🪄Thinking about a career in UX Research?

Landing a UX research internship or job involves a strategic approach and a blend of skills that go beyond mere qualifications. 

how to build a career in ux research?

Written by: Yeshaswini Parimi

As technology continues to evolve and user preferences become more sophisticated, the demand for professionals who can understand and optimize user experiences is higher than ever. Whether you're intrigued by the psychology behind user behaviour or passionate about improving digital interactions, a career in UX research offers a rewarding path where you can make a tangible impact on product development and user satisfaction.

In today’s digital age, User Experience (UX) research stands as the cornerstone of product success. From mobile applications to websites, companies across the globe are recognizing the key role of UX in creating user-centric products. Landing a UX research internship or job involves a strategic approach and a blend of skills that go beyond mere qualifications. 

Understanding the Landscape

With the tech ecosystem thriving and expanding, companies ranging from startups to multinational corporations are keen on enhancing user experiences. Researching the landscape and understanding which industries prioritize UX research will give you a head start. E-commerce, fintech, and IT services sectors are among those actively seeking UX researchers.

Building a Strong Foundation

Start by acquiring a solid educational background. Pursuing courses in human-computer interaction, psychology, or design thinking can serve as a solid foundation. If you do not have these as a part of your university curriculum, you can always find online platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Interaction Design Foundation that offer courses tailored to UX research.

Crafting a Stellar Portfolio

A diverse portfolio is your gateway to showcasing your skills. Include case studies, research projects, and designs that highlight your approach, methodologies used, and the impact of your work. Focus on diverse projects, demonstrating versatility and adaptability in tackling different challenges. Don’t have any real-time projects that you’ve worked on? Create mock-ups! Tap into your own network, interview them, and treat it as you would any “real” project. 

Network, network, network

No matter at what stage in your professional journey you are, it does not hurt to meet new people. And not just necessarily for landing a job or an internship. Read or heard something interesting? Reach out to them, and build a rapport. Networking holds immense value!  Attend UX meetups, conferences, and webinars. Engage with professionals through platforms like LinkedIn or local UX communities. Instagram and Discord have amazing communities too. Being actively involved in discussions and forums can create opportunities and provide insights into industry trends. 

Gaining Practical Experience

Hands-on experience is invaluable. Consider taking up freelance projects or internships, even if unpaid, to gain practical exposure. Collaborating with startups or volunteering for NGOs can provide diverse projects to include in your portfolio and hands-on experience with real-world challenges.

Mastering Tools and Methodologies

Proficiency in UX research tools and methodologies is crucial. Familiarize yourself with tools like Adobe XD, Figma, or Sketch for designing prototypes and conducting usability tests. Understand various research methodologies such as interviews, surveys, and usability testing, and when to employ them.

Emphasizing Soft Skills

While technical skills are important, soft skills shouldn’t be overlooked. Communication, empathy, problem-solving, and the ability to work in diverse teams are highly valued traits in the field of UX research. Showcase these skills in your interactions and experiences.

Tailoring Your Application

Customize your application materials for each opportunity. Highlight relevant experiences, skills, and achievements that align with the job description. Craft a compelling cover letter expressing your passion for UX research and how you can contribute to the specific company’s goals.

Staying Updated

The field of UX is dynamic, with new trends and technologies emerging regularly. Stay updated with the latest tools, methodologies, and industry best practices. Continuous learning through blogs, podcasts, and online courses will keep you ahead in the game.

Securing a UX research internship or job in India demands a proactive approach, a blend of technical skills, and a passion for understanding user behaviour. By building a strong foundation, gaining practical experience, and networking within the industry, you can carve a rewarding career path in this dynamic and ever-evolving field.

Have a burning research question? Talk to us.

Cover photo by: George Milton