Senior Design Researcher, Languages

Remote Product


The Wikimedia Foundation’s Design Strategy Group is seeking a senior design researcher to work with to drive exploration and support human-centered development of language-specific features and interventions for Wikipedia projects worldwide. This role would work directly with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Language team, which is responsible for providing standards-based internationalization and localization tools support for Wikimedia sites on the Web and mobile platforms. As the world’s largest encyclopedia, and a cornerstone of the open content movement, Wikimedia seeks to build and model an online community that aligns with its mission of inclusion and diversity.

The team is currently working on interfaces and technologies to support knowledge translation at scale. Working closely with product managers, developers, community advocates and many passionate volunteers, the Sr. Researcher will design qualitative and quantitative research that results in actionable insights that can drive the development of new tools, methodologies, and features.  Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects are complex places, both socially and technically — this position requires enthusiasm for learning about new communities, processes, and cultural norms.

The WMF Product Design Strategy Group provides strategic research and experimentation to inform and inspire future product and platform decisions.

We’d like you to do these things:   

  • Design, drive and support qualitative and quantitative research agenda to better understand the cultural and language-specific needs of Wikipedia communities worldwide
  • Design and conduct research to help define requirements for language-specific features and extensions to the product platform
  • Perform analysis of complex, dynamic online communities to identify opportunities and problematic areas of existing tools and workflows
  • Consult and collaborate with other researchers to ensure quality and usability of output

We’d like you to have these skills:

  • Expertise in multiple qualitative research methodologies, e.g. surveys, textual analysis, and ethnographic interviewing and observation, including qualitative analysis methods.
  • Experience with quantitative research methodologies, e.g. statistical analysis, data visualization, data manipulation
  • Outstanding written, verbal and visual communication skills
  • Aptitude for defining and measuring project success
  • Strong time-management skills (time estimation, scoping, on-time delivery, expectation management, etc.)
  • Self sufficiency and ability to resolve what blocks your work within a cross-functional team environment
  • Flexible and adaptive: ability to shift from “ideal” process to “feasible” process (scoping project and methodology to map to timeframes set by team)
  • Experience leading research projects from start to finish (solo and in collaboration with others)
  • Experience working collaboratively with design teams to translate insights into actionable recommendations
  • Collaborative nature (willingness to make collaboration across time zones via remote functionality work for everyone)
  • Multilingual
  • 5+ years of professional experience in a research role
  • Masters Degree or PhD in a related field

And it would be even more awesome if you have this:

  • A nuanced understanding of group dynamics and online cultural practices
  • Experience working in interdisciplinary teams with data scientists and designers
  • A history of social activism, volunteering, and/or open source contribution
  • Experience contributing to Wikimedia projects
  • A strong portfolio of public presentations of research work (e.g. conference presentations, white papers, peer-reviewed manuscripts)

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that hosts and operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply

U.S. Benefits & Perks*

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)
  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more
  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary
  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.
  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.
  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program
  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses
  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available
  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax
  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

*Eligible international workers' benefits are specific to their location and dependent on their employer of record

More information

Wikimedia Foundation website

Wikimedia Foundation blog

Annual Report - 2017

Wikimedia 2030


Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world.

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