March 25, 2022

Transitioning to tech: How UX Researcher Jose Rodriguez came to work at Meta Singapore

By: Meta Research

In this Q&A series, we highlight people conducting research at Meta in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. In this second installment, we’re highlighting Jose Rodriguez, a UX Researcher based in Singapore.

Originally from Spain, Jose Rodriguez began his career in video editing after earning a Bachelor’s degree in Audiovisual Communication in Spain. After deciding to transition to tech and earning a Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction in Denmark, Jose relocated to the APAC region where he eventually joined Meta as a UX Researcher.

We reached out to Jose to learn more about his academic and professional background, his journey at Meta so far, and what it’s like to be a UX Researcher at Meta.

Q: Tell us a little about your academic and professional background.

Jose Rodriguez: I did not follow a clear path that led me to become a UX Researcher. When I finished my BA in Audiovisual Communication in Spain, I was unsure about what I wanted to do or if I wanted to keep studying. It was only after a few freelance gigs as a video editor and working overseas that I realized that I wanted to end up working in tech and decided to further my studies with an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in Denmark.

Q: Where has your career taken you so far? Which regions and which types of companies?

JR: After finishing my studies I started working for a football startup called Tonsser as a UX Researcher. We were based in Denmark, but the users of our product were in many European countries, which made my job even more interesting because we had to consider every market when making product decisions.

After this experience, my partner and I decided to try living in South-East Asia and without much planning, we moved to Malaysia and eventually explored career opportunities in Singapore. My first position in Singapore was in a UX Consultancy where I ran studies for Multinational Companies in the APAC region. After consulting for some time, I realized that I missed working in a product team where I could see the results of my work in a product that I can see grow over time. This professional craving made me seek opportunities at Meta in Singapore.

Q: What made you want to pursue a career in UX Research? How did you start?

JR: I decided to pursue UX Research during my Master’s studies in HCI. During these studies, my classmates and I designed video games to explore informal math learning, tangible video game interfaces, or using robots for teaching. It was through these projects that I learned that understanding how people felt and why they behaved the way they did was my favorite thing to do and since then I focused on learning the skills that would help me start my UX Research career.

Q: How did you begin your journey at Meta?

JR: I started working at Meta in August 2021, and even though it has not been a long journey (yet), my experience here has been very rewarding. At Meta, I am part of Business Integrity, which means that my work contributes towards creating trustworthy connections between people and businesses. The problems that we try to solve are always challenging and rewarding because you know that it will help create a better experience for users and also business owners at scale.

Q: What does a day in the life of a UX Researcher at Meta look like?

JR: No day looks the same as the one before. As a UX Researcher, part of your tasks are indeed to conduct research and deliver insights to your team, however, it is up to you to consider what is the best approach to answer your research questions. This freedom to consider the best approach makes you want to explore different research methodologies and creates a great environment to keep growing your research skills. Also, due to the cross-collaborative nature of product teams at Meta, a researcher is usually involved in team discussions, workshops, and other activities that will impact the product.

Q: What do you enjoy the most about working at Meta (as a UX Researcher)?

JR: Personally, one of my favorite things is knowing that with my work I can help the product and my team move forward with fewer uncertainties, from the short-term, tactical projects to the long-term, strategic ones. The value of UX Research is deeply ingrained in Meta, which means that you don’t have to spend a lot of time justifying why you do research or why research is important — instead, you can focus your effort on making a meaningful impact through it.