Senior Designer / Researcher Nava


Nava is at the forefront of reimagining how our government serves its people, and we’re looking for experienced researchers to help drive this mission forward.

You will work on small teams to drive the service design and research efforts of our work with the government, for programs that affect millions of Americans. You care deeply about working on technology that improves people’s lives, but don’t think technology is always the answer. You’ll be involved from concept to implementation, championing user needs with everything from user research to journey mapping. 

You’ll bring us closer to the people we ultimately serve, and help set high standards for our teams in terms of simplicity, empathy, and accessibility.

You can work remotely, or work from one of Nava’s offices in DC, SF, or NYC.

Opportunities and Challenges

Nava provides opportunities to do meaningful, impactful, mission-oriented work. As a public benefit corporation, we have a social mission written into our founding charter. The people who work at Nava have a fiduciary duty to our stated mission: to improve access, effectiveness, and simplicity of government services. We see this as an opportunity, but it is also important to highlight the challenges we face in advance. 

You will be working within the government ecosystem, which means working dynamically, with other government contractors and civil servants. Working with people outside of your company means you'll likely encounter different working styles, cultural norms and be responsible for maintaining order and focus without authority. At the same time, working as part of a larger team allows us to deliver on projects of larger scale and complexity.

The government contracting ecosystem is a compliance-driven multi-stakeholder environment – particularly when compared to the operating environments for companies of our size in the private sector. Successful members of our team understand how to be innovative within this environment when responding to proposals or delivering software and infrastructure. Finding and recommending ways to improve the way government digital services are procured and built is one of the highest-leverage ways we help fulfill our mission.

What you'll do

  • Apply a service design mindset to challenges with a relentless focus on user needs
  • Propel understanding of users, by running quantitative and qualitative user research initiatives and sharing findings with internal and external collaborators
  • Drive research ideas from concept to production, from diagramming to drafting research plans to conducting user interviews
  • Collaborate with multidisciplinary Nava product teams and government staff to drive service-level changes to product direction
  • Experience with managing a team of 1-5 designers or direct mentoring in a leadership capacity
  • Experience building relationships and trust with external stakeholders in complex environments

What we're looking for

  • At least 6 years of experience working as a service designer or researcher working with product teams within a professional working environment
  • At least 3 years of management or leadership experience in which you provide feedback, support and guidance to direct reports, while holding them accountable for what they've committed to accomplishing
  • Experience mapping and driving systemic improvements within complex service environments
  • Depth of experience in conducting, synthesizing, and communicating qualitative research
  • Understanding of web and mobile user interface design best practices
  • Relentlessly curious mindset, never satisfied with easy answers
  • Equal parts systems thinker and advocate for users
  • Highly resourceful, reliable, and detail-oriented
  • Ability to think strategically around trade-offs and short term vs. long term benefits
  • Ability to build and form strong relationships with the internal team and external partners
  • An adaptive, empathetic, collaborative and positive mindset
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, technical and otherwise

Other requirements:

  • Education: Due to contractual requirements, this role requires a Bachelor's Degree (in any discipline).
  • Residency: Lived in United States at least 3 years out of the last 5 years

Please include a portfolio with your application. Applications without an online portfolio will not be considered.

Remote states Nava is actively hiring in: California, Colorado, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington.

** If you are not living in one of the states listed above, unfortunately, you will not be considered for a position at this time. 

Compensation Range: $140,000 - $160,000

We're a small team working to radically improve our government, so everyone that joins us has a direct impact on the direction and success of Nava. We are stewards – we hold a deep responsibility towards the systems that we work with. We are a community – we value collaboration both within our teams and with the many hardworking people within government. We offer generous benefits and equity. 

We care deeply about diversity and inclusion at Nava. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion not only reflects our values as a public benefit corporation but also enriches our ability to do our work. Learn more about where we are today and hope to be by 2025.

Note: We participate in E-Verify. Upon hire, we will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. This role is required to work from the contiguous United States.