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Head of User Research and Human Centric Design

Genuine Parts Company

This is a Contract position in Atlanta, GA posted November 28, 2021.

Company Background:

Genuine Parts Company (“GPC” or the “Company”), founded in 1928 and based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a leading distributor of automotive and industrial replacement parts and value-added services. The Company operates a global portfolio of businesses with more than 10,000 locations across the world. GPC has approximately 50,000 global employees. The Company has operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, France, the U.K., Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and China.

Position Purpose

Seeking world-class talent to join the world’s leading distributor of automotive and industrial replacement parts and value-added services operating 5,500+ locations and servicing more than 20,000 locations in the U.S and Canada. Specifically, this role will function as the head of design for all customer and associate facing technology efforts and initiatives to build the next generation experiences at GPC. Working with a highly talented team, you’ll play a leadership role to build and run one of the world’s largest automotive and industrial replacement parts operations.

This individual must be an empathetic leader and experiential innovator at heart and be comfortable in defining the technology experience direction and being hands on with the execution of the experience strategy. She/He must exhibit a deep understanding of modern & agile delivery models, demonstrated focus on user experience, and must have a proven track record of delivering amazing user experience solutions.

Close collaboration and alignment with a wide variety of both internal stakeholders and external vendors will be required. As such, exceptional abilities in building and maintaining strong working relationships and organizational savvy will be required. High level communication and presentation skills are required. Ability to attract, retain, and develop talent will be critical.


Design Leadership and Strategy

  • Partner with and influence key stakeholders in business, product management, technology & dev, agile transformation, marketing, analytics, and other teams to strengthen relationships, persuade, and deliver remarkable products and services.
  • Take a collaborative approach to understand organizational needs and problems. Cultivate a non-hierarchical culture of collaboration, transparency, safety, and trust.
  • Present work persuasively and authoritatively to peers and senior leadership while facilitating a collaborative conversation to drive the best outcomes.
  • Drive thought leadership, education, and adoption in design thinking across the business.
  • Facilitate the adoption of ‘journeys’ to understand customer, stakeholder, and employee touchpoints (digital and non-digital) to remove pain points, uncover unmet needs and deliver efficiency in delightful experiences.
  • Implement design measurement through metrics and analytics to optimize design initiatives to demonstrate design ROI and efficacy.
  • Employ Design Futures (Strategic Foresight) to facilitate, develop, and harden corporate strategy.
  • Contribute to innovation efforts through a design-enabled customer-centric methodology.

Build, support, and nurture a world-class team

Promote, by example, a positive culture of achievement and getting things done by being responsive and timely, finding win-win solutions, and solving problems with divergent, expansive, design thinking methods.

Source, hire, and develop a high-performing team with world-class skills. Motivate and engage team members to achieve peak performance and high job satisfaction. Lead and inspire designers across multiple practice areas:

  • User research
  • Information architecture
  • Service design
  • Design
  • Visual design
  • Content strategy & copywriting
  • Accessibility
  • Frontend prototyping
  • Design systems
  • Design operations

Direct the design.

General management.

  • Comfort with running a large department (e.g., hiring & developing team, prioritization & allocation, and financial discipline).

Create efficiency.

  • Build and develop a design system, continually add and refine components, improve quality and speed, and drive cost-efficiency through reuse.
  • Maximize reuse of UI components and obsessively focus on “creating where it counts.”

Measure and manage design value by:

  • Synthesizing each project’s business goals to set specific, measurable objectives so we can measure design success.
  • Guide teams to consistently deliver work that meets or exceeds the criteria.
  • Manage ongoing measurement and report regularly to senior leadership.

Maintain and evolve a scalable process and methodology, shared across design teams, driving to keep it lean, efficient, effective, and repeatable.

  • Define and evolve the design team’s vision and culture.
  • Drive customer-obsessed design thinking that creates business value across the company.
  • Define and execute a comprehensive roadmap for design business maturity, including stretch objectives and objectively measurable goals.
  • Manage a consistent, repeatable set of project artifacts (including mock-ups, prototypes, wireframes, journey maps, task flows, site maps, personae, and presentation materials), evolving them in-sync across the UXDesign practice as our business changes and grows
  • Continuously research the latest design trends, emerging technologies, and other developments in the user experience field that should be considered and implemented into CPC’s strategy.

Required & Desired Qualifications & Experiences:

  • Maniacal focus on customer experience
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • 10+ years of experience designing omni-channel products.
  • Demonstrated ability as a strategic thinker and business leader.
  • Strong analytical, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to work effectively across teams and influence decision-makers.
  • Consistent track record of leadership, teamwork, and delivering high impact results
  • Experience managing 150+ FTE team of internal and extended delivery resources
  • Experience leading leaders
  • Ability to attract, motivate and retain world-class talent
  • Strong fiscal prudence to maximize investments against critical business priorities across the enterprise
  • Exceptional verbal, communication, presentation, and storytelling skills.
  • Master’s degree in design or design-related field.


  • GPC has two work locations to choose from, Duluth or Atlanta office.

We offer a Flexible Work Policy that permits eligible employees to work remotely

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