Lead User Researcher

H M Revenue & Customs
Closing date
14 Oct 2020

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Technology & New Media
Contract Type
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As an HMRC Lead User Researcher, you will have the unique opportunity to work on some of the largest digital transformation programmes undertaken in Government as well as in other sectors. Your role will be to ensure that user needs are central to the design and implementation of Government services. Job description
Our team are in rapid growth, expanding to over 90 user researchers, showing HMRC's commitment to growing a user-centred culture. You will join a lively and supportive User Research community, based at one of our Digital Centres across the UK, with access to research labs and facilities. Our team are passionate and committed to conducting robust research with real-world impact, and bring varied expertise from the private, voluntary and public sectors.
This is an exciting time to join an organisation that probably doesn't work how you'd imagine a government organisation would. Our blog tells you a bit more about what we do and how we do it. https://hmrcdigital.blog.gov.uk/category/user-research/

You will be a leader in your field, an experienced practitioner and a skilled team leader, confident in explaining user needs to senior civil servants and delivery teams alike. You will be comfortable working with a range of stakeholders, and be able to quickly build credibility, influence and the ability to deliver through others.
As a Lead User Researcher, you will be:
Leading and managing teams of users researchers.
Leading and doing user research for complex and high profile projects, programmes and/or portfolios of work (e.g., Making Tax Digital for Business, etc.)
Planning, designing and preparing a range of user research activities to support the design, development and continuous improvement of complex government services.
Carrying out a wide range of user research activities from recruiting participants, preparing discussion guides and moderating research sessions.
Leading colleagues to analyse research data and synthesise clear and actionable findings, including working closely with analytics colleagues to create a rich picture of user behaviour.
Communicating user research findings to help the team and wider organisation develop a deep understanding of users and their needs.
Working closely with product managers, designers and developers to turn user research findings into stories and actions that lead to valuable product and service features.
Aligning user research activities with wider plans to inform service proposition.
Building user centred practices in new and larger teams.
Assessing services to ensure they meet the Service Standard.
Mentoring, managing and guiding user researchers to assure and improve research practice.
Contributing to the wider user research community including presenting at meetups, writing blog posts and leading on aspects of practice.

Essential criteria

Understands and has experience of a range of user research methods. Able to choose appropriate methods for different life cycle phases and situations. Knows how to apply methods correctly.
Able to turn research data into clear findings that inform decisions. Knows how to involve colleagues in analysis and synthesis to increase consensus and challenge assumptions.
Understands the diversity of users of government services. Knows how to include all kinds of users in appropriate research activities to help teams deliver accessible services.
Understands user centred design practices and knows how to embed them into an agile workflow to deliver timely findings. Can work in an open, iterative and collaborative way in a multidisciplinary team.
Understands organisational strategy and objectives. Able to align user research activities with objectives to create strategic insights that inform policy and proposition.
Experience of advocating for user research and engaging sceptical colleagues and stakeholders.
Experience in using a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies including ethnographic techniques, usability testing, remote testing, and survey design.
Proven experience in meeting ambitious deadlines and delivering high-quality work on schedule, including quickly turning around research plans and outputs in different formats.
Proven experience of introducing new user research methods into a team, and guiding colleagues in the choice and effective application of research methods.
A good understanding of the social and technological context for government services, and experience of aligning user research activities to help teams understand changing user behaviour.

You will also need:
• A degree in psychology, cognitive science, human factors, computer science, product/interaction design, human computer interaction or related disciplines.
• Exceptional research and analysis skills, (e.g. designing, conducting, and analysing data and information from different research methodologies)
• Excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills; the ability to communicate complex concepts clearly and persuasively across different audiences and varying levels of the organisation.
• Strong qualitative and analytical skills, excellent attention to detail and good business judgement.
• Enthusiasm for coaching and mentoring of team members.
• Understanding of the Government Service Standard and GDS Service Manual
• The flexibility to work in a fast-changing environment and ambiguous situations
• Experience guiding and mentoring junior team members
• Knowledge or experience of working in an agile delivery environment

Desirable - A relevant postgraduate qualification (e.g. Human Factors, HCDE, Cognitive Psychology or related disciplines)

Technical Skills:
We will assess you against the following technical skills during the selection process.
DDaT Capability Framework Skill - Research skills
DDaT Capability Framework Skill - Analysis and synthesis
DDaT Capability Framework Skill - User centred and agile practices
DDaT Capability Framework Skill - Strategic insight Qualifications
A degree in psychology, cognitive science, human factors, computer science, product/interaction design, human computer interaction or related disciplines. Benefits
• Extraordinary pension schemes
• Flexible work hours, season ticket loans, great holiday package
• Clear career progression within formalised paths
• Professional Development and Training programmes and opportunities for continued development
• A rare opportunity to impact millions of people's lives through your research work
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