support for designers or PMs conducting research; or even leading your own research projects.
What You'll do Responsibilities
- Manage a high-performing team of 2 researchers. Support them through 1:1 coaching, including shaping research plans, providing constructive feedback, setting career goals, and formal reviews.
- Develop research roadmaps for the Supergroup, aligned to product and business objectives, and be able to adjust these if/when priorities shift
- Act as a trusted, strategic partner to Supergroup Leads (Design, Product, Engineering, Data) through your team delivering research insights that lead to demonstrable business value. Work closely with Leads to apply research findings and implement them in their short-and long-term strategy.
- Grow and maintain the Design Experience research team’s identity, ways of working, and culture. Maintain a positive environment of belonging, trust, safety, and inclusion.
- Working with Canva’s Head of Research and other leaders, contribute to the UX Research team’s overall strategy and goals. Bring your ideas and initiative to level up our collective craft and impact.
- Creatively nurture a strong research culture within the Design Experience Supergroup, including at the leadership level. For example, showcasing research insights in Supergroup-wide presentations, managing Design Experiences research cadences and workshops with cross-functional teams and executive, etc.
- Lead foundational research projects for the Supergroup (which may include leading teams of multiple researchers, vendors, etc.), setting the standard for the high quality of research we strive for.
- The ideal candidate is a qualitative researcher with 6+ years of experience leading research studies: planning, recruiting, executing, analyzing, and activating. We expect to hear examples of how your research influenced product and design team decision-making.
- At least 1+ year of experience coaching researchers - you understand how to make an impact through empowering, growing, and motivating others.
- Experience as a Design Research Lead, directing and planning research strategy across multiple projects and researchers.
- You have strong skills and confidence in communicating about, and advocating for, user research with senior stakeholders and leadership.
- You have a strong grasp of qualitative research methodologies. You can flex research plans creatively based on constraints and context, clearly communicating trade-offs to stakeholders.
- You thrive in a fast-paced work environment that requires strong problem-solving skills, autonomy, and driving forward through ambiguity. You can juggle multiple priorities and handle change.
- You have experience closely collaborating with product teams (PM, Design, Engineering, Marketing, and more). You enjoy collaborating with stakeholders throughout projects, and consider bringing them along the journey to be an essential part of the process.
- You have experience helping People Who Do Research (e.g. designers and PMs) become better researchers. For example, providing feedback on research plans, interview technique, or final reports.
- You have strong communication and facilitation skills. Whether it’s during a workshop, presentation, or even a Slack message - you have an innate ability to rally a team together and inspire change.
- You always keep your ear to the ground for relevant insights happening across the organization, understanding the implications and opportunities, and bringing it back to your team.
What's in it for you?
Achieving our crazy big goals motivates us to work hard - and we do - but you'll experience lots of moments of magic, connectivity and fun woven throughout life at Canva, too. We also offer a stack of benefits to set you up for every success in and outside of work.
Here's a taste of what's on offer:
• Equity packages - we want our success to be yours too
• Inclusive parental leave policy that supports all parents & carers
• An annual Vibe & Thrive allowance to support your wellbeing, social connection, office setup & more
• Flexible leave options that empower you to be a force for good, take time to recharge and supports you personally
Check out lifeatcanva.com for more info.
Other stuff to know
We make hiring decisions based on your experience, skills and passion, as well as how you can enhance Canva and our culture. When you apply, please tell us the pronouns you use and any reasonable adjustments you may need during the interview process.
Please note that interviews are conducted virtually.