User Experience Researcher, RPT

Posted on:
October 8, 2020

Opening date: 7th October 2020
Closing date: 4th November 2020

DeepMind's mission is to "Solve intelligence. Use it to make the world a better place."

The Research Platform team's objective is "Effortless Artificial General Intelligence Research". We are a core group of ~60 SWEs within DeepMind Research who work to provide a best-in-class research workflow. We build tools, infrastructure, libraries, frameworks, services, and products to enable and accelerate the next generation of research ideas.

Our team plays a critical role in the mission of DeepMind in multiple ways. In the simplest form, improving the workflow has a super-linear impact on research efficiency, as not only does it free up more time - but the extra cognitive space can allow new research ideas to thrive that would otherwise never happen.

Non-exhaustive examples of the types of work in this team:

  • Infra to leverage DeepMind’s massive computational resource pool to maximum efficiency
  • Platform for testing and evaluating ML algorithms in various simulated environments.
  • Systems for easily logging, storing, searching, and analysing large quantities of experiment data.
  • Project management systems specialised for organising research at scale.
  • Customising TensorFlow, Jax and other ML platforms at the language & compiler level for DeepMind’s use cases.
  • Improvements in IDEs researchers work in and better language and visualisation support

The Role

In order to understand and to build and support the right things for researchers, we need to understand their workflow and the scientific method in practice as it relates to DeepMind’s unique environment - what works, what doesn’t, where blockers occur, and where we have might have chances to define step changes in the way research is conducted.

Your job is to determine the best way to understand how research is done, to investigate and clarify which hurdles may hinder our progress, to work with researchers to explore potential solutions, and then to communicate this clearly to Engineering leads in the Research Platform and across DeepMind to inform our roadmaps and prioritisation. There will likely be iteration between the research and development teams, and you should work to make these interactions run smoothly.

The responsibilities that you will have include:

  • Proactively planning and executing inquiries into the researcher process, both understanding the current process and taking into account suggestions for future requirements or needs
  • Employing a wide range of methods to understand the research workflow. This might include 1:1 researcher interviews, facilitation of group sessions, and quantitative methods such as surveys and usage analytics. This will include conducting analysis of existing data sources and design of new data schemas.
  • Communicating and presenting your research findings and insights in a clear and compelling way to the Engineering team ensuring that these insights are translated into impactful product improvements
  • Developing and managing relationships with researchers and research teams across the company, and using these connections to collect existing insights to advise your research questions
  • Ability to broadly understand the code and systems researchers are using
  • Contribute to the design of solutions to common problems
  • Review and draw inspiration from existing literature on work practices and productivity

What we are looking for in a UXR:

You comfortably cover all phases of the research process, including planning and running 1:1 interviews, study design and execution, analysis, development of recommendation and advocacy for findings.

Mixed methods of UXR is a passion. You are proficient in conducting multiple research methods (both qualitative and quantitative) and have experience using them together to comprehend the full user experience. You are eager to collaborate with Engineers but most importantly Research Scientists to understand their workflow and ultimately build tools to better help them accelerate AGI research

The technical ability to run through and understand the researcher workflow. You have some programming experience in scripting languages (e.g. Python) and query engines. You might have used ML-related frameworks such as TensorFlow, Colab, pandas

You are an excellent communicator. You know how to analyse, interpret, and summarise various streams of input (surveys, usage analytics, etc). You have the ability to distil complex ideas to their essence. You can collaborate with a wide set of stakeholders including designers, product managers, and software developers. As well as having an interest in our mission and AI / Machine Learning.

Qualities that are an asset

  • Background in Human Computer Interaction or Psychology
  • Experience running focus groups and 1:1 interviews
  • You have an inquisitive mind and empathy for users
  • You’re a collaborator and enjoy bringing your team along with you
  • You’re a pattern finder and holistic thinker
  • You don’t fear complexity
  • Ability to develop code and statistical models to understand user experience

DeepMind welcomes applications from all sections of society. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of sex, race, religion or belief, ethnic or national origin, disability, age, citizenship, marital, domestic or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, maternity or related condition (including breastfeeding) or any other basis as protected by applicable law. If you have a disability or additional need that requires accommodation, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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