Shannon Bator, Designer in Boston, MA, United States
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Shannon Bator

Verified Expert  in Design

UX Researcher and Designer

Boston, MA, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 16, 2021

A user researcher with over 20 years of experience, Shannon helps clients solve a variety of problems by answering questions about their users and their needs. She uses various research methods, including interviews, surveys, and usability testing, to collect meaningful and thoughtful feedback from users. Shannon then shares the results in an easily digestible and actionable way.


Work Experience

Founder and User Researcher

2009 - PRESENT
Bator Research
  • Conducted online user interviews to help clients rapidly test ideas with real customers and give actionable findings.
  • Assisted teams with all aspects of user research (interviews, usability testing, personas, user journeys, and design workshops) to better understand the voice of their customer and build products and services with real input from real people.
  • Assisted teams with problems such as conversions: Our users aren't converting. Why? Mobile: We are launching a mobile app. Does our design make sense? Onboarding: We need to improve our onboarding flow. What should we do?
Technologies: User Research, B2B, A/B Testing, Affinity Diagrams, Competitive Analysis, Customer Journeys, Dating Apps, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Design Research, Design Thinking, Early-stage Startups, eCommerce, eCommerce UX, Focus Groups, Google Drive, Heuristic Analysis, K-12 Education, Heuristic Review, Mobile, Mobile App Design, Mobile UI, Mobile UX, Personas, Qualitative Research, Quantitative User Research, Quantitative Analysis, Research, SaaS, Testing, Remote User Testing, Graphic Design, UI Design, Quantitative Research, Strategy, Tablets & Smartphones, Usability, Usability Testing, User Experience Strategy, User Experience (UX), User Interviews, User Journey Maps, User Journeys, User Personas, User Surveys, User Testing, UX Design, UX Research, UX Review, UX Strategy, Web Research, UX Workshops, Watch Industry, Web, Web UI, Web Usability, Web UX Design, Workshops, Zoom


2014 - 2021
Engaging Users
  • Co-founded a user experience design consulting service specializing in startups and new product development.
  • Led the user research side of the agency, conducting user interviews, usability testing, personas, user scenarios, and journeys to help inform and prioritize product development.
  • Conducted online user interviews in collaboration with clients to help them rapidly test their ideas with real customers and give them actionable findings.
Technologies: User Research


2014 - 2015
  • Mentored Techstars teams in all aspects of user research to help them include the voice of the customer in their product development process.
  • Created and taught workshops on how to do user research and how to implement user research in the product development process.
  • Synthesized user research findings using tools such as affinity diagraming so teams could make informed design decisions from their research.
Technologies: Usability Testing, User Personas, Heuristic Review, User Research, User Journeys, Affinity Diagrams, UX Workshops

Director, Design and User Experience

2010 - 2014
  • Directed user experience, usability, and design for all Backupify applications.
  • Established a user-centered product development process.
  • Designed intuitive, user-centered applications to improve the workflow of our target audience.
Technologies: User Research, Usability Testing, Heuristic Analysis, User Journeys

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Design

2010 - 2014
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
  • Lectured design thinking and collaborative design to develop students' understanding of a user-centered design process.
  • Taught skills including personas, prototyping, creative thinking, contextual interviews, task analysis, and usability testing through structured activities and product design.
  • Served as professor of the courses: User-Oriented Collaborative Design, Human Factors and Information Design, and Mobile Application Development.
Technologies: Design Thinking, Mobile App Design, User Research, Heuristic Review, Usability Testing, Personas, User Journeys, UI Design

User Experience Designer

2008 - 2009
  • Directed and implemented user-centered design methodologies (task analysis, usability testing, personas/profiles, and contextual interviews) into an agile development process.
  • Developed new mobile and web products using design thinking methodologies.
  • Designed in an agile and development process to deliver applications in two-to-four week cycles.
Technologies: Usability Testing, User Research, Heuristic Review, Personas
2001 - 2003

Master of Science Degree in Human Factors and Information Design

Bentley University - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

1994 - 1999

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Design

Northeastern University - Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Zoom, Affinity Diagrams, Figma


Web, Mobile

Industry Expertise



User Research, Usability Testing, Heuristic Review, User Journeys, Personas, Google Drive, User Personas, UX Workshops, Design Thinking, Heuristic Analysis, Remote User Testing, Focus Groups, Usability, Workshops, UX Research, Web Usability, UX Review, Web Research, User Interviews, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Quantitative User Research, User Surveys, Strategy, SaaS, Early-stage Startups, B2B, Design Research, Competitive Analysis, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Customer Journeys, User Experience Strategy, Research, User Journey Maps, UX Strategy, User Experience (UX), eCommerce UX, User Testing, Quantitative Analysis, Customer Research, Customer Experience, Customer Insights, Ideation, Ideation Workshops, Usability Heuristics, UX Audits, Design Strategy, Market Research, Innovation, Innovation Strategy, Research Synthesis, Product Discovery, Concept Testing, Tablets & Smartphones, User Retention, Journey Mapping, Analytics, UI Research, Mobile App Design, UI Design, UX Design, Surveys, Graphic Design, eCommerce, A/B Testing, Mobile UI, Mobile UX, Web UX Design, Web UI, Dating Apps, K-12 Education, Testing, Watch Industry, Internet of Things (IoT), Data Analysis

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