UX Research participants. Harder to pick than a broken nose?

Recruiting the right participants is a numbers game, so I was unsure sure what to expect returning to New Zealand from London.

All the insights, opportunities and reality-check moments which emerge from customer research or usability studies can be thrown down the pan if you’re not talking to the right people.

If your target sample is iPhone users who’ve downloaded from the appstore, that’s a pretty clear ‘consumer’ type brief. You probably won’t struggle to find a few of these and can’t go too far wrong.

…But what about when your client’s product is business to business and still at concept stage? You know the demographic, market segment, and perhaps the industry the potential customer base work in, but you need to know they are ‘warm’ to your product.

This is when a good recruiter is worth gold to the credibility of your User Experience project.
The ‘face to face’ research component is sometimes only a slice of a User Experience or User Centred Design project but the insights gained and direction provided can have a powerful effect on the end product. Being certain that these insights come from the right place and are based on truths is essential.

Finding a sample truly representative of your potential audience, achieving a realistic spread of demographic and many other factors across a small sample of people is a professional art form. Rather than asking yes/no screener questions, they’ll use subtle but revealing attitudinal questions to weed out the less useful participants.

I’ve recently worked with a company in Christchurch who had this level of attention to detail and came up with the goods on a tight brief.

If you are looking to find a solid and accurate sample, I can recommend you get in touch with Karen at Opinions info@opinions.co.nz

Do you know of any good recruiters for User research or Usability in New Zealand? or viewing facilities around the country ?   … or perhaps you know of some to avoid…
I’d be interested to hear.

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