Perspectives from UX researchers in a changing field
by Gregg Bernstein
"An essential read for UX researchers. I wish I had this book when I left academia and became a practicing researcher."
—Dr. Daniel Davis, Workplace Researcher
"…Each chapter is full of learnings as well as stories and experiences that feel so relatable."
—Sara Sanchez, User Experience Researcher
"Useful information delivered in short essays from experienced practitioners particularly aimed at junior to mid-career researchers."
—Robin Beers, PhD, Ubuntu Culture Company
"There are many excellent books that explore methodologies and practice. This book is unique in how it focuses on the stories of the people who study people."
—Paul G., Researcher
"Gregg has done a fantastic job in bringing together some of the brightest minds in the ever-evolving field of UX Research to give an open, informative, and thought-provoking view of the discipline as it stands."
—Jack Burton, Senior User Researcher
What's in the book?
Each chapter explores a specific theme:
Finding a way in presents the various pathways people take to this field. You’ll learn how practitioners navigated from schools, the social sciences, fine arts, and beyond to a career that satisfies and rewards a passion for understanding people.
Getting started in a new role demystifies why organizations hire researchers, how to assess a role, the hiring process, and how to start when you land a new job.
Building momentum describes the different roles and teams a user researcher might work with, how to build and navigate relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, and the best place within an organization for researchers to make an impact.
Sharing the work unpacks what researchers really share by exploring how practitioners build an awareness of research, teach research methodologies, and—yes—disseminate research findings with their teams and organizations.
Expanding your practice covers how to navigate growth in both influence and headcount for practitioners, from what research leadership means to how to hire a team to when to operationalize a practice.
Overcoming challenges exposes the hard parts that no one tells you about user research, from the loneliness of being a team of one to battling imposter syndrome to advocating for change to taking an ethical stand.
Where to go next charts the pathways of a research career through an examination of possible career ladders, perspectives on when it’s time to leave a role, and thoughts on where a research leader goes when there isn’t a clear next step.
About the author
Gregg Bernstein is a user experience research leader and director of user research for Hearst Magazines, where he connects the worlds of content creation and consumption. He previously scaled teams and practices at Condé Nast, Vox Media, and Mailchimp.