Senior UX Researcher

Portable is growing and we are looking for passionate and motivated people to join our awesome team. We encourage anyone located in Australia to invest some of their time to explore our new opportunities, your location is not an issue to us.


Who the company is:

Here at Portable we care about people and the world. We seek out areas of social need and policy failure and use our expertise in research, design and technology to make a positive impact for our community. Our clients are as passionate as we are and are working in government agencies and nonprofit organisations. Our job is to help them define, design and deliver new products, services and ways of working.

In the design team, we have Design Strategists who lead us through the problem space via in-depth research activities and towards a clear understanding of the needs of the people we are designing for and with. We have Experience Designers who translate the needs of people into meaningful and usable products and services through ideation, testing and iteration before we hand over to the development team for building and launching these products and services. Together, we work towards a shared vision to be a team of courageous designers, empowered to make real change with real people.

Then there's you, a Senior UX Researcher capable of leading on digital product-focused user research into the true needs of people to shepherd the insights and ideas that result from this research into the processes of ideation, prototyping and testing as the custodian and voice of these user needs.

There are currently 70+ of us working as researchers, designers, developers and visionaries towards our mission from our office in Collingwood and across Australia.


You could be one if...

Making impactful change is your thing. You love formulating and carrying inspiring and compelling insights from research into idea formulation. It's not enough to tell a great story from research for you; you want to see something tangible expressed as a result. You know how to pull the best bits of user research and user experience design together to not only champion the voice of users, but to guide the formulation of products and services that address their real needs. You know how to research, analyse, synthesise, write and wireframe your way through a problem to a solution, and you do it all from a human-centred design mindset, both for the people who will use the service, and for the people responsible for delivering it.

While you feel at home conducting interviews, collating research, generating meaningful insights and getting the sketchbook or digital workflow tools out, you're also someone with the soft skills required to build trust, cultivate rapport and empathise with people. You might have superpowers in empathy, active listening, communication, creativity and humility. As a senior in the design team, you're driven to share your skills and expertise with others in order to further their practice. While you're delivering great work, you're equipping others to do the same.

You may have used your skills in a diverse range of contexts in the past, and you're now passionate about using those skills for good. This can come with caveats. You'll need to be willing to build resilience dealing with subject matter that is sometimes challenging and highly nuanced. We won't expect you to be perfect at this, just willing to continue growing this aspect of your practice every day. This is why we like designers with growth mindsets.

The role of Senior UX Researcher is an emerging role at Portable. This role requires clear communication skills, an adaptable mindset and is best suited to a team player. You'll need to embrace the emergent nature of this role and bring empathy for your colleagues as much as for the people you're designing for and with. As a bridge between the two disciplines of Design Strategy and Experience Design, you'll not only be able to bring the two disciplines closer to each other, but you'll be a crucial voice in helping individual designers understand the full spectrum of design capability at Portable.


If you were here last week, you may have:

  • Conducted desktop research that helps build our understanding of the use of online learning platforms and the associated challenges facing students in a remote context
  • Ran a four hour workshop in Melbourne (remotely) for a government client looking to reposition their service offering to customers
  • Synthesised insights and design challenges alongside a cross-functional project team from user interviews conducted from the previous week on a mental health project
  • Worked with your team to collaborate on final insight statements and user stories resulting from a previous research phase on barriers faced by Aboriginal people when accessing justice online
  • Handed over your low-fidelity research artefacts like personas, journey maps, feature concepts and user flows in a project meeting to begin using alongside Experience Designers as inputs for ideation and prototyping activities
  • Attended a regular team meeting either with the Design Strategists, Experience Designers or the whole design team to work on our shared craft and practises
  • Taken a moment on a Friday afternoon to join the team for a nearby lunch or some online pictionary or trivia to see out the week
  • Present your work at Portable Hour, our weekly all company meeting where we learn, present and reflect on our culture, our work and the broader world.



The salary range for this role is between $92,000 - $115,000, depending on your level of experience and your demonstration of key competencies. We are committed to building a diverse and equal team - people from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.


To be considered, please send us your resume, a folio and a cover letter answering the following question: 

  1. Tell us about the most important insight or user need arising from user research that you've been able to carry through into a testable prototype. What did you do to help your colleagues design for this insight or need? How did you help your clients understand its importance? How did you test to see that you'd met the need?
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