Oct 13, 2021

Research Operations Manager

  • Canva
  • Sydney NSW, Australia

Job Description

We’re constantly working towards making Canva the best place to work, for everyone. We believe deeply that bringing together diversity of thoughts, perspectives and expression is key for building the best product for our equally diverse community all around the world. We celebrate uniqueness and whatever makes you, you and encourage everyone who wants to help us transform the way the world designs, to join us on this journey. We value all different types of experiences. If you don’t think you quite meet all of the qualifications, we’d still love to hear from you.  

About Us
At Canva, our mission is to democratise design and empower creativity for anyone and everyone, on every platform. Inspired by a team of talented thinkers, an amazing culture and a remarkable growth trajectory – we’re out to change the world, one design at a time. 

Since launch in August 2013, we have grown exponentially, amassing over 60 million monthly active users across 190 different countries who have created more than 6 Billion designs. We are one of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies and we have only achieved about 1% of what we want to do.

At Canva, we create tools that empower the world to design. Since launching in August 2013, we have amassed over 55 million active users in 190 countries. Canva users range from small business owners and marketers, to teachers, not-for-profits, students, knowledge workers, and more.

We were recently valued at $15 billion, surpassing $500 million in annualized revenue this year. We’re one of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies, but also believe  we have only achieved about 1% of what we are capable of!  

We’re proud of our autonomous culture, where our 1500+ employees are empowered to share ideas openly, challenge themselves, try new things, and grow in their craft every day. Our teams are collaborative, operating like mini-startups to set and achieve crazy big goals!

Research at Canva

At Canva, our users are at the heart of everything we do. Our UX Research team is a relatively new specialty, but is growing rapidly, and plays a vital role in the vision and success of our company. One of the best things about Canva is how much everyone across the business cares about users and improving their experience - you’ll never have to sell anyone on the value of research.

Our team conducts qualitative and quantitative research to inform design decisions, product strategies; and identify opportunities. We believe that research findings are most powerful when they’re out of reports, and actively being applied and used by product teams. Researchers partner with PMs, designers, engineers, and marketers to help them better understand Canva’s diverse user base, solve complex challenges, and improve the product experience for millions of users worldwide. 

Our research team is close-knit, collaborative, and supportive. We each bring unique strengths and interests to the group, and encourage each other to grow in our craft every day.

Your Mission

As our first Research Ops Manager, you’ll play an integral part in enabling our team to gather user insights. You will not just improve how we  conduct qualitative and quantitative research -- but define, build, and scale our entire operational infrastructure. 

We’ve set up research processes and tooling to get us off the ground, but we’re now ready for an Operations expert to help us work more efficiently and effectively. While your primary stakeholders will be the UX Research team, you’ll also need to design processes for empowering other disciplines like Designers and PMs conduct high-quality research to improve our products and better understand our users and their needs.

About You

Research Operations is a relatively new field, attracting people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. We’re excited to see people bring their skills and be a pioneer in this fast growing discipline. We're equally as thrilled to see Research Ops guru’s as we are to see new talent.

You’re an extremely organized logistics expert, who naturally thinks about processes at the micro and macro level. You’ve got a keen eye for detail, are a natural multi-tasker, and remain calm under pressure. You have high standards for your work: if something can go from “good” to “great”, you make it happen. 

You’re passionate about the value of UX research, but you’re happiest behind the scenes, empowering researchers to work efficiently, with high-quality participants and tools. You also deeply care about the research participant experience, from the moment someone receives an invitation, to how their data is stored after the session concludes. 

You might be: 
- An existing ResOps specialist eager to take on the challenge of scaling a new research team at a fast-paced company
- A current UX researcher that’s dabbled in Ops, and is interested to transition to this new specialty
- An organized, operations/logistics expert passionate about UX and wanting to move into this space. (E.g. HR Recruitment, Executive Assistant, Program Manager)

What you'll achieve in your first 6 months at Canva...

  • Mature how we source research participants, especially niche participants that are difficult to find on open platforms like Respondent. 
  • Work with our data and legal teams to find a scalable way to ethically, respectfully contact current Canva users for research.
  • Develop frameworks for how much we pay participants around the world.
  • Manage existing research tooling + possibly procure new tools as needed.
  • Improve our internal processes so that non-researchers are empowered and supported to conduct high-quality research.
  • Collaborate with/Build/nurture relationships with other disciplines like Finance, Legal, Data.
  • Support researchers and PWDR to efficiently conduct research: oversee how they’re finding participants, ensure they’re effective, removing bottlenecks as they arise, answering questions.
  • Begin to propose new tools, processes, and techniques to streamline research projects for the Design Research team and Canva at large

Goals for 6-9 months and beyond...

  • Develop standards for how we store research artefacts, including PII Implement a new system for how we organize our research findings, so that they’re easily accessed and used by teams across Canva. (Knowledge management)
  • Establish alternate/creative methods of reaching users and conducting research. For example: Creating research labs in offices, In-product recruitment / pop-ups.
  • Over time, look to build out a larger ResOps team to support you.


  • Define, build, and maintain the operational infrastructure that is the backbone of the UX Research team.
  • Mature and scale our participant recruitment process, end-to-end.  
  • Oversee our research tooling across Canva, including vetting and procuring new tools. (We currently use Respondent, Askable, UserTesting, UserInterviews, Dovetail, OptimalWorkshop, Ethnio.) 
  • Develop partnerships with our Finance, Legal, Data, and Procurement teams, to ensure our research participants and their data are treated ethically and respectfully.
  • Develop standards for how we store research artefacts.
  • Manage and oversee external research vendors, as needed.
  • Be our internal subject-matter-expert on topics like research tooling, research ethics, informed consent, NDAs, screeners, etc.

Experience you'll have

  • 2+ years in either Design or Research Operations, or 5+ years of experience in other operational or program management roles. 
  • Lots of past experience establishing and implementing new processes, and improving existing ones.
  • Experience procuring and managing software tools. 
  • Experience establishing budgets and working with them 
  • Proactive and self-directed. Comfortable taking initiative and leading somewhat ambiguous projects without a playbook in sight. 
  • Passionate about taking chaos and turning into clarity. Organization, documentation, planning and tracking expert. 
  • Natural rapport-builder: able to build collaborative relationships across teams and disciplines. Love being a team ambassador. 
  • A genuine care for customers, stakeholders and their experience. 
We have amazing researchers and people who do research (PWDR) who create their own research plans, write screeners, and schedule participants -- this role is not a full-time participant recruiter! Instead, you'll be the one to oversee these processes, ensure they are effective and unblock bottlenecks as they arise.

We make hiring decisions based on your experience, skills and passion. If you’re keen to apply and need reasonable adjustments or would like to note which pronouns you use at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.