Lead Visual Designer
Country / Territory
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Job Category
Pay Band
Pay Band 8
Vacancy Description
Payband: 8 Location: Cardiff/London Contract type: 12 Month Fixed Term Contract Business Unit: Digital Closing date 6th January 2018 at 23:59 UK Time. Candidates must have the right to in the UK to be considered for the role.

Please note that in December 2020, the British Council will relocate its new global headquarters to: International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.






The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body



The Digital team is tasked with achieving continuous improvement in the British Council’s digital portfolio. It sits in Digital, Partnerships and Innovation as a defined core team, leading the transformation of the British Council into a digitally-able business. The Digital team is multidisciplinary and employs Agile methodology, with a default to Open Source systems.  It includes digital design experts (including User Experience and Information Architecture), digital technology experts (working on content management systems, systems design and performance), content managers, and Social Media experts

To deliver high quality visual design solutions which meet the business needs of the British Council’s online activity, in line with the vision of the Digital Director and Global Head of User Experience and Visual Design (GHUX&VD).  Working with stakeholders, the Lead Visual Designer will contribute to the development of user experience and visual design solutions for online products and complex projects across the organisation, leading their implementation as required.  She /he will support the efficient working of the UX&VD team, providing day to day management and guidance, as agreed with the GHUX&VD. 

This will involve working closely with a range of stakeholders, as well as contributing to regular user research or testing activities to ensure designs are truly user centred, inclusive and supports the strength of the brand. He/she will play a key role within a multidisciplinary team working to support the development of a visual design system for a new (component-based), CMS. This will integrate and transform a number of global systems, extending to the public-facing information/transactional websites, the content publisher experience and an open-source pattern (UI) library.

Main duties will include:    
  •  To support the GHUX&VD in ensuring the highest standards of digital Visual Design are applied at the British Council; this can be through: day to day management of Visual Design team members; engaging effectively and thoroughly with stakeholders; supporting with effective allocation of resource; making sure the Visual Design team contribute effectively and positively to Scrum working; contributing to the UX&VD strategy and leading on specific Visual Design projects where required. 
  • To support the GHUX&VD in developing a coherent visual design strategy, specifically by holding knowledge of the rationale for all visual design decisions, and maintaining a record of all visual design implementations.
  • To lead and support the evolution and implementation of a flexible design system for the new CMS, ensuring the timely delivery of the sites being delivered on the new CMS initially including Film
  • To contribute to the successful application of Agile methodology in the Digital team, by ensuring effective cross-functional team collaboration through attending sprint planning and stand-ups and other ceremonies related to the agile delivery process
  • To manage and resource the throughput of visual design work for two direct reports and ensure the consistency and quality of designs (specifically relating to the new CMS)
  • To lead on complex Visual Design projects (i.e. the new CMS, IELTS), by contributing at all stages of a project to help inform project and organisational objectives, present emerging concepts, inform product road maps, contribute on prioritising and estimating delivery of designs, work with stakeholders to understand business goals and help define their digital Visual Design strategy inline with user experience, content and brand. 
  • To maintain guide materials and create documentation relating to the visual design system that will become part of an open-source pattern (UI) library
  • To demonstrate a thorough knowledge of, and belief in “User Centred Design” as a method of working by supporting on usability testing and providing guidance on accessibility 
  • To contribute to the review of the Brand experience offering knowledge of digital best practises and sharing feedback and updating Digital peers as needed


  •  Designing elegant solutions for large, complex companies or organisations, from concept through to build.
  • Managing stakeholders within a large organisation.
  • Proven industry experience working with a diverse range of products and channels
  • Collaborating with the design process, following component or wireframes through to ensure that the purpose of the design is retained, while allowing creative input from designers.
  • Leading or supporting the practical implementation of accessibility principles and ensuring accessibility forms part of design solutions.
  • Working independently or collaboratively across multiple projects ensuring visual design and brand consistency 



For further information, please see the documents below.


Role Profile.doc
British Council Behaviours.pdf





Our Equality Commitment:






Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.    The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation.