Director, User Research at Peloton
Peloton is seeking a Director, User Research to support the innovation, iteration, and optimization of our Bike, Tread, and Digital apps.
This role is the first of its kind at Peloton. It will lead the Product Design User Research team responsible for all user research across Product, focusing on software but covering research on hardware design, content innovation, and long-term product strategy.
This role is responsible for planning, recruiting, managing, and leading User Research roles on the team, which is currently 5 persons (including 1 Research Coordinator) and has plans to grow significantly in the next 12 months. The User Research team today is highly self-managed, motivated, and organized – we’re seeking a team leader to scale and develop this team, bringing it to the next level.
This role will work directly with UX and UI Designers, Product Managers, Hardware Industrial Designers, and Content Producers and will collaborate closely with leadership roles within Product Design and across the wider Product, Engineering, Hardware, and Content teams.
This role sits on the Peloton Product Design and UX team and reports directly to the VP of Product Design and UX.
- Lead the Product Design User Research team at Peloton.
- The team’s research purview extends across all of Peloton’s engagement Products: Peloton Bike, Tread, App (TV, iOS, Android, Web), Studio (User and Instructor apps), and Content Management tools – as well as any future software and hardware products and experiences we may build.
- The team completes research covering problem exploration, understanding Member needs and goals, concept testing, software feature user testing, human factors and ergonomics, content experience, and more – extending beyond software design and answering tactical and strategic questions - from usability to where we should be investing.
- The team completes research using a variety of methodologies, including both moderated and unmoderated in-person and remote testing, human factors evaluations, concept testing, surveying, video diaries and photo ethnographies, cognitive walkthroughs, contextual inquiries, focus groups, et. al.
- The team primarily completes research with existing Members, but also prospective Members at times. The team also occasionally leads research to understand users across Peloton’s international markets.
- The team receives research requests from UI and UX designers and Product Managers, primarily – but also Content Producers, Industrial Designers, Engineering and various Product leadership stakeholders.
- Provide mentorship and help develop individuals on the User Research team.
- Understand the unique personalities, goals, and working styles of each team member and adapt your management style to match.
- Develop a plan for career pathing and development for team members.
- Support team members and ensure they are happy and engaged at Peloton.
- Work to unblock User Research team members and provide support in removing impediments and distractions.
- Give feedback to team members at various project stages (test plan, research execution, moderation, analysis, presentation, etc.) to improve the output, efficiency, and quality of their research execution and deliverables.
- Advance the User Research team’s ability to effectively communicate research insights in ways that makes them easily accessible and actionable by various stakeholders, such as through visual information design.
- Shepard and support User Researchers on larger and/or higher profile research projects as needed. While not responsible for executing research, the small team may need you to jump in and get hands on occasionally.
- Work alongside the Product and Design teams to create strategic frameworks, personas, and other foundational materials that help guide teams through the design process.
- Work with VP of Product Design and UX and other Product leadership to build a 5-year vision of the User Research team.
- What are the long term goals and roadmap of Peloton and where (at a high level) will research be needed?
- What does the User Research team cover (vs. other related teams)?
- What is the role of the User Research team within the wider organization?
- Build a world class User Research team and scale the group 2x-4x in the next 24 months.
- Work with Recruiting to source, qualify, and hire the best User Researchers and Coordinators.
- Onboard new employees to the team’s culture and processes.
- Plan the long and short-term quantity and mix of roles and levels on the team.
- Strategize allocation of headcount to match Peloton’s research needs and product development strategy.
- Develop headcount budget.
- Shape and nurture the team’s culture by bringing on the right persons.
- Develop the User Research team’s brand in and outside of Peloton.
- Develop strategies and standards for communicating updates on the User Research team’s work and achievements on a regular basis.
- Drive team communication around our focus, how to engage with the Research team, and the value of conducting User Research.
- Act as a thought leader in User Research and build the reputation of Peloton as an organization committed to the practice.
- Understand the full picture of all User Research asks to develop a forward looking, prioritized 3-6 month plan in collaboration with Product Design Ops.
- Support the development of a User Research roadmap that parallels the Product Roadmap.
- Continuously intake new User Research projects and understand the upcoming pipeline.
- Suggest and evangelize Research initiatives that the Research team deems critical that are not otherwise prioritized.
- Provide a high level size, scope, and potential methodology of upcoming research projects to aid in high level planning and allocation (with an understanding that individual researchers will provide more detailed plans following allocation.)
- Help ensure proposed projects truly need research and that they are an efficient use of team resources – ask the right questions, request more definition, and suggest better times to do research when appropriate.
- Break larger initiatives into phased approaches and organize Research milestones and sub-prioritization teams.
- Link similar research projects for efficiency in allocation and efficiency.
