User Researcher

Job Description:

User researchers collect, analyse and test data to design websites, software and applications based on user needs.

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

On a daily basis you could:

  • plan and design user research testing sessions
  • recruit users for testing sessions and carry out research
  • get an understanding of users’ needs, motivations and any problems with a service or product
  • use research results to identify new product and design ideas
  • work as part of a large product development team
  • help colleagues understand user behaviours
  • present user insights to project stakeholders at all levels


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative (drive)
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a User Researcher, specific subjects are not typically required, but certain subjects can provide a strong foundation and skills that are relevant to user research. Here are some steps you can take, along with suggested subjects:

  1. Mathematics: While not mandatory, taking mathematics courses can be beneficial as research often involves data analysis and statistical methods. Having a good understanding of math is valuable in this field.
  2. Science: Courses in subjects like biology, psychology, or human sciences can provide insights into human behavior and cognition, which are central to user research.
  3. English: Good communication skills are essential in user research. Take English courses to develop your writing, speaking, and presentation skills.
  4. Psychology: Understanding human behaviour is a fundamental aspect of user research. Courses in psychology can be highly relevant to this field.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • applying directly
  • a graduate training scheme

You can do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • psychology
  • human computer interaction (HCI)
  • digital marketing
  • product design
  • graphic design

You can volunteer at user research sessions to get some experience. This will be useful, especially if you do not have a degree.

You can also get involved in the online user experience (UX) community and find a mentor to help you.

Direct Application
You can apply directly to user research or digital design companies, or go through a specialist agency.

To apply, you’ll need experience in:

  • user-centred design practices
  • running user research sessions in person and online
  • different user research methods
  • presenting user research findings in different formats

Other Routes
You could apply for a place on a user research or marketing company’s graduate training scheme if you have a degree, for example in digital marketing or product design.

Career tips
It will be useful if you have experience of working in agile project development.

It will also help if you have a portfolio to show examples of your work to employers.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your typical working hours could be variable.

You could work in an office, at a client’s business or from home.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could move into a management role and supervise a team of user researchers. You could also work on larger, more complicated projects as a head of user experience or research.

You could become a business analyst, or product or service designer.