User researcher

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User researchers collect, analyse and test data to design websites, software and applications based on user needs.

Salary Range: £23,750 to £38,750

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How to become a user researcher

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme
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University

You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • psychology
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • digital marketing
  • product design
  • graphic design

Entry requirements

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

More information

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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.

Direct application

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

Other routes

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.

More information

Career tips

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.

Further information

You can find out more about working as a user researcher from the User Experience Professionals’ Association and Tech Future Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client’s business or from home.

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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.