Current status

We received 86 applications for this job opportunity.

All applications received on or before the closing date are screened against the qualifications outlined below. Applicants who meet the qualifications will be invited to continue in the hiring process.

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Join us

Join the Ontario Digital Service (ODS) to design and deliver the future of government services.

People are at the heart of our mission to ensure that government works for everyone. Be a part of a world-leading public service, and help improve the lives of over 14 million people of Ontario, through our work using modern design, data and technology tools and practices.

Help us scale impact across the public sector, tackling some of the most important challenges of our time. We work in multidisciplinary, inclusive, collaborative teams. We’ve been a distributed team since day one, offering flexible work arrangements, where big ideas and extraordinary people come together to drive change.

Bring your curiosity and build the future with us.

The opportunity

As the ODS Lab Leader, you will plan and manage a variety of projects in support of ministry initiatives which will have province-wide impact. You will lead a team of designers and user researchers in work that builds an understanding of all the players in a digital solution, and seeks to create empathy for users to inform design decisions. You will oversee as well as participate in the design of simple and elegant user experiences in keeping with current industry standards. This is one of the most exciting, innovative places to work in government today.

What can I expect to do in this role?

In the role of Lab Leader, you will:

  • Act as the first point of contact for ministry partners seeking assistance with the Discovery and Alpha phases of digital product development.
  • Oversee/facilitate a variety of design-thinking activities and collaborative sessions to understand the problem a digital solution needs to solve.
  • Oversee user research to understand user expectations, behaviours and needs to inform design decisions.
  • Supervise the development of user personas, journey maps, service design blueprints, information architecture diagrams and other design artefacts as suits the needs of the work.
  • Coach and mentor designers as they translate concepts into wireframes, low and high-fidelity mock-ups that illustrate the product's functionality and can be used for usability testing and user research.
  • Collaborate with and advise a variety of project and product teams on experience design, including serving as an assessor for ministry-wide digital initiatives.
  • Be a primary contributor to our Digital First Assessment process.
  • Grow the understanding of and appreciation for the experience design practice across the OPS.

What you bring to the team:

  • You think digital by default and embrace new ideas that put users first to find the best solutions
  • You are proficient in a variety of design tools for online collaboration and creation
  • You believe diversity and inclusion helps create the best conditions for people to achieve results, knowing ideas come from everywhere and everyone
  • You understand that designing with constraints presents opportunities rather than issues
  • You are ready to manage a team of designers with varying levels of expertise, including engaging in professional development and frequent recruiting

How do I qualify?

Strategic leadership and management skills

  • The ability to inspire, engage, motivate, develop and mentor staff to deliver on results in a rapidly changing environment.
  • A collaborative approach to incorporate the principles of inclusion and diversity across all elements of your management style.
  • Excellent management and leadership skills to manage staff, set work priorities and standards, evaluate performance, identify staffing needs, make hiring decisions, recommend discipline where required, and promptly address employee relations matters.
  • Demonstrated success in fostering an environment of continuous improvement, creativity and excellence.

Experience design expertise

  • Human-centred design experience and expertise in developing and executing strategies that improve overall user interactions with digital products and services, resulting in measurable enhancements and positive user feedback.
  • The ability to lead the design of complex digital services from concept to production and the ability to draw on your expertise to develop and maintain a high bar for user experience standards and performance measures.
  • Demonstrated experience creating design deliverables such as mood boards, collaboration boards, empathy maps, user flows, wireframes, mock-ups, presentations and reports.
  • A solid understanding of generative and evaluative user research methods and how user research can be incorporated continuously in the digital product lifecycle.
  • Hands-on experience creating user research plans, recruiting participants, facilitating user research, analyzing findings and delivering insights.
  • Experience researching and applying industry best practices to support your design deliverables.
  • The ability to incorporate web analytics, visitor feedback, performance metrics and other data to inform design decisions.
  • Practice providing rationale for design decisions in group settings with multiple stakeholders.

Communication, negotiation and partnership skills

  • A high degree of comfort negotiating stakeholder relationships, including introducing concepts and philosophies to individuals who may not understand or appreciate our digital first direction.
  • Practice achieving consensus amongst stakeholders with many different objectives and goals.
  • Experience coaching and leading stakeholders through a digital initiative from a macro big-picture level right down to micro details of how the digital product will look and feel.
  • A strong commitment to service excellence, teamwork and collaboration.
  • The capacity to navigate complex environments and situations, balance a variety of viewpoints and mobilize multiple actors to achieve consensus, generate support and produce meaningful outcomes.
  • A clear and simple communication style that includes the ability to impart information visually with pictures as well as words.

At the ODS, we recognize official qualifications and education are not necessarily the only way to gain experience. Your lived experience is valuable to our team.

Job details

  • Job title: Lab Leader
  • Job ID: 161683
  • Area of government: Ontario Digital Service
  • Location: Toronto Region
    The Ontario Digital Service is headquartered at 595 Bay Street (at Dundas Street West). In accordance with advice from the Ministry of Health and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, due to COVID-19, alternate work arrangements may be available.
  • Salary:  $79,720.00 - $120,574.00 Per Year (at time of posting)
  • Job term: 1 Permanent
  • Hours of work: 36.25/week (Schedule 6)
  • Compensation group: Management Compensation Plan
  • Job code: M1008B - Program Planning & Evaluation16

Apply online   View job description

How to apply

  • You must apply online
  • Your cover letter and resume combined should not exceed five (5) pages. For tips and tools on how to write a concise cover letter and resume, review the writing a cover letter and resume: tips, tools and resources
  • Customize your cover letter and resume to the qualifications listed on the job ad. Using concrete examples, you must show how you demonstrated the requirements for this job. We rely on the information you provide to us.
  • Read the job description to make sure you understand this job.
  • Please do not include shortened URLs, because your application may not reach us (e.g.
  • Ontario Public Service employees are required to quote their WIN employee ID number when applying
  • If you require a disability related accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please Contact Us to provide your contact information. Recruitment Services staff will contact you within 48 hours.

We’re accepting submissions until Wednesday, March 31, 2021 11:59 pm EDT.
Late applications will not be accepted.

All external applicants (including former employees of the Ontario Public Service) applying to a competition in a ministry or Commission public body must disclose (either in the cover letter or resume) previous employment with the Ontario Public Service. Disclosure must include positions held, dates of employment and any active restrictions as applicable from being rehired by the Ontario Public Service. Active restrictions can include time and/or ministry-specific restrictions currently in force, and may preclude a former employee from being offered a position with the Ontario Public Service for a specific time period (e.g. one year), or from being offered a position with a specific ministry (either for a pre-determined time period or indefinitely). The circumstances around an employee's exit will be considered prior to an offer of employment.

We thank you for your interest. Only those selected for further screening or an interview will be contacted.

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