User Researcher - Usability Testing

Elevate Direct
10 Feb 2018
15 Feb 2018
Contract Type
Full Time
User Researcher / Leeds / 6 Months Contract / 400 to 450 GBP (Per Day)

**IR35 Status **The client has stated that this role is Out of Scope of the new off pay-role worker legislation**

This role is for a highly experienced Senior User Researcher, who leads user research across several strands.

They ensure that programmes take a user-centred, evidence-based approach to formulating strategy and vision; and act as customer champion, owning, articulating and managing the user research, generating new and useful user insights, and prioritising the work of their team(s).

They are seen as the expert User Researcher within their project area, providing advice and guidance to User Researchers and Delivery teams, and working closely with designers, analysts and developers to iteratively improve services for users.

They foster a culture of team involvement in user research and analysis and decision-making based on user needs.

They are responsible for maintaining standards in line with the GDS Digital by Default Service Standard, enabling the Department to meet its future strategic vision.

They act as a lead assessor on Digital by Default service assessments

They manage, mentor and coach

User Researchers and associate User Researchers to ensure high quality research and continual improvement in user research practice.

General Responsibilities

Define the problem and develop appropriate research strategies

Be seen as an expert in problem definition. Work with service leads to develop and advocate appropriate research strategies to understand user needs for a service, and to continually test and improve the service.

Work closely with analytics colleagues to define user centred KPIs, to create a rich picture of user behaviour to tell the full story of how and why people use our services.

Conduct tailored programme of user research

Be accountable for the end-to-end successful delivery of new and innovative user research to quality, time and budget

Design and run contextual and Discovery research to develop a deep understanding of the needs of all users of a service.

Where appropriate, design, execute and analyse quantitative research activity.

Guide user researchers on team to deliver hands-on user research, including guerrilla/pop-up testing, moderating usability sessions and interviewing.

Lead usability testing

Manage the usability and accessibility testing process from recruiting participants, designing test tasks, and preparing discussion guides, to test moderation, analysis and presenting results.

Work in agile, multi-disciplinary teams

Be highly visible both within and across multidisciplinary teams of designers, analysts and developers, promoting user-centred design principles.

Champion user needs both within team and across service/programme, and act as a persuasive advocate for those needs both within the team and the Department at large.

Engage with senior stakeholders, product owners and delivery managers to help inform the service vision and priorities.

Support and lead colleagues in analysing research data and synthesis of findings so that research is shareable and traceable.

Work with wider colleagues and stakeholders

Build strong relationships with business users and stakeholders.

Work closely with a large number of stakeholders across the Department’s different functions, including corporate and operational functions.

Work as part of a wider research team on different project deliveries, distilling and sharing insights to inform the work of colleagues

Communicate and present research findings effectively

Effectively communicate user research findings to the team and the wider organisation, so that they share a strong and empathetic understanding of their users (including presentations at show and tells, designing and maintaining research outputs on the team wall, formal reports).

Communicate effectively with wide range of stakeholders including policy-makers, developers, architects and business owners, reporting risks and issues.

Be highly persuasive and effective in persuading teams to take action based on research findings.

Build user research capability

Lead, coach and mentor User Researchers to ensure individuals continuously learn and develop; and that we provide a first class user research service with consistent levels of capability.

Deliver user research awareness training at the Digital Academy and other learning events.

Lead and deliver learning and development modules to the team based on own expertise.

Ensure the standard of user research output within areas of responsibility deliver quality and meet user needs.

Build and promote the user research community

Actively engage in building the User Research community across DWP.

Contribute best practice and knowledge to the User Research community, both within DWP and across government, presenting at meet-ups and blogging where appropriate.

Build and maintain strong relationships amongst the Government digital community such as the Government Digital Service (GDS) and other government departments.

Essential Skills

Research skills

Proven experience of designing, facilitating and analysing a wide range of qualitative and quantitative user research using a variety of research methods to build a rich picture of customers and other user groups.

A strong understanding of the strengths and limitations of different research methods. A falir for devising innovative and creative approaches to generating new user evidence. Excellent moderating and interviewing skills.

Strategic thinking

Excellent analytical and problem solving skills.

Strong understanding of the societal and political context. Strong ability to question and challenge assumptions.

Strong ability to evaluate the strength of evidence and identify where there are gaps.

Intellectually strong, with the ability to see the bigger picture and translate business issues and needs into relevant, actionable research plans and objectives.

Leading teams

Proven experience leading teams in fast-moving environments.

Experience of securing and prioritising resources; and juggling multiple demands.

Analysis and synthesis

Expert at weighing up evidence from various (and potentially conflicting) sources.

Involves teams in analysis and synthesis to increase consensus and challenge assumptions.

Able to quickly develop recommendations based on quantitative and qualitative evidence and to evaluate and solve problems creatively to inform product decisions.


Confident in explaining user needs to senior civil servants and in acting as a persuasive advocate for those needs both within the team, the wider organisation and across government.

Proven experience of presenting user research findings in a wide variety of formats and contexts.

Delivering at pace

Known for a strong commitment to the principle of continuous improvement and development.

Able to adjust quickly to changing priorities and conditions and cope effectively with complexity and change.

Abie to work under pressure in a fast paced environment


Previous experience within government services.

Accreditation & Qualifications

A degree or professional qualification in a related field

such as Psychology, Social Research, Market Research or User-centred Design; or equivalent professional experience

If you match these requirements, please apply in the normal way. Elevate will send you an email, please open, click and action that email and your application will be visible to the hiring organisation directly.

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