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This week's list contains both true pioneers of the UX research field, as well as some fresh gems both waiting to be followed. We've collected a list of research directors, design directors, leaders and heads – many names for such a prominent position.

If you want to look behind the scenes of the professionals' work just sit back and scroll. Here we go: 28 Best UX Researchers You Should Follow. We prepared a handy table of contents at the bottom – use it to navigate the list!

Jared Cole

Design, Strategy & Research

Jared Cole

I love design. I do. The making, the thinking, the craft and the theory, but most of all, I love seeing how design can change the world around us.

Most recently, as a Design Director at Adaptive Path, I worked closely with organizations to identify new strategic opportunities for product and service innovation, discovering new ways for design to deliver greater value to employees and customers.

I have had the good fortune of working with all kinds of companies, from small non-profit arts organizations to large multinational financial services, addressing everything from large strategic service and organizational design problems to detailed visual design. A few of my clients include Nike, Motorola, ASICS, BBVA, NXP, John Muir Health, Goldman Sachs, Boston Ballet, Hasbro and Harvard Business School.

Jennifer Romano Bergstorm

UX Researcher at Facebook

Jennifer Romano Bergstorm

I am a User Experience (UX) Researcher at Facebook, where I work to improve privacy settings and the UX of Facebook in emerging markets.

I specialize in eye tracking, usability testing, survey design, and UX for older adults and am the co-author of Eye Tracking in User Experience Design (2014) and Usability Testing for Survey Research (forthcoming, 2016). Before joining Facebook, I formed and led a UX team at Fors Marsh Group in the Washington DC area.

I also spent 3 years at the US Census Bureau, improving the UX of Census forms and surveys. I have served on UXPA boards for several years – currently as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the International UXPA, and previously President, Vice President, and Conference Chair for UXPA-DC.

I have also served on American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) boards for several years – currently as Membership Chair for the Pacific chapter (PAPOR) and previously as Program Chair and President for the DC chapter (DC-AAPOR).

Jason Crane

Principal at tincrane

Jason Crane

User experience researcher and designer with a background in software development that spans 18 years delivering digital and non-digital experiences for medium to large enterprises.

Engaged in technology communities: responsible for starting the Sydney Ruby/Rails meetups and involved in planning/execution of bi-annual Australia-wide railscamps. Recently co-organised RubyConf AU 2014.

With strong development skills and user experience design background, I provide a unique skill set and perspective to projects. Capable of spanning multiple roles from specialised service design for boutique offerings to running end to end software development life cycles.

Carol Barnum

Director of User Research and Founding Partner at UX Firm, LLC

Carol Barnum

My passion for user experience began with first exposure in the early 90s. I established a lab at my university in 1994 as part of an IBM Million Dollar Total Quality Management Grant.

Since that time I have worked with a wide variety of clients to provide insight into their user's experience with software, hardware, web applications, information and e-commerce sites, mobile devices, e-learning, IVR systems, and even paper-based tutorials and training materials. My most frequent work involves small usability studies as part of an iterative design process.

Eddie James

Usability and User Experience ( UX ) Research consultant

Eddie James

I am a seasoned usability, user experience (UX) professional who thrives on complex business, technological, and user problems. I specialize in the design/user research of enterprise mobile systems. I'm passionate about understanding how people use mobile, desktop and self-service devices.

My goal is to use the insights discovered via my research to make the internet-enabled world a better place to socialize, learn, and get things done.

Michael Morgan

User Experience Researcher

Michael Morgan

When people ask what it is I do for a living, I tell them I watch people use software. More specifically, I measure performance and preference metrics through usability testing, and uncover insights through observation of human behavior via customer interviews.

All of this is done in the name of improving the user experience. I am passionate about technology and a keen observer of the user experience.

Brian McClain

Principal I User Experience, Human Factors & Product Innovation

Brian McClain

Since co-founding Metric Lab, a product research and innovation company in 2005, I have worked with world-class tech companies such as Google, GoPro and Samsung. I conduct and extract insights from blue sky research, anticipate emerging market trends / user needs that guide new product development, and validate UI design.

