Principal Design Director

Last updated 7 days ago
Location:Redmond, Washington
Job Type:Full Time

Do you want to be at the heart of Microsoft’s massive digital and cultural transformation? Are you a diehard UXer who thrives on tackling tough challenges? Are you passionate about people and want to work in a vibrant Studio where design and research work closely together? Then check us out!

Core Services Engineering & Operations (CSEO) builds the products and services that Microsoft runs on and our CSEO Studio team is playing a critical role by bringing together expertise in design, research, and accessibility to create experiences that empower our fellow employees to achieve more in their lives. Together with our partners, we’re raising the bar of user experience so we can all make a difference at Microsoft.

We are seeking a Principal Design Director to lead a team of design managers and ICs within our Core Functions Engineering team. This team is responsible for building the experiences that our Finance, HR, Enterprise Services and Legal teams use to get their jobs done. In addition to the core professionals, many of the experiences impact all Microsoft employees around the globe (e.g. recruiting, hiring, interviewing, benefits, expenses, travel etc…). This Design Director will play a critical role in the product making process and inspire the team to be a driver for change. This person is well versed in all stages of the product development cycle, has a solid user centered and product design process, and has a diverse and extensive portfolio which includes people management. Leading by example is a critical skill for this role as well as creative problem solving, articulating a strong design point of view and working collaboratively with engineering partners.


  • Define and drive people management responsibilities for individual designers including being responsible for their professional growth
  • Lead by example and inspire designers globally to create the right design solutions in known or highly ambiguous areas
  • Align on priorities and build deep engagements with partners around the globe - engineering, PM, Data, and Researchers
  • Create an invigorating and positive work environment/culture
  • Understand the Business & Technological constrains and how that impacts design
  • Be a strong voice for the user and ensure Inclusive Design practices are implemented
  • Lead design teams to deliver great results that are simple, connected, and intelligent
  • Effectively communicate design strategies, concepts and solutions to peers, partners, stakeholders and executive leadership throughout the organization
  • Drive design resources, schedules, process, and priorities of design activities for large teams


Basic Qualifications:

  • A minimum of a Bachelors degree in Product Design, HCI, UI/UX Design, Software Design, Architecture, Communication Design, Interaction Design, or a related field, or equivalent alternative education, skills, and/or practical experience is required.
  • 10 years' minimum experience of Design experience
  • 5 years' minimum experience as a people manager

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 10+ years of relevant design experience with proven success in working with partners and customers
  • 5+ years of experience in people management and leading design teams in complex design projects
  • Strong design capabilities, including composition, layout information hierarchy, typography, color, animation, motion, or industrial design.
  • Eye and passion for product quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail
  • Innate curiosity, data driven, and ability to self-start in an ambiguous and rapidly changing startup-like environment, growth mindset
  • Ability to quickly produce elegant and easily understood diagrams, wireframes, concept maps, prototypes, interaction guidelines and other related artifacts with a strong interaction point-of-view
  • Experience shipping innovative and complex mobile, web or software products while meeting and exceeding milestones
  • Good problem-solving skills and ability to think strategically and agilely
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively across diverse functions (Engineering, Research, Program Management, Data & Marketing)
  • Great written and verbal communication/presentation skills
  • Experience in the HR, Finance, Enterprise Services or Legal domain is a plus
  • A portfolio demonstrating breadth and creativity and proven experience in telling stories, building UI models, generating detailed wire frames, developing prototypes and delivering comprehensive specifications. Please indicate your specific roles and contributions for each project submitted as part of the portfolio.



Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances.

Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.