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Hi, I’m Melissa, a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google/Stadia working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I currently work on the Stadia inputs & peripherals team, improving and innovating the ways players engage with interactive entertainment systems. Previously, I worked on the YouTube team, working on improving creator monetization and the video watching experience for the YouTube mobile app and desktop site.

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


2018 - 2020

YouTube, Google

Lead 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

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

2020 - present

Stadia, Google

Lead UX Researcher, Inputs & Peripherals

Leading 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
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

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

Melissa Smith
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