Here at the FT, gold-standard journalism is just the beginning. 500-people strong, our Product & Tech team keeps us ahead of the ever-changing digital landscape by delivering cutting-edge products to over one million digital subscribers every day. Our plans for growth rely on a diverse, dedicated and dynamic group of product, tech, delivery and data specialists - everyone’s welcome in this friendly, forward-thinking team. And with entrepreneurial spirit, intelligence and opportunity at every turn, there’s no limits to where your FT career will take you.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace
At the FT, we aim for employees across all regions to have a voice so that diverse perspectives are heard and valued. We believe that a supportive workplace is one where employees feel they can be themselves at work and have the flexibility they need to meet their personal needs. We'll continue to remove barriers for all, and in particular barriers facing employees from underrepresented groups.
About the Team
We’re looking for a Lead User Researcher to join the Product Research & Design (PRD) team in our London Office.
You’ll work alongside a fully empowered squad of engineers, designers, product managers, with support from and access to relevant stakeholders from around the FT such as data, editorial and marketing etc.
You’ll help deliver end-to-end product experiences, from exploratory research into opportunity definition, from ideation into concepting, from testing into shipping, measuring and iterating.
You’ll receive regular guidance and support from your squad, your line manager, our Director of Product Research & Design, and of course the whole research team. We work hard to foster a safe environment where we share and discuss our work proactively, to inspire, support and guide each other.
About the Role
You’ll be working on our FT.com/Apps pillar, using a wide range of research methods to help us get a deeper understanding of our audiences.
As a research lead you will play a leadership role in the PRD team, helping to connect dots with other parts of the business and often working in undefined, strategic problem spaces. You will own and manage all research activities across a programme of work, engaging in a hands-on capacity and working with designers, stakeholders and partners to deliver quality outcomes. This role requires line management and strong mentoring/coaching experience.
What you’ll be doing week to week:
- Planning and prioritising. You’ll have an equal stake in your squad’s direction. You’ll always be learning, planning and prioritising your areas of focus and approach together.
- Collaborating with product manager, designers, engineers etc through all stages of the discovery and development process to create a shared understanding of customer needs, motivations and behaviours in relation to product and business goals
- Researching and learning about users. Designing, planning and conducting relevant generative research activities suited for the objectives and the timelines of the team. To uncover the behaviours and motivations of customers and users, using different and relevant methodologies.
- Empathy and experience mapping. Understanding user mindsets, motivations and expectations. Mapping experiences, journeys and flows, to help us unearth and prioritise pain points and opportunities taking the team along with you and offering PMs a higher level picture to make more strategic decisions.
- Ideating, iterating and testing. Working with teams to help evolve ideas into concepts, to shape these concepts with research and iterate based on the learnings.
- Synthesising learnings and sharing insights creatively. Taking what you've learnt and disseminating knowledge in the most appropriate format for your squad and throughout the business.
- Evolving! We strive to continually improve and evolve. Evolving our process by adding new techniques and abandoning obsolete ones. Evolving our product until we achieve objectives, rather than stopping once we’ve shipped.
What we’re looking for from you
We welcome applications from people who can demonstrate strong end-to-end user research competencies.
- You’ll have shipped multiple features and iterations perhaps across several products. You’ll probably have been a practising user researcher for 5+ years or more
- Proven research skills, experience of using a range of methods and techniques to deliver insights that impact product strategy and direction
- Clear communication and presentation skills, able to tell a compelling customer narrative with qual and quant results
- Good initiative, to solve problems, manage workload and set expectations
- Strong collaboration skills, knowing how to contribute and influence through finding common ground and building rapport with team members
- Natural curiosity, a desire to understand how and why people use digital products and how FT can best meet their needs
- A degree or strong interest in psychology, anthropology, sociology, HCI or other related fields are a bonus
Career progression and growth
We have a transparent, measurable progression framework, which will outline all of the skills FT user researchers need, and detail on how to progress in each skill category. We will use this as a basis for your biannual reviews, where you’ll self assess against the progression framework, track progression, and agree areas of focus with your line manager.
We invest in our people to allow them to grow both personally and professionally whilst working at The FT. We offer a variety of ways in which you can progress your career with us, some of which are highlighted below:
- Career coaching - Career coaching is time spent focused on you and how you can achieve your career aspirations.
- Mentoring programme - The mentoring programme aims to connect people across the business to support professional and personal growth through knowledge sharing and guidance.
- Learning and development - The FT offers a host of learning and development opportunities that will not only help you build the skills you need to grow in your profession or field, but will also help you improve your own personal development, with courses such as self-coaching, productivity, presentation confidence, research techniques and much more.
- 25 days of leave, increasing to 30 after two years. We also offer additional flexi-days at 30% pay.
- Pension plan, the company will double your contribution up to 18% total
- Free gym membership via GymPass, or subsidised access to Nuffield Health
- Enhanced maternity & paternity packages
- Other schemes include: childcare vouchers, give as you earn, cycle to work, travel loans, healthcare, dental, life assurance
- Full details of our benefits can be found here.
How we work
We offer a strict 35 hour working week to all staff in our London office. Our hybrid setup means staff are expected to come into the office 2 days a week on average. We operate flexibly and thus this 2 day a week figure should be taken as a general ratio of the time you will spend in the office.
Our office is located across the street from St. Paul's Cathedral and is easily accessible from all corners of London. There are the main train terminals such as Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Blackfriars, City Thameslink or Waterloo all situated within walking distance or there are several tube stations within a few mins walk such as Mansion House (District or Circle line), St. Paul's (Central line), Bank (Central or Waterloo & City line) or Barbican (Central, Hammersmith & City or Metropolitan lines).
The FT are committed to providing an inclusive working environment for all. We are an equal opportunities employer who seeks to recruit and appoint the best talent regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We also promote flexible working and will consider specific requests around flexibility for all roles where it can be accommodated. Please let us know if you require any adjustments as part of the application process or to enable you to attend an interview. If you would like to discuss your requirements, or have any questions, please contact a member of our HR team who will be happy to help.