Head of Design Studio

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Working alongside brilliant design practitioners, you will act as a figurehead for the our design studio (a distinct business unit at Code) and will be responsible for its growth and service evolution while leading design-focused client relationships, such as our successful partnership with the BBC.

You will work with our Design Director to establish the expected standard and see this is delivered on behalf of our clients, from research and strategy through to final delivery.

You won’t have to play a hands-on role in the delivery of design services, but will be expected to understand the needs of a business and define their customer’s problems, and then put together the right set of design methods, and then see that we make the necessary impact.

You will have credibility in the design industry and can build trust with clients and design teams through your deep understanding of how to deliver effective design. You will make a valuable contribution to the DBA and take full advantage of our membership.

Role and responsibilities...

  • Strategic design: Effectively contribute to and bring to life emerging digital strategy and bring people together by telling the story of a better future.
  • Consultancy: Offer our clients sound advice that are happy to pay for because it helps them commission effective design projects.
  • Client relationships: Creating and maintaining good relationships with clients, as well as leading new business development and pitches.
  • Client satisfaction: Work with design studio practitioners to ensure we maintain and drive client satisfaction levels by delivering great work.
  • Business performance: Ensure we have roadmaps for our clients that will achieve revenue targets, win new work and proactively develop relationships.
  • Leadership and mentoring: Helping develop other team members, by sharing knowledge and passion with the wider agency and the world.

Skills and experience...

Core competencies


  • Vision & strategy (the formulation of what product we need to make and why) Builds senior client relationships by establishing a shared vision for user experience
  • Commercial focus (ensuring clients see a return on investment) Works within financial constraints to deliver the best possible design outcomes for each individual business that we work with
  • Communication & client management (using storytelling to write or speak persuasively about design) Explains how a programme of work will effectively address a strategic challenge
  • Process design & facilitation (the formulation of design activity throughout the full product lifecycle) Designs the right process for clients that can be delivered within a reasonable budget
  • Negotiation (working with clients to find the best outcome for both parties) Good negotiation skills with clients, able to protect Code’s interests and give the team the opportunity to deliver positive outcomes.
  • Collaboration (working together to design products and improve our practice) Creates an environment where collaboration is expected


  • Design research (working with user groups to identify business insights) Ensures the highest standards are reached and helps teams identify and make use of insights
  • Ideation & critical thinking (generation of appropriate ideas and effective critique) Helps teams understand and improve their creative capability
  • Developing others (developing talent in the design studio) Able to recognise potential and is willing to foster the development of that potential by creating an environment where people can grow professionally.

Core skills & experience

  • 7+ years’ experience in successful delivery of design-focused projects
  • A minimum of 5 years of client service and strategic planning of design
  • An ability to motivate and support the design studio team
  • Experience working with clients to develop roadmaps and negotiate costs
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • The ability to manage and set client expectations
  • Ability to stay positive and calm under pressure
  • Generally a good egg

What we value...

  • We value people who are brilliant in their capability and the things that they make together.
  • We value people who improve, continually improve themselves and the world around them to make a difference.
  • We value people who collaborate, who are a joy to work with and who get more from themselves and those around them by working together effectively.

Perks of working for Code

  • An annual training budget of at least £500 so you can develop your skills
  • Profit-related bonus scheme
  • Medical insurance with eyecare and dental included
  • Subsidised massages on-site
  • Generous maternity and shared parental leave package
  • Flexible hours and opportunities to work from home
  • Annual (& legendary) Christmas jaunt abroad
  • Social events subsidised by the company, including a weekly free bar
  • Bike and rail pass scheme
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