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UX Research Management

UX Research Management Roles at GitLab

Managers in the UX Research department at GitLab see the team as their product. While they are credible as researchers and know the details of what UX Researchers work on, their time is spent hiring a world-class team and putting them in the best position to succeed. They own the delivery of UX Research commitments and are always looking to improve productivity. They must also coordinate across departments to accomplish collaborative goals.

Manager, UX Research

The User Experience (UX) Research Manager reports to the Senior Manager or Director of UX Research, and UX Researchers report to the Manager, UX Research.

Job Grade

The Manager, UX Research is a grade 8.

Responsibilities

  • Build and manage a high performing UX Research team.
  • Create an open and collaborative culture based on trust in the UX Research team.
  • Set clear expectations and goals for UX Researchers while holding them accountable for success.
  • Provide clear, actionable feedback and support to develop and grow UX Researchers.
  • Support your team's career development by ensuring: 1) they each have a Individual Growth Plan in place, 2) there are frequent check-ins on the plan, and 3) when applicable, special projects are being matched to support each team member's Individual Growth Plan.
  • Maintain an accurate and current understanding of the active UX Research projects being worked on by the team.
  • Build and develop your research toolkit to extend across all levels of complexity.
  • Demonstrate, explain, and teach others how to apply a range of research methods, understanding the balance and trade-offs between scrappy research and rigor.
  • Personally initiate and conduct research projects to help build foundational knowledge of our GitLab users. Research should consist of a mix of problem validation, foundational research, and strategic research projects.
  • Communicate, advocate for, and socialize actionable insights in a clear and compelling way.
  • Regularly sync with Product Management Directors to understand strategy, discover blockers, manage quality, and help ensure UX Research prioritization.
  • Develop and utilize reusable research project prioritization approaches for UX Researchers to leverage within their own teams. Work with UX Researchers and Product in applying these approaches to ensure UX Researchers have a clear set of prioritized research projects.
  • Manage the UX Research peer-review process to ensure test plans and final deliverables have been reviewed by at least one other UX Researcher.
  • Build relationships with other managers across disciplines, and act as a liaison with teams throughout the wider organization that have ongoing research needs.
  • Actively seek out difficult impediments to our efficiency as a team (process, tooling, etc), and propose and implement solutions that will enable the entire team to work more efficiently.
  • Exert significant influence on the overall objectives and long-range goals of the UX Research team.
  • Actively contribute to the UX Research team culture, processes, and documentation.

Requirements

  • Deep knowledge in the field of UX Research with a proven understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Experience managing UX Researchers who focus on enterprise, developer, and/or business tools.
  • Outstanding communicator both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent collaboration skills.
  • A proven record of driving change through UX Research.
  • Passion for the field of UX Research.
  • Evangelize research. Share user insights within the broader organization and externally in creative ways to increase empathy.
  • Able to use GitLab to plan/manage work and update the company handbook.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab

NOTE: In the compensation calculator below, fill in "Manager" in the Level field for this role.

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter. In this call we will discuss your experience, understand what you are looking for in a UX Research leadership role, talk about your work and approach to user research, discuss your compensation expectations and reasons why you want to join GitLab, and answer any questions you have.
  • After that, we'll invite you to record a case study walkthrough video. The recording is expected to be ~20-minutes in duration and returned within ten days of the screening call. In addition to the details below, this discussion on our GitLab Unfiltered YouTube playlist provides an overview of what we're looking for.

Why we ask for a pre-recorded presentation

  1. It helps create a shared understanding of your work between you and our interviewers ahead of the first interview.
  2. It allows us to ask more informed questions about your experience and work during the interview process.
  3. Generally, we avoid using meetings as a means to present. Instead, we record presentations, upload to our Unfiltered Youtube channel, and use a meeting as a Q&A. This interview exercise provides you with an opportunity to experience this style of work.

