Val Pucilowski

Head of Product Insights, New York, USA

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Val Pucilowski

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How did you get into research?

I've been working in research and strategy for almost 10 years—but I actually wanted to be a designer, originally! My major was in Neuroscience + Cognitive Psychology—I've always been interested in why we humans do the things we do. It was actually a lot easier for me to land my first job as a researcher than it was to break into design, at the time. Despite the fact that entry-level research roles were (and continue to be) pretty scarce. As I got my feet wet and began interviewing people to help Product + Design understand their needs: I knew I'd serendipitously ended up in the right role.

What is your day to day?

Part of why I love working as a researcher is that my day-to-day is full of such variety. You might find me... Planning research with my Product + Design pals, coding a survey so we can gain confidence in a decision, or deep in conversation with someone who uses Shortcut.
I participate in our Design rituals and routines, to make sure that we carry our customers' voice into our discussions. Given I work from home in NYC, you can also find me pacing the neighborhood to think through a challenging problem, or cuddling with the cat.

What do you do in your spare time?

Why, you wanna hang? I'm flattered.
Now that the city has come alive again, I've been spending a good amount of time goofing around with friends. Concerts, art exhibits, and happy hour oysters bring me a lot of joy. But I'm an introvert at heart: in my quiet moments, I'm creating things, admiring the natural world, and... actually, still cuddling with the cat.

What music do you listen to and why?

I have a very eclectic taste in music. I like to say that my favorite type of music is "good music," which sounds silly, but it doesn't take a certain genre to get me excited. There are an infinite number of ways for a song to be composed, performed + produced in a way that lands—and for me, there's nothing better than listening to that perfect, new jam.

Playlist by Val P

Bright Like The Sun

~ * ~
warm rays on your skin


Michelle, Arlo Parks


Keep Your Warm

Jaguar Sun



Nina Cobham



Cigarettes After Sex


If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?

I'd like to think of myself as a lion. I am a Leo, after all. But in asking around (#researcher) it seems my close friends + family think of me a little bit differently: meerkat, snow leopard, octopus, jaguar, white-tailed deer, Asian golden cat, maned wolf, Siamese cat, owl, clouded leopard, kestrel, poison dart frog. Interesting!

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