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Senior User Researcher

Job Description

We are looking for an outstanding Senior User Researcher, who can make a positive impact, and who wants to contribute to the most demanding and exciting new digital service for the UK Government. Let’s be clear about the impact of your work – better digital services in government will change the face of public services and have the potential to dramatically transform the future of millions of people.

You have a strong research background, with experience in the full range of User research and design methods and the ability to translate research findings into actionable recommendations and be ready to quickly get to work in an agile multidisciplinary team of Developers, Designers, and Analysts focused on the Department for Work and Pensions’ flagship welfare reform programme.

Specifically, for the current assignment, you need to have experience working closely with Service Design and Data Science teams, preferably within government, and have strong CV and portfolio examples to demonstrate your expertise.  We hope to find a researcher with strong experience in government as well as experimentation and ideation user research work.

You’ll be the kind of person who is unconcerned with titles and hierarchy; what really excites you is problem-solving and the opportunity to deliver innovative technology that carries real value for users. You will draw value from collaboration with others, actively seeking input from colleagues and valuing a multidisciplinary team over hierarchy.

You will be passionate about the value of integrating user insights into the design process of a service, channelling your energy and enthusiasm to ensure that quality user research is both carried out and delivered effectively into the design process and final service.

You will:

  • Lead on research projects, working with a wider team of Designers, Analysts and Developers to help define and deliver the best methodology to address the specific needs in producing a responsive digital service

  • Familiarise yourself with the project’s user research work to date and devise a strategy of moving the work forward

  • Plan, design and conduct user research sessions, including guerrilla testing, user testing, focus groups and workshops, persona creation and card sorting  on a regular basis, testing both high-level concepts, and aspects of the service as it is designed and developed, and developing and maintaining a picture of the users

  • Collaboratively analyse the findings of user research to identify common themes and points of user contention and provide actionable recommendations to the relevant team members.

  • Apply knowledge in human factors, ethnography, and the user-centred design process to product and service design in an iterative development environment

  • Use findings of user data to work closely with designers and analysts to iterate the developing service

  • Manage business relations with usability and market research agencies to support necessary research processes

  • Support the learning and development of less experienced and trainee User Researchers within the team

  • Thrive working in an agile environment, using your own creativity, resourcefulness and initiative to maximise the quality of user research and its impact on the service development

  • Be visible within the team and be able to engage, build trust and energise a team culture that is responsive to the findings of user research.

You will have:

  • At least 5 years of practical experience of qualitative research methodologies, in terms of design, execution and analysis

  • Experience in taking a lead User Researcher role within a team, setting research direction and mentoring junior research colleagues

  • Experience managing team dynamics and holding sufficient authority to effectively challenge points of design without alienating individuals

  • Experience of working within an agile project environment, and maintaining effective performance in difficult and challenging circumstances