A week in the life of a UX researcher
7:00 AM. I’m in the middle of a user research study so I’m in the office early to conduct research with some East Coast users. It’s the busy season for real estate agents, so I’m shifting my schedule a bit to accommodate them.
After the session, I spend the morning recruiting more users to be part of this study and schedule a few sessions for later in the week.
10:00 AM. I’m joined by a Product Manager, Product Designer, Data Scientist and Engineer while I interview two more agents. User research is a team sport here! Afterwards, we debrief about what we learned.
12:00 PM. I eat lunch outside with the other researchers! I spend some of the afternoon in a design ideation session and then work on transcriptions from another study.
4:00 PM. I’m heading out early today to go to a UX research event in SF with some other researchers.
7:00 AM. Up early for interviews again. This time I take them from home and head into the office afterwards.
12:00 PM. It’s Taco Tuesday! I take my food and eat outside with a few coworkers. Then I spend the afternoon finishing the transcriptions from yesterday. Because this was fairly broad, generative research, my analysis involves marking which parts of the interviews correspond to which themes.
3:30 PM. Walk around the Emeryville Marina to take a break from analysis. I love being by the water and go on walks all the time to look at the view and chat with different coworkers.
9:30 AM. Eat breakfast while attending standups, which are short daily meetings for project teams to give status updates. Since I support multiple teams, I don’t go to all the standups every day but I try to check in regularly.
1:00 PM. The rest of the day I have a few more interviews and some meetings. In between, I continue my analysis.
4:30 PM. Talk to another researcher about the research repository we’re building. As the organization grows, there’s an increasing need to ensure access to research insights at scale.
9:00 AM. Today I’m taking one of my teams on a field research trip! Increasing everyone’s exposure to users has been a big initiative for the research team this year. We spend the morning at a brokerage attending a training and talking to some users.
1:30 PM. Lunch and debrief before driving back to the office.
5:30 PM. The research team is doing an escape room together this evening! I’m pretty nervous about not getting out but we make it (barely).
9:00 AM. I have a great conversation with a user that gets into a few super meaty topics. One of my favorite parts of being a researcher is those golden interviews that are full of rich insights and a real human connection. This project has been especially fun because it’s about learning and training. My academic background is in cognitive science so it’s been interesting to use psychological theories of learning as a lens from which to understand the user research data.
1:00 PM. The rest of the day is filled with another interview, a few meetings and lunch. Happy Friday!
As a UX Researcher at ZapLabs, Claire conducts foundational research to help product teams understand users and reduce uncertainty, while also running tactical research that yields project-specific insights. Throughout her work, she aims to keep cross-functional partners focused on creating human-centered products.