A user researcher is in charge of planning, designing and carrying out activities that help a company or teams gain a better understanding of their users. They help discover the insights needed to improve the product and marketing strategy of the company they work for. What does a user researcher do?
User researchers are data professionals who can systematically study target users and then collect and analyse data that will help inform business processes. They help organisations minimise investment risks by giving them a better understanding of who their user is.
User experience research can also provide companies with the following benefits:
- Helps create an optimal product for users
- Provides answers to questions about the requirements and challenges of users
- Provides long-lasting insights
- Allows companies to tap into new customer segments
Are user researchers in demand?
According to a report published by Onward Search, user researchers ranked among the most in-demand digital creative professionals in the past few years.
User researchers are first and foremost responsible for creating a well-crafted research plan with clear research objectives. They do so by collaborating with stakeholders to understand research needs.
Researchers are in charge of defining research questions and selecting the right methods of data collection. They develop appropriate budgets and timelines for research projects and recruit targeted end-users for specific research studies.
These researchers conduct research studies, analyse the data collected, and then convert their findings into easily understandable insights.
Finally, they present stakeholders with the information by translating user insights into actionable recommendations for the team.
What are the responsibilities of a user researcher?
- Create a well-crafted research plan with clear research objectives
- Collaborate with stakeholders to understand research needs
- Define research questions
- Select the appropriate methods of data collection
- Develop budgets and timelines for research projects
- Recruit targeted end-users for specific research studies
- Conduct research studies
- Analyse the data collected during research studies
- Convert data findings into easily understandable insights
- Present stakeholders with information and providing them with actionable recommendations for the team
User researchers have a set of skills that enables them to gain insight into current and prospective users. The most important one is the ability to research data – this can be in the form of usability testing, statistics, surveys, interviews, etc.
Another important skill that researchers have is the ability to analyse data effectively and turning research data into clear findings that inform decisions.
These researchers have a strong understanding of user-centred design practices as well as agile practices. They also have basic knowledge of the technologies used to build and operate digital services.
They have strong collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills and are extremely detail oriented.
What skills do user researchers need?
- Ability to research data using different methods such as usability testing, statistics, surveys, interviews, etc
- Ability to analyse data effectively
- Capable of turning research data into clear findings that inform decisions
- Strong understanding of user-centred design practices
- Knowledge of agile practices
- Basic knowledge of the technologies used to build and operate digital services
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to work well with others
- Strong problem-solving skills
- Sharp attention to detail
- Good time management skills
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Although some jobs may be available without any formal education, you do generally need a Bachelor’s degree to work as a user researcher. This could be in HCI (Human Computer Interaction), Cognitive Psychology, Sociology, Communications or a related field.
Another great way to gain the knowledge you need to become a user researcher is to enroll in online courses. Check out options for these down below:
- User Research – Methods and Best Practices
- User Experience Research and Design Specialization
- The User Researcher’s guide to UX discoveries
- User Research For Design
- Run your own Research and Usability Testing
What is the salary of a user experience researcher? The salary of a user researcher can differ depending on factors such as industry and position. Generally though, a junior researcher can expect a salary of $64,000 whereas a senior researcher with years of experience and skills can expect a salary of $140,000. The average salary of a researcher is $96,000.
In Germany, the salary range is €34,000 – €71,000 whereas in the UK, the range is £26,000 – £66,000.
What is the salary range of user researchers?
|US||$64,000 – $140,000|
|Germany||€34,000 – €71,000|
|UK||£26,000 – £66,000|
How much do freelance user researchers earn?
According to our freelancermap rate index, freelance user researchers earn an average of $45 per hour. Considering an 8-hour work day, researchers can make around $360 per day.