Senior Director, Design Strategy


July 21, 2021

Company Description
As the world’s leader in digital payments technology, Visa’s mission is to connect the world through the most creative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s dedication to innovation drives the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and fuels the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.
At Visa, your individuality fits right in. Working here gives you an opportunity to impact the world, invest in your career growth, and be part of an inclusive and diverse workplace. We are a global team of disruptors, trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers who are helping drive economic growth in even the most remote parts of the world, creatively moving the industry forward, and doing meaningful work that brings financial literacy and digital commerce to millions of unbanked and underserved consumers.

an Individual. We're the team for you. Together, let's transform the way the world pays.
Job Description
The Design Strategist is a bridge between Product Strategy and Product Design, responsible for identifying gaps in critical strategic insight, and delivering new or reframed briefs that inform and provoke better outcomes in both current and future product innovation, design, and development efforts. The primary remit of the role is to consider a fuller set of needs and benefits across the increasingly complex global commerce ecosystem to ensure higher adoption and use of Visa products and platforms, as well as increased differentiation.
As Senior Director, you will set standards, establish best practices, and create a charter for the Design Strategist role, and associated deliverables. You will be responsible for recruiting, hiring, and nurturing stellar strategic design talent. You will also evangelize strategic experience planning as an essential component of Design @ Visa and help shift our POV from product to platform.
For near horizon asks, the Design Strategist considers market, client, and end-customer trends impacting the domain in question, while bringing in innovations from adjacent industries to help reframe the opportunity brief and render additional stimulus that spurs idea generation for solutions, along with refinement via accelerated co-creations with partners, clients, and end-customers. Briefs must consider the wants, needs and behaviors of all the actors in the ecosystem, both direct clients and indirect customers, as well as key requirements for the service design of the solution experience.
For mid-to-long-term horizons, the Design Strategist drives collaboration across Product teams, including Strategy, Innovation, Design, Technology, Sales, and Marketing—to identify, investigate, and evaluate emerging opportunities for Visa. The role partners with other Innovation and Design teams to fast-track business assessment of potential scenarios via rapid experimentation and prototyping. This enables Visa to demystify and create actionable scenarios with clear advice on which paths Global Product could prioritize and pursue.
The Design Strategist leads structured forecasting and drives the development of user-centred design concepts that address emerging behaviors as well as under-met, and even unrecognized, needs that drive strategic market leadership. This role is responsible for translating and activating these new findings to avoid business as usual thinking and encourage cross-product collaboration and partnerships, as well as innovation layered on top of existing products to increase value and differentiation in the market.
Further, the Design Strategist enables senior leaders across Visa to immerse themselves in future commerce scenarios and raise important strategic questions around the Visa products of today and tomorrow, from both global and regional market perspectives.

  • Position can be located at any of our Global Design hubs, in the following cities: San Francisco, Austin, New York City, Miami, London, Dubai, or Singapore.

  • Work with a multi-disciplinary team of product owners, researchers, designers, and technologists to assess emerging global and regional commerce ecosystem trends, and identify strategic current and emerging opportunities for Visa in the near-to-long term
  • Synthesize data from market and design research, as well as business context, create new briefs and reframe existing briefs to maximize strategic market impact
  • Help to ideate, investigate, and evaluate concepts across near-to-long-term product horizons
  • Establish a shared library of concepts for learning and stimulus (failures and successes alike)
  • Inform the design of new and emerging world-class user experience concepts that stretch market definitions, grow new business opportunities, and drive differentiated future products
  • Immerse senior leaders in significant future commerce scenarios and foster collaboration across product strategy, innovation, design, technology, and marketing (to create empathy)
  • Build a growing knowledge to inspire internal teams and advance external thought leadership


12 years of work experience with a Bachelor’s Degree; 10 years of work experience with an Advanced degree (e.g. Masters/MBA/JD/MD); or a minimum of 5 years of work experience with a PhD
Preferred Qualifications
  • BA/BS in related field required, MS/MFA preferred (or relevant work experience)
  • 12 years of relevant work experience in Design, UX Research, Service Design, Design Thinking, Design Strategy
  • Minimum of 5 years in managing staff
  • Expert knowledge of visual, UI and interaction design principles as well as UX Research methodologies and tools with an eye for details and consistency
  • Ability to navigate complex, cross-functional organizations—sometimes with competing agendas and differing values—while building partnerships and engaging with colleagues across functions, levels, and geographies
  • Puts needs of the business ahead of him/herself—operates in a transparent fashion without a personal agenda
  • Able to challenge the status-quo sensitively and constructively—intellectually agile, confident, and articulate in written and verbal communications
  • Can be trusted to do only the “right thing” for the employees, shareholders, and others—follows a balanced approach without compromising integrity
  • Eager to foster collaboration inside and outside the team, as well as evangelize and promote Design, as well as the best possible experience for both our direct clients and end-users
  • Ability to juggle several high-level projects while delivering A-level work on all of them
  • Excellent observation, communication, presentation, and problem-solving skills
  • Fully fluent in English and able to understand and be easily understood in English
  • Knowledge of accessibility and inclusive design guidelines and best practices a plus

Additional Information

Work Hours

Incumbent must make themselves available during core business hours, sometimes requiring calls with various global locations

Travel Requirements

This position requires the incumbent to travel for work 20% of the time.

Physical Requirements

This position will be performed in an office setting. The position will require the incumbent to sit and stand at a desk, communicate in person and by telephone, frequently operate standard office equipment, such as telephones and computers, reach with hands and arms, and bend or lift up to 25 pounds.

EEO Statement

Visa will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with EEOC guidelines and applicable local law