Senior User Experience Researcher

  • Sidewalk Labs
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Oct 21, 2020
Full time role

Job Description

Who are we?

Sidewalk Labs is an urban innovation company working to make cities more sustainable and affordable for all. We create products, invest in new companies, and help plan innovative places around the world. Since our founding in 2015, we’ve grown into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York City. Our cross-disciplinary team consists of experts from real estate, urban planning, government, finance, technology, and engineering, among other backgrounds.

We’ve launched innovative companies addressing urban mobility, next-generation infrastructure, and community-based healthcare, and invested in startups working on everything from robotic furniture to digital electricity. We continue to work internally on projects such as factory-made mass timber construction that can improve housing affordability and sustainability, a digital master-planning tool designed to help developers and communities achieve shared objectives, and a new approach to all-electric neighborhoods.

With the potential to catalyze and scale new models for sustainable and affordable growth, our work is both exciting and complex. We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it!

What is the role?

You will be a key member of Sidewalk’s design team, carrying out user-centered design research across three distinct products. Our growing product team is on a mission to deliver intuitive, seamless experiences for real estate developers, building owners and managers, and we start with users first. You will work closely with members of our design team and our cross-functional teams to:

  • Design, execute, and analyze studies using methods such as ethnographic/field research, diary studies, surveys, user/usability testing (remote and in-person), benchmark studies, online A/B testing, and basic quantitative analytics.
  • Provide deep insight and actionable recommendations to improve the user experience.
  • Find creative and compelling ways to generate and share results and recommendations throughout our product organization.
  • Influence product and service strategy, working closely with product managers, engineers, and subject-matter experts to determine product direction.
  • Support facilitation of strategic workshops with diverse audiences that deeply drive understanding of user needs, strategy, and priorities.

Note: We are currently working remotely, and we expect to eventually re-open our offices when it is safe to return, in 2021. After re-opening, candidates will be expected to come into the New York office.

What you have to achieve:

  • Within the first month, you’ve absorbed the research done thus far, both from our in-house design team and our research partners. You understand the roadmaps for each of the product teams and see where the main gaps for research are.
  • Within the first two months, you’ve helped with at least one research need (could be a usability study, or a survey), and helped to synthesize the results into actions for one of our product teams. You’ve also created a plan for how we might address gaps across the rest of the product teams with a schedule for the next two quarters.
  • By the end of month three, you will have helped shape and conduct at least one more study and you’ve set up a recruitment pipeline for one of the products that doesn’t currently have an operationalized research strategy. 
  • Beyond the first few months, you have a deep understanding of our users across products. You’ve executed on creating an archive to share our research (with our privacy protocols top of mind) that enable those across our organization to easily access and understand key insights. You’ve marshaled the resources needed in order to deliver on the research plan for the three product teams.

What we expect:

  • Putting users first 
    • You have 6+ years of experience in product organizations, leading mixed-methods research through interviews, observations, surveys, and other quant-based methods.
    • You have a degree in Human-Computer Interaction, Cognitive Science, Anthropology, Human Factors, Design, or other UX-equivalent research experience.
    • You are a proven leader and communicator; you are able to educate a larger organization about the value, need, and process around user research with ease.
  • Bias towards action
    • Scrappy and creative: as our first UX research specialist, we’ll lean on you to operationalize the discipline internally and help democratize access to research resources.
    • Once you’ve sketched out an idea, you find the fastest path to gain traction and begin executing.
    • You have a strong ability to create whatever assets are needed quickly, from screeners to discussion guides to reports.
    • Know your tools: experience with recruitment tools like UserInterviews, usability tools like, survey tools like Qualtrics, Airtable, and Typeform or comparable UXR tools.
  • Solve problems, together
    • External partnerships: you have experience and comfort in structuring and negotiating with consultants or vendors to get the work done. 
    • Internal partnerships: you can manage up and across and ,working closely with our ops teams (Legal, Procurement, Finance) to project manage Research Ops as needed.
    • You ask the hard questions and challenge assumptions to ensure that we’re solving the right problems.
  • Passionate about cities
    • Demonstrated curiosity for the urban environment and care deeply about improving the lives of people in cities through an affordability and sustainability lens.
    • You’re excited about enterprise tools for those who build cities, and you have a point of view for how to best empower users with real-time and predictive data/insights.
  • Bonus points
    • Experience using statistics, experiment design, and data science to gain insight.

We actively seek applicants from underrepresented communities. Even if you are not 100% sure you are right for the role, please apply and we will be happy to consider your application. All employment is based on merit and business need, and we respond to each application we receive.


Buildings & Cities

Climate Solutions

Walkable Cities, Household Recycling

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