Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Calling and calling again, part of UX Foundations: Usability Testing.
- Recruiting participants involves spending a lot of time on the phone. Although it's possible to do some of the recruiting process online, and emails, and using survey tools, there's something about speaking directly to people that helps you understand whether they're likely to be a good participant or not. You'll need to call people to go through the screener, send them confirmation details, and then call them back again the day before they're due to show up so that you can reconfirm that they'll attend. The first call will be the recruiting call.
You'll explain who you are, why you're calling, remind the person how you got their details, and then check they're still interested in participating before going through your screener questions. If the individual meets your profile, you can arrange a session time with them, and then check their email details so that you can send a confirmation email. Immediately after the call, send out a confirmation email with all the necessary information in it. Start by thanking the individual for agreeing to participate, recap what it is they'll be doing in general terms, and then give them instructions on how to find your location.
Also, if you asked people to bring something specific with them, remind them of that in the email, too. I've found it really helps if you tell people to bring the email with them to the session. You really don't care if they do or not, but it'll mean they have the instructions with them when they realize they don't know where they're going, or when they get to your building's reception desk and don't know who to ask for. It's also really important to call every participant on the day before the study and reconfirm that they'll be attending.
This is a good time to reiterate how important the study is to you and how thankful you are that they agreed to attend. Your aim at this point is to make sure that people remember their commitment. This call is really helpful to ensure that everybody shows up, or at least that you have time to reschedule or find a replacement if they tell you they can't attend the session. Once you've been through this recruiting process even a single time, you'll realize why recruiting companies charge what they do to find participants for you.
The time and effort involved can take you away from your normal job. You might have to make the calls in the evenings in order to reach your potential participants. Ensuring that everybody turns up when they said they would can turn into a nightmare. However, it's all worth it when you end up with well-qualified participants who give you great product feedback.
- What is usability testing?
- Finding the right participants
- Making a screener
- Asking the right questions
- Avoiding bias
- Making a task list
- Creating the test environment
- Running a pilot study
- Moderating sessions
- Capturing real-time observations
- Analyzing and reporting your results