Lead User Researcher

Elevate Platform Limited
Newcastle Upon Tyne
08 Mar 2018
15 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Lead User Researcher / Newcastle upon Tyne / 6 Months Contract / 430 to 480 GBP (Per Day)

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

Lead User Researchers are part of the management team and oversee all the user research activities across their area of responsibility.

They define and assure best practice; influence organisational strategy and priorities; and collaborate with colleagues across government.

They ensure that the quality of user research across teams is consistently high, and implement processes across the portfolio of work to improve the standard of practice, ensuring that quality products and services are delivered that meet the needs of the customer base and of the Department’s business.

They act as customer champion, owning, articulating and managing user research at all levels and co-ordinating and prioritising the work across multiple teams.

They lead their user researchers to work in a collaborative way, alongside designers, developers and numerous

Stakeholders, through being an influential team leader who can coach individuals and build strong working relationships.

They are responsible for carrying out complex programme-level and cross-government user research in order to recognise priorities and opportunities and to support all the team in delivering user-centred products and services.

They are responsible for maintaining standards in line with the 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

General Responsibilities

Define the problem and develop appropriate research strategies

Be seen as an expert in problem definition.

  • Plan programmes of research and identification of appropriate research strategies aligned with programme and product roadmaps.
  • Lead user research strategy at programme level, working with senior programme stakeholders.
  • Ensure that user research across the programme is efficient, effective, and aligned.
  • Support and influence the creation of user-centred KPIs, working alongside performance analysts

Conduct tailored programme of user research

  • Provide methodological leadership and expertise to ensure research best practice across the whole UCD lifecycle on projects.
  • Ensure the team joins up with other experts and analysts as appropriate to ensure triangulation of data and evidence.
  • Deliver consistently high quality user research that meets programme objectives
  • 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

  • Oversee and quality control 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

  • Provide leadership for user research at programme level.
  • Engage with senior stakeholders, product owners and delivery managers to shape the service vision and priorities.
  • Create a culture of user-centred design, to ensure that programme decision-making and design rationale are based on understanding of user needs.
  • Support and lead colleagues in analysing research data and synthesis of findings so that research is shareable and traceable.
  • Promote whole team involvement in user research and analysis.
  • Drive the prioritisation of actions from research, ensuring that these are fed into the programme backlog.

Work with wider colleagues and stakeholders

  • Proactively collaborate and build strong relationships with colleagues and stakeholders within DWP, across government and with relevant outside bodies e.g. stakeholder groups.
  • Actively engage with relevant policy colleagues to ensure that user research is deployed at the earliest possible opportunity in service development or improvement,
  • Lead and work adaptively with both experienced agile practitioners and colleagues operating in more standard delivery processes to unblock issues wherever possible.

Communicate and present research findings effectively

  • Support the Head of Role in raising the visibility of user research through active engagement in opportunities to promote the value of the profession within DWP, across government, and beyond.
  • Communicate effectively with wide range of senior stakeholders up to DG level, demonstrating leadership skills and an aptitude for striking a balance between strategic innovation and operational pragmatism.
  • Lead the sharing and integration of findings across projects, so that user research has maximum impact within and beyond the business.
  • Be highly persuasive and effective in persuading senior stakeholders and teams to take action based on research findings.

Build user research capability

  • Lead, coach and mentorUser 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.
  • Foster a culture of innovative in user research methodology.
  • Ensure the standard of the User Research Products and Services across the hub/programme deliver quality and meet user needs.
  • Work with the Head of Role to continuously review and translate learning from best practice; identify capability gaps and training needs within the community; and build capability and talent management across the user research team.

Build and promote the user research community

  • Act as a key member of the user research leadership team, jointly building the 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.
  • Actively engage in working with and building and maintaining strong relationships amongst the Government digital community: such as the Government Digital Service (GDS) and other government departments.
  • Be proactive in promoting user research beyond government, such as speaking at conferences and blogging

Essential Skills

Research skills

Expert in 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.

An expert in understanding the strengths and limitations of different research methods who is sought out by peers for advice on research planning. A flair for devising innovative and creative approaches to generating new user evidence.

A strong track record in moderating and interviewing

Strategic thinking

Excellent analytical and problem solving skills.

Experience of dealing with large scale corporate or government projects within complex organisations.

Strong understanding of the societal and political context.

Expert at questioning and challenging assumptions; evaluating the strength of evidence; and identifying where there are gaps.

Intellectually strong, with an aptitude for striking a balance between strategic innovation and operational pragmatism.

Leading teams

Strong leadership skills to play a significant role in shaping and cultivating development and capability of User researchers across their Hub. Proven experience leading teams in fast-moving environments.

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

Proven ability to act as part of a collaborative senior leadership team.

Analysis and synthesis

Creates a culture of involving teams in analysis and synthesis to increase consensus and challenge assumptions.

Able to identify patterns and connections across projects and programmes so that joined-up decisions are made regarding DWP’s services.

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


Excellent communication skills; highly articulate and with great leadership skills, comfortable influencing up to Director General level.

Proven experience of presenting user research findings in a wide variety of formats and contexts to the most senior audiences.

Delivering at pace

Known for a strong commitment to the principle of continuous improvement and development and for building a performance culture that is orientated to tangible delivery outcomes.

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

Able to work under pressure in a fast paced environment


Previous experience within government services.

Accreditation & Qualific

This job was originally posted as www.jobsite.co.uk/job/960242381

Similar jobs

Similar jobs