We’re hiring a Lead for our User Research community

Our user researchers work across every part of our organisation. Our goal is to understand how we can adapt to meet the changing needs of our clients across all parts of our service.

Kylie Havelock
5 min readJan 13, 2020
Prototyping an energy tool based on user needs

Take me to the job application [Closing date 2nd February]

Chat to Kylie about the role

We’re looking for an experienced and empathetic user researcher to lead our community at Citizens Advice. You’ll manage a multi-level team of user researchers working across the organisation, collectively delivering a sustainable, user-led approach to advice. The team are at the heart of the organisation’s ambition to deliver our vision for 2022.

We’re growing fast, and today, we have 7 multidisciplinary product teams in our London office, split across four areas: public advice, adviser-facing services, platforms, and funded programmes.

You’ll be defining and assuring good user research practice whilst influencing, leading and mentoring others. You’ll be responsible for ensuring the right conditions and environment for user researchers to work effectively. You’ll help teams to understand the diversity of clients of our services, so we design and deliver accessible services that work for everyone.

Everyone is welcome at Citizens Advice. We care deeply about inclusive working practices and diverse teams. If you’d prefer to work flexibly, or part-time, we’ll facilitate this — whether to help you meet other commitments or to help you strike a great work-life balance. Several of our leadership team work 4 days a week, and we all work from home regularly.

These blogposts give a good idea of some of the research initiatives that are happening at Citizens Advice:

What you’ll do every day

You’ll provide leadership and coaching to the user research team, ensuring the team work collaboratively and consistently across all service areas. You will help us meet our mission by applying the skills of the team towards the design, operation, and improvement of user-centred services.

You’ll be excited by the challenge of designing services that work across multiple channels, devices, browsers, and platforms. You and your team will ensure we’re building meaningful, accessible, inclusive, and secure services in the open. You’ll be:

  • leading a community of 13 user researchers embedded in multidisciplinary product and programme teams, working across all the touchpoints that make up our service
  • collaborating with your leadership peers within digital, design, data, operations, programme management, and business development to make sure our services are meeting desired outcomes for users
  • guiding and mentoring your team in their work and career progression, helping them to set clear development goals, define their career paths, identify training needs, and do their best work
  • defining and monitoring the overall quality, performance, and development standards for user research in the organisation, and ensuring a responsible and ethical approach
  • finding, recruiting and on-boarding brilliant new user researchers at assistant, mid, and senior levels, including people from non-design backgrounds
  • representing us publicly in the ways that feel natural to you: writing, speaking, or running events in order to share what we do
  • communicating research strategy and findings to stakeholders to inform business decisions, in-line with our organisation’s Future of Advice strategy
  • working closely with our data science and analytics teams to make sure our qualitative insights are enhanced by robust quantitative analysis whenever possible

We’re quick to adopt better tools and processes, so you’ll be more than welcome to contribute all the good practices you’ve used before.

Apply if

  • you’re passionate about growing and hiring new leaders, developing user researcher’s skills and careers, and inspiring and motivating people to do their best work
  • you’ve got lots of hands on experience of qualitative and quantitative research methods, and you’ve collaborated with multidisciplinary teams to apply them to the design and improvement of new and existing services
  • you’re comfortable supporting inexperienced teams to adopt user centred practices and embed them into their workflow; and you can engage sceptical colleagues and stakeholders
  • you have strong communication and presentation skills, and are fluent in explaining complex research and implications to specialist and non-specialist audiences alike
  • you embrace working in the open and enjoy sharing with other organisations, and you have the humility, adaptability and courage to try new things
  • you appreciate robust research, but can also consider practical constraints and organisational goals — you understand what ‘just enough research’ means
  • you know how to include all kinds of users in research activities, and champion inclusive practices that help teams design and deliver accessible services that work for everyone
  • you’re passionate about user research and want to work in an equity-driven organisation solving complex problems for vulnerable groups
  • what we’re doing here at Citizens Advice excites you and you want to work in the public service Team of the Year!

Interested? Know someone who might be?

Let’s have a chat! My DMs are open on Twitter, and you can also email me directly* to find out more.

I’m also holding space for open, informal video calls if you’d like to find out more about the role to help you decide if you want to apply:

  • Monday 27th January between 10am — 12pm, and 3pm — 5pm
  • Thursday 30th January between 9am — 12:30pm

To book a slot, email me with your preferred date and time. If you can’t make any of the above, drop me a note and we’ll figure out an alternative.

*No recruiters please. No, really.



Kylie Havelock

Director of Product & Platforms @CitizensAdvice. Prev @GDS_GC @Justice_Digital. Board @LocalWelcome. Fellow @CloreSocial.