Additionally, I have worked on hardware systems for space (NASA), wheeled vehicles for the military (US Army) and air traffic control systems (FAA), as well as several consumer medical products focusing on ergonomics.

Chelsey Glasson

UX researcher

Chelsey Glasson

Chelsey Glasson is a user experience researcher whose skills have impacted a wide variety of enterprise and consumer technologies at diverse companies including Google, Salesforce, Udacity and T-Mobile.

Since joining Google in 2014 she has led a wide variety of domestic and international qualitative research studies for consumer and enterprise products.

Dr Faye Miller

Lecturer at University of Canberra & Senior Research Officer at Queensland University of Technology

Dr Faye Miller

Dr Faye Miller is a Researcher, Editor, Author and Educator in the areas of human information experience and experience design for knowledge and learning contexts.

Over ten years, Faye has been supporting, developing and leading a variety of social research projects within the global higher education sector and collaborating with external clients from public and private sectors.

Faye is currently Project Officer for the ARC Research Project – How do information professionals experience evidence-based practice? – based in the Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology. She is also Founding Editor and Director of the interdisciplinary magazine-journal XD: Experience Design Magazine, and Knowledge Strategist for Global Ethnographic, official open access journal for the global enterprise, Organization for Intra-Cultural Development, where she also undertakes social policy research and creative consultancy for social integration projects.

Gabriel Biller

Design Researcher & Strategist at Artefact​​​​

Gabriel Biller

I am passionate about combining a design thinking approach with an understanding of human behavior in order to identify new opportunities for products, services, and experiences that improve people’s lives and align with the producing organization’s business objectives and capabilities.

As a design researcher and strategist, I enjoy working with multidisciplinary teams to translate research findings into guiding insights, design principles, opportunities, and visions. I seek to make sense of complexity in order to communicate a clear point of view and deliver actionable strategies and inspiration for effective, meaningful, and innovative design solutions – with the intent of influencing or creating the most desirable outcomes.

Kim Goodwin

VP of Product & User Experience at PatientsLikeMe

Kim Goodwin

I have been doing user research and design for 22 years, leading teams of varying sizes for 20, and teaching design & leadership skills for about 17. I led an integrated practice of interaction, visual, and industrial designers as VP & GM at Cooper, where I spent 12 years.

Just recently, I took on the VP of Product and User Experience role at PatientsLikeMe, where my team helps patients with serious diseases live better today and drive medical research for tomorrow. I've published a best-selling book, Designing for the Digital Age, and am working on the next one.

I speak about design techniques and design leadership at events around the world. I've done complex analytical and enterprise applications, phones, medical and consumer devices, services, aviation, retail, financial, and even organizations. My clients and employers have included everything from one-man startups to the world’s largest companies, as well as universities and government agencies.

Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo

Director, Mobile User Experience at Oracle

Lynn Rampoldi-Hnilo

Lynn formed the Mobile User Experience team in Sept 2007 and has defined a program to drive the strategic direction of user experience for the next generation of mobile applications at Oracle. In 2011 Lynn added social user experience to her areas of coverage.

In 2015, she is helping to strategically shape the research direction for the Core UX team. Previously, Lynn managed the Supply Chain Management user experience team, from the definition and piloting of the Fusion design process to the completion of design and research deliverables.

Prior to management, she initiated and led the user experience research efforts for the Supply Chain Management product line at PeopleSoft. Lynn has also worked as a market researcher at Cheskin on media (e.g., Internet effects and transmedia trends), product development of communication technologies, and usability and interface design studies. Lynn completed her Ph.D. at Michigan State University with an emphasis on technology and cognition.

Paul Nuschke

Product manager for Boomi

Paul Nuschke

I got started professionally as an engineer but never liked it. Eventually I found UX as a field and have been off and running since. Wrote a novel but never published it (not good enough). Have written many articles and blogs posts.

