Rachel Fleming, PhD

Denver, CO, U.S.A   |  www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-c-fleming


  • Anthropologist and Experience Researcher leverages a human-centered approach to transform qualitative and quantitative data into stories that highlight strategic opportunities.


User Experience Researcher, Spire Digital, Denver, CO, November 2017-present

  • Responsible for designing and conducting user experience research including stakeholder interviews, targeted ethnography, customer/user interviews, survey development, and usability testing to make strategic recommendations for clients in digital product space. 
  • Coach clients in problem definition and strategy through design thinking methodologies and workshops.
  • Collaborate with designers, product owners, and development team to inform product decisions based on research findings. 
  • Establish best research practices and deliverables for lean digital product development.

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

  • Via TRM, software startup in study abroad space: Interviews/surveys with students; competitive analysis and usability testing with clients using Via and main competitor; usability testing for student facing platform.
  • Prospective digital healthcare startup for underserved populations: Interviews/shadowing with patients, doctors, health coordinators; qualitative data analysis for actionable recommendations; coaching founder using design thinking methods on problem space and strategy.

Designer in Training, Designlab UX Research & Strategy Course, February-March 2017
Designed and iterated a digital service product through user interviews, empathy and journey mapping, storyboards, writing problem/POV statements, usability testing, and landing page creation.

Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Denver, Aug.-Dec. 2016
Taught the history of Anthropology and applied examples in multimedia lectures, created short 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 working in international development as guest speakers for “Women and Development.”

PhD Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder, 2007-2016                      

  • Designed and managed field research project in Bangalore, India on gender in technology.
  • Conducted and transcribed over fifty interviews, coded qualitative data, used character-based narratives to argue that global tech industry work is improving gender equality in urban India in limited ways.
  • Analyzed qualitative data for patterns and connections, performed gap analysis comparing the difference between expectations and experience for a specific population.
  • Presented results at national conferences, taught ethnographic methods seminars.          

Consultant, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005-2007
Collected and analyzed economic development data for impact of higher education and tourism studies.

MA Student, City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003-2005 
Analyzed economic databases to calculate economic impact of the arts (BLS, Dun & Bradstreet databases), conducted qualitative research to evaluate local arts-based economic development strategies.


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 study                       

M.A. Anthropology - University of Colorado Boulder, 2009

M.A. Urban Planning - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005

B.A. Anthropology - Dartmouth College, Cum Laude, 2000


Research Methods

  • Ethnographic fieldwork (research design, recruiting, observation, fieldnotes)
  • Interviewing, contextual inquiry, focus groups, surveys
  • Competitive analysis
  • Qualitative data analysis (pattern recognition, key insights, actionable recommendations)
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Presentation of qualitative data in concise recommendations for strategy and product
  • Coaching startups on strategy based on qualitative and quantitative data


  • CMS & landing page tools: WordPress, Squarespace, Launchrock
  • Qualitative data analysis: ATLAS.ti, NVivo
  • Speech-to-Text Tools: Dragon Dictate, Livescribe, ExpressScribe
  • Statistical analysis: SPSS, Excel (PowerPoint for data visualization), basic Google Analytics

 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

Continuing Education on UX Research Methods (examples)