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Director of Design Research

Newark, New Jersey
Job ID: 899730

User Experience Research is at the heart of Audible’s goal to be obsessed with our customers, bringing their point of view to the innovation, design and implementation of our products. We work ceaselessly to understand consumer attitudes, goals and behaviors so that we can create the most delightful and innovative experiences for them. We focus on learning "why" people do the things they do when interacting with Audible. We strategize so that we apply the right research at the right time for the right problems. Our research informs and empowers our product and design teams to create the best and most delightful experiences for our customers.

The UX Research team is searching for a User Experience Research Director to join our growing team here at Audible.

Leading research teams is your passion. You bring the same curiosity and focus you have for deeply empathizing with customers and driving innovation to the craft of developing high-performance teams.

You create a learning environment where researchers and designers are encouraged to grow and expand their skills, techniques, and tools, and to embrace failure as fuel for creative problem-solving safely.

You continuously help teams become more capable of solving complex problems and delivering thoughtful solutions.

You use your deep professional knowledge and acumen to advise senior leadership on strategic decisions and are known internally and externally as a thought leader in your community.
You codify our work into repeatable processes that the rest of the UXR team can learn from and repeat.

You exercise creativity, foresight and judgment in conceiving, planning and delivering your research program initiatives.

You’re passionate about applying human centered thinking and consider yourself a Research Strategist, in that you apply human centered thinking to find, collect and generate the right research evidence at the right time to strongly influence product design decisions.

You understand multiple research methodologies and how they apply under different scenarios and can guide and lead other researchers, product teams and UX teams through the best methodologies for a successful product.

You may not be a Design Strategist, but you understand Design Thinking and how it applies to innovative product design, and how and why product decisions are made. You are comfortable with ambiguity and have the drive to make bring clarity where there is none.

You understand that innovation is about problem solving so you naturally analyze situations, identify existing or potential opportunities/problems and recommend solutions.

You keep your eye on big picture problems and bring together design and product using research plans that drive innovative product design.

You’re skilled in both qualitative and quantitative methods, balancing the need to empathize with our consumers with the need to deeply understand their behaviors.

You’re a detail obsessed and highly organized person when it comes to designing user research studies but do not lose sight of the big picture when it comes to analysis and drawing relevant and meaningful insights that drive innovative design.

You are a great storyteller; able to confidently and creatively communicate research insights in ways that influence product and design decisions at multiple levels of leadership.

You ache to share your knowledge, collaboratively leading product and design teams in how to do basic research with you, so that we come to product and design decisions together as a team. You understand how to influence and persuade when conflicts arise and “bring the team with you” in your judgment and decision making.

You’re a born collaborator, eager to work side-by-side with high performing multidisciplinary designers, product managers and engineers (across Audible and Amazon) exploring the limits of audio content discovery, subscription and consumption experiences.

· Manage multiple UXR project teams that collaborate with cross-functional partners from design UX, product, other consumer insights & analytics teams, engineering, customer service, marketing, and QA.
· Monitor team progress, efficiency, velocity, and goals alignment. Engage in regular project reviews and critiques to ensure that methods, processes and insights are of high actionable quality and aligned with UXR strategy and standards. Diagnose, triage, and solve issues quickly to reduce project risk.
· Participate in the hiring of peers and team members to enhance the UXR practice's capabilities and continuing to raise the bar of talent. Assess and screen candidates for skill and organizational fit. Foster a team culture that is attractive to a diverse range of high-performing candidates.
· Be a respected thought leader in UX Research, both internally and externally. Influence senior leadership in their understanding of human centered thinking and UX research.
· Develop and grow business relationships across the organization that increase transparency, understanding, and awareness of UXR to promote collaboration, strong partnerships, advocacy, and support the UXR practice has with external teams.
· Build trust with UXR and UX teams through clear, constructive, and consistent communication, as well as continued investment in their careers and success. Continuously assess the skillsets and goals of individuals, to match them with the skills required for the work, creating the conditions for individual growth and project for success.
· Codify research methodologies and processes so they are repeatable across the organization.
· Use research findings and storytelling skills to persuade and influence product design decisions.
· Create new research methodologies and collaborative techniques to influence product design decisions and enhance the thought leadership of the senior research team.
· Collaboratively create clarity where there is ambiguity for your design and product teams.
· Lead your team in building effective strategic frameworks, typologies, personas and full research plans that guide product and design teams throughout the product lifecycle.
· Align well thought-out research plans with our product roadmap, often using strategic research and planning to inform the roadmap.
· Develop and implement user-centered research throughout the design and development cycle (from discovery to delivery) using a variety of methodologies including: ethnographic interviews, ethnography, contextual inquiry, diary studies, concept testing, benchmarking/competitive analysis, usability, persona/profile creation and other appropriate qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
· Perform quick but thorough data analysis in order to create actionable insights and recommendations.
· Deliver high quality user research solutions in an environment with frequently shifting priorities and new market opportunities.

Basic Qualifications

· Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Human Factors, HCI, Psychology, Sociology, Cognitive Science, Research & Strategy, Anthropology or related field.
· At least 7+ years of experience in managing research at a program level with cross functional teams.
· 3+ years experience leading managers and teams of 5+ researchers across multiple projects.

Preferred Qualifications

· A track record of driving delivery high-quality digital products that delivered results as a research manager, and the ability to craft a holistic methodological vision to guide the team; illustrated with case studies.
· Proven ability to take ambiguous customer problems and business goals and work with design and product managers to translate them into estimated plans with appropriate resources.
· Transform business problems and customer problems into a detailed plan and roadmap.
· Demonstrate a presentation and communication style and skillset appropriate for executive-level audiences inside and outside the design team.
· Track record of growing and mentoring staff who have varying capabilities, skillsets, and processes.
· Care deeply about building a brand, a product experience like no other.
· 5+ years experience leading managers and teams of 5+ researchers across multiple projects.
· Ph.D. or Master’s degree in Computer Science, Human Factors, HCI, Psychology, Sociology, Cognitive Science, Research & Strategy, Anthropology or related field.

Audible is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Minority / Women / Disability / Veteran / Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation / Age


Audible, Inc. is the world’s largest seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information and educational programming. Since inventing and commercializing the first portable digital audio player in 1997, our focus on technological innovation and superior programming has earned us millions of subscribers around the world. We’re an Amazon subsidiary with a presence on four different continents, yet we maintain a startup vibe and small company feel. We offer more than 475,000 downloadable audiobooks, audio editions of periodicals, and other programs, and an escalating array of listening products that enrich daily life for a growing population of people who want to be more productive, well-informed, and thoughtfully entertained.


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