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Dr. Javier Bargas-Avila

Results-driven UX Research Director with a 20+ year track record of building scalable, inclusive teams across global contexts. Dedicated to ethical research practices, delivering actionable user insights, and cultivating talent through a coaching-focused leadership style.

Proven ability to craft user-centric products that resonate with diverse audiences. Currently leading a diverse UX Research team of 25+ professionals across Google Play (North America and Europe). Proven success in building and scaling high-impact research teams throughout Google (Cloud, Advertising, YouTube). Prior experience establishing and managing the HCI research lab at the University of Basel.


  • Drove the success of multi-billion-dollar products (YouTube Ads, Cloud Console, Google Play) through strategic, user-centered research insight

  • Founded and scaled multiple UX research teams recognized for excellence, efficiency and impact within the industry 

  • Built Google's largest Quantitative UX Research team, driving data-informed product decisions through revolutionizing user-centric measurement 

  • Developed high-performing teams through a coaching-centered approach, enabling individuals to overcome obstacles and maximize career growth

  • Globally recognized leader expanding the UX research community through knowledge sharing at conferences, teaching, podcasts, and publications


UX Management

UX Research 

UX Measurement

Research Operations

Strategic Planning

Scaling Research

UX Centered Design 

Data Analysis & Synthesis

Research Communication

UX UX Research Methodologies 

Team Building & Development 

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Research Operations


Google Play • Director UX Research 
2022 until today
  • Spearheaded the centralization of Google Play's UX research function, establishing a 25+ member team to champion user-centric design across Play Consumer and Developer Experiences

  • Streamlined insights generation through a Rapid Research program, leading to faster product optimization

  • Optimized research impact by driving strategic reviews, research prioritization, and cross-functional alignment of UXR initiatives

  • Devised a scalable system to measure Critical User Journeys and UX metrics, enabling data-driven user insights

  • Track record of fostering senior talent: Promoted 2 employees to Staff UXR (L6) and 2 to Senior Staff UXR (L7)

Google Ads Brand Advertising • Senior Staff UXR Mgr
2015 - 2018
  • Spearheaded the centralization of UXR teams across Google's Brand advertising products (YouTube Ads, DoubleClick, etc.), streamlining research processes and enhancing insights to improve experiences

  • Scaled the UX Research team from 5 to 20+ members, driving strategic growth and impact across the organization

  • Developed an innovative PA-wide research program, establishing new standards for brand safety and advertiser trust measurement

  • Promoted from Staff UXR (L6) to Senior Staff UXR (L7) due to demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional research programs with significant business outcomes

  • Track record of fostering senior talent: Promoted 4 employees to Staff UXR (L6)

Dept. of Psychology, University of Basel • Head of HCI lab 
2004 - 2011

Built a lab focused on "Human-Computer Interaction" (HCI) research and managed the HCI research group (8 members). This included offering HCI services to companies from the private and public sector

Stimmt AG, Zürich • Senior UX Consultant
2001 - 2004

Implemented and conducted UCD methods in software development projects for large clients in e.g. telecommunications and financial services industry. Initiated and supervised change management within companies to improve customer experience with products and services.

Google Cloud • Principal UX Researcher
2018 - 2022
  • Spearheaded the creation of Google's largest Quantitative UXR team, driving datainformed insights that shaped the Cloud user experience

  • Rapidly expanded the team from 2 to 24 UXRs, successfully building a powerhouse of quantitative and mixed-methods specialists

  • Developed and deployed a Cloud wide scalable user sentiment analysis program to track user perceptions of our Cloud products and key competitors

  • Architected a scalable system enabling cross-functional teams to gain real-time insights into complex user behavior patterns, driving product improvements and business growth

  • Promoted to Principal UXR (L8) in recognition of exceptional performance and leadership

  • Track record of fostering senior talent: Promoted 4 employees to Staff UXR (L6)

Google YouTube Ads + YouTube • Staff UXR Mgr
2011 - 2015
  • Conducted UX research to inform design improvements and enhance the YouTube Creator experience

  • Spearheaded the formation of a specialized YouTube Ads UXR team, scaling it to 5 UXRs to drive strategic improvements in YouTube's advertising experience

  • Shaped the development of industry-leading ad formats (TrueView, Mobile Ads, TrueView for Action, etc.) through actionable user insights that drove strategic decision-making

  • Promoted from UXR (L5) to Staff UXR (L6) due to demonstrated leadership skills and strategic vision within the UXR domain

Dept. of Psychology, University of Basel • Research Assistant
1997 - 2002
Verein Neustart • Probation Officer (pro bono)
1998 - 2006

More can be found on my LinkedIn profile: 


PhD in Cognitive Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland   (2005-2009)

Title doctoral thesis:

"Exploring Aspects of Usability and User Satisfaction with Empirical Research"

Master of Science in Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland   (1995-2002)

Title master thesis:

"Human-Computer Interaction evaluation methods in eCommerce"


I am teaching UX related courses, such as Introduction to UX, Usability Testing, Eye-Tracking methods and more.


Dept. of Psychology, University of Basel • Lecturer • 2001 until today

Published more than 30 peer reviewed articles in HCI journals and conferences, covering topics such as user satisfaction, mental models in website perception, website aesthetics, web form usability and internationalization of products. For a full list of publications, please consult  Google Scholar:


I gave more than 100 invited talks and keynotes at conferences, Universities and company events. For a full list of talks, please consult:


Measuring UX, UXCon Vienna:

Me No Speak English, WUC Graz:

Design Of Everyday Things, Start Summit:

The Role of UXR, UX Evening @ Google:

Wondrous DX Podcast with Javier:

Is Beautiful Really Usable?, Harvard:


Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC Lausanne, since Jan 2024)

Scientific Board, University of Applied Sciences Winterthur (since Oct 2020)

Scientific Board, University of Applied Sciences Olten (since Oct 2019)


German (native)

French (basic)

Spanish (native)

Italian (basic)


Proud father of two teenagers

Mentoring UX professionals outside Google

Strong passion for woodworking:

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