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User Researcher (Contract)

Location: Manchester Country: UK Rate: £Market
 

User Researcher

Whitehall Resources are currently looking for a User Researcher located in Manchester for an initial 3 Month Contract.

Good to Have:
- At least 1 or 2 assignments in past 5-7 years at a Major Central Government Department or Agency.

Role Spec:
User Researchers plan, design and carry out research activities to develop an understanding of the citizens who use government's digital products and services. They also share research insights to inform improvements to user experiences.

The Core Purposes of User Research is to:
1. Conduct User Research - Plan and conduct user centric and evidence based research activities.
2. Generate Insights - Convert research data into clear findings.
3. Develop Research Strategy - Develop appropriate research strategies and its approach.
4. Inclusive Research - Include a spectrum of users in appropriate research activities, and advocate for product values internally.
5. User centred and Agile practices - Conduct user centred design practice and work with commitment to agile and continuous iterative approach.
As a User Researcher you will be an experienced practitioner, who is capable of planning and leading user research activities across large and complex projects and services. You will be an expert in problem definition and selecting the appropriate research strategies to tackle issues and understand user needs. You will help champion a user-centred, evidence based approach to formulating strategy and vision, both across the User Research practice and the teams you are engaged in. Additionally, you will have management and coaching responsibilities, aiding the development of Associate and User Researchers, enabling quality research services and the growth of the user research community across the department.

Responsibilities:
1. Work with agile teams to develop and advocate appropriate research strategies within their project area, with the goal of understanding user needs for services, and continually improving services.
2. Build user centred practices, advocating for user centred approaches to research.
3. Weigh evidence from various sources and involve wider teams to increase consensus and challenge assumptions.
4. Develop recommendations based on a variety of research outcomes, evaluate those outcomes to inform the product or service decision.
5. Be accountable for the end-to-end delivery of research, developing and delivering research that considers the time & budget vs outcomes perspective.
6. Incorporate into recommendations and insights, evidence that focuses on user behaviour and experiences of departmental services.
7. Conduct user research using a range of research methods, selecting the appropriate method, both qualitative and quantitative, depending on the requirements of the programme.
8. Advocate for inclusive research principles, planning and conducting research that considers the diversity of users, keeping in mind any access requirements users may have and the ethical nature of research.
9. Build and maintain strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders within the department and across government. Work to communicate insights gained from research in an effective manner and act as a persuasive advocate for user needs within projects and across other appropriate areas.
10. Engage with colleagues beyond the project level and in different practices to understand and align project priorities and research outcomes.
11. Act as a research Subject Matter Expert within the department, being comfortable in providing advice on a variety of research techniques.
12. Provide evidence based challenges to assumption and strategic direction within the scope of research.
13. Be responsible for improving your own learning, developing your knowledge of new methods and techniques, whilst also bringing any appropriate learning back into the practice.
14. Be an active member of the user research community, manage and mentor user researchers to ensure quality of research, and drive improvements in practice.

Technical Skills
1. Has experience of, and can help teams adopt, a wide range of user research methods. Can plan user research for services with challenging user needs and complex user journeys. Can advise colleagues on choice and application of research methods to assure best practice.
2. Understands organisational goals and challenges. Can align research activities across teams to inform policy and proposition.
3. Able to identify and compare the best processes or delivery methods to use, including measuring and evaluating outcomes. Able to recognise when something does not work and encourages a mind-set of experimentation. Can adapt and reflect, is resilient and has the ability to see outside of the process. Able to use a blended approach depending on the context. Able to help teams to manage and visualise outcomes, prioritise work and work to agreed minimum viable product (MVP).
4. Can help teams understand the ways that digital technology is changing user behaviour, and the challenges and opportunities for design and delivery of government services. (Level 3)
5. Understands the difference between user needs and desires of the user. Has experience in meeting user needs across a variety of channels. Able to integrate digital analytics with qualitative data, such as user surveys and user research, to develop hypotheses for testing. Can offer recommendations on the best tools and methods to be used. Able to collaborate with user researchers and can sell/represent users internally. Understands the difference between user needs and desires of the user. Able to champion user research to focus on all users. Can prioritise and defines approaches to understand the user story, guiding others in doing so.
6. Works with and challenges senior stakeholders. Can prioritise and mitigate constraints, and can turn them into an advantage. Is able to adapt the approach depending on the constraints. (Level 3)
7. Has the ability to apply a digital understanding to their work. Is able to identify and implement solutions for assisted digital. Can help teams understand the ways that digital technology is changing user behaviour, and the challenges and opportunities for design and delivery of government services.
8. Influences stakeholders and manages relationships effectively. Builds long term strategic relationships. Facilitates and delivers the business outcomes.
9. Understands and has experience of a range of user-centred practices. Can help inexperienced teams adopt user-centred practices and embed them into their agile workflow. Can advocate for user research and engage sceptical colleagues and stakeholders. Able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of design, technology and data principles. Able to identify and implement solutions for assisted digital. Able to apply knowledge to work with other job families.
10. Develop and maintain an understanding of economic, social, political, environmental and technological developments to ensure activity is relevant. Ensure plans and activities in your area of work reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders to influence future strategies. Adopt a government wide perspective to ensure alignment of activity and policy. Bring together views, perspectives and diverse needs of stakeholders to gain a broader understanding of the issues surrounding policies and activities.
11. Encourage, recognise and share innovative ideas from a diverse range of colleagues and stakeholders. Give people space to take initiative and praise them for their creativity. Create an environment where people feel safe to challenge and know their voice will be heard. Make changes which add value and clearly articulate how changes will benefit the business. Understand and identify the role of technology in public service delivery and policy implementation. Consider the full impact of implementing changes on culture, structure, morale and the impacts on the diverse range of end users, including accessibility needs. Identify early signs that things are going wrong and respond promptly. Provide constructive challenge to senior management on change proposals.
12. Clarify your own understanding and stakeholder needs and expectations, before making decisions. Ensure decision making happens at the right level, not allowing unnecessary bureaucracy to hinder delivery.
13. Encourage both innovative suggestions and challenge from others, to inform decision making. Analyse and accurately interpret data from various sources to support decisions. Find the best option by identifying positives, negatives, risks and implications. Present reasonable conclusions from a wide range of complex and sometimes incomplete evidence. Make decisions confidently even when details are unclear or if they prove to be unpopular.
14. Promote diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, respecting difference and external experience. Welcome and respond to views and challenges from others, despite any conflicting pressures to ignore or give in to them. Stand by, promote or defend own and team's actions and decisions where needed. Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organisation. Inspire and motivate teams to be fully engaged in their work and dedicated to their role.
15. Ensure everyone clearly understands and owns their roles, responsibilities and business priorities.

All of our opportunities require that applicants are eligible to work in the specified country/location, unless otherwise stated in the job description.


Posted Date: 19 Nov 2019 Reference: JS-JS/SJONES/40788 Employment Business: Whitehall Resources Ltd Contact: Sophie Jones