Everything you need to know about hiring a UX Researcher
Why hire a UX Researcher?
UX Research (UXR) is an emerging field. As a non-linear career, it offers thousands of opportunities to anyone who likes to design products, conduct research, talk to people and collaborate with other teams.
“If you ignore UX Research, you are ignoring the user and your product is bound to fall,” – UX Planet.
Are UX Researchers in demand? Yes, 100%. As a part of the $ 465 mn industry, the role is indispensable for design mockups, A/B testing and usability studies.
Nielsen Norman Group projects the job growth of UX Researchers to 100 mn by 2050.
What are the key drivers for UX demand? We will tell you
- Demand for cognitive design strategies
- UX leads the brand experience
- Innovations in Experience Architecture
- Future economy is all about UX
If you are revving up your tech-hiring strategy, our tech hiring guide helps you out. Read on.
What is a UX Researcher?
UX Researchers (UXRs) are experts in Think Out Loud (TOL). Also called User Researcher or Design Researcher, UXR is not an adjunct body of the design but a fully-own developed system of data-driven insights beyond the user interface, explains Brian Utesch, Senior Manager – UX Research at Cisco.
Basically, UXRs answer the two basic questions:
- What is my product sense?
- How can I apply product sense in my research?
Alt Image: What does a UX Researcher do
Why are UX Researchers in high demand?
LinkedIn’s Pulse Survey states that there is a growing demand for UX Researchers globally. As per the report, 81% of executives said that user research increases their company’s efficiency and 86% strongly believed that UX researchers enhance the quality of their products and services.
Similarly, the State of the User Researcher 2022 reports that 57% of the companies have User Researchers working as a part of cross-functional projects which means research is largely democratized in most of the companies.
One tip to hire the best talent? Co-Founder & CCO at Fearless, Tom Cotterill suggests that hiring managers should look for a compelling portfolio besides CV. The reason? It shows cultural suitability for the company and most importantly, it best represents a candidate’s time to represent their most relevant work in an aesthetic and logical manner.
Further, the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the growth of the UX Researcher job market at 13% between 2020 and 2030.
Recommended Read: Top 50 Tech Skills and Tech Roles in 2022
Average pay for a UX Researcher
As per Glassdoor estimates, the national average for a UX Researcher’s salary in the USA is $1,34,782 per year.
UX Researcher KPIs:
UX KPIs are important to measure how far the business has imbibed the Voice of Customer (VoC) in its strategic objectives. They also give us an insight into current and potential product designs.
As a UX Researcher, here are the KPIs to measure your product performance:
- Number of Beta tests
- Number of Usability tests
- Number of Research requests
- Improvement in features (that had lower usage)
- Number of Obsolete features
- Decrease in customer support (questions about functionality)
UX Researcher Job Description
Human-centric Interaction is the core of a UX Researcher’s job
Just like Zombor Varnagy-Zsombor, Sr UX Researcher SAP Emarsys says,
“UXRs is like the swiss army knife in the product research team. Their research insight must explain the design, product management, and business implications.”
As a general norm, here is the UX Researcher’s job description for your perusal:
- Design, set up, run and analyze usability studies, A/B tests, focus groups, and customer interviews
- Incorporate a variety of research methods for ethnographic and observational studies
- Foster one-on-one usability testing sessions
- Implement appropriate qualitative research tools to obtain objective user feedback
- Promote user feature walkthroughs, usability sessions and demonstrations
- Conduct open-ended interviews to inform on new features, product design and developments
- Measure industry trends in the area of collaboration solutions
- Brainstorm with external consultants to streamline research projects
- Collaborate with design, product and engineering teams for the design, execution, and delivery of product features
- Present UX practices including research, solution design, and interaction with the team.
Recommended Read: Ultimate Guide to Hiring Quality Talent
UX Researcher Interview Questions
- What things led you to become a UX Researcher?
- How do you put your findings across the table with various stakeholders?
- What are the 3 biggest challenges of a UX Researcher?
- List 3 skills that you would ask someone to learn in UX research
- What steps do you take to address bias in your research projects?
- Why is usability testing so important for a UX Researcher?
- How does UX differ from mobile application designs?
- When do you need to integrate UX and UI? What are the typical challenges in the process?
- What is your understanding of segmentation? How do you compile market and persona segments?
- How do you test a software feature in a UX design?
Best Practices for hiring UX Researchers
The UX job market is fiercely competitive. Tech recruiters must know what competencies matter for a UX Researcher’s role.
Gassia Maljian, Director, Executive Search at Creative Niche explains that a large number of applicants lack an organized or visually appealing resume.
She adds that most hiring managers expect the candidate to have a microsite or a portfolio with industry-standard UX principles for content creation. They must also highlight the project deliverables they were responsible for.
Through AI-based candidate evaluation, the time-to-fill ratio is reduced by 50%, and improves interview to offer ratio by 3X while increasing candidate satisfaction by 98%, thus enhancing the employer brand and candidate experience simultaneously.