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Director, UX Research

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution
Grand Central, New York
Closing date
Jul 19, 2022

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Position Type
Dean / Department Head
Full Time
Media Studies
Organization Type
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The Disney Streaming UXR team is seeking a curious, innovative and rigorous user experience research leader with deep research & strategy expertise to lead our Global Disney+ team of bright, energetic and talented UX Researchers.
In this role you will manage and grow the Disney+ UXR team while also helping our partners in product and design understand, envision, and implement human centered experience strategies for Disney+ launches, incremental improvement and innovation worldwide. You will lead the team through research methods spanning from ambiguous and strategic to tactical and evaluative. Your team will apply human centered approaches to understand the landscape of needs driving our viewers, be the tip of the spear to wayfind through potential innovation opportunities with strategic research and collaborative ideation, and communicate a strategic vision for subsequent design and development efforts.
If you are passionate about empowering teams and embedding just a little bit of research DNA into the hearts and minds of your partners across Product and Design, this may be the perfect role for you.
This is a full-time position located in either NYC, SF, Glendale, Burbank or Seattle. While we have embraced a flexible working arrangement and our teams are currently working from home, we expect candidates for this role to be based on location once we are all back in the office physically.
Responsibilities :
Team Leadership:
- Managing researchers and strategists from a diverse spectrum of skills and career paths
- Collaborating with senior UXR and Design leadership to define and support the team mission and goals while supporting the mentoring and development of direct reports
- Leading innovation strategy with insights-based frameworks that inspire new feature innovation as well as incremental improvements
- Demonstrating human centered leadership for your team through direction, delegation, and as a hands-on practitioner working directly with our cross functional partners.
Thought Leadership:
- Guide project teams in the execution of experience research to discover JTBD (emotional and functional), pain points, and mental models impacting behavior and translate findings into new innovation opportunities and incremental improvements for Disney+.
- Create a culture of innovative thinking and strategic mindsets across Disney Streaming; position UXR as a strategic leader.
- Build, maintain and leverage strategic insight frameworks that uncover, demonstrate and quantify opportunity gaps and pain points in our viewer experience, and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to define and articulate new experiences.
- Evangelize inclusive experience strategy and codesign methods to ensure we are creating viewing experiences that don't force our viewers to adapt to an experience that hasn't been designed with them in mind.
- Command of advanced storytelling techniques to coach researchers to present complex mixed methods research findings so that it is easy to grasp and easily actionable for the audience, from the most junior UX Designer to the most senior C-Suite individuals. In addition, demonstrate internal and external thought leadership in talks across the DMED organization, TWDC, and at external events.
- Coordinating with Design, UX Research Operations and Product Peers to Envision and Prioritize work for the Disney+ UXR team.
- Coordinating UXR activities, managing team resourcing, internal and external communication with product & design teams and general UXR project management
- Create fun and engaging ways to bring your team together both during and post-pandemic.
Basic Qualifications :
- Cognitive Science, Research & Strategy, Anthropology or related field
- At least 7 years of experience in managing research teams at a program level with cross functional teams
- At least 10 years of professional experience
- Excellent facilitation skills, and the ability to lead, influence, motivate, and inspire cross-functional teams.
- Ability to communicate effectively at all levels, collaborate to solve problems, clearly present ideas and solutions, and keep colleagues and stakeholders informed.
- Ability to act as a user and viewer experience champion and evangelist, both internally and externally.
- Experience applying Design Thinking to ambiguous situations, digital and non-digital, to frame problems and opportunities, and to work cross functionally toward their solutions.
- Experience managing a team of UX research strategy and/or UX research practitioners with proven ability to empower aligned and autonomous teams.
- A resilient and tenacious growth mindset and flexible optimism that leans toward adaptability and collaboration, allowing you to thrive in ambiguous environments
- Ability to coach researchers to clearly articulate the connection from research insights to actionable design strategy decisions through storytelling and effective research strategy presentations.
- Command of a variety of research and experience strategy methodologies including: alignment workshops, stakeholder interviews, ethnographic interviews, ethnography, codesign, affinity mapping, contextual inquiry, diary studies, qualitative and quantitative concept testing, benchmarking/competitive analysis, usability, strategic frameworking, persona/profile development and other appropriate qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
- Basic research strategy methods such as: persona development, ecosystem & journey mapping, service design blueprinting, jobs to be done, and various value proposition testing methods.
- The rigor to guide researchers to apply the right research at the right time for the right problems.
- Ability to guide researchers to clearly draw and articulate the line from research insights to actionable design & strategy decisions through storytelling and effective human centered presentations.
- Ability to deliver high quality user research solutions in an environment with frequently shifting priorities and new market opportunities.
- Ability to guide the design process through ideation workshops, and other collaborative working sessions, and to impart these skills to your team.
- Proven experience as a collaborator, connector and relationship-builder
- A true passion to "give your work away" and share your research knowledge across the Disney Streaming organization
Preferred Qualifications:
- 10+ years of research team management
- Ph.D. or Master's degree in Computer Science, Human Factors, HCI, Psychology, Sociology, Cognitive Science, Research & Strategy, Anthropology or related field
Required Education :
Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Human Factors, HCI, Psychology, Sociology,
Job ID: 983176BR
Location: New York,New York
Job Posting Company: Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution
The Walt Disney Company is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.
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