Deb McDonald, MSW
SayWhat Consumer Research
Deb has a BA in Sociology and an MSW in Social Welfare from Berkeley and is currently a User Researcher at Spotify conducting qualitative research with listeners to strengthen the connective tissue between the listeners, and those who design and build audio experiences for them. Before joining Spotify in 2018, Deb was the founder of SayWhat Consumer Research in 2001. Her talent for listening and observing, coupled with her ability to synthesize qualitative data, are at the core of her success. In addition to pioneering methods for usability testing in the late 1990’s when online retail took-off, she was also early to develop online communities, an outgrowth of the crowd sourcing movement of 2007. In 2010 she was at the forefront of consumer research on the iPad. Deb’s consistent focus on consumers was nurtured by her academic work in social science research at UC Berkeley, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Social Welfare, Management and Planning. After completing her graduate studies, she worked in the field of public health research, specifically the epidemiology of substance abuse.