Lead Service Designer

Full Time

City of Philadelphia

Job Description

As a Lead Service Designer, you’ll:

  • Report to the Service Design and Delivery Practice Lead.
  • Contribute to service improvement projects—from beginning to end.
  • Lead projects with the support of Practice Leads and Strategists.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to build and grow SDS Practice Areas for long-term sustainability.
  • Lead skill-share sessions with colleagues to help them apply service design methods to their work.
  • Contribute to the field of service design.

Essential Functions

Below are the primary duties of this position:


  • Contribute to the design and facilitation of thoughtful and ethical qualitative research to understand the service-related needs of community members, staff, leaders, and other stakeholders.
  • Work with team members to synthesize research into insights and well-defined opportunity areas for service design intervention.
  • Closely collaborate with team members to develop feasible, person-centered, and comprehensive cross-channel recommendations that improve resident and staff interactions with government.


  • Transform evidence-based recommendations into project deliverables, like service blueprints, process flows, stakeholder maps, and project reports.
  • Visually communicate research insights and prototyped-ideas in clear ways, so stakeholders can align on concepts.
  • Develop compelling narratives that communicate the human experience to decision-makers, so they can make clear decisions that align with evidence and human need.


  • Work with UX designers, content strategists, technologists, and other subject matter experts to develop and build tools and resources (e.g., websites, one-pagers, applications, etc.) that support service improvement strategies.
  • Participate in the evaluation of pilot projects to understand efficacy.

Collaborating with colleagues

  • Communicate work without jargon or pretense.
  • Offer and take constructive feedback.
  • Communicate with clarity and honesty around the status of work.
  • Cultivate and maintain respectful relationships with colleagues.

Project managing

  • Break down project tasks into reasonable project plans with key milestones and deadlines.
  • Clearly communicate the status of work to leadership, team members, and other stakeholders.
  • Effectively navigate through ambiguity and project challenges.


  • Expand team members’ skill sets through regular feedback and learning sessions.
  • Participate in the design and facilitation of skill-shares with City colleagues, so they can apply service design methods to their work.


  • Work with team members to disseminate lessons learned, tools, and best practices of the Studio to the public.
  • Actively contribute to the field of service design through journal submissions, conference participation, and community skill-shares.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities

  • Values-based practice: Demonstrate commitment to equitable process and outcomes, prioritize the voices most impacted by change and service challenges, and practice emotional intelligence and cultural humility.
  • Systems thinking: Understand and work across the complexity and interconnectedness of systems, issues, organizational structures, and ways of working.
  • Inclusive facilitation: Facilitate meetings, workshops, and conversations that encourage active participation, rebalance power asymmetries, practice cultural humility, and help groups build consensus or make decisions collectively.
  • Communication: Practice clear, accessible, and honest articulation of complex ideas and approaches through spoken, written, and visual formats.
  • Collaboration: Manage conflicts with sensitivity, give and request thoughtful feedback, and practice emergence towards shared goals and agreements.
  • Relationship building: Build a culture of mutual care, deep listening, reflection, and celebration.
  • Continuous learning: Engage in ongoing reflection and learning as well as be aware of and adapt to current trends and practices in design, government, and analogous fields of practice.


  • A design-related degree or relevant industry experience.
  • At least three years of professional experience practicing service design.
  • At least three years managing projects and project relationships with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders.
  • Strong knowledge of qualitative research methods, including interviews, surveys, workshop development, and data analysis.
  • Ability to create service blueprints, journey maps, and other service design deliverables.
  • Strong data visualization and visual design skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong collaboration skills to work effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • A strong portfolio showcasing a range of service design projects.
Pennsylvania, United States
Full Time
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