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Lead User Experience Designer (Public Sector)

Salary: £75,900 – £85,300 with profit share of £13,250 - £21,750

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In brief

Do you have a knack for translating user needs into captivating user experiences? Do you thrive on crafting simplicity out of complexity?

If the answer is yes, then you could be the perfect fit as our Lead UX Designer, joining our fast-growing Design and Research team.

As the lead designer for challenging government projects, you’ll play a key role in enhancing user experiences. You’ll guide diverse teams, including junior designers and researchers, to deliver quality, user-centred services.

You’ll work closely & collaborate with clients and key stakeholders to ensure solutions meet business needs, aligning with The Service Standard, and pass service assessments. We work in cross functional teams, where you will have the opportunity to collaborate with devs to prototype solutions and iterate quickly. This is not just a role; it’s a chance to make a tangible impact in the real world, crafting experiences utilized by millions!

Our team

Our design team is a wonderful mix of 20+ researchers, UI, UX and service designers working together with developers to create unique experiences that solve people’s real problems.

This is a fast-expanding team within a more established consultancy, where you’d have the rare opportunity to follow your work across both design diamonds.

Unlike most agencies, we don’t just focus on innovation, proof-of-concept, and early-stage engagements, we also have the cross functional teams to deliver the amazing experiences we conceive. We work very closely with our clients in intense, user-focused, prototype driven sprints, that grow into long-term relationships.

We don’t just design. We have impact.

What we expect from you

We are looking for someone who can design user-friendly solutions to big challenges with a practical attitude and a keen eye for detail. Someone who is skilled in using design facilitation to create a safe space for collaborative design with cross functional teams and stakeholders, bringing them clarity, vision and enthusiasm.

We appreciate colleagues who have gained wisdom from both failures and successes and are humble enough to share their learnings without hesitation. People who think deeply and have an opinion on everything from strategy to delivery, but are also able to listen to and encourage others to participate. While you grow with us, you will have a great opportunity to shape your future role in the team.

Essential skills and experience (you do not need to meet all criteria)

  • 7+ years of experience in UX design or related field
  • Experience with UK government projects and the GOV.UK Design System
  • Familiarity with the government Service Standard and CDDO service assessments
  • Experienced in translating client or project briefs into a well thought-through design approach and project scope with time and budget estimates
  • Hands-on UX delivery experience, accountable for applying a user centred design approach in a variety of (agile) project settings, from short engagements to long-term large-scale programmes of work
  • Ability to lead a project team of designers, providing guidance and quality assurance to the work
  • Cross functional experience, effective collaboration skills with research, technology, delivery and policy counterparts
  • Senior client and stakeholder management skills, able to influence key decisions and demonstrate the value we’re adding to their project objectives
  • Experience of designing to a minimum of WCAG 2.1 AA standard and applying inclusive design principles to your work
  • Deep knowledge in at least one prototyping tool kit – either the Gov kit, Figma, InVision, Adobe XD, Sketch etc 

Nice to have skills and experience

  • Line management and/or mentoring experience
  • Experience in an agency setting as well as private sector projects
  • Understanding and/or working experience with procurement processes, writing proposals and pitching for projects
  • Ability to carry out research, and a willingness to explore Service Design
  • Coding ability

About Softwire

Softwire is a leading digital software consultancy. We offer services in software engineering, design, innovation, cloud, mobile and data.

Trusted by well-known organisations, including the BBC, David Lloyd Clubs, LNER and The Cabinet Office, Softwire has grown into a business that consistently delivers large, high-profile digital projects for the UK’s leading brands.

But who are we actually?

We’re innovators. We’re passionate problem-solvers in both software engineering and digital design. We are dedicated. And we love what we do.

It all started when our founders Pete, Dan, and Phil realised that there was a better way to do things. A way that delivers results without squeezing the fun out of what we do. A way that is never corporate, but always professional.

When you work with Softwire, you’re not only becoming part of a team with in-depth technical skills and delivery expertise – you’re joining a team filled with passion, guile, and an absolute dedication to producing the best work possible.

Voted in the Sunday Times as one of the Top 100 Companies to Work For (now known as Best Companies), you’ll be working in a thriving environment full of innovation, devotion, and outright electricity.

What we stand for

Here at Softwire, we hold four key values at the core of everything we do:

  • We really care about what we do
    When we say we care, we honestly mean it. Our work is our passion, and everything that comes through our doors is treated with the utmost respect and with the same level of care that we’d treat our own work. Because honestly – we really do care.
  • We trust and are trustworthy
    We’re not micromanagers. We place a level of trust in each member of our team to work their hardest and produce the best they can achieve. This is an innovative but fun place to work – and we trust that you’ll meet our standards.
  • We are kind
    Clients come to us with complex, exciting, but often challenging projects. And we are the friendly face that will help them reach their goals – and be with them for the long run. Our team is open, accepting, and always ready to accept new ideas. Because after all, in a world where being kind is free – why be anything but?
  • We are fun
    When you’re working at the forefront of technology, every day is different. And in this fast-paced environment, we realise that work isn’t always going to be fun. Some days can be stressful, but despite this, we know the importance of enjoying ourselves. Because at the end of the day, we spend a lot of time at work – so we might as well have fun while we’re there.


Softwire operates transparent pay scales and a profit share scheme based on role and overall company performance.

  • Base salary is based on experience in role and ranges from £75,900 – £85,300 + Profit Share
  • You can expect to receive an average of £13,250 – £21,750 in profit share depending on your experience and company performance.
  • Pension: Additional 5% of salary

Additional benefits

  • 25 days annual leave (with the option to buy 10 and sell 5)
  • 3.5 days additional days off for company-wide morale activities
  • AIG income protection
  • Travel card loan scheme
  • Zero emission car scheme
  • Cycle to work scheme 
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity pay
  • Time off for charitable activities
  • Sabbatical available on request
  • Payroll charity donations
  • Headspace plus
  • Free annual eye test
  • Long service awards
  • Flexible working options and patterns
  • (Flexible Working: The role is suitable for people who want to work 4dpw)
  • (Hybrid Working: Generally able to work at least 2dpw from home)

Equal-opportunities employer

Softwire is an equal-opportunities employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, gender including gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, or any other protected status. All matters related to employment are decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.