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Hi, I’m Melissa, a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google Workspace, working between Raleigh/Durham, NC and the San Francisco Bay Area, CA.

I currently work on the Google Workspace team, leading user experience research for cross-Workspace experiences on the ecosystem team. Previously, I worked on the YouTube team, managing the YouTube Premium research team, working on improving creator monetization, and the video watching experience for the YouTube mobile app and desktop site. I also worked on the Stadia inputs & peripherals team, improving and innovating the ways players engage with interactive entertainment systems.

I actively volunteer with and am a Board Member for FIRST Robotics, a global non-profit helping to get 
K-12 kids interested in STEM through annual robotics competitions.


2021 - 2023

YouTube, Google

Staff UX Research Manager, Music & Premium
San Bruno, CA, USA

>> Conducted strategic lead research and managed the user experience research team (6+ UXRs) for YouTube Premium, as well as the commerce platform experience for paid products across the YouTube ecosystem.

>> User Experience Research Manager at YouTube Music, leading research and managing a research team (2 UXRs) focused on the Industry & Artist experience across both YouTube and YouTube Music.

Projects include: YouTube Premium, NFL Sunday Ticket, Premium Badges, Premium affiliate program

2018 - 2020

YouTube, Google

Senior UX Researcher, Non-Ads Monetization
Zurich, Switzerland
Led research for YouTube non-ads monetization, including memberships, merchandise, ticketing, and brand-sponsored content. Led collaborative research with the Live and Superchat teams. Managed  small team of rapid researchers.

Projects include: YouTube memberships; YouTube merch; YouTube memberships & merch on Live

2011 - 2016

PhD, George Mason University

Human Factors & Applied Cognitive Psychology

Fairfax, VA, USA

Dissertation research focused on human trust in automation and objective methods of determining trust in artificial agents. 

2023 - present

Google Workspace

Staff UX Research Lead, Platform Ecosystem
Raleigh/Durham, NC, USA

Leading user experience research for Google Workspace's ecosystem team. Working between Bay Area, California & Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

2020 - 2021

Stadia, Google

Senior UX Researcher, Inputs & Peripherals

Mountain View, CA, USA

Led research for inputs, peripherals, and controllers alongside cross-functional stakeholders such as industrial design, product design, engineering, product management, etc.

Projects include: Stadia touch controls; Stadia controller wireless play; Stadia screen switching, etc.

2016 - 2018

YouTube, Google

UX Researcher, Main App

San Bruno, CA, USA

Researcher for the YouTube video watching experience, focusing on how users interact with the video watching page and innovative features to improve an experience billions of users interact with daily.

Projects include: YouTube queue; YouTube desktop miniplayer; YouTube double-tap-to-seek; YouTube mobile fullscreen experience


B.S., Univ. of Central Florida

Psychology; Honors in the Major

Orlando, FL, USA

Completed undergraduate honors thesis research in human trust in robotic teaching.

Melissa Smith
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