Head of Design

Smallpdf GmbH — Zürich
23 JulyExecutive po­si­tion100%

Head of Design

Head of Design

TechZürich, Zurich, SwitzerlandFull time

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As a Head of Design at Smallpdf, your mission is to coordinate design and research initiatives across the organisation and build, coach and train our team of designers and researchers.

  • You coordinate and align design and research initiatives to match our product and business strategy, and ensure that the work the team does bring impact and value to the business.

  • You facilitate any type of workshops to solve business, product, and user problems.

  • You improve the alignment across teams on strategies, practices, and behaviours.

  • You guide and support the team, define rituals, values and overall culture, you care for the team's health and productivity, and you represent the team needs across the organisation.

  • You promote a design thinking mindset across the organisation, collaborating with all teams and departments, Designers, Researchers, Data Analysts, PMs, Engineers and C-Levels,

  • You evangelise the Smallpdf Design efforts outside of Smallpdf to celebrate the talents in the team, the outcome and impact of the team's work and the achievements.


  • Shape and optimise the design and research process. Support designers in incorporating quantitative and qualitative data into their decision process and put customer at the centre of their work. Support researchers in defining best practices, strategies and methodologies to deliver the most accurate and actionable insights to product teams.

  • Translate business and product strategies to UX objectives, define teams OKRs and connect company goals to UX goals and vice-versa. Collaborate with teams, departments and C-Levels to drive company wide initiatives, identify potential issues, resolve blockers, and spot design and research opportunities that generate value and impact. Allocate and distribute design and research resources across teams and initiatives.

  • Recruit, coach and lead a team of designers and researchers, evaluate team's performance, define salaries, promotions and improvement plans. Hold regular 1:1s, create individual growth plans with periodical check-ins, administrate budget and initiatives for personal growth, and represent the team's and individuals needs across the organisation.

  • Promote and grow a team identity together with team’s values and principles. You advocate for a collaborative processes, nurture a safe environment of mutual respect and trust for the team, where feedback is shared openly, and you're the ambassador for healthy communication and behaviours across the team and the company.

  • Promote and evangelise the value of design and research within the company (and outside)


  • A minimum of 5+ years in-house experience in start-up, scale-ups, ideally in the SaaS sector, managing and coordinating a team of designers and researchers. You saw that, you've done that, you can bring the right expertise and know-how to help the team grow further.

  • A solid understanding and practice with design and research tools, principles and methodologies to help mentor the team to deliver a top class customer experience that ultimately drives business impact.

  • A collaborative team spirit, excellent communication, time management, planning and organisational skills to help coordinate team's initiatives across product teams.

  • A strong empathy and genuine interest in people growth as individuals and professionals, together with a solid experience in recruiting, coaching and leading the career growth for a team of 10+ designers and researchers.


  • The opportunity to impact a successful, growing scale-up and its tools used by millions worldwide.

  • Work in small, highly motivated, cross-functional teams that push boundaries.

  • We are remote-work friendly (we prioritize a healthy work-life balance)

  • A dedicated annual budget and time off for personal development

  • Enjoy company events in the Swiss Alps, on Lake Zurich, or even further afield.

  • After-work events include BBQs, cinema, game nights, meet-ups, and more.

  • Learn German with our free German language course.

  • Hack days to challenge yourself and the team.

  • Unlimited free coffee and drinks.

  • Weekly team lunch on the house.

  • Brand new offices in the heart of Zurich.

Rated by Forbes as one of the top 10 cities in the world for work-life balance, Zurich is the place to work for anyone who wants more out of life. From chocolate, cheese, and Rӧsti to snow-capped mountains, haute couture, Swiss-made watches, and outstanding public transport, whatever it is that makes your heart beat faster, it’s all right here in Switzerland—and so is Smallpdf.

Smallpdf is an equal opportunity employer. We believe a talented, diverse, and inclusive workforce is our greatest strength. We strongly oppose any form of hiring or workplace discrimination against candidates or employees on any basis, including race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, philosophy, nationality, disability, or genetic information. We’re committed to fostering a safe, supportive environment where everyone can come to work as their full selves and reach their greatest potential.

By sending your application, you allow Smallpdf to handle and store your data.

Smallpdf does not seek or accept unsolicited resumes or CVs from recruitment agencies. We are not responsible for, and will not pay, any fees, commissions, or any other payment related to unsolicited resumes or CVs except as required in a written contract between Smallpdf and the recruitment agency or party requesting payment of a fee.

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