recruiting ux research participants


If you need research participants, you’re on a tight deadline to collect data, and you’ve exhausted your personal network(s), including current users of your product, then here are two suggestions that produced decent results for me: (1) get stakeholder buy in so that you can offer good incentives and (2) expand your participant pool through subreddits or other groups on social media.

the full story

I’m currently doing proof-of-concept research, and I needed to recruit people with particular professional skillsets to talk with me. I joined a large, active reddit community created for members of this group, posted a concise explanation of my aims and needs, and offered a gift card to anyone willing to spend up to 45mins on a video call with me.

I posted on a Thursday in the middle of the day, and, between Thursday and Sunday received 10 expressions of interest and have (so far) booked and conducted four interviews.

I titled the post to reflect the incentive. For example, “$50 Amazon Gift Card for Mechanical Engineer Interviews,” and, in the post itself, I summarized the following:

  • Purpose of the study (one sentence)
  • A few desired participant demographics (one sentence)
  • Logistics of the study (one sentence or less)
  • Call to action (one sentence)

I also had a longer document worked up that amplified the first three bullets and explained the tactics we would take to handle and protect participant’s data.

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