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Senior UX Researcher

Burbank, California, United States

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Job ID 781580BR Location Burbank, California, United States Business Walt Disney Animation Studios Date posted Apr. 01, 2021

Job Summary:

At Walt Disney Animation Studios we have a deep commitment to the philosophy that creativity inspires technology, and technology inspires creativity. Our UX Researcher, known internally as Product Designer, partner with domain experts in Production and Technology to deliver workflow informed product designs that meaningfully advance both creativity and productivity of animated film production at Walt Disney
Animation Studios.

The ideal candidate will enjoy working with a broad range of stakeholders and technologies. Critical to success will be the ability to build trust and relationships with technical and non-technical users to understand their needs, and deliver relevant solutions leveraging a variety of user-research methodologies, design tools, and prototyping techniques.

To be successful you will need strong problem solving and analytical abilities through independent analysis and judgment, in addition to effectively articulating your design rationale visually, orally, and in writing. You will also be comfortable championing product design in the studio, identifying and prioritizing key opportunities that will have the greatest studio impact.


  • Partnering with domain experts to develop a deep understanding of workflows in the context of overall production
  • Gathering requirements through user interviews, observation and surveys
  • Partnering with project leads, engineers and artists from initial concept to implementation and refinement
  • Design and prototyping of new workflows that enhance the craft and/or productivity, based on current and emerging technologies
  • Mock-up of product designs, including validation of proposed workflows and implementation viability based on developer feedback. Uses various techniques including personas and journey maps to convey complex ideas in easily understand forms, with an emphasis on visual techniques
  • Facilitation of presentations and discussions with product users (e.g. artists), engineers, and key stakeholders to validate conceptual designs, and drive resolution on proposed features and functionality
  • User testing of prototypes and implemented designs
  • Championing product design, leveraging partnerships with others passionate about good design to build awareness throughout the organization
  • Establish design guidelines/recommended practices where relevant to the studio
  • Build and leverage relations with design counterparts throughout Disney
  • Industry design trends - remain current on emerging technologies and practices including AI, VR and identify when relevant to the studio

Basic Qualifications:

  • Effective listener and inquisitive: able to actively engage engineers and artists to understand their requirements and infer practical solutions that balance ease-of-use with implementation costs.
  • Exemplary communication, team working and problem-solving skills, balancing the timeliness of solutions with the needs of the studio. Able to prioritize competing demands based on business value.
  • Sufficient technical ability to understand complex workflows, prototype design proposals and effectively communicate complex technical ideas into easily understood and implementable solutions
  • Versatile in the use of tools to prototype and visualize designs
  • At least two years experience in the analysis and design of products and associated workflows in a highly technical and specialized environment, including desktop/workstation environments (vs mobile/web)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters in Design, HCI, Computer Science or related field
  • Interest/experience in the animated movie business, media or games production

About Walt Disney Animation Studios:

Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2019’s Frozen 2, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.

About The Walt Disney Company:

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family. Disney’s stories, characters and experiences reach consumers and guests from every corner of the globe. With operations in more than 40 countries, our employees and cast members work together to create entertainment experiences that are both universally and locally cherished.

This position is with Walt Disney Pictures, which is part of a business segment we call Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Walt Disney Pictures is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Disney fosters a business culture where ideas and decisions from all people help us grow, innovate, create the best stories and be relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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