Rachel Fleming, PhD

Boulder, CO, U.S.A   |


User Experience Researcher and Anthropologist combines a qualitative research background with UX research methods to guide early stage and enterprise ventures in the digital product space. 


Senior UX Researcher, Cognizant Accelerator, Boulder, CO, May 2018-present

  • Researcher for advanced technology team focused on strategic innovation in technology applications.

  • Established user research processes and deliverables for Accelerator digital products.

  • Conducted generative and evaluative user research for prospective digital enterprise products in insurance, healthcare, and information services.

  • Close collaboration with design, development, strategy, management, and product leads.

  • Educating stakeholders about UX research.

  • Discovering best practices for user research in enterprise products.

User Experience Researcher, Spire Digital, Denver, CO, October 2017-March 2018

  • Conducted UX research including user interviews, targeted ethnography, survey development, and usability testing.

  • Wrote epics and user stories catalogue for use in MVP product roadmap.

  • Made design and product recommendations for client projects in insurance, financial services, aviation, real estate, legal services, consumer products, and healthcare.

User Experience Research Consultant for Technology Startups, Boulder/Denver, CO, Sept.-Oct. 2017

  • Prospective digital healthcare startup for underserved populations: Conducted interviews/shadowing with patients, doctors, health coordinators; completed qualitative data analysis for actionable recommendations; coached founder in using design thinking methods on problem space and strategy.

  • Via TRM, software startup in study abroad space: Conducted interviews/surveys with users and SMEs; conducted competitive analysis and usability testing of Via TRM and main competitor with existing clients; conducted usability testing for student facing platform with users.

Student, Designlab UX Research & Strategy Course, February-March 2017

  • Designed and iterated a digital app product idea through user interviews, empathy and journey mapping.

  • Created storyboards, problem/POV statements, usability tests, and landing page.

Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Denver, Aug.-Dec. 2016

  • Taught the history of Anthropology and applied examples in multimedia lectures.

  • Created hands-on ethnographic research projects for “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,”

Adjunct Professor, Humanitarian Engineering Program, Colorado School of Mines, Jan.-May 2016

  • Conveyed the value of ethnographic research to engineering students through case studies.

  • Invited six female engineers as guest speakers for “Women and Development.”

PhD Student/Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder, 2009-2016                      

  • Designed and managed 15-month field research project in Bangalore, India on gender in technology.

  • Conducted and transcribed over fifty interviews, coded qualitative data.

  • Used narratives and qualitative analysis to argue that global tech industry work is improving gender equality in urban India in limited ways.

  • Analyzed qualitative data for patterns and connections, compared gap between expectations and experience for women in tech in Bangalore.

  • Presented results at national conferences, taught ethnographic methods seminars.

  • Won competitive grants for research funding and dissertation write up.


Ph.D. Anthropology - University of Colorado Boulder, 2016
Fulbright-Nehru Student Fellowship for dissertation research in India
Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for Hindi language and South Asia area study                       

M.A. Anthropology - University of Colorado Boulder

M.A. Urban Planning - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.A. Anthropology - Dartmouth College, Cum Laude


Research Methods

  • User research design, recruiting, contextual inquiry, interviewing, analysis, data visualization

  • Top task survey for feature prioritization, qualitative surveys, Outcome Driven Innovation surveys

  • Usability testing with design prototypes

  • Competitive analysis and rapid problem space summarization

  • Workshop facilitation: personas, process/journey mapping, affinity mapping, design thinking exercises

  • UX Research education: Introduction to UXR for Agile Product Development

  • Qualitative data analysis: pattern recognition, key insights, actionable recommendations

  • Presentation of concise recommendations for strategy and product

  • Product owner duties (writing epics, user stories catalogue, product MVP roadmap)


  • Surveys: Google surveys, SurveyMonkey, top task (feature list) surveys, user survey methods

  • CMS & landing page tools: WordPress, Squarespace, Launchrock

  • Qualitative data analysis: ATLAS.ti, NVivo

  • Speech-to-Text Tools: Dragon Dictate, Livescribe, ExpressScribe

 International Expertise

  • 15 months field experience/qualitative data collection with tech workers in South Asia

  • Basic conversational skills and reading in Hindi, Kannada, Spanish, French, Italian

  • Teaching experience in world cultures and cross-cultural skills