User researchers collect, analyse and test data to design websites, software and applications based on user needs.
Salary Range: £23,750 to £38,750
How to become a user researcher
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- applying directly
- a graduate training scheme
You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- human computer interaction (HCI)
- digital marketing
- product design
- graphic design
You’ll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
Volunteering and experience
If you do not have a relevant degree, you’ll need some work experience. You could get this by volunteering to help at user research sessions.
You could also get involved in the online user experience (UX) community and find a mentor to help you.
You can appy directly to user research or digital design companies, or go through an agency that specialises in providing user researcher professionals to clients.
To apply, you’ll need experience in:
- user-centred design practices for web, service or software development
- running user research sessions in person and online
- user needs for web content, tools and transactional services
- designing and analysing a wide range of qualitative and quantitative user research methods
- presenting user research findings in different formats
You could apply for a place on a user research or marketing company’s graduate training scheme if you have a degree, for example in digital marketing or product design.
It will be useful if you have experience of working in agile project development.
It will also help if you have a portfolio to show examples of your work to employers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- maths knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of English language
- analytical thinking skills
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
On a daily basis you’ll be:
- planning and designing user research testing sessions to support the design and development of digital services
- recruiting users for testing sessions and carrying out research
- using research results to communicate ideas and decide product or service needs and design direction
- anticipating interaction problems
- helping colleagues understand user behaviours
- presenting user insights to project stakeholders at all levels
You could work in an office, at a client’s business or from home.
Career path and progression
With experience you could move into a management role and supervise a team of user researchers. You could also work on larger, more complicated projects as a head of user experience or research.
You could also move into a business analyst or product design role.