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Career Opportunity

Senior Service Designer, Mayor’s Office of Innovation (9976/1054)

Recruitment: RTF0120199-01144727

Published: July 23, 2022


Connie Poon -
Jason Wong -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: City Administrator
Job class: 9976-Technology Expert I
Role type: Temporary Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


The Mayor’s Office of Innovation is a new initiative to work on specific initiatives that will demonstrate innovation in action, and build innovation capacity Citywide, with an emphasis on data analysis, human-centered design thinking, and public-private partnerships.

The Innovation Team is focused on improving service delivery and city performance across the City through replicable, strategic projects in key policy areas like small business recovery, housing, and homelessness and mental health services.

Priority initiatives include: a customer journey and data insight project to demonstrate how City dollars are funding better outcomes through our non-profit partners; developing data-driven incentive programs for landlords to participate in housing vouchers; working with the Permit Center to improve coordination and accountability in permit timing and service delivery; or other design-centered, cross-departmental initiatives.

Role description

As a Senior Service Designer, you will create service experiences that are designed around the people that use them. This is a multidisciplinary design role where you’ll use the full range of your experience, exercising your skills in service design, research, digital strategy, and product design. You’ll collaborate with teammates and stakeholders to build services that are simple and easy-to-use for staff, residents, and businesses.

You will be a champion for user needs, improve business processes, streamline systems, and help cut bureaucratic red tape. You’ll work with other designers, product managers, and developers from across SF Digital Services to analyze services, map user experiences across channels (for both staff and the public), communicate ideas, and lead change management. You will work directly with City departments, and must have strong communication and relationship management skills.

In this role you will work on projects with city departments that may range from designing a smoother experience for opening a business in the City, to detangling the complex process to get permits for construction. You will work with Digital Services teammates to create frameworks and strategies that guide our own products and platforms, like affordable housing or the city website.  Your work will develop service patterns and best practices that can be applied across the city.



  • Analyze and evaluate the constraints and possibilities of our complex systems and platforms
  • Work co-creatively with partner department staff to develop and recommend design solutions that are both desirable and feasible
  • Translate business requirements into user needs, and champion the (research-informed) resident experience to department staff and stakeholders
  • Identify, document, and leverage repeatable service patterns across projects
  • Coordinate digital services with printed materials and physical touchpoints to create seamless multi-channel services
  • Create deliverables to express design solutions to the team and our partners, such as wireframes, service blueprints, screen designs, storyboards, user experience journey maps, and system maps


  • Facilitate the creation of aligned, strategic visions for department services
  • Leverage the insights, patterns, and desires from partner department projects to inform the roadmaps and priorities of Digital Services’ platforms and products
  • Analyze  how policies, interpersonal dynamics, history, and organizational structure impact service delivery
  • Help partner departments navigate changing touchpoints, tools, and processes, determining the impact on current operations and how much change they can take on with each iteration
  • Define what good service design looks like in San Francisco and help colleagues and stakeholders understand its value
  • Identify new opportunities to improve systems and processes with technology


  • Lead the early stages of department projects, conducting discovery with staff to understand, document, and communicate the current process and its shortcomings
  • Work with Digital Services’ Research to plan and conduct thoughtful and ethical user research with users, front line staff, and stakeholders
  • Organize and facilitate workshops that bring together users and stakeholders to unpack a service’s challenges and propose new solutions
  • Work with Digital Services’ Research to create long-term, user-centered strategies

How to qualify

1.  An associate degree in a digital design discipline from an accredited college or university OR its equivalent in terms of total course credits/units [i.e., at least sixty (60) semester or ninety (90) quarter credits/units with a minimum of twenty (20) semester or thirty (30) quarter credits/units in a closely-related field].

2.  Five (5) years of professional experience in digital design.

Substitution:  Additional experience as described above may be substituted for the required degree on a year-for-year basis (up to a maximum of two (2) years). One (1) year is equivalent to thirty (30) semester units/ forty-five (45) quarter units with a minimum of 10 semester / 15 quarter units.

Experience Substitution:  Possession of a Master's Degree in industrial relations, social sciences or a related field or a Juris Doctorate Degree may substitute for one (1) year of the required experience.

Desirable Qualifications

  • Strong experience creating service design outputs including user journey maps, service architecture diagrams, systems maps, user profiles, and service blueprints
  • Experience using a variety of methods to communicate findings and proposals, including presentations, prototypes, storyboards, and visual frameworks
  • The ability to communicate the big picture to decision makers and the complex details to technical and subject matter experts
  • The ability to work both tactically and strategically
  • Strong facilitation skills, with experience in both planning and leading workshops
  • Experience guiding change in business processes and systems
  • Experience strategically incorporating research into the design process and familiarity with a variety of research methodologies
  • Understanding of modern software product development
  • Able to be practical and resourceful to remove blockers and get things done
  • Enjoys the challenge of working with complexity and ambiguity
  • Proactively seeks feedback, and constructively reviews the work of others
  • Works openly and transparently - you must be prepared to show rough drafts
  • Works comfortably in an iterative design process, adapting to changing deadlines and priorities

Important: Your application must include a cover letter that explains why you are applying for this job, and how your experience makes you a good fit for this role. To upload these items, please attach using the "additional attachments" function.

Guidance for Applying:  Applicants must include all relevant job experience in the online application.

Verification: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. Written verification (proof) of qualifying experience must verify that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement. Written verification must be submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying name of employee, dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee’s class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Rules. Experience claimed in self-employment must be supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to the minimum qualifications of the position. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupations and total earnings must be submitted. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco. 

What else should I know?

Compensation:  $136,162 - $171,288 annually

Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as this recruitment may close at any time, but not before August 1, 2022.

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Mailed, hand delivered or faxed documents/applications will not be accepted.

Note:  While we are currently remote due to Covid-19, you are expected to attend in-person meetings throughout the City on a regular basis.

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview. Qualified applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation in the selection process must contact the Agency by phone at (415) 554-6000 or, if hearing impaired at (415) 554-6015 (TTY).

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Someone is fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or a dose of a one-shot vaccine. Any new hire must present proof of full vaccination status to be appointed. Any new hire who will be routinely assigned or occasionally enter High-Risk Settings, must provide proof of having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine by March 1, 2022, or once eligible.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.