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User recruitment: What doesn't bring you joy
 should be automated

Challenges and solutions for recruiting participants for user tests.
This is an adaptation of my presentation from UX camp Amsterdam and UX camp Europe (Berlin). Grey text is explaining some of the slides instead of me talking.

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User recruitment: What doesn't bring you joy
 should be automated

  1. 1. User recruitment What doesn't bring you joy should be automated Den Tserkovnyi @dtserkovnyi
  2. 2. Photo by Rob Janssen
  3. 3. I work at a product company called Studyportals. We help students to find education abroad. Most of us studied abroad and it was amazing! We want to share that feeling with everyone.
  4. 4. Our product In simple words we have a website. It’s visited by almost 3 million users a month.
  5. 5. We have 6 teams and we design & build lots of stuff
  6. 6. • Monthly tactical research • Feature based tests • Strategic long-term We test a lot
  7. 7. 5 design sprints in parallel
  8. 8. 5×5=25 users
  9. 9. Observers + no-shows = loss of credibility
  10. 10. BUT
  11. 11. Let’s start from the beginning
  12. 12. So you built an awesome prototype …
  13. 13. But how are you going to test it?
  14. 14. Usability test? Great idea!
  15. 15. Who are you going to invite?
  16. 16. Friends? Relatives? Colleagues? That guy?
  17. 17. User recruitment Who likes to recruit users? Please raise your hand
  18. 18. Wait…
  19. 19. • Professional testers • Money • Available users • Middleman let's imagine you don't have unlimited resources for user research... Why not agency?
  20. 20. Lower overhead cost & pay to the user
  21. 21. Students as users Our users are students, should be easy to recruit? Well, easier than medical doctors for sure, but…
  22. 22. We struggled with it as long as I can remember
  23. 23. Referrals GDPR
  24. 24. Campus visit!
  25. 25. Warm Summer day True story
  26. 26. Great success! 32 students were recruited in half a day
  27. 27. 1 showed up to the test
  28. 28. Remember I mentioned Summer? Exams
  29. 29. How it worked 1. Get users 2. Send invites 3. Send reminders & hope for the best 4. Test
  30. 30. And test more If there are no shows
  31. 31. A lot of effort for unpredictable results
  32. 32. Remote users?
  33. 33. No user background bias Based on location
  34. 34. Easier to find
  35. 35. Closer to real environment
  36. 36. Hack day Day for experiments and learning every two weeks. When we are not busy fitting dinosaurs inside of the slide we do projects that make our life easier or more delightful
  37. 37. Automating parts of user recruitment
  38. 38. Recruit Screen Schedule Interview At a glance
  39. 39. Recruit Targeted ad Email registered users Previously recruited users
  40. 40. Screen • Critical questions first (Save time for users) • Consent form (Do not record personal data before consent) • Personal details • Contacts (phone number, Skype, email)
  41. 41. Phone number decreased no shows
  42. 42. Better screening, based on personas
  43. 43. Schedule • Repeat technical requirements • Repeat technical requirements • Request confirmation via email • Send reminders
  44. 44. User calls from supermarket
  45. 45. Don’t blame the user Blame your unclear instructions
  46. 46. Empathise! We noticed that people who do not confirm their participation often do not show up, that makes user researchers sad. And we need them to be happy.
  47. 47. Interview In-house Mobile remote & in-house Desktop remote moderated
  48. 48. Automate Connect all services to Airtable Record users and log sessions Send reminders Share with the team
  49. 49. Go wild!
  50. 50. 148 referrals 16 screener completions 3.32 EUR/conversion 10 students for the test Numbers
  51. 51. Demo From the user perspective
  52. 52. What else? Recruit more than you need No-shows are expensive (pay more than participants’ hourly rate) Experiment with research methods Don’t forget about behavioral data
  53. 53. https://xkcd.com/1205/
  54. 54. How are you doing it? Discussion
  55. 55. Ask me anything @dtserkovnyi

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