User Researcher II


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Do you enjoy thinking about how user, technological, and societal factors interact to give rise to successful products? Are you a storyteller who can pull insights from multiple sources and multiple data streams (market & compete data, contextual inquiry, lab research, telemetry)? Do you want to work on the latest technological solutions to fundamental human needs and how they support users across their work and personal lives? If yes, we want you to consider a role within Microsoft that offers a wide scope of impact on HoloLens experience development.

The Mixed Reality user research team in the Windows & Devices Group, is seeking a researcher to understand market trends and user behaviors and motivations, and what implications those have for the development of Mixed Reality mechanics and experiences. We are looking for individuals who can marshal their intuition, experience, and passion to articulate and deliver experiences that enhance our customers' lives. Expect a fast-paced, fluid environment where collaboration, communication, and creativity are key.

Roles and Responsibilities

As a User Researcher you'll help research, ideate, and validate breakthrough experiences and innovative solutions that impact the future of technology-enabled solutions for work, play, and life. You will be responsible for designing the appropriate research plan to inform both strategic and tactical business decisions. You will also be part of a creative and collegial central research team, with a culture of sharing and support.

Key Responsibilities

1. Support the dev team in the creative process across research, ideation, and validation phases. Understand customers' unmet needs and motivations, develop actionable customer personas, and design and execute rigorous customer research studies to inform product development decisions.
2. Actively and routinely share data-based, forward-thinking market, competitive and audience insights.
3. Collaborate with other user researchers in the consolidation, analysis and presentation of insights to ensure a holistic understanding of users and their behaviors and motivations.
4. Contribute to building a research organization that leverages shared knowledge and research expertise to deliver actionable and relevant insights that drive tangible product outcomes.

Key Methodologies

1. Contextual inquiry
2. Experimentation and quantitative lab studies
3. Lab-based usability and attitudinal testing of early prototypes and mechanics to full experiences
4. Process and workflow analysis
5. Interviewing & focus groups
6. Development of UX heuristics and conducting product and build evaluations

Basic Qualifications

• A Masters degree is required, PhD is preferred.
• 3+ years of user research or consulting experience, in an academic or industry setting
• Experience with qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Additional Qualifications

• Ideal areas of study include cognitive psychology, anthropology, sociology, cognitive science, HCI, neuropsychology, social psychology, psychophysics.
• Candidates should have strong theoretical and practical knowledge of both qualitative (e.g., interviewing, ethnography) and quantitative (surveys, analytics) research methodologies.
• Experience in the tech industry, especially in AR/VR, is a strong plus.

Skills & Traits

• Passionate about understanding what drives companies and people to use, depend on, and love technology
• Comfortable working with a "blank sheet of paper" and can deal with ambiguity
• Can figure out how to measure things that are hard to measure - like "need" or "fun."
• An effective storyteller in both written and oral modes
• Successful track record of working collaboratively with teams
• Experience in experimental design, observation techniques, knowledge elicitation techniques, survey design


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