Associate Director of Design, Digital


Cognition is searching for an Associate  Director of Design to join our growing design & development team. As an Associate Director for Digital, you will serve as a lead designer in our digital & interactive division, driving innovation and building digital products for clients ranging in size from start-ups/incubators to public biopharma.

Associate Directors foster good relationships with the specific clients they serve and build new relationships with clients that we seek to add to the agency client list. They define the strategic approach, build integrated solutions and oversee the delivery of the work. They strive for problem solving, innovative thinking, and cross team collaboration to build efficient and effective outcomes. Making that happen involves duties such as: partnering with clients, strategic partners and creative teams within the company to direct design solutions, hone the craft the work, and guide the process from end to end.

You will be responsible for working closely with client partners to define project goals and  product requirements for digital solutions that meet their business objectives. A successful candidate will have a passion for innovative user interfaces and possesses a strong capacity for communicating solutions visually through sketches, user flows, wireframes, functional prototypes, high fidelity screens, etc. as necessary. The successful candidate has excellent communication and interpersonal & analytical skills, including the ability to present design concepts clearly and persuasively to colleagues, partners, stakeholders, and especially to senior executives. Lastly, this candidate thrives in a highly collaborative environment, possessing a strong grasp of Agile project management, as well as the ability to relentlessly advocate for both the business needs as well as the end beneficiary the given product or service aims to serve.


Job Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions):

  • Experience building new website and digital projects, setting strategy, and driving execution
  • Acted as a strategic individual contributor on cross-discipline teams, contributing to – and at times leading- the full design process from concept development to wireframes and high-fidelity specs
  • Aligned colleagues and clients on product goals, leading teams to achieve the highest level of performance without compromising timelines and team harmony
  • Set quality standards, aligned with a deep understanding of the client’s goals, business requirements and constraints, for qualitative foundational & evaluative research, insight articulation, experience model development (e.g., customer journeys, behavioral archetypes, service blueprints, etc.), design and testing
  • Successfully worked in a fast-paced, deeply collaborative, agile environment, while also leading process improvement efforts
  • Led and contributed to the client engagements in the Life Sciences and Biotechnologies field
  • Led and contributed to prioritizing MVP features, building a backlog, and creating strategic web development roadmaps
  • Led and collaborated with development teams


Leadership Requirements:

  • Helps nurture relationships between design & development, client definition of projects and oversee processes to achieve or surpasses the capability of assigned projects.
    • Supports the development, receives approvals for, and maintains project scopes.
    • Responsible for developing project plans, and supports understanding of tactical schedules, and budgets in collaboration with a Director or Lead Account & Project Manager.
    • Team Leadership – Actively leads and facilitate client/project team activities including workshops, strategy and brainstorming sessions, as well as review sessions and after action reviews to build in a healthy behavior around the creative process.
      • Develops, maintains and distributes project documentation and communication so that teams have clear leadership throughout a project.
    • Creative Direction – It is the responsibility of the AD to support clear intake, project definition, so that we can properly plan the process, producing a critical path and understanding the timing of each stage. Guiding the right solution at each phase of the project is essential to ensuring that the project is completed with excellence and craft.
    • Resource Allocation – It is the responsibility of the AD to work with their direct reports to identify and anticipate what resources or subject matter experts are needed for any given project and ensure they are available.
    • Budget Monitoring – The AD supports the financial forecast and burn for critical accounts and projects, in conjunction with the Director.



  • Considerable knowledge of products and practices of the science, healthcare, and design industries and programs.
  • Strong leadership and collaboration skills, with the ability to guide high performing teams using persuasion and influence (rather than command and control)
  • Strong systems thinking, and the ability to understand complex feature and marketplace dynamics
  • Eager to involve clients in the design process, highly responsive to feedback, and excited to present your team’s ideas in front of key stakeholders.
  • Able to be flexible and manage priorities in a high-productivity environment with tight deadlines
  • A constant drive to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and developments.
  • A deep appreciation and talent for applying simple solutions to complex problems
  • Experience mentoring junior colleagues, providing guidance and support for their growth through thoughtful, specific and actionable feedback
  • Front-end development experience (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) a plus
  • Worked collaboratively with cross functional teams


Basic Qualifications:

  • Master degree or Bachelor’s degree in Interaction Design, Design, similar field of study, or equivalent practical experience.
  • Five years experience managing project teams of 5+ professionals.
  • Science and/or healthcare background, high desired
  • 7+ years of experience designing and delivering products, from start to finish, in an Agile environment amongst expert cross-functional teams
  • An online portfolio or samples of work demonstrating experience creating intuitive end-to-end, user-centered design solutions and patterns, across desktop and mobile devices
  • Experience shipping products across multiple technology platforms (eg. browsers, applications, operating systems, mobile and connected devices, other hardware)
  • Solid written and verbal communication skills with the ability to present a strong rationale for design decisions
  • Experience giving and receiving feedback, possessing a mature capacity to engage in uncomfortable conversations.
  • Proficiency with the Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, Figma, and prototyping tools


How to apply
Email a cover letter, resume and portfolio to with subject line: “Application: [Job Title]”