UX Researcher job description

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User Experience (UX) Researchers are responsible for gathering data to make informed decisions about the design of a platform. They are able to understand target users' behaviours, pain points and requirements. The role is key to ensure your website, software and applications are meeting user needs.

What does a UX Researcher do?

Key responsibilities

A typical day in the life of a User Experience Researcher includes:

  • Gathering insights to understand user behaviours, needs, pain points and desires
  • Planning and designing user research testing sessions and organising focus groups to complete usability testing
  • Leading on the research strategy, implementing new types of research studies to access better insights
  • Analysing the results of research studies to identify opportunities and prioritise workload
  • Communicating and working closely with teams across the business including, product, design, marketing and engineering

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Skills and requirements

The ideal candidate would possess:

  • At least 3 years of experience in User Researcher jobs and/or similar research roles
  • Strong communications skills, with the ability to digest and visually present both quantitative and qualitative data to stakeholders
  • Proven experience in a variety of UX research methods across a range of tools and software
  • Experience working in a product-led business in the financial services, health or tech sector
  • The ability to work closely with Product Managers and UX Designers to achieve your shared goals

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What budget do you need to hire?

Salary brackets can vary depending on the location, experience and size of business. The expected salary of a UX Researcher in the UK is:

  • London: £40,000 - £85,000
  • Manchester: £35,000 - £70,000
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Bar graph displaying UK salary progression for UX Researchers: £30K for juniors (red), £45K for mid-level (beige), and £60K for seniors (green).

When to hire a UX Researcher?

This design research job title is most commonly found in businesses with complex products, such as the finance, health and tech sectors. Larger businesses with a dedicated data, analytics and research team consistently hire for User Experience Researchers. They play a key role in ensuring their product always meets user expectations. 

Dedicated researchers are crucial when developing a new product. They're able to delve into the details of qualitative and quantitative data, helping product development teams to prioritise.

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User research is the study of target users to understand their behaviours and needs. Data gathered through different research methods (such as focus groups, user interviews and usability testing) informs UX design and product development processes. UX research is usually conducted by a dedicated member of your design and/or research team. However, sometimes you might find a Product Manager or UX Designer with research skills.

Since the economic downturn, smaller businesses have hired fewer UX Researchers. Product Managers and UX/UI Designers have had to absorb research responsibilities. However, it's unrealistic to expect your design team to effectively conduct user research. While capable of interpreting data, research is a different skill set.

That's why, with more tech start-ups on the rise, we're seeing an increased demand for UX Researchers. Now is an excellent time to hire, with lots of great talent actively looking for their next opportunity.

Many UX Researchers transition into the role from a background in data science or analytics.

Ultimately, UX Researchers are the voice of the customer. To pursue the career, you should have a deep interest in understanding the psychology behind behaviours. As a result, it's often beneficial for entry-level positions to have a degree in psychology.

A career in UX research is a well-paid role. In the UK, the average wage is between £40,000 - £60,000. For more salary advice, download our salary guide.

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