Skip to main content

Design Researcher Senior

Apply Now
Job ID
Date posted

Purpose of Job

We are seeking a talented Design Researcher Senior for our Austin / Plano / San Antonio Home Office / or 100% Remote.

The candidate selected for this position is going to get work with the Design Research Team in USAA’s chief Design Office. They help establish and scale best practices across design teams to enable the execution of generative, exploratory, evaluative, and usability research. In addition to offering expert guidance, modeling and coaching to design teams, the design researcher will lead cross-functional research projects on occasion.

Design Research Senior - Applies knowledge and experience in design research and human-centered design to lead high-performing, cross-functional teams through the design research lifecycle, inspiring a human-centered design approach and outcomes that serve USAA members and employees in a data-informed, agile environment. Develops research best practices, advises on methods, guides multiple teams simultaneously and leans in to perform activities that help facilitate hands-on design research.

Job Requirements

About USAA

USAA knows what it means to serve. We facilitate the financial security of millions of U.S. military members and their families. This singular mission requires a dedication to innovative thinking at every level.


Our most meaningful qualification isn't technical, it's human. Here, we don't just sit in front of a screen. We stand behind our 13 million members who rely on us every day.

We're proud of USAA's strong history -- and we're even more passionate about our future. That's why we have a team of supportive and collaborative hardworking technology professionals focused on doing more for our members. And why we're continuing to add innovative problem solvers to our team. With us, you'll find exciting challenges that inspire you to continue learning and growing.


  • Identifies and manages existing and emerging risks that stem from business activities and the job role. 
  • Ensures risks associated with business activities are effectively identified, measured, monitored, and controlled. 
  • Follows written risk and compliance policies, standards, and procedures for business activities. 
  • Guides/oversees research planning tasks such as exploration of relevant research, identification of knowledge gaps and establishment of research goals and objectives that thread back to articulated business needs. 
  • Co-develops research plans with appropriate research method, (Generative, Exploratory, Evaluative and Usability), methodology, activity and format that align with research goals and objectives that will lead to quality results and actionable insights.
  • Leads in ensuring the quality of the research plan, discussion guide and methodology toolkit by piloting to validate that research objectives will be met; make necessary adjustments to ensure likelihood that expected objectives, activities and intended outcomes are achieved. 
  • Leads debriefs, communicates progress and emerging results (toplines) in order to support confidence with evolving research findings.
  • Demonstrates expert understanding of analysis and synthesis by leading cross-functional team sessions to arrive at defendable patterns and themes that will drive actionable insights; leverage output of structured notes and other data that connects to business needs and research objectives; establishes a coherent summary of the themes gathered in order to build a common understanding of human needs.
  • Serves as primary point of contact for cross-functional teams to establish and communicate research-driven insights and identify potential new opportunities. 
  • Coaches and guides complex cross-functional teams in executing all phases of the design research enablement model. 
  • Authors research-driven insights and identify potential new opportunities.
  • Understands complexity of research program and required methodology   and makes recommendations to cross-functional team members on most appropriate methodology application. 

Minimum requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree; OR 4 years of related experience (in addition to the minimum years of experience required) may be substituted in lieu of degree.
  • 6 years of demonstrated technical expertise in two or more of the following technical areas: application of new and relevant HCD techniques that create insights into end-user actions, thoughts and behaviors; investigative methods including: ethnographic study, contextual inquiry, concept/solution testing, usability testing and similar methods; generative methods including: card sorting, affinity diagramming and participatory design sessions; cooperative co-design; and contextual design. 
  • Progressive experience with facilitation, collaboration and consensus building , among diverse teams to include extensive experience in presenting to cross-functional teams and Senior/Executive leaders.
  • Advanced written, verbal, and presentation communication skills, interpersonal skills, and strong attention to detail.
  • Highly motivated, with advanced organizational and prioritization skills and a demonstrated ability to work effectively within a team.
  • Experience with a range of design research methods along the generative to evaluative spectrum.  
  • Experience with a focus on front end concept exploration and user facing testing.
  • Experience leading cross-functional initiative teams through the design research  process to create holistic experiences.

Preferred experience:

  • 2-3 years’ experience coaching and guiding teams of various experience and skill levels through the design research process
  • 2-3 years’ experience building programs and scaling education to foster adoption of best practices
  • 5-8 experience with moderated and unmoderated qualitative research practices
  • Experience with UserZoom or a similar research software / platform

The above description reflects the details considered necessary to describe the principal functions of the job and should not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be performed in the job.


USAA has an effective method for assessing market data and establishing ranges to ensure we remain competitive. You are paid within the salary range based on your experience and market position. The salary range for this skill is: $106,000.00 - $192,300.00*

Employees may be eligible for pay incentives based on overall corporate and individual performance or at the discretion of the USAA Board of Directors.

Geographical Differential: Geographic pay differential is additional pay provided to eligible employees working in locations where market pay levels are above the national average.

Shift premium: will be addressed on an individual basis for applicable roles that are consistently scheduled for non-core hours.


At USAA our employees enjoy best-in-class benefits to support their physical, financial, and emotional wellness. These benefits include comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans, 401(k), pension, life insurance, parental benefits, adoption assistance, paid time off program with paid holidays plus 16 paid volunteer hours, and various wellness programs. Additionally, our career path planning and continuing education assists employees with their professional goals.

Please click on the link below for more details.

USAA Total Rewards

Relocation assistance is Not Available for this position.

Apply Now