User research is critical when validating ideas for a product. But finding participants and scheduling interviews is not as easy as you’d think. People are excited for the results, but they don’t understand all the tasks involved in the upfront recruiting.
We needed to conduct a set of user interviews for a recent project. After a few rounds of interviews with the client’s customers, we wanted to get some other perspectives on the problem. Even with some mail merge tools, the time it took to coordinate interviews was substantial — and that was with an already defined pool of participants.
Luckily a colleague suggested using the company User Interviews (clever name, right?) to facilitate tasks for this round of participants. It had a lot of benefits. (Note: I do not work for User Interviews and have no affiliation with them.)
The first line on the website calls User Interviews service: “The fastest way to recruit research participants.” For our project, we:
- Set up an account.
- Picked our interview needs.
- Chose our study type.
- Filled out information about the project and the type of users we were looking for.
That was it. Within a few hours, we started to receive interview candidates.
You can choose a finite time and number of participants or use ongoing support. We needed a fixed number of interviews, so I can only comment on the “Pay as You Go” plan. Compared to the time I would have spent vetting candidates and setting up interviews, the cost seemed very reasonable. Also, you only pay when a participant completes a session.
User Interviews completely handles the distribution of Amazon gift cards to participants that complete interviews. They recommend amounts based on the time that you are asking of participants. For example, we were conducting 30-minute interviews, and they suggested $40. (We ended up giving $30).
The incentives are baked into the final pricing per participant. They handle the distribution as well, which is one less thing to worry about.
I’ve found this the most cumbersome and time-consuming part of conducting interviews. There are usually a lot of emails back and forth, cross-referencing of calendars, and inevitably some no-shows.
With User Interviews, you can either sync your calendar or pick blocks of time and let participants schedule themselves based on your availability. Of all the interviews we’ve conducted, we’ve only had one no show so far. I can’t even estimate the time savings of having this pool of engaged participants ready to interview.
Resources and Communication
Each day I would receive email reminders about upcoming interviews. This was incredibly helpful when managing my schedule for the day.
The site has a wealth of UX research resources and blog posts that I found useful and will continue to reference. And the Product Manager in me really likes how they publicize their road map.
I found User Interviews to be a very helpful and time-saving tool to recruit and schedule user interviews. It provided a reliable, cost-effective way for our clients to obtain valuable user research. It also let me focus my time on shaping questions, conducting the interviews, and synthesizing the data rather than logistics and recruiting.