User Researcher

Full Time Part Time
  • Sheffield, UK
  • Post Date: March 18, 2020
  • Apply Before: April 13, 2020
  • Job Reference 47392
  • Salary Range £30,000+
  • SALARY & BENEFITS £36,284 - £40,988
  • Job Level Senior Executive Officer
Job Description

The first duty of the government is to keep citizens safe and the country secure. The Home Office has been at the front line of this effort since 1782. As such, we play a fundamental role in maintaining the security and economic prosperity of the UK.

The Home Office leads on immigration and passports, refugee protection, counter-terrorism, policing, fire services, and crime and drugs policy.

Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) enables the Home Office to keep the UK safe and secure. We design and build the services that help people apply for visas or passports; support policing and counter-terrorism operations; and protect the UK’s borders.

This is an exciting time to be at the Home Office. You’ll have a chance to shape the future and support our mission to deliver exceptional public services that work for everyone.

Our work is guided by these principles:

  • we put user needs first
  • we value delivery and outcomes over process
  • we work in the open

Our flexible working policy ensures a healthy work-life balance. We also nurture talent and offer a broad range of learning and development opportunities that will help you flourish in your role.

We work hard to maintain a positive working culture and are committed to helping you fulfil your potential. We value diversity and provide an open, inclusive and supportive environment to help you do your best work.

Skills and experience

Essential Skills

You’ll have a demonstrable passion for user centred design, with the following skills or strong experience in:

  • understanding and applying a range of user research methods correctly for different life cycle phases
  • clearly articulating to stakeholders the benefits of taking a user-centred approach, based on evidence
  • applying ethical research standards and practices to ensure the safeguarding and wellbeing of participants and researchers
  • researching diverse audiences to deliver accessible and inclusive digital services
  • managing, executing and analysing usability testing to deliver valuable user insights that inform decisions
  • communicating research findings in a clear and engaging way that drives change
  • desirable but not essential: a degree in HCI /Cognitive Psychology/ Anthropology/ Sociology/ Computer Science or related field, and/or relevant industry experience

Desirable Skills

Ideally you will also have the following skills or some experience in:

  •  engaging multi-disciplinary teams with a good research process in agile environments
  • managing workload effectively in response to changing deadlines and priorities
  • mentoring or coaching more junior User Researchers
  • familiarity with the Government Service Standard


We’ll assess your technical skills during the interview. We may also ask you to complete a practical exercise.
For this role, the following technical skills are the most relevant:

  • Research methods
  • Negotiating and Influencing
  • Ethics
  • Accessibility and inclusion
  • Analysing and Sharing Research

Further information:
We often have similar roles available at different grades. If a candidate is suitable for a similar role or a lower grade than they have applied for, we may offer the candidate that role without the need for them to go through a further selection process providing the role has the same competencies and essential skills.

The Home Office is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse and representative workforce at all levels. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates and women as they are currently underrepresented within Digital, Data and Technology at this grade level. Appointments will be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

Your main day to day responsibilities will be:

  • planning, designing and conducting user research and usability testing to understand user needs and behaviours, and support the design and development of government services
  • turning user research findings into actionable insights that inform the design and development of digital services
  • leading on research moderation, analysis and generation of outputs
  •  supporting digital delivery teams to build accessible digital services by including participants with access needs and low digital skills in all research
  • working collaboratively in a multidisciplinary delivery team, including designers and product owners, to define research questions, plan research approach and prioritise findings

You will also be expected to carry out the following day to day activities:

  • presenting research findings and related recommendations to team members and stakeholders
  • managing logistics of research sessions, including planning and scheduling sessions and recruiting participants
  • identifying and raising any blockers to research activities

Technical skills
We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • SFIA – Strategic Planning (ITSP) – level
  • SFIA – Emerging Technology Monitoring (EMRG) – level 3
  • SFIA – User Research (URCH) – level 3
  • SFIA – Ethics – level 3

Things you need to know
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

Selection process details
This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Experience and Technical skills.
As part of the application process, the candidate will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. The personal statement should demonstrate suitability for the role.

An initial sift of the CV and personal statement will be conducted against the Essential criteria outlined in the job description.

We’ll assess your technical skills during the interview. We may also ask you to complete a practical exercise.

Sift and Interview dates

Sift will take place week commencing 13th April 2020
Interviews will start week commencing 27th April 2020
Location to be confirmed.