User Researcher – Search & Discovery

April 12, 2021

Website Ithaka

User Researcher: Search & Discovery 

United States

Mid-Senior Level

Are you passionate about infusing the user’s voice to craft meaningful solutions? Do you have a research toolkit busting at the seams? Are you a collaborative researcher who loves to be part of the team generating hypotheses and tailoring research to inform innovative solutions? We are looking for an energetic self-starter to help us level up our search and discovery experiences.  

JSTOR makes knowledge accessible to millions of users globally. Come help ITHAKA expand our mission and be part of a team dedicated to crafting delightful experiences and providing affordable access to academic journals, books, images, and primary sources to researchers in 170 countries.  

The Role
Evidence is one of our core organizational values, and this role is crucial in enabling us to utilize data to drive decisions. The User Researcher’s role is to inform, develop, and execute a variety of search focused research activities. Working collaboratively with stakeholders and team members you will generate research findings that bring new functions, features, and products to life. As a User Researcher, you will craft research approaches and analyses that inform the search offerings of JSTOR and Artstor, platforms that make academic journals, books, documents, and images available to millions of learners around the world. 

ITHAKA’s products host a variety of content types, from research articles to images, covering a range of topics, including science, history, and literature. Moreover, our diverse audiences of students and faculty have diverse expectations of search. As a User Researcher, you will help us overcome these challenges by helping the search teams translate user behaviors and needs into actionable and measurable solutions. 

As part of the User Insights team, you will partner with researchers and analysts to enhance organizational knowledge of the existing and future JSTOR user base. This team provides information that leads to deeply engaging and delightful products. This role works extensively with Product Managers, Product Designers, and Developers within Discovery teams to test and validate new and existing product concepts. The User Researcher guides teams to define research goals, choose appropriate methodologies, plan, execute, and evaluate research studies. 

– Partner with product teams in crafting UX experiences and relevancy results which are deeply rooted in the understanding of user needs and expectations.
– Craft and execute research to validate various product hypotheses, leveraging your broad toolkit of methods including: in-depth interview, survey, prototype testing, usability, observational, A/B, card sort, click test, etc.
– Partner with designers throughout the discovery and development process to craft elegant and innovative UI solutions.
– As a core member of the JSTOR Search & Discovery product teams, work daily with engineers, designers, product managers, and analysts to prioritize and execute research opportunities in a fast-paced changing environment.
– Foster research and discovery skill growth within the Search & Discovery product teams. 
– Stay up-to-date on leading industry literature on search and ongoing developments in the UX research field; actively suggest solutions that leverage improvements from both areas.

Experience and Skills
– Advanced degree in Social Sciences, HCI, or related field.
– 5 plus years of hands-on experience in user-centered research and evaluation.
– Ability to use quantitative data (e.g. usage logs and A/B tests) to generate qualitative understanding of user needs and behaviors and vice versa.
– Experience with a varied set of research methods including user interview, survey, prototype testing, A/B, and ethnography. 
– Ability to identify when an opportunity can best be understood with qualitative or quantitative data.
– Familiarity with common online research and survey tools such as: Optimal Workshop, Qualtrics, and Ethnio.
– Ability to drive all aspects of research from planning to execution and communicating insights with a multidisciplinary audience.
– Excellent problem-solving skills with an ability to analyze situations, identify existing or potential problems and recommend solutions.
– Outstanding analytical and strategic thinking skills.
– Ability to multitask and manage several projects simultaneously.
– Familiarity with academic search literature, standards, and user expectations a plus. 
– Experience in an Agile environment is desirable.

Work for ITHAKA
 We are committed to our organizational values of belonging, evidence, speed, teamwork, and trust.

Our team is passionate about our mission and supporting one another.  We enjoy working together to create opportunities for people to learn and grow out in the world, and we bring that same commitment to helping our teammates develop in our careers and our lives.  One of our core values is belonging. We embrace differences, and believe that the things that make each of us unique are the things that help us see new insights and build better solutions. 

We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, domestic violence victim status, veteran status, disability, history of disability or perceived disability, or other status protected by law. 

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