UX Research Specialist at BFA Global

Founded in 2006, BFA is a global consulting firm specializing in financial services for low-income people. We partner with cutting-edge organizations that touch the lives of low-income consumers such as financial institutions, fintech companies and information providers. We integrate our deep expertise in customer insights, business strategy, new technology, and growth-enabling policy and regulation to create solutions. Our clients include donors, investors, financial institutions, policymakers, insurers and payment service providers. How does BFA develop financial solutions for low income customers? BFA has globally-recognized expertise in understanding financial behaviors and needs of low-income consumers. By identifying needs and balancing the realities of the supply side (financial services provider) and demand side (consumer), we create products and services that generate shared value for both sides.

About the Senior UX Research Specialist Role

We are looking for a Senior UX Research Specialist to transform product ideas into innovative and delightful user experiences for the next billion digital product owners. We want you to deeply understand how underserved populations across emerging markets could use digital products, from fintech to e-commerce solutions, and how they think about the interface components, what interaction paradigms they bring to bear. At the Catalyst Fund, we support early-stage companies from an early stage of their product development on a path to product-market fit. You will research and implement many product designs and improve the value proposition of digital products for the underserved. You will also have the opportunity to develop a theoretical framework underpinning those designs and value propositions and apply it across several markets.


As Senior UX Research Specialist, your responsibilities will include:

  • Translate a business challenge into a strategic research plan, and execute and conduct on-the-ground research sprints individually or with a local team of collaborators, to generate insights and translate into design implementations and product recommendations.
  • Planning and executing exploratory research or usability testing sessions according to each project’s needs.
  • Lead, design, and perform user interviews, user surveys, usability testing, focus groups, mystery shopping, etc.
  • Develop and communicate digital product design problems and implement solutions by applying user-centered design processes.
  • Create wireframes, mockups and prototypes for digital products sometimes with the support of a designer.
  • Produce user personas, use case scenarios, user journeys and storyboards.
  • Lead the execution of the visual design from concept to final hand-off to engineering.
  • Implement products and features in close collaboration with the product manager, engineers, data wizards and the rest of the team.
  • Drive the development and communication of design guidelines, patterns, and libraries for our partners.
  • Assist with the design, implementation and analysis of product usage metrics that will inform user experience insights and optimizations.
  • Support our data visualization efforts with the design of charts and dashboards.
  • Innovation and Thought Leadership: Proactively incorporate cutting-edge theoretical and practical methodologies while implementing technology-driven solutions.
  • Create and disseminate knowledge products (presentations at high-profile industry events, blog posts, focus notes, case studies, white papers, best practice documents etc.) through appropriate channels.
  • Keep up with the upcoming trends in technology and constantly strive to learn and improve on the same, as they apply to emerging markets product design.

Additional tasks will depend on project requirements determined by our client-driven work. The first two large programs you will be assigned to are Catalyst Fund and its Ghana chapter — Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator.

Qualifications & Requirements:

  • At least a Bachelor’s Degree in digital design, graphic design, human-computer interaction (HCI), or equivalent professional experience
  • 8 years of experience as a user experience researcher or designer, interaction designer or similar role
  • Portfolio or work samples demonstrating a range of artifacts developed in creating a variety of stunning user-centered design solutions
  • Knowledge of design and prototyping tools such as Balsamiq Mockups, Photoshop, Illustrator
  • Understanding of HTML, Android Design Guidelines, CSS and JS
  • Proficient level of English language (the company is global and English is the standard language).
  • Must demonstrate the ability to think on your feet, i.e. a “hacker” mentality
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, startup environment, with strong attention to detail for all tasks
  • Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner while balancing several assignments with inputs from multiple team members, and work independently

Any of the following will be considered a plus:

  • Familiarity with financial inclusion and financial services innovation for low-income populations, economic development or social business sector
  • Familiarity working with different cultures and languages
  • Experience with conducting research for low-income populations and/or in low-connectivity environments
  • Spoken and written language proficiency other than English (Spanish, French, Swahili are cool)

Soft Skills:

Applicants need to succeed in technical or financial skills, but you also need to build a strong portfolio of soft skills to achieve long-term success at BFA Global

  • Emotional intelligence, Communication & Empathy – You need to have a strong ability to collaborate effectively with others and work in teams, build relationships, share ideas, and manage conflict.
  • Creativity & Problem-Solving Skills – You are required to have analytical and critical thinking skills that can help them find creative solutions to problems.
  • Adaptability & Flexibility – You need to be agile and adaptable to effectively deal with the rapid changes (both financial and technological) occurring in the industry.

Anticipated Start Date: July 2020

Preferred location:

The position can be based in London, Boston, Paris, Nairobi, New Delhi, Accra, Lagos, or Johannesburg. Candidates need to have valid work permits to work in one of our established locations (e.g. Boston, New Delhi, Nairobi) or should be a contractor in the other prescribed locations as permitted. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Only shortlisted candidates who provide the required information will be contacted for follow-up.

*BFA Global will not sponsor work permits.

**BFA Global will not pay for relocation expenses.

At BFA Global, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military, and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

BFA Global believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as a global company, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool and to best carry out the inclusion work we undertake.

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