Boston, MA, United States

Freelance Associate Director, Experience, Strategy & Design

Isobar is a digital agency with an organizational focus on user experience. We’ve built everything from a Comedy Central app that makes hilarious content available anywhere, to extremely sophisticated platforms for the U.S. Air Force. The breadth of Isobar’s marketing and business clients means that our people have a broad range of opportunities to explore. Our secret sauce? Ensuring full collaboration between our technology, strategy, experience design and creative team-members to enable the creation of complex, ground-breaking work.

Experience Strategy & Design (ESD) at Isobar

User-centered design is core to how we conceive, design and deliver innovative digital experiences at Isobar. We consider the experience practice to be a strategic endeavor that lies at the intersection of three tenets: business, audience and design expertise. We expect every member of our experience team to be able to analyze, design and execute across these three tenets, while working in close collaboration with counterparts in other disciplines, as well as with our clients.

We value people who have a passion for great design, relish tackling complex problems, are able to communicate ideas effectively, and are eager to learn and adapt to new technologies, industries and methods. From the most junior designers to the most senior ESD leadership, we expect our experience practitioners to be hands-on at every stage of the digital product creation process. They must be able to grasp complex business objectives and craft a differentiating approach that exceeds the expectations of users—all while ensuring the product meets its technology requirements. After completion, our experience professionals frequently oversee the product’s continuous improvement as a result of iterative testing, changing market demands, updated business requirements, new user needs, etc.

Position Overview

Isobar is seeking an Associate Director of Experience Strategy & Design who is committed to creating multi-channel, interactive experiences. We hire critical-thinking, creative problem solvers who can perceive a product’s design as an extension of a client’s business strategy. Such practitioners inherently understand and ensure the design is intuitive for users and a joy to use.

The Associate Director, Experience Strategy & Design is expected to work with minimal oversight from Experience Directors for all ESD activities and deliverables on complex consumer and corporate digital initiatives. As such, Associate ESD Directors play an important role in owning relationships with clients, are involved in projects from initiation, and maintain the user experience vision from concept to finished product.


  • Be a thought leader and contributor to an interdisciplinary team that includes other experience designers, visual designers, copywriters, technologists, business analysts, strategists, and project managers within Isobar and our client counterparts
  • Shepherd the design process, drive decisions, track issues, manage client communications and lead planning for project scope, activities, deliverables, timelines and schedules related to ESD work streams
  • Partner with colleagues and clients in co-creative environments to define, design and build digital products
  • Plan, initiate and lead client presentations, workshops and discussions
  • Drive user research activities and creation of personas, journeys, scenarios, wireframes, prototypes, workflows, interaction and experience models, and functional specifications, and ensure deliverables are client-ready
  • Plan and conduct usability testing to evolve designs based on the findings
  • Engage in QA development and implementation
  • Aggregate and communicate research findings, conceptual ideas, detailed design and design rationale—both verbally and visually
  • Act as career counselor for junior team members
  • Assist in recruiting and business development
  • Assist in the evangelization of Isobar (e.g., publish thought leadership, present at conferences, etc.)
  • Contribute to the evolution of our ESD process, tools and templates
  • Foster ESD artifact reuse, maintainability and consistency across multiple team members and projects
  • Apply our experience methodology across multiple client engagements

Required Experience / Skills

  • At least 10 years of experience in digital design practice
  • Experience in leading user research and usability testing
  • Strong knowledge of user-centered design principles, methodologies, best practices and approaches, particularly as applied to web- and mobile-based applications
  • Demonstrated experience and portfolio examples of complex design problem solving efforts for sophisticated transactional digital products or services – i.e. complex CMS implementations; ecommerce solutions; custom digital product or service solutions, omnichannel implementations, etc.
  • Excellent communication, organization and team interaction skills
  • Ability to function as a thought leader as well as an individual contributor across assignments
  • Commitment to constantly improving one’s skills, staying current with developments and trends in the industry, and providing team education and guidance
  • Experience with prototyping tools such as InDesign, Axure, and web-based frameworks
  • Extensive expertise of channel factors and considerations (responsive and adaptive web, native mobile and tablet, TV, wearables)
  • Strong expertise in presentation tools such as PowerPoint and Keynote
  • Strong knowledge of web technologies and associated accessibility standards (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Native)
  • Experience with multi-channel design efforts for major brands
  • Experience managing complex experience design tasks on projects with multi-disciplinary teams
  • Strong understanding of analytics and the ability to communicate how they affect design decisions
  • Familiarity and understanding of service design methodologies, practices and approaches

Nice to Have

  • Master’s degree in Interaction Design, Information Architecture, Human-Computer Interaction or a related design or behavioral science discipline
  • Knowledge of areas such as game dynamics, behavioral economics, brand strategy, data visualization, activation tactics and SEM, or storytelling and narrative as they relate to ESD