Have a patent and won a prize in Duke's Startup Challenge for an ultrasound attachment I helped design.

Peter Jones

Associate Director of Digital Media

Peter Jones

I am a user experience professional and front-end developer with over 8 years experience finding innovative ways to deliver content to consumers, retailers, B2B stakeholders, publicity, advertising and social media channels.

I excel at providing carefully-considered, elegant solutions by constantly remaining focused on the end user and their ultimate objectives.

Rashmi Sinha

Designer | Entrepreneur | Co-founder & CEO of SlideShare

Rashmi Sinha

Rashmi Sinha is a designer, researcher and entrepreneur. Rashmi has a PhD in Cognitive NeuroPsychology from Brown University in 1998. After moving to UC Berkeley for a PostDoc, she fell in love with the web, and realized that many issues that web technologists think about are problems of human psychology.

She worked on search interfaces & recommender systems but Information School. Deciding that she enjoyed practical problems more, she co-founded Uzanto, a user experience consulting company and worked on projects for companies like eBay, Blue Shield, AAA etc.

Her first foray into products was with MindCanvas (a game-like software for customer research) released in November 2005.

Rob Tannen

Senior Director at EY Intuitive

Rob Tannen

Design professional with expertise in product and user interface design and human factors. Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE).

User interface design patent consultant. Professional writer on design methods and trends. Rob specialises in User Interface Design, Human Factors & Ergonomics, Ethnographic & Design Research, Usability Testing and User Interface Patents.

He used to be the Director of Research and User Interaction Design for Bresslergroup, an award-winning product design firm.

Jen Cardello

Director of User Research at athenahealth

Jen Cardello

Jen's key responsibilities at athenahealth are informing user experience improvements that drive business results and help transform the healthcare industry, deploying resources across the corporate portfolio to align with strategic priority and with program need and representing User Research, UX, and R&D processes in high-stakes sales and client situations, leveraging knowledge of human cognition, human behavior, and familiarity with target customer needs.

She also encourages utilization of user research cross-functionally to improve R&D processes and address gaps, represents athenahealth’s thought leadership in healthcare and simplifies high levels of complexity into actionable items.

Brian Yoder

Research, Strategy, Design and Evaluation

Brian Yoder

Technically skilled user experience professional with proven success in developing and implementing web, desktop, enterprise and commercial applications.

Thorough knowledge and experience in web development, user research and interaction design with particular interest in evaluating user experiences while aligning business initiatives for all stakeholders involved.

Brian specialises in web-based application development, database development, user scenario and use case development, information architecture, rapid prototyping, usability testing and heuristic evaluation, interaction design, visual design, content mapping, online brand development, team management and mentoring and leadership.

Rima Campbell

SVP, Global UX Research and Usability at Citi – Global Consumer Bank

Rima Campbell

Rima is an accredited user experience professional with a focus on developing world class customer experiences and leading businesses to achieve the maximum return on every customer interaction.

For over 15 years, she has acted as a strong advocate for the customer along with championing the best practices in user experience. She also has the business acumen and pragmatism to make intelligent tradeoffs for profitability. She enjoys coaching, mentoring people to achieve exceptional results. She specialises in User Experience Strategist, User Research and User Testing, Team and People Management and Vendor management.

Leah Ryz

User Experience (UX) Research Lead / International Speaker & Mentor / Founder at UX-LING CORNER

Leah Ryz

Seasoned manager, years of experience working both agency and client side. Helping clients strategically solve business problems. Mobile and multi-channel research expertise ~ genuine love of travelling for business ~ familiar with a variety of tools ~ qualitative and quantitative methodologies to help clients answer the unknown…

Gregg Bernstein

UX Research Manager at WeWork

Gregg Bernstein

Gregg Bernstein manages user experience research for WeWork. He spends his days listening, thinking, collaborating, analyzing, writing, and then listening some more.

He also speaks around the world about his work at conferences and for such companies as Etsy, EA Games, Fullstory, and more.

