Principal User Researcher

Redmond, WA
Posted on:
August 24, 2020

We are seeking a strong Principal User Researcher to join our multi-disciplinary team of over 30 user researchers and planners working on a breadth of experiences across Microsoft 365. This specific role is a terrific opportunity if you are excited to work on developer platforms and with teams across Microsoft, bringing a human centered approach to planning and solving challenges for a large-scale service that is critical path for Office 365 and Microsoft's success.   

In this specific role, you will drive a human centered research agenda with the team working on Substrate, responsible for building the infrastructure, platforms, AI/ML and communications backbone for Microsoft 365. The team’s mission is to build a trusted platform that enables 1st party and 3rd party partners, to create tailored productivity experiences. The experience brings together the entire breadth of our customers’ data assets with user and intent understanding, to create a compliant and agile platform that democratizes the ability for developers to build intelligent M365 applications.

In this role, you’ll leverage your skills in mixed methods and HCI to improve the user experience for 1st and 3rd party partners. You will take on complex and foundational work to drive understanding of core user journeys, and work to guide near and long-term investments across a variety of partner teams. We’re looking for someone who wants to do a mix of qualitative and quantitative work to drive the right perspective about our users and engage with stakeholders to impact product decisions. You’ll work closely with UX Designers, other user researchers, data science, and engineering teams to ensure that we’re addressing the most critical user needs and opportunities. We’re especially enthusiastic about candidates who are passionate about people management as we work to build out our team.  This is initially an individual contributor role but is likely to evolve into a people manager role in the near future. Prior people management experience is preferred!

Our team is dedicated to creating an inclusive culture for the most diverse and talented group of employees. We’re looking for someone who wants to learn, grown, and embody new ways of working. If you embrace growth mindset, have a track record of delivering results, and you light up collaborating with other researchers, designers, product managers and engineers this is an awesome team to join. The team is largely based in the Redmond area, but we are open to remote candidates as well.


  • Derive insights from quantitative and qualitative data, complementing other research that you will conduct on your own or in partnership with other researchers. 
  • Define and measure UX approaches, metrics, and work with core stakeholders on research planning. Innovate and develop new approaches to measure user’s experiences.
  • Build and execute impactful research plan(s) that provide the broad market views and deep customer insights needed to impact strategy and UX
  • Continuously inform an engineering roadmap using customer data (qualitative and quantitative). Key to this accountability will be identifying gaps and customer pain points, as well as potential customer delighters. 
  • Land impact broadly from your customer-focused knowledge by working across multiple organizations and their respective engineering, design and marketing teams.


What does it take? 

Balance business motivations, 1st and 3rd party value

  • You are eager to learn and understand our 1st and 3rd party audiences, their behaviors, context(s) and motivations – across all phases of the customer lifecycle and user journey 
  • Can demonstrate strong empathy for the users while balancing the vision and constraints of stakeholders 

Desire to work in-stride with other people:  PMs, developers, designers, other researchers, marketers  

  • Really, you must love this part of the job.  The lines between this role and others are often unclear and you must be comfortable with contributing, engaging others despite the ambiguity  
  • Be ready to win together. This team has intentionally designed a structure where we work together.  

Entrepreneurial spirit willing to dig in

  • You will need practical and real-world problem-solving skills, as this team moves fast, and your role will be to help unblock barriers in design, build and go-to-market 

Other Requirements:

  • 7+ years of hands-on research and/or product planning experience, with demonstrated skill in collecting and analyzing human behavioral data to improve plans and UX in a technology industry setting 
  • Either an MA/MS in computer science, statistics, human factors, psychology, market research or related field, or a BA/BS in one of these fields with significant industry experience 
  • An understanding of developer audiences, and experience with technical topics like API Design, Authentication, Authorization.
  • This is initially an individual contributor role but is likely to evolve into a people manager role in the near future. Prior people management experience is preferred!
  • Desirable: experience in a programming language commonly used for data manipulation and computational statistics such as Python, R, Matlab, C++, Java or Go), and in SQL

Note: Your experiences and your demonstrated skill-sets are far more important than your level.  If you are interested, feel free to apply regardless of your level.

If the above sounds like you, we can’t wait to talk to you!

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