Presentation Topics

  1. An introduction: who you are, where you're based, your background, and why you're a UX Researcher.
  2. An overview of two case studies. One should be an overview of a high-impact individual project. The second should be something management related. This could be a story on how you overcame some kind of challenge, a process you introduced that had a lot of impact, or how you coached an employee to success. We want to understand: the size, discipline make-up, and structure of the team you were a part of; the goals of the project; what you personally did on the project, the challenges you faced throughout the project; and the meaningful business impact that the research resulted in. We also want to understand how you approached research; how you synthesized research data to inform product and design decisions; and the final output of your research in the research-focused case study.

What we're looking for

  • A recording that is up to 20 minutes in duration and returned to us within ten days of your screening call being completed.
  • Ideally, a study you present should be relevant to the work you'd expect do at GitLab. This could be because the study involved research into the persona(s) you'd study at GitLab, the study related to the DevOps or Developer tooling industry, is a study that went across multiple methods, or was a study that would be considered complex in nature.
  • You share the recording using either a private Youtube link, a Google Drive link, or a Loom link.

Some useful resources

  • Unsure on where to get started? Check out our handbook page on recording a presentation in Zoom. A free Zoom account is all you'd need to complete this presentation.
  • Interested in the type of work our UX team does? Check out our UX Showcases on GitLab Unfiltered, our UX Research handbook, and our UX Department's handbook.
  • We work with a low level of shame at GitLab. In this context, this means we don't expect your presentation to be highly polished.
  • Other questions? Want the Recruiter to review your presentation before the review from the Hiring Manager? Don't hesitate to get in touch with the Recruiter who conducted your screening call.
  • The following steps would be scheduled after a successful review of your case studies.
  • Interview with a UX Researcher. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experiences and challenges you've had as a manager, specific details of any initiatives you've led, the problems you were trying to solve, and the outcomes of these initiatives. Do be prepared to talk about your work and research experience, too.
  • Interview with a Product Design Manager. The interviewer will also want to understand how you work with cross-functional partners, how you've handled conflict, and how you've dealt with difficult situations in the past.
  • Interview with a UX Research Director. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experience you have as a manager, your ways of ensuring the team is well-positioned to produce research studies that have a strong impact on product strategy, what types of teams you have led, and your management style. This interviewer will also want to know how you think about the place of user research within an organization, understand how you define strategy and vision, and understand the size and scope of teams you've managed throughout your career.
  • Interview with Product Management Group Manager. In this interview, the interviewer will want to understand how your career experiences will set you up for success at GitLab. They will also look to understand how you work with cross-functional partners, the domains you've worked in previously, and the types of teams you've led.
  • Interview with VP of UX. In this interview, the interviewer will want to understand the experience you have as a manager, your experience working remotely, and how these two elements of your career intersect. They will also look to understand your technical skills and the types of products you've worked on previously.

Senior Manager, UX Research

The Senior Manager, UX Research reports to the Director of UX, and Manager, UX Research report to the Senior Manager, UX Research.

Job Grade

The Senior Manager, UX Research is a grade 9.

Responsibilities

  • Create an open and collaborative culture based on trust in the UX Research team.
  • Develop an overarching UX research strategy for GitLab, and work with the UX Research team and cross-functional partners to execute that strategy.
  • Facilitate the creation and execution of UX Research OKRs in collabration with the UX Research team and UX Leadership.
  • Define and manage performance indicators for the UX Research team by actively contributing to the UX Research KPIs on the UX KPIs page in the handbook.
  • Coach UX Research Managers on how to conduct 1:1s, growth, and feedback conversations with their direct reports.
  • Help drive cross-product research by having an awareness of what's happening across all sections through active participation in UX Research peer reviews, UX Showcases, and Group Conversations.
  • Actively advocate for UX Research throughout the company, so that the company is aware of what UX Research does, how they do it, and what insights they have delivered.
  • Support UX Research Managers' career development by ensuring: 1) they each have a Career Development Plan in place, 2) there are frequent check-ins on the plan, and 3) when applicable, special projects are being matched to support one's Career Development Plan.
  • Align the way that UX Researchers work with how their cross-functional partners in Product Managment, Product Design, and Engineering prioritize, track, and manage work.
  • Stay informed of industry best practices, and help the team to evolve our research practice accordingly.