Before WeWork, he built a research practice over his four years at MailChimp and taught design, branding, and typography for university students. In a previous life, he designed for clients in the music and advertising industries. Gregg earned his MFA in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art & Design, where he focused on user experience research and design. He resides with his family in Athens, Georgia. In his spare time, he runs early and often.

Chris McQueen

Lead UX Designer, Researcher, Manager

​ 

Chris McQueen

My name is Chris McQueen. I am a UX designer and user researcher and I work with companies from all over the world. I plan, develop and lead user research and usability studies to gather deep consumer insights and create great user experiences.

I also love nothing more than getting into the nitty gritty of the design and working alongside development teams from conceptualisation through to implementation. If you’re working on a new or existing website or application, and you’d like my help to make it usable, useful, and desirable, then get in touch!

Jill Fruchter

UX Research Manager at Etsy

Jill Fruchter

I am a UX researcher who is passionate about human-centered design. I help companies design for real people—how they think, their expectations, behaviors, and the problems they’re trying to solve.

Katy Mogal

Head of UX Research & Design Research at Fitbit

Katy Mogal

Katy leads the UX/design research team at Fitbit. She has over a dozen years experience leading research projects and managing research teams working for both agencies and product companies.

Prior to Fitbit she worked for Logitech and Jawbone. She started her career in design research at Cheskin, an insights and innovation consultancy that pioneered the widespread use of ethnography for product and service innovation. Katy teaches design research to MFA students as an adjunct professor at CCA, and teaches in the design department at Stanford Continuing Studies.

Henry Hernandez III

Senior User Experience (UX) Research Consultant

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Henry Hernandez III

Henry is an experienced Senior User Experience (UX) Researcher. He conducts custom User Experience (UX) Research (Qualitative and Quantitative), Usability Testing, and the occasional Market Research study, for Fortune 100 companies.

He recently presented a Mobile UX Research workshop at UXPA Boston in Spring 2015. He is highly experienced in testing Mobile sites and apps, which has been his latest focus. He is also highly experienced in testing traditional devices and UIs such as desktop, TV, laptop, etc. He also is experienced in Medical Device testing for the FDA's 510 (k) submission process. His favorite UX Design tools are Sketch and InVision.

Nicole Chen

UX Research at Instagram

Nicole Chen

I go where the big problems are. I collaborate with smart people to solve them. I make people happy. I thrive in the strategic and concept phases of new product and service innovation, from research & insights; to identifying new opportunity areas; to ideation & concepting; to product planning; to corporate transformation & engagement. I know when to think big and when to drill down to the details to make it real.

Robert Youmans

Head of UX Research – Streams, Photos, & Sharing

Robert Youmans

Dr. Robert J. Youmans is a cognitive psychologist who directs product-development research at Google. Prior to joining Google, Rob was the Director of the Creative Design and User Experience (CDUX) laboratory at George Mason University (2011-2014), and an Assistant Professor of Applied Cognition at California State University, Northridge (2007-2011).

Rob earned his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology with a doctoral minor in Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2007) for his research on links between physical prototyping and creative design. His M.A. degree in Experimental Psychology was awarded in 2003 by Wake Forest University for his research investigating human decision-making.

Louise Campbell

UX Research & Design

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Louise Campbell

Louise helps ecommerce owners and digital publishers who are feeling overwhelmed, build websites and mobile apps customers LOVE to engage with again and again, by combining usability research and user centered design techniques.

Louise is focussed on user centered design and information architecture best practice to drive relevant customers, increase repeat sales and improve customer engagement

Do you think we've got them all?

Is there anyone you’d like to see here? Or do you believe that you should be in the list? Go the comments section or to the Twitter profile @userpeekcom and tell us what you think – we’ll gladly make additions!

Be sure to spread the word around and share the list – everyone should benefit! 

Disclosure: All profile pictures of experts were taken from their official profiles in social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mary Ann Dalangin

About the author

A content marketing strategist and a UX writer with years of experience in the digital marketing industry.

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