User Experience Researcher (Contract Position)

Northwest Evaluation Association
Portland, OR, US

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Job Category
Product, Services & Policy, Education Research, UX / Graphic Design
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User Experience Researcher
(Contract 40 hours a week position)

Position summary
The User Experience (UX) Researchers work to answer the challenging questions in design. In this role, you will reveal what our users need from our products by conducting primary research, exploring the behaviors and motivations of our users, and working with teams of Designers, Product Managers, Engineers, and others to develop new features.
The User Experience Researcher will be primarily responsible for designing, conducting, analyzing, and reporting on user-centered design research and usability testing for the company's product suite, including identification of user needs and goals, task and workflow modeling, ethnography, and persona development as well as rapid iterative usability testing, and more formal, in-depth user testing. The User Experience Researcher must be able to work with minimal supervision on multiple concurrent projects.
  • C onduct usability research both online and in the field and provide recommendations for improvement.
  • Collect and analyze user behavior through server logs, online experiments (A/B testing), benchmark studies, lab studies, and surveys.
  • S erve as a member of a team that acts as a 'repository' of research-based usability knowledge.
  • W ork with project business representatives and team members to test business requirements using heuristic/qualitative methods.
  • Work with designers, product managers, engineers, and research managers to prioritize research opportunities in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment.
  • D etermine user needs by conducting task-focused analyses.
  • Channel results into the creation of UX artifacts such as personas, wireframes, and mockups.
  • Understand and incorporate complex technical and business requirements into research.
  • Advocate research findings to diverse audiences through written reports and oral presentations.
  • W ork with graphic designers to test proposed look & feel initiatives.
  • C oordinate, conduct and moderate user group studies, interviews, and surveys
Skills and abilities
  • Ability to conceptualize the abstract and manufacture the concrete
  • Ability to create simple and intuitive solutions to complex problems.
  • Creative ability to envision and articulate the user experience
  • Ability to work with partners and internal experts to develop user personas
  • Expert knowledge of Internet functionality and comparative browser features
  • Working knowledge of HTML and other Web technologies (e.g. CSS, JavaScript, others are a plus)
  • Advanced knowledge of best practices in usability as it applies to Web sites and on-line applications
  • Superior facilitation, presentation, written and verbal communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Logic and analytical skills
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Must be able to perform the physical and intellectual requirements of the role, with or without accommodation
  • Instills trust : gain the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity
  • Communicates effectively : develop and deliver multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences
  • Customer focus : build strong customer relationships and deliver customer-centric solutions
  • Drives results : consistently achieve results, even under tough circumstances
  • Plans and Aligns : Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Interpersonal Savvy : Relating openly and comfortably with diverse groups and people.
  • Collaborates : Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Courage : Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness : Using a combination of feedback and reflection to gain productive insight into personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • Manages complexity : Making sense of complex high quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems.
  • Values differences : Recognizing the value that different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization.
  • Situational adaptability : Adapting approach and demeanor in real-time to match the shifting demands of different situations.
Education and experience
  • Minimum Bachelor's Degree in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Human Factors, Information Design, Web Design or related field, or comparable experience in the Industry. An equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered in lieu of a degree
  • Three to five years' experience in documenting and creating interactive solutions to meet the clients' business requirements and objectives (provide a portfolio of implemented user designs)
  • Three to five years of exhibited knowledge in developing products or systems, or comparable education.
  • Two to three years' experience leading the designs of one or more complex application(s) or services
  • Knowledge of accessibility and accommodation requirements related to User Interface development preferred
About Us...
NWEA® is a research-based, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators worldwide by creating assessment solutions that precisely measure growth and proficiency-and provide timely data to help tailor instruction. For more than 40 years, NWEA has developed innovative pre-K-12 assessments, including our flagship interim assessment, MAP® Growth™; our progress monitoring and skills mastery tool, MAP® Skills™; and our reading fluency and comprehension assessment, MAP® Reading Fluency™. Educators trust our professional learning offerings to accelerate student learning and our research to support assessment validity and data interpretation. More than 11 million students in 146 countries use our solutions to support their learning and growth each year.
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