Requirements

  • Expert-level knowledge in the field of UX Research with expert-level understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Experience managing UX Research Managers who focus on enterprise, developer, and/or business tools.
  • Outstanding communicator both verbally and in writing.
  • Strong collaboration skills.
  • A proven record of leading a team that drives change through UX Research.
  • Experience advocating for UX Research and broadly communicating about research insights to stakeholders and partners.
  • Passion for the field of UX Research.
  • Able to use GitLab to plan/manage work and update the company handbook.
  • Ideally, has experience leading a remote UX research team that conducts research fully remote, too.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab

NOTE: In the compensation calculator below, fill in "Senior Manager" in the Level field for this role.

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter. In this call we will discuss your experience, understand what you are looking for in a UX Research leadership role, talk about your work and approach to user research, discuss your compensation expectations and reasons why you want to join GitLab, and answer any questions you have.
  • Interview with a UX Researcher. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experiences and challenges you've had as a manager, specific details of any initiatives you've led, the problems you were trying to solve, and the outcomes of these initiatives. Do be prepared to talk about your work and research experience, too.
  • Interview with a UX Manager. In this interview, we want to get to know how you think about the place of user research within an organization, understand how you define strategy and vision, and understand the size and scope of teams you've managed throughout your career.
  • Interview with a UX Director. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experience you have as a manager, your ways of ensuring the team is well-positioned to produce research studies that have a strong impact on product strategy, what types of teams you have led, and your management style. The interviewer will also want to understand how you work with cross-functional partners, how you've handled conflict, and how you've dealt with difficult situations in the past.
  • Interview with Executive VP of Engineering. In this interview, the interviewer will look to understand how you drive strategy, approach difficult conversations, and how you see the role of user research in a cross-functional research and development organization.

Director, UX Research

The Director of UX Research reports to the Director of UX, and UX Research Managers report to the Director of UX Research.

Job Grade

The Director, UX Research is a grade 10.

Responsibilities

  • Create an open and collaborative culture based on trust in the UX Research team.
  • Set an ambitious vision for UX Research that other companies use as a benchmark for their own research initiatives.
  • Align UX Research to business goals and company revenue and clearly communicate the resulting impact.
  • Develop an overarching UX research strategy for GitLab, and work with the UX Research team and cross-functional partners to execute that strategy.
  • Mentor UX Research Managers in their career growth, including making sure they each have an Individual Growth Plan.
  • Help scale UX Research by defining a plan to provide research training for Product Managers and Product Designers, and coordinate the UX Research team to create and maintain training materials.
  • Actively advocate for UX Research throughout the company, so that the company is aware of what UX Research does, how they do it, and what insights they have delivered.
  • Stay informed of industry best practices, and help the team to evolve our research practice accordingly.
  • Identify ways to more efficiently and effectively conduct remote user research, and share those learnings with the wider community.
  • Work with Product Operations to ensure UXR consideration in the Product Development Flow.
  • Define and manage Performance Indicators for the UX Research team.
  • Independently create and manage OKRs for the UX Research team.
  • Align the way that UX Researchers work with how their cross-functional partners in Product Managment, Product Design, and Engineering prioritize, track, and manage work.
  • Conduct regular 1:1 meetings with their direct reports and quarterly skip-level meetings with the reports of their direct reports.
  • Provide clear and direct feedback to the people they manage, their own manager, and cross-functional partners when needed.
  • Hire and retain a world-class team of UX Researchers.
  • Manage the UX Research budget with oversight from UX leadership.

