The SpoolCast with Jared Spool

The SpoolCast has been bringing UX learning to designers’ ears around the world since 2005. Dozens and dozens of hours of Jared Spool interviewing some of the greatest minds in design are available for you to explore.

Episode #86 Recruiting for Usability Testing Followup

December 9, 2009  ·  38 minutes

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User experience research lives or dies by the appropriateness of the participants in the study. If the participants match the real users, you're set. We held a Virtual Seminar with Dana Chisnell to discuss recruiting for usability testing, and this is the followup podcast to that seminar. In the podcast, Dana answers remaining questions from the seminar.

Show Notes

User experience research lives or dies by the appropriateness of the participants in the study. If the participants match the real users, you're set. But if the participants aren't like the target users, the project probably dies an ugly death. Worse, the design that is based on the bogus data croaks in public.

Earlier this Fall, I asked usability testing expert Dana Chisnell to present a UIE Virtual Seminar on one of the trickier parts of user research projects—Recruiting for Usability Testing. In her presentation, she talked about how to source and screen participants, how to compensate them, and even why you should do the recruiting rather than outsourcing it. We had more excellent questions from the audience than we could ask during the live event. So, I sat down with Dana to record this podcast and cover some of the remaining issues. If you find yourself wanting more afterward, don’t forget you can still purchase a recording of the 90-minute session, Recruiting for Usability Testing.

During the podcast, Jared asked Dana to dig into these questions, and more:

  • Why recruit based on behavior, not demographics?
  • How many people should you recruit (as opposed to how many you should test) for a user research project?
  • How do you define recruiting criteria for a product that doesn’t exist yet?
  • How do you take time zones into consideration when recruiting for remote usability testing?
  • How do you word your subject lines in emails for the recruitment process?