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Insight Expert (Insight and Design Team)

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The Basics

  • Central London 
  • Permanent contract with three months’ probation
  • Competitive salary with attractive benefits
  • 25 days per annum, plus statutory holidays.
  • The FCC strives to be an equal opportunities employer and commitment to this process will be expected.
Download the full job description (pdf format) here.

So what's it about?

The Future Cities Catapult is seeking an expert in qualitative user research (who is comfortable with the design process) to provide critical insight and strategy for our urban innovation work. Whatever your current job title (design researcher, UX researcher, user researcher, insights expert, psychologist, anthropologist, designer etc.), as long as you fulfill the below requirements, we’d love to hear from you.  
You should be passionate and skilled in uncovering and expressing insights that direct design and innovation, and represent the voice of the user and other key stakeholders throughout the design process.
As part of the Connected Cities team within our Cities Lab, you will be working in multidisciplinary teams (including designers, data scientists, developers and diverse external stakeholders). To help build our Lab’s unique combination of capabilities around data and design, we are looking for someone who is excited about to join qualitative and quantitative insight and also working with the business development team on city projects.
Through your project work, we expect you will gain numerous insights around the needs and opportunities for people (citizens, city leaders, businesses and beyond) in order to help design solutions to city challenges.

What will you be doing?

  • Lead, help scope, set up and run qualitative user research to support a design/innovation process, including coordination of all the details from discussion guides and recruitment, to release forms and incentives.
  • Translate user research into actionable and relevant insights and opportunities for innovation projects
  • Inspire and help teams to engage with their citizen-users and key stakeholders.
  • Experiment with methods to merge both qualitative (rich) and quantitative (big) data.
  • Work with Business development on proposals for commercial and non-commercial work
  • Actively capture general learnings from Catapult projects and programmes that can be applied to improve our processes and impact (e.g. how citizens/city leaders/system leaders/SMEs/Academia respond to innovation, processes, data, etc.)

What will be the first year outcomes?

Outcomes are what you need to accomplish in your role. We think it is always useful to know these before you start. These are not all the outcomes you will be expected to achieve, but are some of the primary ones:
  • Within the first 3 months: Lead research on one urban project. Produce insights that can be shared internally, with our clients and the public.
  • Within 9 to 12 months: Lead research on 4-6 projects. Contribute to project scoping and business development. Keep up to date with and experiment with new methodologies where possible.
  • Within 12 months: Published insight reports on a variety of urban challenges where possible (3 to 6 projects).

What kind of person are we looking for?

You are an expert in qualitative user research with significant experience of in-context observation, interviews, workshops and other ethnographic-style research techniques. You are confident scoping and leading user-research phases of projects, including early exploratory research as well as usability testing, but don’t shy away from supporting other colleagues – we are a small team and need to divide and conquer.
You are used to working on projects of different length – sometimes we work in relatively short bursts (think days/weeks rather than months/years) setting up and leading field work and synthesis for innovation projects, we work on longer term projects. You may have a formal ethnography background, but must have particular experience in applying your research approach in a design or innovation context. This is not a desk research role, and this is definitely not about leading focus groups
Required skills
  • At least demonstrable experience in user-centred, qualitative research, with specific experience of leading research for innovation projects.
  • Experience in working across different sectors (public/private) and for a wide range of topics (e.g. from physical products to digital apps to public sector services), ideally with particular experience in one or more of the following:
    • Behaviour Change
    • Urban/City/Local Authority work
    •  Working with Big Data or merging Quantitative/Qualitative approaches
  • Excellent communication skills to engage people in a design process (citizen engagement, co-design workshops, usability testing, prototype refinements, etc.)
  • Experience in presenting insights, designing presentations and facilitating workshops.
  • Application of ethical and legal requirements and practices in qualitative research.
  • Knowledge and experience with a variety of research tools and practice, such as video ethnography, written/photo/video diaries, card sorts, to capture experiences and enhance insight.
  • Willingness to travel for work or research, mostly UK-based, but possibly internationally.
  • Experience helping organisations become more user-centred with their own tools, processes and cultures.
  • Be passionate about working on citizen and city challenges
  • Comfort navigating and producing documents with the Adobe software suite.

Want to apply?

Send your CV and portfolio with covering letter via our application portal and in your cover letter, tell us why you’re right for the job.
Phone interviews are scheduled to take place on Friday 12th May, with face to face interviews taking place on Wednesday 17th May.


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