Director of Software Design/Creative Technology

Innovation Hub of Ford

Zebra People are very excited to announce that we are exclusively working with D-Ford London, the innovation hub of Ford to help them find a Director of Software Design / Creative Technologist to head up and build a team working on some of the most complex transportation challenges out there.

The client

As a Software Design Director, you understand code as your creative design medium, with a deep empathy for the end user’s needs. You lead the team through an iterative digital prototyping process, building in order to understand what is desirable and feasible. Your methods will inspire teams to be creative with possible digital solutions and enable product and service testing with real users.

As a Software Design Director you will…

+   Help teams iteratively bring to life product and service experiences through proofs of concept and at varying levels of fidelity, exploring tools and methods to learn and evolve concepts through digital and physical prototyping.

+   Define and guide teams in standards for agile ways of working, stewarding exploration and delivery of concepts and prototypes along digital service delivery plans.

+   Look beyond any immediate technical barriers to push our thinking and make recommendations on how to build modern technology, services and ventures.

+   Lead the software design community, inspiring their growth, and definition of craft, pushing their thinking and processes.

+   Ensure project success by keeping a regular pulse on various project teams, providing design feedback, guidance and mentorship in service of delivering digital services that help teams think, learn and evolve the strategy of products, services and business opportunities.

+   Maintain awareness of emerging talent needs of software designers, product managers, and delivery managers, investing in their capabilities by supporting the learning and development and helping to attract and retain talent.

+   Effectively influence internal stakeholders and external partners through informal and formal channels, in service of designing, building and launching great software pilots and products.

+   Connect high-level business goals and strategy to tactical implications for product definition, managing competing constraints, stakeholder expectations and talent needs.

+   Lead in the continued development of the lab’s strategy, culture, internal relationships, and

external presence.

+   Ensure that digital service design capabilities are understood and accessible across Ford as we evolve our approach to designing and developing products, services and ventures that shape Ford’s role for the future of mobility.


Basic Qualifications:

+   Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Business, Engineering or equivalent experience as a practitioner of software development.

+   10+ years’ experience in software design and software engineering, preferably in a startup environment, with demonstrable experience leading technical teams as an experienced practitioner of agile software development, knowing how to get the best out of multidisciplinary delivery teams.

+   2+ years’ experience working with human-centered design or with design teams.

Preferred Qualifications:

+   Master’s degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, or a related

field, or equivalent experience.

+   Experience as a product manager, digital technologist, chief technology officer, or related position.

+   Experience of utilizing design thinking and/or human-centered design in a formal, in-person


+   Track record of building and running great digital services that creatively work with existing systems and business models to meet user needs.

+   Experience of working across engineering and design teams.

+   Experience of organizational change and digital transformation initiatives within large and small corporations.

+   Passionate about automotive and transportation industry.


A bit about us

We’re in the midst of the biggest change the automotive industry has ever seen.

Just as cars changed the world over the last century – creating the driver, highways, gas stations, and malls – self-driving cars, electric powertrains, and connected vehicles will radically reshape how we live, work, and play, our cities and society themselves, in the next hundred years.

At D–Ford, you’ll be at the heart of creating that future. You’ll be at the cutting edge of Ford’s most strategically critical work, designing people and society’s needs into the heart of our next generation of products, services and experiences.

You’ll also be designing at scale. Every day, Ford’s vehicles and services support millions of people around the world. So, at D–Ford, we’re not just inventing the future, we’re operationalizing it, to help all those people move through their lives, better.


We drive human progress through empathy, creativity and design.



Our values are our guiding light, and the conscience for our work, and our people. We’re looking for

people who share this way of being – you don’t need to be convinced of it, you just get it:


We are curious about the world, designing systems and connections that enable people to move more freely.


We are inspired by the people around us, bringing their unique stories to the forefront of our designs.


We provoke new ways of thinking about tomorrow’s toughest design challenges, while grounded in what’s possible.


We build in the open, rigorously testing, iterating and evolving our ideas with others.


We radically collaborate across teams, geographies, and philosophies, uncovering new insights

to tomorrow’s problems.


Our strength comes from bringing our whole selves to the community—from introspective to playful or quirky. What will you bring?



We don’t hire “Design Thinkers.” We hire T-people. You:

+   Have deep expertise in a craft

+   Are comfortable working in relatively flat and dynamic teams

+   Are passionate to work on ambiguous and complex future challenges

+   Have a collaborative and empathetic mindset to solve problems with teams across Ford

Alongside everyone’s role as a designer of world class design content, you will also be expected to

contribute to a range of communities to maintain our creative culture. We call these Community Hats.

They can range from stewarding the lab, leading a workshop, mentoring others, contributing to publications, hosting a tour with executives, bringing your maker skills to build prototypes, or leading your craft in a global community of like-minded designers.

These global communities will ensure that we stay connected across the organization, and constantly push the impact of what we do. They can act as additional areas of responsibility, helping to push careers in different directions.

We have four global labs: Palo Alto, Detroit, London and soon, Shanghai.


You’ll be part of a growing organization in the heart of Ford’s Product Development Center to drive

innovation from the inside out.



The distance between imagination and … creation. It can be measured in years of innovation, or in moments of brilliance. When you join the Ford team discover all the benefits, rewards and development opportunities you’d expect from a diverse global leader. You’ll become part of a team

that is already leading the way, with ingenious solutions and attainable products – and it is always ready to go further.


Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the [United States] on a permanent basis. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Ford Motor Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or protected veteran status.

We welcome those with alternative identities, backgrounds, and experiences. Our team includes parents, the self-taught, the university-educated, and people of a wide variety of nationalities, ages, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Obviously, we’re looking to ensure it’s a solid fit from both sides: we want you to step into a role you love, and we want to offer you a place you’re proud to come to every day for work.

We know that diverse teams are strong teams, and welcome those with alternative identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply to be part of life at Zebra People. We are committed to a fair and accessible recruitment process for all candidates. We would be happy to meet any accommodation requests during the application or interview process, please just let us know.