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Assistant Director Design (Digital Product)

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

Our Mission :

Northwestern Mutual has 160 years of history providing financial security to millions of people. Continuing that tradition means changing to meet the needs of our clients and financial advisors. We are a strong, innovative, and growing company that invests in people who care and make a positive impact. The Design Team paves the path by crafting human, simple, and engaging products to help people plan, track, and protect their financial goals.

An Assistant Director, Design is a pivotal leadership role. The person in this role takes a holistic view of a program of features within a larger portfolio of products across a journey segment of our customers and partners. Through mentoring, coaching, and facilitation they help advance their teammate’s work. By working with peers and their leadership, they help understand the broader context of the portfolio and work with their teammates to make sure their program’s work fits into that greater context. All their work advocates the needs of our partners & customers and balances those needs, goals, & motivations with our partner's goals, team OKRs, and the overall business. This is a management role in which this person will be expected to drive work through other people and not through their direct contribution.

What you’ll be doing!

  • You will develop a team of individual contributors and leads who may be running their own smaller teams.

  • Working with our research team to build significant insight development plans.

  • Facilitate the development of initiatives based on interpretations of insights.

  • Work with the program management team, to build resourcing plans and schedules

  • Collaborate with the design system team to develop contributions to the design system based on emergent needs discovered through application designs

  • Facilitate design workshops for their design team and relevant partners, SMEs, and other collaborators

  • Collaborate with partner-stakeholders (product manager, developers, other designers), leading design’s focus on both design quality and the people whom we serve

  • Help drive all work through to completion for your own projects and those of the rest of your design team.

  • Drive usability, accessibility, responsiveness, and other properties through design execution.

  • You will be encouraged to provide mentorship and coaching to designers and non-designers on the team.

  • You are an ambassador for user-centeredness and the strategic value of design across the enterprise but especially amount your cross-functional peers and leadership.

​Bring your best! What this role needs

  • A Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent

  • You have experience working on a diverse set of sophisticated, highly transactional, data-intensive digital products & services.

  • You have developed a team and helped them reach outputs and business outcomes.

  • You have set goals with clear assessment criteria of what success looks like for the team and business.

  • Demonstrate a well-rounded set of digital design skills applied across a breadth of contexts.

  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of relevant psychological and other social science topics and their application to design.

  • You have worked with applying design systems across a complex array of products and services.

  • Strongly advocate for design process and methods and have experience guiding non-designers on how they can make use of them and gain value from their practice for themselves.

  • You are strategic and present your work based on a critical eye to the business.

  • You have a design process that is responsive to common heuristics and critical principles.

  • You use your communications and social skills to influence partners, peers, and leaders as well as to clearly communicate requirements, requests, and responses.

Preferred qualifications :

  • Experience in a regulated industry like financial/banking, insurance &/or healthcare

Things that we value:

  • Leadership

  • Openness and willingness to lean in and contribute

  • Performance

  • Passion for the craft

  • A strong point of view with a healthy dose of humility

  • A growth and collaborative attitude

  • A willingness to both accept and give criticism

  • Ability to navigate ambiguity

  • Willingness to try new things and bounce back

  • Expect work to be done on time

  • Curious minds and an appetite for learning


This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now! 

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.