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User Researcher

Location: Chicago preferred but open to Remote

ThinkCERCA is an education technology startup that helps educators teach critical thinking through argumentative writing. Named a "game-changing" education tool by Bill Gates, our product is proven to help students achieve two years of academic growth per year. We're on a mission to make these results a reality for all students across the country.

We’re in search of a creative and passionate Design Researcher, to develop our research capabilities and practices, as well as plan and lead our design research efforts. You must be well versed in human-centered design experienced in qualitative research, committed to problem-solving and focused on discovering the human needs and values that our product should serve and embody. You’ll be out in the field regularly, observing behavior in classrooms, asking questions that uncover deep needs, and testing hypotheses, concepts, and product ideas in an agile and iterative way. You must be ready to move quickly: designing and deploying research to keep pace with our lean product design approach. Back at headquarters, you’ll have an important role in bringing the rest of us into the world of our users. Above all, you’ll help make sure we’re solving the right problems.


70% time

  • Design, plan and execute user research with a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • Evolve new techniques and approaches to understanding the needs of our users, compatible with lean product design and agile engineering
  • Synthesize, analyze and present insights from your work to the team, and to leadership
  • Develop personas and journey maps that can anchor product decisions
  • Support UX, UI designers, and the engineering team as they translate your insights into the product
  • Build the teams empathy for and understanding of user needs and values by sharing rich and compelling stories about our users and their needs

30% time

  • Develop and execute a lean research recruiting strategy, to develop a ready audience for in-depth interviewing through to usability testing
  • Coordinate study logistics and communicate with partner schools and ambassador teachers

We want to hear from you if:

  • You have at least 4 years of experience with a range of research methods, focus on qualitative but should be familiar with how and when to leverage quant methods
  • You have a degree in Psychology, Anthropology, Human-Computer Interaction, Social Science, or a related field
  • You have worked within a product design and engineering team in an agile way and have been involved with things that shipped
  • You can share a portfolio that indicates breadth and depth in your design research experience, and a passion for the craft
  • You can tell and have told, great stories in visual, verbal and written form
  • You’re compassionate and empathetic but rigorous in how you discover facts out in the world

We'd be especially excited about

  • Any track record you have from working in the education space
  • Experience embedding design research into an organization
  • Past work as part of a lean product design team
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