Role Basics: What is User Research?
Researchers understand user behavior to inform how Product and Marketing teams design and promote products.
Flavors of Research roles:
- User research is more focused on user experience and often sits within Product Management or Product Design.
- Market research is more focused on purchasing decisions and sits in Marketing.
Example projects in User Research:
- Create user personas
- Create customer journey maps for key personas
- Evaluate three product prototypes with usability tests
- Decide which creative assets to use in your next marketing campaign
Common activities in User Research:
- Design and conduct usability tests
- Design and conduct qualitative interviews, focus groups and observation
- Design and conduct survey research
- Analyze quantitative and qualitative data
- Craft user personas, customer journey maps and other docs to share insights
User Research metrics:
- Output metrics like number of interviews or projects completed
- Usage and satisfaction impact of user research (e.g. satisfaction with research team, requests for research, features or campaigns that used research)
User Research compensation:
Entry jobs pay $60-100K
User Research career path:
Good. User research works closely with design, product and marketing, and can evolve in any of those directions.
How accessible are User Research jobs?
- Time to learn. 500+ hours. 6 month.
- Selectivity. Moderate. Academic credentials help a lot – social science degrees are great, especially psychology, sociology, and anthropology for interviewing and qualitative methods.
- Ease of working remote. Good for remote. A lot of research is done remotely. So teams that rely on remote interviews and surveys can easily accommodate remote work.
Job Requirements: What you need to be competitive for Research roles?
Key skills for User Research:
- Qualitative research design, methods, and analysis
- Basic quantitative research design, methods, and analysis
- Familiarity with key deliverables: customer personas, journey maps,
- Spreadsheet and data analysis skills
- Great writer and communicator
- Experience working cross-functionally with limited formal authority
Professional background for User Research:
Strong academic background – both good school and good grades – helps.
Prior accomplishments to be competitive for User Research:
- Experience designing, running and analyzing
- Portfolio of user or market research projects and deliverables
Personal characteristics for success in User Research: