Posted Mar 10

Design Strategist, Civic Innovation Office

Toronto Full Time

Design Strategist, Civic Innovation Office

You believe that good design can change the world, or at least the City. You are excited by the opportunity to apply a human-centred design lens to public sector innovation. The City of Toronto is seeking a Design Strategist just like you for its new Civic Innovation Office, which will help solve public challenges by creating a bridge between City divisions and Toronto’s growing innovation and technology communities.

The Civic Innovation Office will be housed within the City Manager’s Office and apply technology, data analysis and design thinking to develop and test solutions to major challenges faced by City residents. The Office is funded through Bloomberg Philanthropies, which recently selected Toronto as the first Canadian city to join its global network of Innovation Teams, which are collectively addressing pressing urban challenges to help improve the quality of life for local residents.

This is a 2-year opportunity with the potential for an additional 1-year extension.

The Role:

Reporting to the Director of the Civic Innovation Office, you will focus on human-centred design and user experience in the development of public-facing solutions. With a proven track record of effectively synthesizing information and presenting ideas visually, you will work with multidisciplinary teams to employ design thinking to help solve civic challenges. Generating design criteria to inform solution development, you will work with internal and external partners to test and prototype ideas; and provide support to the delivery of functional solutions that will improve residents' daily experiences in Toronto.

About You:

You are a cross-disciplinary creative doer, who works collaboratively and believes that design is a team sport. You have experience stewarding design solutions from conception to production in complex, multi-stakeholder environments. You can explain the ‘why’ behind design to non-designers and make the case for how people interact with their city in a design context every day.

Above all, you believe in local government’s ability to affect positive change and you care deeply about Toronto and its residents.


Your primary responsibilities as Design Strategist in the Civic Innovation Office will be varied, but you’ll be expected to:

  • Lead the human-centred design focus of the Civic Innovation Office through research, brainstorming, iterative design prototypes and refinement
  • Work productively with City divisions and external innovators to develop creative, ambitious solutions to civic challenges
  • Process complex problems and data analytics in the municipal context, and develop and present recommendations
  • Advocate for great customer experiences aligned to positive municipal outcomes
  • Create design briefs and set expectations for deliverables that will be developed, tested and implemented for their ability to directly improve residents’ daily experiences
  • Be a motivating and inspiring force in the Office and within City government
  • Work with City divisions to understand the needs of residents and advocate for the end user by designing intuitive interactions and easy-to-use experiences
  • Actively collaborate with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Program and other Innovation Team grantee cities.


Your application for the role of Design Strategist, Civic Innovation Office should describe your qualifications as they relate to:

  • Post-secondary degree in a foundational field of User Experience (UX) such as human-computer interaction, digital media design, human factors engineering, or information studies – or a combination of education and equivalent work experience
  • A strong focus on delivering great customer experiences aligned to business outcomes
  • A passion for modern design practices and methodologies
  • Proven knowledge of complete digital product development life-cycles from planning through to execution
  • Proven ability to work in a highly-collaborative lean, agile environment
  • Highly developed detail orientation organizational skills, and exceptional analytical skills, with ability to communicate design rationales, build consensus and translate complex content into user scenarios, flows and diagrams
  • A passion for creating intuitive and easy-to-use experiences that meet the needs of end users and solve business problems
  • Ability to bring leadership and influence across organizational layers - consult, negotiate, resolve conflict, and build relationships all through great communication skills
  • A passion for great design, a purposeful aesthetic sense, an eye for detail and a demonstrated understanding of typography, colour, and layout
  • Deep appreciation and talent for simple solutions to complex problems
  • Experience in tools of the trade, e.g. Adobe Illustrator, Azure, Balsamiq, InVision, UXPin, etc.
  • Familiarity and comfort with a variety of visual design tools, i.e. Illustrator, InDesign, OmniGraffle, HTML, whiteboard, pen and paper.

Salary Range: $108,222 - $ 127,171 per year

Work for the City you love

Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities, we are a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture, and are proud to be the Host City for the 2017 Invictus Games. Join the award-winning Toronto Public Service as Design Strategist, Civic Innovation Office within our City Manager’s Office.

How to Apply:

For more information on this and other opportunities with the City of Toronto, visit us online at To apply online, submit your resume, quoting File #2266858 X, by March 31, 2017.

Please note that all applicants are encouraged to provide a valid email address for communication purposes. Applicants may receive written correspondence regarding this job posting directly to the email address provided on their resume or to the one used to set up their Candidate Profile if applying on TalentFlow. As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you check your email regularly.

The City of Toronto is committed to fostering a positive and progressive workforce that is representative of the citizens we serve. We will provide equitable treatment and accommodation to ensure barrier-free employment. In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the City of Toronto's Accommodation Policy, a request for accommodation will be accepted as part of the City's hiring process.

If you are invited to participate in an assessment process, kindly provide your accommodation needs in advance. Please be advised that you may be requested to provide medical/other documentation to Human Resources to ensure that appropriate accommodation is provided to you throughout the hiring process.

Additional Application Instructions

How to Apply: For more information on this and other opportunities with the City of Toronto, visit us online at To apply online, submit your resume, quoting File #2266858 X, by March 31, 2017.

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