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UXR Spotlight: Yagmur Erten

Yagmur Erten
Yagmur Erten

This spotlight was part of USERWEEKLY - a weekly email to understand what is happening in user research. It's the best way to keep up on trends, methodologies, insights across the industry, and meet new researchers. Each week, the newsletter captures the pulse of our community and answers a simple question: What mattered in User Research this week?

Hey Yagmur Erten, tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! I'm Yagmur Erten and am a user researcher with a background in behavioral psychology and business management. I love working at the intersection of data and storytelling and enjoy discovering insights and discovering the obvious. After graduating from college and struggling to find my passion, I ran into the field of UX Research through a project I participated in while working at UberEATS. I then attended the HCID master’s program at the University of Washington, where I learned how to blend knowledge of human behavior with my creative passion to help create influential, meaningful, and beautiful products for all users.

I currently work at BuzzFeed as a Sr UX Researcher. When I am not UX-ing, I love spending time with my dog Bimini and discovering new restaurants and speakeasies.

What’s your favorite thing about your current job?
My favorite thing about my current position at BuzzFeed is also the thing that makes me feel the most scared. When I first joined, they did not have a dedicated UX Researcher for a while, so I was a team of one. I needed to build the user research practice from almost scratch and introduce UX Research to all the product teams, all by myself. While that brought so much freedom to my work, where I got to set up the frameworks as I found the fit, it also put great weight on my shoulders to carry inspiring research and deliver compelling stories. I needed to make sure the product teams understood UX Research's value and were willing to incorporate research insights into their product decisions –which to my luck the teams were mostly aware of UX Research’s value and pretty excited to learn more through user research.

What does your family think of your work?
It is funny because it is not just my parents who get confused about my job. I bet even some of my friends think I am doing "design stuff." I sometimes let them interpret their own understandings, but this is how I usually explain my work to someone:
"Think about an app you use often. You know how it gets updated with improvements from time to time? I talk with you and other users of that app and bring those talks back to my company to recommend what kind of improvements and changes need to be made. So you and others can use it better." This explanation has been pretty successful in getting people to understand my role better. However, I am pretty sure whenever my parents want to explain my job to someone else, they still say "design stuff."

How can people find you?
You can find me on LinkedIn - I am always excited to connect with more people from the industry.Also, I recently started sharing my thoughts and experiences on Medium (at UX Collective and Bootcamp) and would love to hear more people’s thoughts on them!.

Thank you, Yagmur!