User Experience Researcher

As part of Vanguard’s Corporate Marketing & Communications Client Insight Team, the User Experience Researcher provides valuable senior level research services, including conducting user needs assessments, usability evaluations, and expert reviews of proposed web designs. Experience with design thinking research is preferred.

From its start in 1975 as a bold new experiment, Vanguard has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most trusted mutual fund firms. We take pride in having helped millions of clients to accomplish their financial objectives. The company, headquartered outside Philadelphia in Malvern, Pa., is also much admired for its strong culture and the impact that the Vanguard crew have on the communities where they live and work.

  • Provides usability services for business and IT teams for web or mobile applications across multiple platforms, for mid- to large-scale scope projects. Recommends appropriate quantitative or qualitative tool/approach to gather necessary insights from clients or prospects.
  • Plans, designs, and conducts user research, usability and heuristic evaluations, reports out actionable recommendations. Meets with clients or prospects to gather their feedback. Ensures clients’ privacy and conducts sessions by representing Vanguard in a professional manner. Conducts user interviews, and contextual inquiries to identify user needs and gather user feedback. Completes detailed user and task analyses based on this research.
  • Mentors team members in the development and ongoing use of usability techniques, processes and methods. Trains teams in usability fundamentals. Leads informal usability education seminars (e.g., brown bags) and one-on-one sessions. Writes training curriculum and creates presentation materials.
  • Documents usability principles, best practices, and usability test results. Reviews user interface design standards documentation and provides usability feedback. Participates in design team meetings during Visioning and development phases to provide feedback and recommendations on an ongoing basis. Facilitates heuristic evaluations sessions and related usability inspections.
  • Collaborates with Marketing to profile client demographics and to select user participants. Researches existing client information and interviews clients. Conducts and/or records user observation sessions. Prioritizes client needs.
  • Reviews competitors’ web site or mobile apps and provides usability analyses.
  • Identifies quantitative and qualitative usability opportunities and presents findings and recommendations to project teams. Presents usability findings to senior management and negotiates adoption of critical usability recommendations.
  • Evaluates Vanguard web pages or mobile designs to ensure they provide clients with information that is easy to find, easy to understand and easy to use. Recommends improvements in usability, including amount and location of information, links, and related usability elements.
  • Facilitate intake process for new requests, coordinating work with MR and other CI teams when relevant (during intake and throughout project lifecycle), working with business line team and Usability manager to determine if Usability should support project and if so, inform resourcing and methodology decisions. May meet on regular basis (monthly or at least quarterly) with UX managers and CI SRM for their business line to consult on Usability relationship, current projects, and pipeline of future projects.
  • May facilitate regular meetings with all Usability team members supporting his/her business line.
  • Thoroughly understands and complies with IT policies and procedures, especially those for quality and productivity standards that enable the team to meet established client service levels. Thoroughly understands and complies with Information Security policies and procedures.
  • Participates in special projects and performs other duties as assigned.


  • Undergraduate degree in a related field or the equivalent combination of training and experience, with degree in human-computer interaction, psychology, human factors/usability, or information science. Graduate degree preferred.
  • Five years’ related business experience
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, and presentation skills
  • Strong interview and facilitation skills
  • Ability to lead group focus groups
  • Strong analysis and problem solving skills
  • Ability to work on a multi-disciplinary team
  • Knowledge of the financial services industry
  • Experience with design thinking research is preferred.
  • Advanced knowledge of the following usability practices and concepts:
  • Formal and informal usability testing (in depth interviewing)
  • Remote moderated and unmoderated Usability testing
  • Heuristic evaluations
  • User needs assessments
  • • Integrating business and user work flows
  • • Logical information organization and navigation
  • • Inspections
  • • Web user interface design
  • • Mobile user interface design
  • • Group brainstorming and design sessions
  • Advanced understanding of one or more IT platforms:
  • • iOs
  • • Android
  • • Web
  • Knowledge of current versions of the following products:
  • • Microsoft Office Suite
  • • Morae
  • • Vovici

Special Factors

  • Vanguard is not offering visa sponsorship for this position.
  • Occasional travel to user locations
  • After hours are often required for user test and/or research sessions

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