Felix Hanser, M.A.

Felix Hanser, M.A.

Current job:
Senior User Experience Researcher

Studies in Mannheim:
Media and Communication Studies

Highest degree:


During my bachelor’s program in Media Studies and Sociology at the University of Tübingen, I completed several internships in the fields of journalism, computer game design, advertising, film production, and script development. Those internships helped me a great deal in deciding what career path I want to pursue and strengthened my decision to deepen my interests in media culture and media psychology in a master’s program.

In this regard, the master’s program in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Mannheim was just the right choice for me. In my master’s program, I was given the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge of media psychology and methods of media use research as well as to pursue my interest in social change through digital media.

At this time I had already decided my future career would be in the field of researching media use and its ergonomics. Back then, it was known under the terms “usability engineering”, “human factors engineering”, or “user research”. Social science methods are used in order to research the requirements that users place on an interactive product (e.g., a website or an app), as well as the quality of use as part of product design—the product-centric version of market research, so to speak.

Therefore, I also decided to complete a six-month research internship in the field of human-computer interaction in the “Data and Web Science” research group at the Mannheim School of Business Informatics during my master's program in Media and Communication Studies. During this internship, I conducted my first usability test and was given the opportunity to publish a research paper about it. Then, I occupied a working student position at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA at the University Hospital Mannheim for two years. This way, I was able to familiarize myself with the profession of user experience researcher alongside my master’s degree. After I graduated, they took me over to work as an academic staff member in the software team of the project group for automation in medicine and biotechnology (PAMB). Altogether, I was a part of the Fraunhofer Institute in Mannheim for four years before transferring to Agilent Technologies, a laboratory equipment manufacturer in Karlsruhe. I worked there for two years as a user experience designer in the company’s internal design agency. Afterward, I was given the opportunity to occupy the position of user experience researcher at SAP in Walldorf, where I have been working to this day.

Tips for starting your career

If you would liket to become a user researcher or a user experience researcher, empirical media and communication research might be just the right field for you. However, it is advisable to become acquainted with all methods of the social sciences, including both qualitative survey and evaluation methods, such as interviews and content analyses, and quantitative survey and evaluation methods, such as standardized online surveys, psychological experiments, and statistical analyses.

If you have a creative talent or have prior experience working with design programs, the position of user experience designer, besides the role of user experience researcher, might well be a good fit for you.

In user experience or human-centered design, you basically have to apply methods of the social sciences in the highly dynamic, creative process of product design.

Relevance of the studied program

By expanding my knowledge of various quantitative and qualitative methods of empirical social research, I was well prepared for the profession of user researcher. Especially the constant combination of both methods (mixed-method approach) is something I require in practice on a regular basis. In my opinion, a degree program that teaches both qualitative and quantitative methods lays the ideal foundation for a career in user research, design research, or market research.

 Last updated: February 2023


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