Kevone Bennett, BS Psychology ’14, is a user experience researcher at YouTube Music, and his role is to learn and understand how consumers interact with the platform. Bennett talks with people around the world, in places like Japan, India, and Brazil, gathers their feedback, and then offers recommendations for improvements.
Bennett was first drawn to this field when researching universities that offered programs in human factors, the grounding discipline for his work. At an orientation for transfer students, he learned Mason has a concentration in this area at the undergraduate level, which was not common at the time.
Meeting the psychology faculty solidified his decision to come to Mason. Bennett went on to spend much of his college career working in the Creative Design and User Experience (CDUX) laboratory with Professor Robert Youmans and other undergraduate and graduate students. Bennett credits meeting Professor Youmans as the catalyst that launched his career.
Youmans encouraged Bennett to apply for a grant to do his own research and to learn differently from all the great professors in the department. When Bennett was first getting started, he recalls saying yes to everything. “I think it’s good to say ‘yes’ early in your career,” he says. “If there is an opportunity, take advantage of it.”
In addition to launching his work in the university’s psychology labs, Bennett believes Mason helped him learn transferable skills such as problem solving, communication, and—most importantly—storytelling. Much of his work is breaking down information and knowing how to write and say the right thing. As a researcher, telling the story is critical to the role.
When Bennett isn’t working behind the scenes at YouTube, he can be found behind the camera. He is an avid street photographer, has recently co-founded a streetwear brand, and is learning the art of tailoring. He also characterizes himself as a foodie with an uncompromising bias toward Jamaican food.
Published in the CHSS annual report 2020-21.