Requirements

  • Expert-level knowledge in the field of UX Research and experience setting UX Research vision for a product company.
  • Experience managing UX Research Managers.
  • A clear philosophy about how to create an environment that empowers remote UX Research teams and encourages them to deliver high-impact work.
  • Outstanding communicator both verbally and in writing.
  • Strong collaboration skills.
  • A proven record of leading a team that drives change through UX Research.
  • Experience advocating for UX Research and broadly communicating about research insights to stakeholders and partners.
  • Passion for the field of UX Research.
  • Able to use GitLab to plan/manage work and update the company handbook.
  • Ideally, has experience leading a remote UX research team that conducts research fully remote, too.
  • You share our values, and work in accordance with those values.
  • Leadership at GitLab

NOTE: In the compensation calculator below, fill in "Director" in the Level field for this role.

Career Ladder

For more details on the engineering career ladders, please review the engineering career development handbook page.

Performance indicators

Interview Process

  • Screening call with a recruiter. In this call we will discuss your experience, understand what you are looking for in a UX Research leadership role, talk about your work and approach to user research, discuss your compensation expectations and reasons why you want to join GitLab, and answer any questions you have.
  • Interview with a UX Researcher. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experiences and challenges you've had as a manager, specific details of any initiatives you've led, the problems you were trying to solve, and the outcomes of these initiatives. Do be prepared to talk about your work and research experience, too.
  • Interview with a UX Manager. In this interview, we want to get to know how you think about the place of user research within an organization, understand how you define strategy and vision, and understand the size and scope of teams you've managed throughout your career.
  • Interview with a UX Director. In this interview, the interviewer will spend a lot of time trying to understand the experience you have as a manager, your ways of ensuring the team is well-positioned to produce research studies that have a strong impact on product strategy, what types of teams you have led, and your management style. The interviewer will also want to understand how you work with cross-functional partners, how you've handled conflict, and how you've dealt with difficult situations in the past.
  • Interview with Executive VP of Engineering. In this interview, the interviewer will look to understand how you drive strategy, approach difficult conversations, and how you see the role of user research in a cross-functional research and development organization.

Compensation Calculator

To find out more about the compensation for this role, please apply to a role first. Once selected for a screening call, you'll be able to sign up here to view our compensation calculator. Be sure to use the same email address for both.

About GitLab

GitLab Inc. is a company based on the GitLab open-source project. GitLab is a community project to which over 2,200 people worldwide have contributed. We are an active participant in this community, trying to serve its needs and lead by example. We have one vision: everyone can contribute to all digital content, and our mission is to change all creative work from read-only to read-write so that everyone can contribute.

We value results, transparency, sharing, freedom, efficiency, self-learning, frugality, collaboration, directness, kindness, diversity, inclusion and belonging, boring solutions, and quirkiness. If these values match your personality, work ethic, and personal goals, we encourage you to visit our primer to learn more. Open source is our culture, our way of life, our story, and what makes us truly unique.

Top 10 Reasons to Work for GitLab:

  1. Mission: Everyone can contribute
  2. Results: Fast growth, ambitious vision
  3. Flexible Work Hours: Plan your day so you are there for other people & have time for personal interests
  4. Transparency: Over 2,000 webpages in GitLab handbook, GitLab Unfiltered YouTube channel
  5. Iteration: Empower people to be effective & have an impact, Merge Request rate, We dogfood our own product, Directly responsible individuals
  6. Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging: A focus on gender parity, Team Member Resource Groups, other initiatives
  7. Collaboration: Kindness, saying thanks, intentionally organize informal communication, no ego
  8. Total Rewards: Competitive market rates for compensation, Equity compensation, global benefits (inclusive of office equipment)
  9. Work/Life Harmony: Flexible workday, Friends and Family days
  10. Remote Done Right: One of the world's largest all-remote companies, prolific inventor of remote best practices

See our culture page for more!

Work remotely from anywhere in the world. Curious to see what that looks like? Check out our remote manifesto and guides.

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