- Handle changes to prioritization that require roadmap updates.
- Establish priorities for the User Research team based on stakeholder input, research effort, and research value.
- Allocate User Researcher resources from your understanding on previous projects and team member skill sets and affinities.
- Discuss proposed high-level Research plan and roadmap with stakeholders to get buy-in.
- Institute new User Research methodologies.
- Attempt to build User Research toolkit including interviews, surveys, usability testing, concept studies, ethnographic studies, etc.
- Quickly understand that there is no “toolkit” (and one size does not fit all) for all the individual, unique research challenges we face at Peloton.
- Observe methodologies that successfully serve trends in User Research asks and support Peloton’s evolving research needs; work with User Researchers to standardize and systematize these methodologies where possible.
- Evolve Peloton’s User Research processes and tools.
- Leverage tools (for remote user testing, surveying, recruiting coordination, etc.) to add efficiency to regular processes.
- Work with Researchers, Coordinators, and Design Ops to optimize Research processes (intake, analysis, meetings, etc.)
- Solidify our User Research vendor relationships.
- Manage relationships with Research stakeholders at Peloton and under their unique needs.
- Includes Product Management, Engineering, Content, ID/Hardware, and Leadership teams.
- Our stakeholders for User Research extend beyond the Product Design team.
- Build a relationship with these groups: understand the unique Research questions and working styles of each stakeholder group and develop processes to support their needs.
- Educate stakeholders on what Research can and cannot accomplish (at a high level and per-ask).
- Develop and communicate guidelines and best practices for Stakeholders to request research and work with the User Research team.
- Collaborate with other research and analysis teams at Peloton to answer product and design questions.
- Including Product analytics, Strategy and Consumer Insights, etc.
- Understand where we overlap vs. where we can carve out areas of ownership.
- Own the budget for the User Research team.
- Project and allocate funds for User Research based on the long-term Research roadmap and team size.
- Develop frameworks to determine the appropriate budget for each User Research project and ensure we are using funds in the right ways.
- Approve larger and/or unique User Research projects and initiatives and allocate budget towards the development of the Research lab and other tools and spaces that support the team.
- Comfortable juggling a wide range of responsibilities at the same time.
- Has a collaborative, low-ego approach to working with others.
- Has a user-centered approach to product design.
- Process driven, but flexible to unique scenarios, projects, and personnel.
- Continually looking to optimize and improve research output.
- Balances direction with empowerment.
- Can lead team members with a variety of working styles
- Quickly adapts to unexpected changes in scale, priorities, and pace.
- Understands the overall strategy and roadmap and links it to research team planning and management.
- Can communicate the “big picture” of research plans and findings to stakeholders
- Thrives in uncertainty and can excel in the “first of the role” environment; self-starter.
- Experienced in planning, building, mentoring, and developing a research team.
- Experienced with a variety of research methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative.
- Experience working with Hardware (physical products) and Human Factors.
- Experienced in working with product designers, engineers and product managers to drive strategy, vision, and execution.
- Experienced in attracting and hiring research talent.
- Experienced in collaborating with leaders of other product development groups.
- 8+ years of experience in User Research including:
- Recent experience in a product development setting within a consumer tech and software company.
- 4+ years managing a User Research team with 3 or more direct reports.
- A portfolio of relevant research work, executed either by yourself or a team that you led, that conveys an ability to drive research programs that have a lasting, positive impact on product and design decisions.
- Bonus Qualifications
- Experience managing a research team that completed projects on:
- Integrated hardware/software consumer products.
- Content/media–based products
- Localized products across international markets.
- Ph.D. or Master’s degree in Human Factors, HCI, Psychology, Sociology, Cognitive Science, Research & Strategy, Anthropology or related field.
- Experience managing a research team that completed projects on:
Peloton is the largest interactive fitness platform in the world with a loyal community of more than 2.6 million Members. The company pioneered connected, technology-enabled fitness, and the streaming of immersive, instructor-led boutique classes for its Members anytime, anywhere. Peloton makes fitness entertaining, approachable, effective, and convenient, while fostering social connections that encourage its Members to be the best versions of themselves. An innovator at the nexus of fitness, technology, and media, Peloton has reinvented the fitness industry by developing a first-of-its-kind subscription platform that seamlessly combines the best equipment, proprietary networked software, and world-class streaming digital fitness and wellness content, creating a product that its Members love. The brand's immersive content is accessible through the Peloton Bike, Peloton Tread, and Peloton App, which allows access to a full slate of fitness classes across disciplines, on any iOS or Android device, Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast and Android TV. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York City, Peloton has a growing number of retail showrooms across the US, UK, Canada and Germany. For more information, visit www.onepeloton.com.