Manager, UX Strategy & Research

American Eagle Outfitter

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Who we are:

We are the AEO UX Team. We are a group of expert UX researchers, strategists and designers. Our mission is simple: through thoughtful UX customer research, create a clear understanding of our customers' motivations, behaviors, challenges, habits and emotions as they move through their journeys. Then leverage that understanding to create useful, usable and engaging experiences that not only provide a great customer experience in-store, online and in-between, but also create long lasting and deep emotional connections with our brands.

Who you are:

We are looking for a highly motivated, experienced and passionate leader to join our UX organization and manage our UX Research and Strategy team. In this role, you will have two primary responsibilities; determine the right experiences we must create to support our customers shopping journeys and ensure they are created in a way that exceeds their expectations. To do this, you will draw on your deep experience and expertise in mixed methods research techniques to determine the right research activities to conduct at the right time to achieve the stated business goals. You are well versed in integrating your craft into an Agile delivery methodology and how to leverage cross functional workshops to drive alignment and product strategies. You know when to leverage a lean approach or conduct a deeper dive. Most importantly, you know how to focus on what users actually do, rather than what they say and feel. It is just as important to understand a user’s emotional state at key moments of truth as it is to understand the challenges they experience throughout their journey.

Your responsibilities:

  • Proactively identify, define and prioritize high value UX research opportunities that align with our key business strategies and objectives
  • Partner with cross functional teams such as Product Management, Market Research and Site Merchandising to develop research strategies and recommendations that support their needs and business objectives
  • Develop detailed research proposals and/or plans that outline the UX problem statement, research objectives, business goals, customer hypotheses, measures of success and recommended methods and deliverables
  • Oversee the execution of UX research activities ensuring the defined project goals are achieved with the final deliverables and recommendations
  • Manage a flexible UX research approach and methodology that adequately balances risk, business opportunity and customer impact with research effort and duration
  • Expert ability to conduct strategy and idea-generation workshops with cross functional teams and executive leadership that enable the creation of a shared vision and alignment for specific product strategies
  • Quickly develop a deep understanding of our customers motivations, behaviors, habits and unmet needs and become a trusted customer expert and advocate within the UX team and throughout the greater organization
  • Identify and solve customer problems throughout their journey that achieves business results and increases customer satisfaction
  • Support tactical needs by recommending product direction and focus based on qualitative and quantitative customer data to make hard prioritization decisions
  • Proactively partner and directly integrate into the UX design and agile delivery teams to ensure the right research methods are leveraged at the right time in the delivery process to reduce risk
  • Lead and execute the creation of final research deliverables such as personas, prioritized recommendations, customer journey maps, service blueprints, empathy maps and other similar service design deliverables
  • Communicate UX research findings and insights to cross-functional partners and executive leadership in a clear, concise, and compelling manner that is tailored to align with organizations’ needs and focus
  • Directly manage, coach and grow the UX research and strategy team’s skill sets and capabilities including key partners such as UX designers and UX architects
  • Proactively deliver UX customer research insights and strategic recommendations to help AEO executives formulate clear customer experience goals and strategic decisions
  • Leverage advance knowledge of industry best practices to proactively identify opportunities and develop innovative strategies for enhancing the customer experience

Requirements:

  • Advanced post-graduate degree in Human Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, Human Factors, Psychology, Anthropology, Cognitive Science or similar degree
  • 8+ years integrating user research into product design and design practices
  • 4+ years executing product strategy and design workshops
  • 4+ years management experience
  • 2+ years working in an Agile environment
  • Expert level knowledge and experience with a broad set of qualitative and user-centered research methods: contextual inquiry and ethnographic field studies, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, usability testing, usability/heuristic analysis, concept testing, competitive assessment, listening labs, survey development, etc.
  • Expert level understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different research methods and the right balance between qualitative and quantitative data to make low risk decisions
  • Expert level understanding of what research methods to utilize during each phase of product design and development
  • Deep experience with multiple-source data and trend analysis such as social, analytics, customer feedback, customer service, etc
  • Expert level ability to develop and socialize design-specific research deliverables such as journey maps, service blueprints, empathy maps etc
  • Expert level ability to conduct cross-functional and executive leadership workshops
  • Exceptional storytelling skills that enables you to turn various qualitative and quantitative data sources into a compelling and easily understood set of research findings
  • Understanding of the omni-channel retail industry as a result of work experience in similar settings
  • Excellent oral and visual communication as well as analytical and creative thinking skills that can inspire and motivate team members and leadership alike to focus on recommended experience enhancement opportunities
  • The candidate must demonstrate strong leadership, personal initiative, and accountability while embracing a collaborative approach

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