How to Find and Engage with UX-research Participants: Manual | EightDevs
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Tools & Techniques for Organizing Research for UX Project

  • Xenia Liashko
  • 2020-02-28 17:22:00


1. Start Looking for the First Test Participants as Early as Possible

Let's say your application idea is finished and looks promising. You have sketched it, defined a significant amount of content and improved your inheritance. You may have started exploring some design or interactive elements. This is the moment to STOP & START your search for your first research participants.

You have sketched it, defined a significant amount of content and improved your inheritance. Nevertheless, initiating research at this early stage in your product’s timeline is crucial. Remember, we repeat, repeat and repeat again. So everything will change no matter what.

No one ever has free time. Looking around and finding several office colleagues for occasional feedback is not feasible. People are busy and focused on their matters. Entering the schedule feels intrusive and unprofessional. People's time is extremely valuable.

2. Prepare a list of participants

Entering the schedule feels intrusive and unprofessional. Make a note of the names of your friends and colleagues you will consider for feedback. Make a list. Start incorporating them into your thought process.

Always keep the following in mind: The time your friends and colleagues devote to providing feedback on your idea is invaluable. Always remember to give them credit.

3. Start a conversation

Save your idea in one sentence. Then tell your friends in a quick and easy way. Watch them while talking to them. Planting seeds early for your ideas. Don't hold back. People's responses are worth gold. See how you tell your friends about your idea and their reactions. Note their expressions.

Are you confused Or maybe you're just not listening? Every reaction is a good reaction. Ask them if they can answer a few additional questions at the right time. Tell them about the observation date, days, weeks, months.

4. Ask research questions

Write down more detailed research questions about your product. Talk to friends you have already talked to and invite them for coffee. In the opening statement below, touch friends and colleagues who have expressed an interest in your project: "Do you remember how I talked to you about my Project X [I hope a friend nods now]. Now I am ready to give you more information. I would like to hear your thoughts, can I have your opinions?" [A friend should nod now].

Now you are good at inviting a friend for coffee. Ask research questions. Since it is important to save their answers, it is equally important to record their voices as a backup. Make sure you submit an application to register their consent. You are now building your own research group. This will be your most valuable working group. Always keep a record of your friends who gave you the first research questions. Save your emails, phone numbers, and future availability.

5. Extend your research to the Google survey form

Google Forms is useful if you want to access a network of people who live further or prefer to respond online. Google forms have Analytics built-in. Extending your search using Google Forms will provide true data. The Google questionnaire form serves as an access point to surveys and as a data aggregator. You can access Google Forms online via Google Drive (see the path in signature). After accessing the form, there are many options for formatting questions, inserting multimedia content, designing the entire look and feel, and collecting emails and data from respondents. Try to make the reviews as attractive as possible. Send it to any number of people you have access to.

Post to social media. You will be surprised who will answer you. Add a section where respondents can enter their email address and/or phone number, if available, for follow-up questions or a face-to-face meeting. Remember that respondents provide valuable information and you always want to express your appreciation. Always add the line THANK YOU at the end of the questionnaire.

6. Meet me in person

A personal conversation with a research participant may be the most rewarding but also the most time-consuming experience for you as a researcher. If you are organizing a face-to-face meeting, you should give the respondent a small gift after completing the study.

A personal conversation is the responsibility of both parties. It can be exciting if your colleague is open and communicative. However, the participant may also be shy and speechless or nervous and overly responsive. As a researcher, you need to be well prepared with exciting questions, a positive attitude, a deeply compassionate listening style, and an open smile. Take a second person to take notes so that you can focus on the conversation with the participant.

For designers, discovering the design process is an added bonus. Do it step by step. Give yourself time to learn and master this skill. Do it step by step.

7. Skype or video chat with research candidates who prefer to communicate online

If your project is going well and you know the candidate well, ask them to engage in personal video chat. Be responsible because of time = money for sharing time.20-30 minutes is a good time. You will receive many good reviews in a short time! Make sure you set your expectations beforehand and stick to them. Send the respondent a thank you card with a surprise gift. He or she will answer you many times in the future.

8. Summarize all your data and synthesize it

You now have a lot of feedback. Arrange them into categories, quotes, pain points, highlights and areas for improvement. So you have enough time to improve your product. Data aggregation can be done using affinity mapping, function priority mapping, skeleton drawing and redrawing, and card sorting. This is your participation in the iteration process. This is a great place.


Appreciating the time your friends and colleagues give you feedback is invaluable.

Always thank them. Trust, honesty, and empathy are components of the research group's composition. Appreciate your colleagues for life. They help shape your product for the better. And when you are ready to test the next iteration, you have created a research group.