Michaela H. Pysnakova









Hi, I'm Michaela. 


I am mixed method researcher with 10+ years of experience in consumer, advertising, media and academic research.

I love transforming insights from user-centered research into social impact. 

I moved recently from Europe to Silicon Valley and my focus is on creating social impact through UX research.


M Researcher, Writer, Sociologist and Co-Founder  

Site Title


Societal Marketing


User Experience Researcher / Research Assistant

Google via Adecco, Mountain View, California

Planning and conducting surveys, usability, and copy testing, ethnography, empathy sessions, co-creation groups and remote interviews with small and medium business advertisers and agencies using our product 

Conducted ethnographic study with 17 US advertising agencies to discover opportunities for our product and currently leading a quantitative global survey focusing on agencies in the US, European and emerging markets

Collaborating with Product Management,  Designers and Engineers to implement research findings into product’s design and strategy


User Experience Researcher / Intern

KIVA, San Francisco, California

Designing surveys, conducting usability tests and qualitative user interviews with existing and potential Kiva lenders and Kiva lending teams/communities

Collaborating with Product and Marketing Teams to implement research findings into Kiva´s website


Researcher at Text Analytics Team 

MEDALLIA, San Mateo, California 

Analyzing qualitative data from online customer feedback  such as open comments in surveys, blog posts, social networks, emails

Identified, built and analyzed over 60 themes for 5 clients from 4 countries

Collaborating with Project Management, Product Management and Engineering to improve a machine learning text analytics tool






Designed, executed and analyzed research projects that focused on social issues using ethnography, and quantitative surveys. 

Conducted workshops with the clients to determine how to achieve strategic goals and positive social impact through research.

Designed and conducted a nationwide mixed method research for the Czech Social Security Administration. User-friendly recommendations were implemented into new conception for redesigning Administration´s website interface.


Research Executive at Insight Team


Project Executive



OMNICOM MEDIA GROUP, Prague, Czech Republic 

Designed and conducted research on digital, TV and print ad campaigns and product concepts using focus groups, interviews, online surveys and usability testing method. 

Initiated, designed and conducted a nationwide ethnographic research The Future of the Czech Republic.

Initiated an ethnographic research unit and established ethnography as a part of company´s research service.

Developed post economic crisis consumer segmentation. Designed and conducted  UX research for Hospodarske Noviny news app.

GfK, Prague, Czech Republic 

Designed and executed online quantitative surveys.

MASARYK UNIVERSITY, Brno, Czech Republic 

Specialized in researching young people and their consumer lifestyles using focus groups, interviews, participant observation, and surveys.

Author of a book Reconceptualising Mainstream Youth, which raised an academic and public debate by challenging the stereotype of passive mainstream youth culture. 

Initiated and managed a cross-disciplinary research team - psychology, marketing research, and sociology.

Published results in recognized research journals and presented them at international conferences in Hungary, Great Britain, Czech Republic, and Denmark.

Successfully applied for 2 research grants and received financing to extend the research.

Participated in research projects European Value Study (Czech Science Foundation), Patterns of intergenerational conflict (Czech Science Foundation), Cultural Encounters in the European Economy and Society (EU).


Continuing Studies Program

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Stanford, California

Project Management 

Design Implementation: Getting to Market 

Drawing: Mixed Media


Ph.D. in Sociology

MASARYK UNIVERSITY, Brno, Czech Republic


M.A. in Sociology

MASARYK UNIVERSITY, Brno, Czech Republic 

MASARYK UNIVERSITY, Brno, Czech Republic 


B.A. in Sociology, Media Studies and Journalism



Participatory Observation

Focus Groups 

In-Depth Interviews

Mixed method approach

A/B Testing

Content Analysis 

Quantitative Surveys 






Concept Testing


My research focuses on young consumers in the Czech Republic.  The mainstream, ordinary, normal teenagers and young adults.  Based on qualitative research with 95 young people my publications discus and challenge many stereotypes associated with the mainstream such as passivelly conforming youth, sheep-like behaving consumers, or individualistic and materialistic hedonists.  


Hráčková Pyšňáková, Michaela. 2012. Reconceptualising Mainstream Youth: An Examination of Young People´s Consumer   

          Lifestyles in the Czech Republic. Mezinárodní politologický ústav, Brno.

Book Chapters  

Pyšňáková, Michaela, Miles, Steven. 2013. “The post-revolutionary consumer generation: mainstream youth and the paradox of choice in the Czech Republic.“ Pp. 14 - 28  in Youth and Social Change in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, Charles Walker, Svetlana Stephenson (eds). Routledge.

Hráčková Pyšňáková, Michaela. 2013. „Understanding the Meaning of Consumption in Everyday Lives of Mainstream Youth in the Czech Republic.“ Pp. 39 - 77 in New Perspectives on Consumer Culture Theory and Research. Pavel Zahrádka and Renata Sedláková (eds). Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Pyšňáková, Michaela. 2011. “The Discovery of the ‘Mainstream’: The Value of Using Grounded Theory Method in Contemporary 

Research on ‘Post-revolutionary’ Consumer Generation in the Czech Republic.” Pp. 194 -196 in Social Research: An Introduction.  

2nd ed., David, M. and C. Sutton (eds). London: Sage. ISBN 978-1-84787-012-4. 

Articles in Academic Journals 
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Societal Marketing

I believe that research is a powerful tool to increase well being in society. In 2013 I co-founded the Center for Social Marketing - a research center that focuses on social issues such as poverty, inequality or aging society and addresses them through research, academic knowledge and marketing campaigns.

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