Principal Service Designer

Principal Service Designer

At Nile, service design is the craft and application of a design led strategy to the development of end-to-end services that work for the business and users. This role offers a fantastic opportunity to push forward our craft, and develop strong client relationships and realise exciting business opportunities.

Role: Principal Service Designer
Reporting to: Practice Director
Direct reports: TBC
Location: Based out of Edinburgh, with UK and international travel


This role offers a fantastic opportunity to push forward our craft, and develop strong client relationships and realise exciting business opportunities.

Primarily, you will shape and lead the successful delivery of Nile’s service design engagements. This is very much a hands on position, where you will be applying your significant service design and strategy expertise day-to-day, shaping insights and new service propositions, co-designing innovative concepts in line with business goals and bringing a multi-disciplinary client team on the journey. You will also be applying your creative expertise by co-designing and piloting services with customers.

You will have strong leadership skills and will demonstrate your passion for engaging front-line staff as well as executive decision-makers in a collaborative and outcome-driven service design process that generates measurable business outcomes. Line management and mentorship of a small team of service designers will also form a key part of the role.

While building internal capability, you will also be developing our brand externally, speaking at at conferences, attending events, creating content and contributing to Nile’s internal training. 

Who we’re looking for:

At Nile, service design is the craft and application of a design led strategy to the development of end-to-end services that work for the business and users. Although it should form a part of your experience, your remit extends far beyond the craft of digital UI, UX or user journeys. 

We’re after a seasoned practitioner who is comfortable leading and shaping these solutions for ambitious and challenging clients. You’ll be comfortable challenging the brief, having ownership of direction and leading a small team to deliver high quality, high impact outcomes, following a solid human centred design methodology. 

Our company culture is key and so a warm, flexible and collaborative approach to your work and relationships will come as second nature to you. We’re keen to work with someone who looks to push their craft on each engagement and to evolve their practice to keep up with industry trends and changes in our key client sectors. 

Experience working with large corporations or government is essential, and although our key sectors are finance and healthcare, we are also open to working with talented professionals who can bring valuable transferable experience from other sectors to our team.

 Must have:

  • Proven track record in leading and inspiring client and project teams to deliver high quality, innovative outcomes in a corporate or consultancy environment
  • Proven experience of delivering service design projects of various sizes and methodologies to quality, time and budget constraints.
  • Significant practical experience using a broad range of service design methods and approaches, particularly service proposition development, workshop facilitation, customer co-design and training
  • Experience of day-to-day task direction of multi-disciplinary project teams
  • Line management/people management experience
  • Significant experience of scoping, planning and costing programmes of work
  • Deep applied understanding and application of design process(es)
  • Demonstrable business development acumen
  • Knowledge and experience of using qual and quant design research methods
  • Strong influencing, negotiation and communication skills
  • Willingness to travel (mainly in the UK, but possibly overseas)


  • Experience working in financial services and/or healthcare sectors
  • A design related degree (e.g. product design, industrial design, service design)
  • Involvement in industry bodies recognised by the service design sector
  • Previous experience of defining and implementing new service design capabilities, offerings and propositions
  • Additional languages

Areas of responsibility


  • Provide market, sector and competitor insight
  • Integrate our culture and values into everything we do
  • Member of senior management team responsible for achieving long term goals
  • Promote knowledge sharing, good practice, industry/client information, lessons learned  

 Commercial :

  •  Deliver account revenue targets
  • Develop and deliver account management plans to maximise income
  • Contribution to commercial management of projects - invoices, financial admin, time tracking 


  • Scope out and kick off projects and provide support for project team
  • Design and innovate processes, standardisation, efficiencies, streamline toolkit
  • Support the Team Lead to implement new techniques and methodologies
  • Direct and challenge seniors on methodologies and innovation  

 Client Relationships:

  • Build relationships with clients and project leads
  • Own account management/account development planning process
  • Understand client businesses, challenges, identify opportunities
  • Provide escalation on projects 

 Project Delivery:

  • Lead designer on high profile/high value projects
  • Manage project deliverables – quality, budget control, time
  • Deliver client expectations/satisfaction - liaison, objectives, extend scope, opportunities 
  • Manage project evaluation – debrief, lessons learned
  • Identify and create case studies – measurable success stories 

 Profile raising:

  • Actively raise the profile of Nile and yourself
  • Speak at public events 
  • Create content for journal etc.


  • Input to short and long -term resource planning: right people, right level, right projects
  • Look for new talent/hire designers to grow own team
  • Promote professional development, innovation and career planning - self and team
  • Plan and manage holidays and other absences for own team 
  • Support the Practice Director and Managing Director in the day-to-day running of Nile


Are you interested?


    Apply for this job!