Senior User Researcher - Technical.ly

Senior User Researcher

The Philadelphia Inquirer |  Philadelphia | UX / Design

Job Description
Perks + Benefits
Company Culture
Technical.ly Coverage

About Philadelphia Inquirer, PBC

Since 1829, The Philadelphia Inquirer has been providing essential journalism for the diverse communities of the Philadelphia region. The Inquirer, a for-profit public benefit corporation owned by the non-profit Lenfest Institute, produces Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism that changes lives and leads to lasting reforms. Its multiple brand platforms — including newspapers, Inquirer.com, e-Editions, apps, newsletters, and live events — reach a growing audience of more than 10 million people a month.

Summary

The Philadelphia Inquirer is looking for an experienced, curious and process-oriented user researcher to help us dig into the needs and behaviors of our diverse communities in the Philadelphia region.

Over the last year, we’ve kickstarted our user research practice as we’ve invested in our Product & Technology group. Our Product Design team has conducted dozens of studies, on everything from wholly new product concepts to navigation changes, to better meet our audience’s needs.

The Senior User Researcher will act as a force multiplier for this practice, helping us grow in three key areas:

  1. Help us more deeply understand our audience.Use ethnographic research to study people (remotely) in real-life situations, with your first project being to immerse yourself in what Philly fans are looking for in sports coverage. Your qualitative research will be crucial as we create innovative experiences to meet people’s real information needs.

  2. Coach us on better ways to do research.Grow our user research muscle by sharing methodological best practices from your first-hand experience and making these practices repeatable. You’ll act as a player-coach, guiding designers and others with a range of research experience to connect with and understand our users.

  3. Make research even more inclusive.Connect with communities—especially those The Inquirer hasn’t reached regularly—to find research participants who reflect the diversity of the Philadelphia region and conduct studies with an equitable approach. You’ll be most effective if you’re passionate about inclusive design, and your work will directly impact how The Inquirer creates digital experiences for everyone.

This Researcher will be part of the Product Design team in the Product & Technology group, but partner with teams across the company, particularly with our Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists in Editorial and our growth-minded Marketing team. This position reports to the Product Design Manager.

What You’ll Do

  • Shape, conduct and share results from ethnographic studies and other contextual inquiries on communities in the Philadelphia region. Your research will focus on their information needs so we can build products that improve their lives.
  • Lead user research for innovative sports news and information products.
  • Teach your colleagues in Product, Editorial, Marketing and other teams user research best practices, both by documenting repeatable processes and demonstrating research methodologies yourself. About 75% of your time in the first three months will be conducting studies, with 25% scaling research practices. This ratio will move to about 50–50 after.
  • Help cross-functional squads identify and prioritize opportunities for qualitative research—as well as when user research is not the best tool to answer a question.
  • Support teams to synthesize findings, guiding them to find meaningful patterns and apply an appropriate level of certainty to them.
  • Build connections with communities in the region to build an inclusive user recruitment pipeline. Make sure participants have a rewarding experience, that our teams actively listen to and act on their insights and that we can quickly interview people as part of the product development process.
  • Partner with our Analytics team on light quantitative research for specific projects and on company-wide UX metrics, such as customer satisfaction surveys.
  • Collaborate on service blueprints or customer journey maps to help us get a full picture of the customer experience.
  • Partner with Newsroom and Marketing leadership to explore opportunities for qualitative research in their initiatives.

Who We’re Looking For

  • Three to five years of user research experience.
  • Proven experience with ethnographic or field research. Facility for conducting open-ended interviews that avoid steering users to the conclusions we want.
  • First-hand knowledge of common generative and evaluative research methodologies, such as concept testing, card sorting, surveys and usability testing, and when each should be used or avoided. Experience with both lean research methodologies and more substantial studies.
  • Demonstrated ability or clear aptitude for implementing new research practices. You’re either someone who has implemented research processes at a company where user research isn’t common, or you have substantial experience in a strong research culture and are enthusiastic to create one elsewhere.
  • Passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. Ideal candidates will have built a diverse research recruiting pipeline.
  • Compelling spoken and written communication skills to share your findings and build customer empathy among your colleagues.
  • Possesses intellectual curiosity and a user-centric approach.
  • Desire to understand business goals to identify research opportunities.
  • Friendly, respectful and collaborative in interactions with colleagues. You also offer candid feedback about how they and the company can improve and expect it in return.

Helpful Qualities

  • Experience in a news organization or sports-related company.
  • Experience as part of an Agile team.

Other Things to Know

In your application, please feel free to note which pronouns you use. For example, she/her, he/him, they/them, etc.

*We know not everyone reading this will fit exactly what we’ve described. We encourage everyone to apply who shares our passion for indispensable journalism and our drive to create a sustainable business model to support it. As an equal opportunity employer, The Inquirer is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, and we especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to submit an application, including women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people with special needs*

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Health & Wellness Benefits
  • Dental
  • Disability Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Life Insurance
  • Onsite Gym
  • Vision
  • Wellness Programs
Other
  • Work from Home
Parental Benefits
  • Family Medical Leave
  • Flexible Work Schedule
  • Generous Parental Leave
  • Mother Rooms
Perks & Discounts
  • Casual Dress
  • Company Outings
  • Special Discounts
Professional Development
  • Online Trainings
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
  • 401K
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
  • Generous PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Sick Days

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