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How to recruit for user research

How to recruit for user research

Tools and techniques for recruiting UX research participants.

Participant Identification

  • Past qualitative research
  • Current analytic reports
  • Customer segments
  • User profiles

Recruitment Screener

  • What Screeners Look Like
  • Basic Demographics
  • Behavioral Demographics
  • Quotas

Recruitment Methods

  • Internal Versus Public Recruiting
    • Self-Recruiting
    • Cold calling
    • In-person intercepts
  • Online intercepts
  • Other alternatives
    • Outsourcing Recruiting
    • Third-party recruiting
    • Client-based recruiting


  • Backups
  • No shows
  • Duds

Recruitment Challenges

  • I Don’t Have Users…Yet
  • Small Target Audience
  • Common Lies We Tell Ourselves
    • Everyone is a user
    • Everything is a secret

Exercise: Priming Your Screener

“There is a quick exercise you can conduct with your team to prime your recruitment screener. Together, you will map out what key demographics you want to target and the types of behaviors that you want to observe.

  1. List out basic demographics.

    List out the basic demographics like age, education, income, family, ethnicity, and employment. Members of the team, on their own, select the demographics they think matter for your product and then share with the group. Based on what the team shares, find the top three to five demographics and write those down for all to see.

  2. Write down desired behaviors.

    Next, have each person on the team write down the actions or behaviors they would like to learn more about that people do with your product. Once they’ve listed out their behaviors, have them share them with the group and note any overlaps. Discuss any behaviors that are mentioned once to understand why that person thought it was important to research more about it. Likewise, discussing overlaps uncovers clear gaps in existing knowledge. Once more, pick the top three to five behaviors that the team agrees are the most important to learn more about.

  3. Write screening surveys.

    Once the basic demographics and behavioral demographics are identified, have team members suggest questions and answers to address the behaviors identified in Step 2 that can be used to screen potential participants. The resulting survey will be your draft screener, which you can review and iterate after finishing the group exercise.”



Posted on: September 22, 2018, 6:40 am Category: Uncategorized

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