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EDIT: The products we design are B2C and used by regular folks like you and me. Think Skyscanner, Zalando, etc

I'm re-evaluating the sources of getting participants our UX team uses to recruit participants. These participants will be mainly invited to test prototypes and conduct interviews.

Besides the following, I'm curious if there are any other potential sources.

  • End users who are current customers. they joined by signing up on the user engagement program.
  • New employees, since they are still somewhat unbiased
  • Employees from other departments since they are not too close to the product team
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finding research participants is a problem a lot of teams struggle with. If you want to do it yourself or want to talk to your own users it can be really time-consuming to find the right users to talk to and to set up interviews.

In my previous teams the process for finding participants has been either:

  • Test things internally (interviewing colleagues).
  • Email out a survey to real users to understand who is interested in joining a research session and then use a tool like Calendly to book an interview for a few days down the line.

I found this process really time-consuming and slow, so I've built a user interviewing recruitment tool that let's user researchers set up video interviews with their own users in minutes (https://tryribbon.com) instead. It's saving a lot of time for a lot of our users, so hopefully it could help you find participants more quickly as well.

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It is not completely clear to me for whom the solution is made for, is it an internal software used by your company's employees or is it for your clients?

If it's an internal software, test it with those employees only. I don't see the point in investing resources to test a solution with people who will not be using it.

If it's for your customers, contact those who signed up. They will give you the most valuable data. If that is not possible what I usually do is this:

  1. If I have enough budget, I will use a recruitment service
  2. If I don't have enough budget, I will recruit them myself using sources like: forums, subreddits, social media groups. Don't forget to screen them before!
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Who you recruit needs to be a close match to who the software is for.

The first question therefore is "who is the software for?"

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