Are UX Researchers needed in 2024?


Some ill-informed thoughts on the UX job market

2 minute read

I was asked twice in the last week "how would one go about getting a UX Research role"?

Interface design (or UI Design) is the easiest part of UX to get into with Research being the hardest chiefly because research jobs are few (a smaller number of companies have high enough UX maturity to see value in it and thus put budget into it) so there are fewer jobs which means that there is higher competition to get a Research position. It might be worth looking into other UX jobs and then moulding your own research role/adding research tasks to your responsibilites after you get your foot in the door. Add in the fact that you might be up against more experienced practitioners, means you might have a bit more of a competition on your hands.

In 15 years of practicing design, I haven't seen or worked with a single pure UX Researcher that wasn't a Designer putting on the "Research hat". While it's not impossible to find and secure a role as a UX Researcher, I have reservations about the availability of such a role in this economic climate especially seeing as UX Mature organisations aren't easy to come by at the best of times. They certainly aren't as common as more generalist roles which is what I believe new UXers should be targeting job-wise, with the mindset of moving laterally later on once they get their foot in the door.