Lead UX Researcher

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Upwork ($UPWK) is the leading tech solution for companies looking to hire the best talent, maintain flexibility, and get more done. We’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Every year, more than $2 billion of work is done through Upwork by skilled professionals who want the freedom of working anytime, anywhere. Top companies connecting with extraordinary talent around the globe? Upwork is how.

As a world-class two-sided marketplace, our goal is to attract the world’s best talent and make Upwork a fabulous and easy place to connect and work with clients. As our Lead User Experience Researcher, you'll collaborate with designers, writers, product managers, engineers, and data analysts, uncovering new business opportunities and insights that improve our platform applications. Your research findings will inform business, product, and design decisions.

Your Responsibilities:
  • Be a core member of the Product team, ensuring User Research helps us meet our strategic business and user experience goals.
  • Nurture our backlog of learning opportunities. And, own the end-to-end planning and execution of research studies.
  • Study our diverse global user-base, crafting studies to test designs remotely and in different cultural contexts.
  • Be responsible for conducting the right research, using the right methodologies, in the right time. Hire and collaborate with hand-picked freelance researchers.
  • Conduct strategic to tactical research -- from foundational research to refine our understanding of personas and use cases, all the way to concept and usability testing. Employ a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.
  • Facilitate and participate in workshops, make sure teams ideate with a user empathy in mind.
  • Translate customer insights into meaningful recommendations. Communicate insights within the product and engineering teams in a format that inspires action.
  • Advocate research findings to diverse audiences through written reports, in-person presentations, or facilitation of co-synthesis workshops
You'll catch our eye if:
  • You have broadened mastery over several user research methods
  • You can demonstrate how you set the bar for engaging with peers and other disciplines, building positive relationships with executives
  • You can show us how you communicated sophisticated concepts and gain traction on hard to tackle problems.
  • You're able to speak to design principles and language principles fluently
  • You can visualize research insights in ways that go beyond “bullet points," but know when to deliver just bullet points.
  • You can draw broad connections and use your insights to influence executives and increase user empathy
  • You work effectively collaborating with distributed remote teams.
You can really knock our socks off if:
  • You are always thinking “What should we learn”, ensuring that we answer the “not yet articulated” questions.
  • You creatively answer questions, Take us through a story about a research method that went beyond interviews, concept validation.
  • You can communicate the lessons you learned from failed projects. It happens to all of us! We want to know what you learned?
  • You are comfortable facilitating participatory thinking workshops.
  • You can dig into thick data and find gold! You have defined, deployed, monitored, and revised UX metrics.

Come change how the world works.

At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We’re a remote-first organization supported by offices in Santa Clara and Chicago, working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. 

Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We build amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. Oh yeah, we’ve also got amazing benefits.

Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.

Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.  

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
  • Sales & Marketing
    • JavaLanguages
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PerlLanguages
    • PHPLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • RubyLanguages
    • SqlLanguages
    • AngularJSFrameworks
    • Node.jsFrameworks
    • SparkFrameworks
    • SymfonyFrameworks
    • TensorFlowFrameworks
    • VueJSFrameworks
    • Nuxt.js Frameworks
    • MongoDBDatabases
    • PostgreSQLDatabases
    • GreenplumDatabases
    • redshiftDatabases
    • PrestoDatabases
    • SalesforceCRM
    • Oracle ResponsysEmail
    • MarketoLead Gen

Location

Our office is located off Highway 101 in the heart of Silicon Valley close to public transit hubs, including light rail, and numerous dining options.

An Insider's view of Upwork

What are some social events your company does?

I love how excited Upwork gets for the holidays. In December, we set up a Giving Tree for low-income households. On Thanksgiving, the leadership team serves employees lunch from the buffet table. My favorite event of the year, though, is Halloween. From in-office haunted houses to costume contests (dogs welcome!), it’s always a spooktacular time!

Elisabeth

Communications Manager

What's the biggest problem your team is solving?

My teams and I are challenged with the tasks of building our native applications across Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. Integrating delightful user experiences into the apps requires heavy collaboration across the company and in the end, it’s rewarding to know that we are further enabling others to work from anywhere in the world.

Mike

Engineering Manager

How does the company support your career growth?

I've joined a companywide Leadership Program that includes weekly check-ins with a leadership/executive coach. If you express the interest and show that you have the drive, work ethic, and dedication; Upwork will support your growth. They really do put their money where their mouth is.

Akilah

Operations Manager, Talent Acquisition

How do you empower your team to be more creative?

My team works on the matching systems that connect talent with jobs. One fun thing we do is come up with names for all the different kinds of work that are done on Upwork. Are you a designer or an illustrator? Is that a framework or a library? We write the catalog of what’s possible on Upwork and it’s always growing.

Zack

VP, Engineering

How has your career grown since starting at the company?

I started out working on mostly tactical features to address minor, well-understood issues to improve the user experience. Over time I’ve had the opportunity to drive solutions for increasingly more complicated and ambiguous problems, learning a lot about how to better lead and work more effectively with cross-functional teams along the way.

Cary

Lead Product Manager, Match

What are Upwork Perks + Benefits

Upwork Benefits Overview

Upwork proudly offers a comprehensive set of benefits to ensure employees are able to bring their whole selves to work. To allow for that, we aim to deliver world-class offerings and perks that cover your medical, dental, vision, emotional and family well-being. If you are an active, regular, full-time employee working a minimum of 20 hours per week you are eligible for all lines of coverage.

Culture
Volunteer in local community
In addition to company organized opportunities, we offer paid time off for volunteering at your favorite local organizations.
Partners with Nonprofits
The Upwork Foundation is Upwork's social impact arm–our goal is to make sure the future of work is inclusive, especially for communities at risk of being left behind by changing technology.
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Intracompany committees
Open door policy
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Dedicated Diversity/Inclusion Staff
Someone's primary function is managing the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives
Diversity Employee Resource Groups
Our employee resource groups include Up & Out (LGBTQ), Women at Upwork, Black Initiative Network, Que Tal (Latinx), Upwork Veterans, Upwork Family and Asian Professionals for Excellence(APEX) .
Hiring Practices that Promote Diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Upwork employees can contribute up to $2,750 annually to their healthcare FSA and up to $5,000 annually for Dependent Care FSA for single or married filing jointly.
Disability Insurance
Disability insurance covers 66.7% of annual salary up to $10,000 monthly maximum payout.
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Pet Insurance
Wellness Programs
Mental Health Benefits
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
401(K) Matching
Company Equity
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
Performance Bonus
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Child Care Benefits
Upwork offers dependent care flexible spending accounts. In addition, we offer a $100 monthly credit from Trusted for backup and emergency child care services.
Generous Parental Leave
Upwork provides employees time to bond with their newborn and family. We offer up to 12 weeks of fully Paid Parental Leave.
Remote Work Program
Our remote work program includes work from home on Wednesdays.
Family Medical Leave
For eligible employees, FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for any circumstances regarding your personal health condition or to take care of a family member.
Adoption Assistance
Company sponsored family events
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Paid Volunteer Time
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Free Daily Meals
We provide free breakfast and lunch every day of the week.
Game Room
Stocked Kitchen
Happy Hours
Pet Friendly
Acme Co.'s pet policy is dog friendly daily.
Fitness Subsidies
Home Office Stipend for Remote Employees
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Acme Co. offers employees professional development opportunities like Onsite training courses, The ability to attend job related conferences and seminars.
Diversity Program
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Time allotted for learning
Online course subscriptions available
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