Sr. User Experience Researcher at Ascension

| Chicago
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Job Description

We Are Hiring

The Ascension Studio is seeking a Senior Director of Experience Research to lead our experience research practice in our work to create the future of people-centered healthcare. This role will be responsible for setting strategy for the experience research discipline and providing leadership oversight of experience research work across the organization.


This position can be based out of St. Louis, Chicago, or Austin.



What You Will Do

As a Senior User Experience Researcher you will help lead the discipline and help set the strategy and vision for the team and represent it across Ascension. You will collaborate closely with design, product and engineering leaders to prioritize research opportunities, develop research roadmaps and drive strategic alignment to organizational initiatives.

The Experience Research team is responsible for understanding end-to-end patient and provider journeys, challenges, and unmet needs to identify the most impactful opportunities for us to address. As a comprehensive healthcare system that includes a vast range of healthcare services, this could include the design of virtual care delivery, nurse communications, remote health monitoring, operating room operations, financial transparency and payment, care coordination, and more. The Experience research team works collaboratively with designers and product managers on field research, concept envisioning and iterative testing.

Expert knowledge of research methods and experience applying a mixed-methods research approach for digital products and services are critical to this role. You will be part of a growing team and will help drive research excellence through industry best practices. Using powerful insight-to-impact stories and innovation workshops you will evangelize the value of a human-centered design approach in the organization by helping demonstrate both the qualitative and measurable impact that Experience Research has on outcomes.

Key Responsibilities

  • Set and drive strategy for scaling research and design impact across the organization
  • Hire and cultivate research and service design talent
  • Oversee, prioritize, and activate exploratory, formative and summative research initiatives
  • Scope, staff, and advise complex and strategic research programs, including both those within the Products organization and in an advisory capacity to other teams within Ascension
  • Serve as subject matter expert on qualitative and quantitative research methods, human-centered design and design thinking
  • Guide and participate in research activities across exploratory, evaluative, and validation phases, including but not limited to qualitative and quantitative data gathering, contextual inquiry, ethnography, empathy exercises, co-design sessions, synthesis methods, usability evaluations, and A/B testing
  • Ensure quality of research work, drive research excellence as well as research team compliance with relevant regulations and best practices
  • Disseminate research findings to various teams through communication assets such as reports, presentations, user journey maps, design principles, frameworks, workflows, day-in-the-life scenarios, and use case summaries
  • Train Ascension associates in research methods and best practices


Work Experience

  • Experience building and leading UX Research or Service Design teams and operations
  • Strong knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and their application, especially human-centered and design thinking methods
  • Experience conducting ethnography, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, contextual field visits, workflow analysis, surveys, usability testing and human factors studies
  • Strong knowledge of statistics and research study design

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience conducting experience research in healthcare
  • Experience representing Experience Research and human-centered design with executive leadership
  • Experience working on multiple fast-paced research projects across the product lifecycle
  • Experience collaborating with technical and non-technical business stakeholders and  managing engagements with external partners
  • Experience working with agile design and development teams Excellent storytelling and communication skills

What You Will Need


  • High school diploma/GED with 2 years of experience, or Associate's degree, or Bachelor's degree required.
    • ​Preferred focus in Human Factors, Design Research, Service Design, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Human Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, Industrial Design, or similar field.
  • Master's degree preferred.

Work Experience:

• 3 years of experience required.
• 7-10 years of experience HIGHLY preferred.

  • 5 years of leadership or management experience preferred.

Why Join Our Team

Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all. In FY2020, Ascension provided $2.4 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes more than 160,000 associates and 40,000 aligned providers across a national network of ministries. We offer rewarding careers across more than 2,600 sites of care – including 146 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

Ascension is an equal opportunity employer (EEO) and affords equal opportunity to all associates and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic data, or other legally protected status.

For further information regarding your EEO rights, click on the following link to the “EEO is the Law” poster:

EEO is the Law Poster Supplement

Please note that Ascension will make an offer of employment only to individuals who have applied for a position using our official application. Be on alert for possible fraudulent offers of employment. Ascension will not solicit money or banking information from applicants.

This employer participates in the Electronic Employment Verification Program. Please click the E-Verify link below for more information.

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