The role of the UX Researcher

Torresburriel Estudio
4 min readFeb 16, 2022

The UX Researcher works in defining users and helping to understand them. This means knowing who they are, how they behave and which are their needs. To be a good UX Researcher you need to know how to develop the research, but also how to consider the results given by the research and make decisions accordingly.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

What profile must a UX Researcher have?

We have already written about what you need to learn to become a UX Researcher. The UX Researcher is a profile that needs to include a basic understanding of Social Science, strategy planification in UX Research and a great teamwork ability.

Given that the UX Researcher is the professional in charge of carrying out interviews, surveys and contextual research or applying ethnographic methods, they also need to have knowledge of Social Science. They are the person in charge of developing an in-depth analysis of the users, putting a spotlight on their needs and objectives. Without this basic foundation they would hardly be able to do so.

The UX Research expert also dives into the user behavior using different product use analysis, and is also in charge of performing usability evaluations to analyze the product design and make sure it works appropriately and meets expectations.

This UX branch is so important, that from UX Learn we decided to allot a Specialization Program in which we could show what is needed to turn into a professional and be a UX Researcher.

Advanced Research Specialization Program (classes are in Spanish).

Which techniques and tools does a UX Researcher use during their activity?

In the first place, the UX Researcher will have to define if the research that they will perform is quantitative or qualitative. In case it is quantitative, the given results will be measurable and objectives. However, if the research is qualitative, they will find out the mental processes and opinions of each user.

Some of the qualitative methods that they will apply to know the users may be:

  • Interviews. When the objective is to know the users, in user interviews it is suggested that they are asked open questions in order to obtain as much information as possible, because if we use closed questions we will lose valuable information given that we will not provide the users space to develop their answers.
  • Daily studies. A daily study is used to disclose using habits, context of use, attitudes and motivations of the users while using the product as well as their behavior and perceptions. It is also a very interesting tool for developing customer journeys with real and detailed information.

Other frequently used quantitative techniques include, for instance:

  • Usability test. A usability test is carried out when a first draft has already been designed. Participants must be recruited, proposed to perform a given task and eventually analyze the results to find out how the user behaves with the product.
  • Card sorting. With this test the UX Researcher will be able to understand if the navigation structure and information architecture of the product are aligned with the user’s needs. For the planification of an effective card sorting we must make sure that we design the session appropriately.

How is a UX Researcher job offer?

The UX Researcher work varies greatly on the specific project they are working on, because depending on the product’s characteristics that must be designed, different research techniques must be practiced.

These are some of the requirements that are usually found in a UX Research job offering:

  • Proficiency in different qualitative research methods as in-depth interviewing, concept testing, usability test with users in a lab, both face-to-face and online.
  • Knowing how to conduct test moderation. At this point English is a relevant skill, as in many occasions the research takes place in international markets.
  • Ability to analyze results and disclose conclusions and recommendations.
  • Great skills in communication and teamwork to deal with clients and all the other team members involved in the projects.

The UX Researcher role is vital in the product designing process, as they are the link between the user needs and the team in charge of designing for them. Furthermore, it goes beyond just research, and provides a more global and strategic perspective on users and design.

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Torresburriel Estudio

User Experience & User Research agency focused on services and digital products. Proud member of @UXalliance