Design Strategist

Design Strategist

About the role

At Kinneir Dufort (KD) our mission is simple – to Design a Better World. We work with a wide range of clients in a variety of sectors, including medical, consumer and industrial. We have a highly skilled and collaborative team that enables us to combine creativity, technical innovation and user experience to deliver world-changing products and services to our clients.

We’re serious about growing and we’re looking for the right person who wants to grow with us.

Front-End Innovation and Strategic Design is key to growth at KD. We create future products and services informed by insight or foresight. The next decade presents big challenges that require big thinking. We set direction, keep brands relevant and define what’s next. We are looking for a Design Strategist to support on projects for some of the worlds most recognised brands in healthcare and FMCG.

About you

You will be curious, focussed on discovery and exploration to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ behind what people say and do. You will have the ability to translate insights into opportunities for design and innovation. Unravelling problems is your thing, and you can breakdown complicated information in a simple and easy to understand format that can be presented in an engaging way.

Your design approach, personality and attitude are what are important to us. The strength of our team relies on our combined cross-functional experience, and we pride ourselves on recruiting the very best team members who will fully embrace our collaborative ethos. The Design Strategist will be part of the Insight and Innovation team, but work closely with our Design team.


• Support with global research and engagement with people to understand needs and uncover possibilities.

• Work with the design team, create research stimulus and hypotheses.

• Frame and identify problems and opportunities, bringing to life ideas through visuals or storytelling.

• Carry out desk research on topics and trends, creating clear territories to inspire ideas.

• Plan, prepare and support the facilitation of engaging workshops, delivering clear outcomes and direction.

• Structure and create inspiring and compelling presentations.

• Create clear journey maps or service blueprints to demonstrate areas of need and opportunity.

This is a full-time role based in our beautiful Bristol City Centre HQ, however we offer a flexible working policy that enables our team to work from home for a proportion of their working week. The role will involve some national and international travel when it is safe to do so post-covid (est. 5% of time).

Your skills and experience

• Experience either as a design researcher, or a designer wanting to move upstream to define what’s next and guide design and innovation direction.

• Some experience in conducting or participating in different aspects of qualitative design research.

• Hands on design experience (3D product or pack design or service design).

• Experience of successfully working as part of a team and openly exchanging information and supporting colleagues

• Evidence of a collaborative style and approach

• A degree qualification is not essential for this role, but an ability to demonstrate how you have tackled a design or innovation challenge is important.

About us

At Kinneir Dufort (KD) we combine creative, technical and user experience expertise with agility. This enables our collaborative teams to rapidly define, create, develop and deliver world-changing products and experiences.
We think KD is a special company to work for. Our team are intelligent, hard-working, fun, non-egocentric, and collaborate brilliantly together to produce creative solutions. We work with some of the biggest, best and most interesting international clients that you’ll find anywhere. We’re a multi-disciplinary team, with experts in research, innovation, human factors, digital UX, 2D and 3D product & packaging design, engineering, prototyping, and electronics & software, all uniquely integrated within one great company.
Our team are collectively driven to “design a better world” by creating impactful change and positive outcomes for our clients and the people we are designing for. Designing a better world is something we strive for, both in the work we do, and the way we work. We believe strongly in equality and fairness and try hard to do the right thing; we speak up for and support groups who are working to make a difference. Our official KD partners are the RSA, Frank Water, Kerning The Gap, TeenTech, Babbasa and The Big Bang. Many of our team are also involved in, or run, events in their local communities, making a difference to those around them.
Founded in 1977 by Ross Kinneir and Francis Dufort, the KD team are based in an iconic building in the vibrant city of Bristol. The characterful Grade 2 listed stone building was originally built as a sugar refinery around 1850 and was later used to store theatre costumes. It’s now completely refitted, and houses all of our staff plus our workshops, labs, the design studio, an HF usability suite, and client meeting spaces. The local area, “Christmas Steps Arts Quarter”, is full of independent shops and makers. It’s a short walk up to Park Street, or over to the Harbourside and St Nick’s Markets, both of which have regular street food markets.
We offer flexible working policies in terms of both location and working hours. During normal circumstances, staff are typically expected to work a proportion of their week in the office and can work flexibly around specific ‘available hours’ in the working day. Please contact us if you are thinking of applying and would like more information about how our flexible working policy might work for you in this role.

Why work with us?

At KD we have strong values which underpin everything we do. As a business and as individuals we are Curious, Open, Adaptable, Expert, Human & Inclusive.
We expect a lot of our team, but in return we think we offer a lot too.
We understand that we are only as good as our people, and we know how important it is to support our team.
We offer our staff:
• 25 days holiday a year (with extra days for long service).
• A matched contributory pension scheme.
• Company-wide bonus plus additional bonus opportunities for the business development team
• Private health care for you and your family; free employee eye tests plus an employee assistance scheme.
• Training and development opportunities, and regular lunch and learn sessions.
• Flexible working approaches.
• Regular opportunities to have your say, tell us what you think and influence how we develop as a team and as a business.
• Secure in-building bike storage and shower, discounted First Bus monthly and annual passes. (Bristol has a good Park & Ride bus network.)
• The opportunity to become involved in our work with the RSA, Frank Water, Kerning The Gap, TeenTech, Babbasa, The Big Bang.
• A cafe that acts as the focal point for the whole team to get together for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. There is always daily fresh fruit and usually cake! There are plenty of opportunities to socialise outside of the office too, including activities like staff-organised runs, cycles, yoga sessions, as well as regular team socials.

If you like the sound of us and you meet the above criteria, then we’d love to hear from you. Send your CV, along with a covering letter/email, to [email protected], including reference to KDDS-APR2021 in the subject line.

If you think you might be the right person for us but want an informal chat first then get in touch.


At KD we consciously embrace diversity and proactively encourage this with our recruitment process. We welcome applications to this position from anyone meeting the skills criteria, from any background.