Conduct user research with high-value participants

Business benefits

Get important input more easily by identifying willing user research participants who reflect your highest value users.

Review your research questions to find audience members most relevant for insights.

Answer questions like:

  • Who are the people I want to buy my product?
  • Who are the people I want to use my product?
  • What do I need to show them to get to the goals that I want?

For example, if your user research is about onboarding new customers, look for participants who are unfamiliar with the product. If you want to improve your ecommerce shopping cart size, look for participants who typically buy multiple products.

Decide between new users and existing users to either gain fresh insights or test advanced functionalities.

New users provide a fresh perspective, and are more likely to point out the most egregious and difficult parts of an experience. Existing users already share your language and have moved past initial barriers.

Focus on end users rather than direct buyers.

Especially in a B2B context, your audience database likely includes buyers, not end users. Some research tools offer audience recruitment to get around this barrier.

Consider using an external partner, like a research agency, to find relevant users for your research.

For example, an agency like Respondent can help you recruit and schedule research with participants according to demographic and interest-based profiles, while also handling incentives and post-research follow-ups.

Develop a pitch that outlines why you’re seeking participants, what they’ll need to do and how long it will take, and what incentives they can expect.

Write screener questions that are specific, exclude people who will bias the results, and avoid making it obvious who you’re recruiting for.

Don’t make the desired answer obvious. For example, instead of asking are you 18-24 years old?, ask your audience to choose from age groups like 18-24, 25-30, and so on.

Screener questions can cover:

  • Demographics, like age, gender, and race.
  • Geographics.
  • Interests and preferences.
  • Level of experience with your product or industry.

Screen out participants who have a lot of experience with your product or industry, or user research in general, to continue getting fresh perspectives.

Incentivize users to participate in your research through a positive experience and tangible benefits like promotional products, gift cards, or a participation fee.

Your incentives should match the amount of time and effort invested into participation. In-person users typically require more incentives, as do professionals in your industry.

Choose the right number of users for the type you conduct to achieve data saturation.

For example, five product test users cover about 85% of usability issues. For quantitative research, you will need to calculate the correct sample size based on your audience and minimum realistic margin for error.

Focus on smaller numbers with more frequent tests to measure improvements, instead of fewer tests with larger audiences for point-in-time insights.

Last edited by @hesh_fekry 2023-11-14T09:53:42Z