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About me

I’m passionate about  turning complicated, high-stakes information into simple and actionable experiences for consumer and business audiences.

Through user research, I help leading brands  build exceptional digital products – and print, too!

Work Experience

User Research Consultant – current

  • Freelance researcher supporting start-up and established companies with usability, surveys, research, and business strategy
  • Conduct all functions of research including recruitment, methods selection, moderation, analysis, and reporting
  • Ongoing client: Upwork, Inc.; others include Stanford Health Care, Siemens Health, Delta Dental of WA, and Brew Ventures.

Digital Service Expert, 2016

US Digital Services at Veterans Administration, Remote

  • Generalist user experience position in lean start-up environment within US government
  • Collaborate with other UX designers and researchers to define design requirements and prototypes
  • Conducted background research to understand product requirements
  • Analytics gathering to understand user needs and top tasks
  • Conducted user research to refine IA, labels, and page flows

Sr. Usability Consultant, Health Information,  2011-2016

Permanente Medical Group, Oakland, CA

  • Spearheaded usability consulting program to support 20 internal consultants creating in mobile, web, and print
  • Led change management activities to promote culture of user-centered design
  • Conducted variety of user research activities to evaluate products and define user needs
  • Created prototype and iterated based on user testing
  • Conducted design review of products to discover usability issues


Product Manager, Health Plan Content,  2007-2011

Kaiser Permanente, Pleasanton, CA

  • In Agile development environment, led user story development as product owner for UI team for
  • Developed roadmap of features for selected products
  • Led development of microsites for specialized audiences, such as high deductible members
  • Defined requirements and prototyped page concepts for new product pitches
  • Used web analytics to inform product decisions
  • Conducted card sorting, interviews, and usability testing
Mariana Almeida

Mariana Almeida

User Researcher

Serving San Francisco and all places remotely

Resume in PDF

Research and Evaluation Skills

  • Usability Testing
  • Interviews and moderation
  • Heuristic Assessment
  • Survey Research

Development Skills

  • Content Development
  • Wireframing and Prototyping
  • Agile and Lean UX Methods
  • Project Management

People and Presenting

  • Team collaboration
  • Presenting to executives
  • Facilitation of groups
  • Negotiation

Professional Interests

  • BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design
  • Group facilitation
  • Plain language
  • Start-up ventures

Presentations for Staff Development

  • Choosing the Right UX Research Methodology, 2013
  • Infographics for Health Information, 2014
  • Clear and Simple Communication Principles, 2015
  • Using Behavior Design for Health Education, 2015


  • Slide Rule UX Class – mentor of emerging designers transitioning to UX
  • Technology implementation lead for Berkeley community organization

User Research helps


Build the Right Product

Early stage user needs research

Focus groups

Ethnographic study



Build the Product Right

Concept testing

Usability testing

Card sorting

Heuristic review


My Research Methods

Selected Projects

Foundational Research

  • Shoe fitting software – identified user needs, pain points, and aspirations for shoe fitting software focusing on new market segment. Deliverable included personas and shopping habits framework.
  • Restaurant ordering website – ethnographic research of restaurant customers for in-store kiosk
  • Persona development – Advance Health Care Directive
  • Winemaking app – identify user needs, habits, and behaviors

Concept Testing

  • Message testing for hospital anti-infection messaging
  • Message development and testing for new mammogram screening letter and webpage

Evaluative Research

  • Identity management software – usability research focused on technical audience
  • Search functionality – usability testing
  • Usability and comprehension testing of end-of-life wish booklet


  • Usability testing of home winemaking app
  • Heuristic review of medication adherence application
  • Medical claims mobile app design – identified user needs, prioritized functionality and designed and prototyped targeted user flow
  • Location finder mobile app design – prototyped locating a public changing station for parents; user research to determine behavior and attitudes

Card Sorting and Information Architecture

  • City of Berkeley website – content map for site redesign based on business needs
  • Card sorting and interviews to define patient needs for surgery booklet
  • Intranet – remote card sort for employee portal

Build the right product; build the product right.

I’m available for full or part-time projects. For example:

  • Review your digital product for usability and plain language
  • Formulate a user research plan for your product
  • Conduct various kinds of user research, including usability, focus groups, interviews
  • Develop a usability practice at your company


Drop me a line.

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