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Q&A with Catalina Naranjo-Bock

User experience researcher at Google

My name is Catalina Naranjo-Bock. I am a user experience researcher at Google, working specifically on YouTube. I have a background in product design and human-computer interaction, and have been working both as a designer and user researcher in companies across the US, Europe, Canada and South America. Prior to joining Google, I worked at Yahoo, LEGO, Nickelodeon, and Intel.

As a user experience researcher at YouTube, I have the awesome task of conducting UX research with the video creators at YouTube. All the way from short film makers to people who create YouTube channels that become world wide famous. The specific areas I work on are video creation and channel management features on YouTube, and YouTube Global. I conduct research with users in every corner of the world, using a variety of quantitative and qualitative user research methods to inform every step of the product design process.

UX tools

There are many tools I use a user researcher. The first set of tools pertain to the research methods to be used during the different stages of the design process. Generally, when you are starting a product design or re-design process you use foundational research methods. Methods in this stage include interviews, participatory design, field visits, contextual inquiry, etc. As you progress on the design process, you start using more tactical research methods, such as usability testing, concept evaluations, A/B testing, etc.

As a researcher, I also use my design skills. Both when I work hand in hand with designers to implement user insights on design iterations, as well as when creating deliverables of research findings such as graphic reports, data visualizations, posters, etc.

Ideal work environment

My ideal work environment is an open space where I can be creative. One of the best things about my job is that is very dynamic and I’m never doing the same thing from day to another. I also work in a variety of places: sometimes from my desk, sometimes from a coffee shop and sometimes in a place across the world talking to people with all sorts of life paths.

I enjoy that flexibility of the physical space, it helps me to stay fresh.


It comes from everything and everywhere, but I would say as a UX researcher, the main source of inspiration for your work is: people. People as in human beings you try hard to understand so you can design the best products and user experiences for them. For example, my work at YouTube allows me to meet all sorts of people who’s main job is to create YouTube videos in many kinds of artistic expressions. They all have many inspirational stories and come from paths in life that are very different from my own. This gives me a different perspective on things and keeps the inspiration flowing in my day to day work.