Code for America is hiring a

Senior User Researcher

San Francisco, United States

Code for America uses the principles and practices of the digital age to improve how government serves the American public, and how the public improves government. We use a data-driven, user-centered, and iterative approach to building technology to help government services work, starting with the people who need them most.

We are looking for a Senior User Researcher to join our Criminal Justice team and help us expand the reach of our Clear My Record initiative. The vision for Clear My Record is for the government to automatically clear all eligible criminal records to help people access living wage jobs, secure stable housing, and participate in educational opportunities from which they are typically excluded. The Clear My Record team works at the intersection of technology, design, and policy. We are working to expand, streamline, and automate the criminal record clearance process to clear all eligible criminal records in the U.S. 

Clear My Record is an initiative of Code for America’s Criminal Justice portfolio. The Criminal Justice portfolio works to transform the way government delivers services to those most impacted by the criminal justice system. Our goal is to help government implement policies that decriminalize, decarcerate, and reinvest in communities by removing barriers to employment, housing, health and education. 

As a user researcher at Code for America, you will help the organization understand the people we serve and direct our product development. During early stage discovery your work will include contextual inquiry and ethnographic research to understand users and their needs. Working alongside designers, you will help to create low fidelity prototypes to test with users. For later stage product development, you will work alongside product managers to plan and carry out qualitative research and usability testing that improves the performance of the service for users.

We strongly encourage individuals impacted by the criminal justice system (individuals with criminal records, family members of individuals with criminal records, etc.) to apply. This role may be remote or based in San Francisco, and reports to the Director of Design and Research.  


  • Generate feedback and insights that drive product development by working directly with end users.
  • Conduct qualitative research: build a research plan, recruit participants, conduct research and analyze the results.
  • Effectively and confidently use a variety of methods including group facilitation, in-depth interviews, observations and quick intercepts.
  • Understand which method to use to get the result you want and what to do if your findings are not clear.
  • Share, discuss, and publish user insights and findings with both internal teams and wider external audiences.


  • Minimum 4 years experience as a User Researcher, Design Researcher or equivalent.
  • Proven experience of creating strong qualitative user research for service design, user experience or equivalent. (This role does not require a background in professional academic research).
  • Lived experience with the criminal justice system, either direct or indirect. 
  • Ability to work collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced agile environment.
  • Ability to travel estimated at 50%.
  • A passion for our mission of making government services better for people who need them.


Code for America offers full health and dental benefits, a 401k plan with matching funds and a culture that is collaborative, hardworking and fun.

About Code for America

Code for America is a startup non-profit with a great culture and a huge opportunity to make a difference. We work in cross-functional teams, collaboratively and agilely and value high-quality, user-friendly work product. We strive to learn from everything we do and regularly host talks from leaders in the civic technology movement. We respect each other, work hard, and have a great time together. We’re looking for people who share our vision, our values, and our willingness to do what it takes to achieve our mission over the next few years.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Code for America values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBT folks, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply.

Code for America is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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