Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
General User Research Questions
Q: What is User Research (or User Experience [UX] Research, Games User Research)?
A: The process of conducting research to help developers design and build an experience that best fits its users' needs. This includes research in early stages of development (i.e. incubation, generating ideas) to later stages of production.
Q: How did you start doing User Research?
A: As I was searching for post-graduate market research opportunities in film & TV, I learned that my social science and consumer insights background largely overlapped with the skill set of a User Researcher. I applied for my first UX Research position in the entertainment streaming industry and quickly familiarized myself with UX principles and usability while onboarding to the role. I've been doing User Research ever since!
Q: What does your day-to-day look like?
A: On any given day, I am doing a mixture of one or more of the following:
Q: Should I focus on qualitative or quantitative skills/methodologies as a researcher?
A: Quantitative methods are more likely to be in higher demand in the job market; however, I always say you should specialize in whatever you're most passionate about!
Q: Could you explain the difference between Market Research and User Research?
A: Borrowing this breakdown by David Travis:
User Research Interview Questions
Q: Do you have advice for interviewing?
A: Familiarize yourself with the company's mission and values and reflect on when in your career you have demonstrated those same values or goals. These are stories that you should be ready to recall in most behavioral-focused interviews. Another good preparation strategy is to use the STAR interviewing method.
Q: Do I need a portfolio?
A: In my experience, portfolio requirements are a toss-up. Some companies ask for them; others do not. The reality is that a lot of User Research work is under non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and/or not yet publicly released. As such, some companies will instead have you perform case study work as part of the interview process. In short, I think portfolios should be optional, but it is possible that some companies or studios may ask you for one.
Q: How do I create a portfolio if a lot of my work is still in-development or under NDA?
A: This is something that most companies should be aware of, but feel free to communicate this upfront with your recruiter or hiring manager if a portfolio is requested. If they would still like to see you present a portfolio, feel free to create dummy versions of data and the feature or product that you supported. Here are some of the things that hiring managers look for in a portfolio that do not rely on real data:
Q: How is it working at Riot?
A: Writing this as of July 2022 and about 3 months after my start date: it's awesome! Riot has a perfect balance of professionalism and fun. Everyone is super smart and talented and the company provides us a lot of great benefits. I feel really well taken care of as an employee.
Q: Can you tell me what you're working on at Riot?
A: I work in Research and Development, which means most, if not all, of my work is classified so I cannot - sorry! Please check out Riot's R&D Office page for information and future updates!
Q: Could you tell me more about (blank) position at Riot?
A: If you see me advertising a role on social media, yes, happy to do so (to the best of my ability)!
If that is not the case and I do not know you personally, then I will most likely ignore these kind of messages to protect my personal boundaries. I am not familiar with every position that we have open and it takes time/effort to track down this information. If you're interested in a specific position and think you're a good fit, I encourage you to apply and ask more questions of the recruiter or hiring manager who is assigned to that role.
Q: Can you give me (blank) (e.g. gun buddy, RP)?
A: I give buddies, RP, etc. as a surprise reward for players I see being cool/welcoming/inclusive in-game or at Riot-related gaming events. To protect my personal boundaries, I do not accept any gun buddy or other similar requests sent to any of my accounts and such requests will be ignored.
Q: Can you tell me when (blank) will be fixed? Can you tell me when (blank) will be released?
A: For bug issues, please contact the appropriate channels for reporting! Otherwise, per non-disclosure agreements, developers usually are not allowed to comment on these types of topics freely.
Q: Can you refer me / give me a referral for a job at (insert company)?
A: Unless I know you personally and can confidently vouch for your professional background or skills, no.
Q: I have other questions that are not addressed on your FAQ. Can I reach out and ask more?
A: While I would like to help out everyone, I don't have unlimited time and bandwidth to do so and can't guarantee a response to everyone or to reply in a timely manner.
That said, if you're interested about asking an additional question or two, feel free to reach out through my contact form.