User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies.1


  • Maintains the participant pool and other organizational data resources in order to familiarize themselves with the organizational deliverables and structure.
  • Engage team members in a collaborative effort to build personas, customer journey maps, service blueprints, etc.
  • Shadow M2 and M3 researchers and assist during qualitative research activities. Share their analysis of the data to design and product teams.
    • Maintaining Participant Pool, communicating with participants
    • Develop and scope clear research proposals and projects
    • Basic research tasks like user testing, recruiting, simple reporting, and interview note-taking
    • Quantitative data collection and analysis, contributing to research database
    • Synthesizing findings in various artifacts such as personas, journey maps, mental models, usability reports
    • Starts with prepackaged questions or predefined methods and executes on defined units of work.


  • Work with other designers/PMs/Stakeholders to test proposals and recommend features, functionality, and specific interactions based on analysis of business goals and user needs.
    • Lead Interview debrief
    • Observation
    • Quantitative data collection and analysis (use of mathematical models)
    • Executing the prescribed research methods to grasp the outcomes each method yields with minimal supervision. Objectively report and share their evidence based recommendations.
    • Workshop facilitation
    • Sell to internal stakeholders


  • Mastered the execution and yields of the methods outlined above. Develop, execute, and adjust research plans based on the acute needs of their project.
    • Work with product managers (and other stakeholders) and take ownership of product direction. What do we need to know? Why is this important to us? When should we execute?
    • Report findings and actionable insights. Drive the direction of the product based on evidence.
    • Data collection (Quantitative and Qualitative)
    • Complex reporting
    • Workshop facilitation to align understanding of customer data
    • Synthesizing findings in various artifacts such as personas, journey maps, mental models, usability reports
    • Present research insights in a digestible story at different levels of depth depending on the audience
    • Framing research findings in greater context, leverage storytelling to create buy-in
    • Foster adoption of research db


  • Foster broad alignment of research with the organization’s strategic priorities. Understanding the ‘whys’ of what should be known with actions to match.
  • As an M4 researcher, you want to be able to make use of your research on a program level. It is your responsibility to make sure data is useful and enable usage for those who need it. If the research data does not meet those requirements, you work improve the quality of the data and accessibility in the organization. There is a heavy emphasis on leadership and mentorship to think on the program level.
    • Disseminating knowledge and alignment are your top priorities.
    • Coordinate centralizing user research in to a database
    • Wide audience communication
    • Foster adoption of research db
    • Product roadmap planning
    • Program Design
    • Laura Kalbag


  • You are a recognized, industry expert in user research. You will be responsible for program design to satisfy the needs of the entire organization and our users. As an M5 user researcher you have a strong understanding of how research impacts the bottom line and will be able to translate research programs directly in to strategic direction of the company’s vision.
    • Organizational roadmap planning
    • Contribute to the strategic planning of the company
  • Bill Buxton, Erika Hall


Last modified on 2020.01.17
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