What can I tell you about me?
I'm a UX Research leader
I have over 20 years experience in commercial research roles. I’ve been leading and managing UX teams for over 10 years. Most recently I led the User Research team at Babylon and I'm now at Facebook.
I'm a research practitioner
I have experience of leading research projects in Design and Product teams as well as Insight and Market Research teams both client-side and agency-side. I previously bridged the gap between Market and User Research at Monotype and I'm an ex BBC Audience Researcher. I specialise in discovery research but have experience of research projects of all shapes and sizes.
I'm a writer, speaker, doer
I write and speak about research in industry publications and at UX conferences and events. I also facilitate community workshops and events. You can find many of my reflections on research on this site and I also publish my writing on Medium.
I have been a leader in the Design community for over 12 years. For 5 years, I ran a successful Design Studio (Mark Boulton Design) and publishing business (Five Simple Steps) with my husband. We commissioned more than 25 books and worked with authors and editors from around the world to create practical, beautifully designed and well written books. More recently I was an admin, organiser and spokesperson for the Research Ops community.
Contact me if you'd like me to speak at your conference or event.
What do others say?
Emma was a fantastic people manager & research leader at Babylon. She helped to promote the great work our team was doing & also helped me to develop my research skills & knowledge. Great at motivating the team and calming nerves during turbulent times.
Jasmir Nijhar, Senior User Researcher at Babylon
Emma is an incredible manager and one of the most empathetic people I've ever worked with. When she joined Babylon as Head of Research she quickly fostered a culture of psychological safety within the team. Her kindness and compassion made everyone feel safe and heard, and her strong leadership got things done, particularly in improving Research Ops. She's truly a star!
Laura Eaton, User Researcher at Babylon
Emma is a rare leader - she combines an incredible ability to distill complex problems into meaningful and actionable goals for a team. She is passionate, and committed to her work, to the people around her. She's a strong leader - I've seen her engage in difficult conversations, bringing her empathy and clarity to bear on what needs to be done to move forward. She achieves much, bringing others with her as she does. The entire field of user research is richer for her leadership and experience.
Brigette Metzler, Co-Chair, Research Ops Community
"The highlight of the week was Emma Boulton coming in and running a workshop for us on hiring user researchers and how to better incorporate research into our workflow. Most of us in the workshop had done some amount of user research but it'd always felt uncertain, so having an actual expert come and talk to us was incredibly useful. So yeah, hire Emma if you can."
Aegir Hallmunder, Senior Designer, Firefly Learning
"Emma is a highly experienced, diligent and thorough researcher who always has the business's interest in mind. She is not afraid to challenge current thinking constructively in order to arrive at a pragmatic and impactful solution. She has a deep understanding of a wide range of research methods, considerable industry experience in the media/design/comms sphere and is also a fundamentally nice person, a combination which means she gets the best out of partner agencies like ourselves. We valued the sense of open-ness and honesty we encountered in discussing findings with Emma and her team, which enabled us to collectively deliver sharper insights and actionable outcomes for the business."
Muriel Esposito, Founding Director, Esposito Research and Strategy
"I worked with Emma on several key research projects, and it was always a great experience. She is incredibly thorough and detail-oriented, and I never had to worry about anything when Emma was in charge. She has a very deep understanding of the design community and customer research, and would be a very valuable asset to any organization."
Kim Mahoney, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Monotype
"Emma brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the research team leading successful projects that had direct and positive impact on our products by achieving a better understanding of our customers wants, needs, behaviors and journeys. She would be a fantastic asset to any organization, a pleasure to work with, and I would not hesitate to recommend her."
David Gould, Senior Project Manager, Cantina Consulting
"I worked with Emma during and after Monotype's acquisition of her company. Emma is a highly skilled research professional. Prior to joining Monotype, Emma had acquired deep research experience working with world class organization like the BBC and CERN. While at Monotype, Emma facilitated collaboration across several teams, joining together the dots between many different research projects. Emma also did a great job mentoring employees across our organization, empower them to do their own research. I highly recommend Emma!"
Chris Roberts, SVP GTM Operations at Monotype
"I worked with Emma during the CERN web redesign. She was invaluable in fighting for the user's perspective on the project. If we made assumptions about user needs or behaviours during the design process she'd say, "We should test that," and would come back with valuable insights that ultimately led to a better product. Emma is collaborative, super smart, insightful and a real pleasure to work with; I'd jump at the chance to collaborate again."
Dan Noyes, Head of Content, CERN
"Emma is a talented and insightful researcher. She worked for me at the BBC for six years, during which she established herself as a trusted colleague, able to drive the needs of the audience within the business in a highly compelling manner. Her innovative work on Radio Wales and the BBC’s online services stand out, delivering editorial and audience successes across the services. She also initiated and led on key strategic work in building a highly engaging picture of BBC Wales’s main audience groups.
Her main personal strengths are her collegiate way of working, her drive for seeking new approaches to research problems and her good judgment in knowing when and how to challenge the business with the audience’s viewpoint. During her time at the BBC, Emma also successfully established herself as one of a small number of trained creative facilitators, working across the BBC.
Emma has my full recommendation as a highly able and collaborative researcher who will deliver for your business."
Eilir Jones, Head of Research, BBC Wales