The UX Researcher’s work is to provide answers to the most challenging questions in the product’s design. The UX Researcher reveals what the consumers need from the business’s products by conducting primary research, exploring consumer behavior and motivation, and working with the Product Design, Product Management, and Product Development (engineers) departments in developing new product features.
The UX Researcher also has to play a role in inspiring change at all stages of the product’s development through the delivery of exciting written, oral, and visual presentations about his findings. However, the most fundamental role of the UX Researcher is to assist the entire User Experience (UX) team in understanding what would ensure that the consumer’s experience with the product feels more intuitive, fun, accessible, and quite possibly, magical.
In addition to this, a good UX Researcher evaluates all the features that contribute to the consumer’s experience, provides expertise, collaborates internally, and on occasion, spearheads projects.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the UX Researcher
Collaboration: The UX Researcher is tasked with facilitating engagement and collaboration across various disciplines in the business. In this capacity, the UX Researcher’s purpose is to ensure that the consumers’ needs are properly understood and seriously considered in all product departments.
The UX researcher also works closely with the Product Developers, Product Managers, Interaction Designers, and other product departments for the purpose of promoting the best practices in consumer research.
Research: As is already suggested in the title, the UX Researcher is responsible for spearheading the planning and conducting of consumer research at every stage of the product’s lifecycle; from its conceptualization, prototype validations, all the way to usability tests on the final product.
At this capacity, the UX Researcher liaises with the Senior UX researcher in the co-development and tracking of consumer-research needs and goals. The purpose of this is to ensure that consumer research is consistently supporting product initiatives and that product departments are not just shooting in the dark in their research initiatives.
Education: As the business’s consumer experience specialist, it is only natural that the UX Researcher is tasked with the education of other departments in this field. At this capacity, the UX Researcher documents and presents actionable product research findings of his own to the various Product Management departments. The presentation of research findings are delivered in an engaging way that is comprised of oral, visual, and written reports.
For example, the UX Researcher will relay complex but useful product research findings to the product development department, mostly comprised of engineers, in a creative and engaging manner that they can relate to and understand as engineers. This is for the purpose of assisting them to iteratively design a product that satisfies consumer experience.
Internal Evangelism: Being a research specialist, the UX Researcher is better positioned to understand the product’s strong points of sale. In addition, the UX researcher is able to understand the product’s competitive edge. For this reason, the UX Researcher is also tasked with being an advocate for the product’s value as well as the value of consumer research in addressing the product’s needs.
At this capacity, the UX Researcher provides clear points of improvement for the product and research approaches to various product teams as well as the Senior UX Researcher.
Research Design: This is an extension of his research role and a fundamental function of the UX Researcher. The UX Researcher is responsible for designing quantitative and qualitative research approaches for application in all product departments. These approaches are, however, forwarded to the Senior UX Researcher for further consideration pending approval.
In the performance of this function, the UX Researcher tailors the proposed research approaches in such a way that they avail solutions for core issues that regularly come up in individual stages of the product’s lifecycle.
Other Duties: The UX Researcher also performs other duties as required by the Senior UX Researcher or the Employer.
Required Qualifications of the UX Researcher
Education: A candidate for this position must have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Association, Marketing, Economics, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Psychology, Information Science, or any other related field. A working experience of the equivalent is also acceptable for the position.
Experience: A suitable candidate will have at least 2 years of work experience in statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, product usability moderating, experimental design, and test method selection. In addition, a candidate for this position must have had proven successful experience in the integration of consumer research into a business’s product design practice. Additionally, a suitable candidate will have experience in product usability testing tools, for example Keynote.
Also an experience related requirement, a UX Researcher candidate must display a strong comprehension of the strengths and limitations of the different research methods, inclusive of when and how to apply each in product/market/consumer analyses.
Communication Skills: The role of the UX Researcher involves some fairly complex research concepts that a majority of the people in the business will find difficult to understand in their raw version. For this reason, a UX Researcher must possess excellent communication skills to be able to relay these research methodology concepts and findings to product department personnel and to other collaborating personnel in a clear, simple, and relatable manner. Candidates’ communication skills have to be good both in written and verbal form.
Problem Solver: The role of the UX Researcher is a role designed for the formulation of actionable research solutions for the product and product departments’ research issues. For this reason, the UX Researcher must possess an effective problem solving ability even under short notice. The UX Researcher must be able to come up with creative solutions and consider a variety of alternative solutions for each problem.
Software: The position of UX Researcher also demands the delivery of detailed, high quality, engaging, and interactive presentations to the Senior UX Researcher and product departments. For this purpose, it is essential that a UX Researcher have proficiency in Sketch, InDesign, Illustrator, Keynote and Photoshop computer softwares.
Ms Office: The UX Researcher must be proficient in Ms Word and the Ms Excel analytical tools. He must also demonstrate proficiency in the use of PowerPoint in order to create engaging content for presentations made to the Senior UX Researcher and to product department personnel.
Interpersonal Skills: A candidate for this position must display a genuine passion for product-centric innovation; an ability to work well independently as well as with a team; must have a keen and exceptional attention to detail; and more importantly, an ability to identify root recommendations inspired by the consumers’ needs and behaviors.