User Researchers are concerned with UX, or the user experience. The role, which can span multiple industries while focused on understanding a target audience and how they interact with a particular product or service. The User Researcher is a market analyst, seeking the reasons behind behavior and the wants, needs and priorities of people interacting with your brand. Once they understand what motivates a consumer population to select one product over another, they can figure out how to make the product more appealing, user-friendly and accessible to the masses.
The User Researcher is one-third anthropologist, one-third sociologist and one-third marketer. These “geeks” love research and excel at using it to get to the bottom of the real questions of what motivates us to buy and use a product and, once we’ve bought it, how we use it. This information can add real ROI to a market research team.
User Researcher Skills Needed
A User Researcher is curious about people and their behavior. Sifting through the layers of consumer behavior requires an analytical and organized mind as well as the ability to think outside the research to glean the true meaning behind human actions.
User Researchers probe for meaning via focus groups and interviews, so they must be as comfortable with a crowd as they are one-on-one. They are articulate and intelligent, with solid communication skills. User Researcher jobs require individuals who are as computer savvy as they are people friendly, since their work entails sifting through and finding meaning in data as well as actually gathering data from people. The User Researcher is truly the detective of the marketing world, as they probe and search for patterns in behavior.
Suggested Software Proficiency
The tools you need will depend on how you conduct your User Research. Surveys, focus groups, website testing and field studies will all dictate the software you use. If your project is super tech savvy, you may even use virtual reality to track user behavior.
Data collators like Excel or screen sharing tools like Skype could be important. You may also need:
- Screen recording software like QuickTime or IShowU HD
- Usability study software like UserTesting
- Lookback for mobile app research
- Statistical research software like SPSS, SAS, or JMP