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Recruit interview participants
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Recruit interview participants

If you are thinking about conducting interviews for UX Research, you may be wondering: how can I find and recruit people who want to be interviewed? This reading will help you do just that!

Determine interview goals

You want to make sure that the interviews you conduct are rewarding for both you and the participants.

To get the most out of your time together, you need to set clear goals for the interview. As a UX designer, what do you want to learn from the interviews? Are there specific user issues or pain points you need to empathize with?

Here are some examples of common research goals when it comes to empathizing with users:

I want to understand the processes and emotions people experience related to the problem my product is trying to solve.

I want to identify common behaviors and experiences users have with the tasks my product is trying to solve.

I want to understand user needs and frustrations related to the product I am designing.

Write interview questions

Once you have the interview goals in mind, you can write the questions you will ask real people during the interviews. The better the interview questions align with your goals, the more useful the data you'll get.

When formulating interview questions, follow these best practices:

Ask open-ended questions

Open-ended questions give the interviewee the opportunity to answer freely, rather than with a simple "yes" or "no." Remember that the questions you ask during the interview should not lead or pressure the participant into a desired answer; instead, open-ended questions allow participants to share their true thoughts and perspectives.

Keep questions short and simple

Interview participants should be able to easily understand what you are asking.

Ask follow-up questions

In the empathy phase of the design process, interviews should be conversational, so it's a good idea to encourage participants to share more. After a participant answers a question, ask them "Why?" or use the phrase "Tell me more about that" to keep the conversation going.

Use a screener survey

Use a screener to select a representative sample of study participants, the participants you select for a research study should be based on your research objectives and the target users of the product you are developing. The best way to verify that potential participants meet the desired characteristics of the study and represent a variety of backgrounds is to send out a screener survey. A screener survey is a detailed list of questions that help researchers determine whether potential participants meet the requirements of the research study.

Screening participants often requires the collection of demographic data, which are characteristics of a group or individual. Demographic data that you can ask about in a screener survey include the following:


Geographic location

Job title or industry


It's important to recognize that asking demographic questions can be a sensitive and difficult area to navigate. Be aware of what questions you ask in screener surveys and how you ask them. Phrase questions to be respectful and inclusive, and make questions optional when asking for demographic data. You may want to preface demographic questions with a brief explanation of why the question is being asked. For example, "In the spirit of inclusive design, we are asking these questions to ensure we reach a diverse group of people."

Asking participants with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and abilities is extremely important to ensure that your designs are accessible and equitable. A representative sample is a small group of participants that represent both the target user group and user groups that are often marginalized. Surveying a representative sample will help you improve the overall user experience of your product because inclusive design benefits everyone. Ultimately, the research you conduct should help you create great experiences for all users!

Finding research participants

How and where you find study participants depends on the company you work for, the type of product you're designing, the time constraints for the research, the budget of the project, and the accessibility of the target users. Based on these project details, you can choose from a variety of ways to find research participants:

Personal Network

As a UX designer, your personal network is a great way to find interviewees! Think of family, friends, or colleagues who match the demographics of the target users you want to design for.

Existing user base

If you're researching and designing for an organization with an existing user base, you can likely recruit participants from that group who already have relationships. This may not be the case for your current project in this program, but recruiting from an existing user base is quite common in the real world.


If you're developing designs for an imaginary company or startup, the easiest way to recruit participants for your study is online. You can use your own social media to find research participants. However, there are also websites such as UserTesting and User Interviews, which are set up specifically for contacting research participants. You can also find online groups that have users with the demographic characteristics you want to survey.

Hallway testing

If recruiting participants online doesn't seem like an option, a less formal way to recruit for your study is to interview people in person. You can use a recruitment method known as "hallway testing," which means you ask people walking by in the "hallway" to try out the product you've designed. Try to position yourself in a location where you're most likely to encounter your product's target audience, such as a dog park or coffee store. Hallway testing can be effective if you're recruiting a small number of participants, if you've limited time, or if you want to do research for free. However, finding participants this way is risky because the people you solicit feedback from may not have all the characteristics of potential users of your product

Third-party recruiting agencies

Some companies have a budget for hiring third-party recruiters to recruit research participants. Recruiting agencies are useful because they save time and can often reach different users.

Reach out to participants

Once you've identified potential research participants, send an email introducing the project and yourself as a researcher. If you've the budget to offer an incentive for participating in a research study, such as a gift certificate, include that in the email as well.

Once you've confirmed the people you want to interview, it's a good idea to send out reminders via email the week before the interview and the night before the interview. This way, you can ensure that the people you've found will actually show up for the interview!

Research is an essential part of the UX design process and empathizing with users.

By taking the time to outline the goals of your research and recruit a representative sample of participants, you can ensure that the feedback you receive is valuable.

  • #InterviewGoals
  • #InterviewQs
  • #ScreenerSurvey
  • #ResearchParticipants

Table of contents
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Recruit interview participants β€’

7/13 topics available

Competitive Audits

  • Introduction to competitive audits


  • Limits to competitive audits


  • Steps to conduct competitive audits


  • Present a competitive audit


Design Ideation

  • Understand design ideation


  • Business needs during ideation


  • Use insights from competitive audits to ideate


  • Use "How might we" to ideate


  • Use Crazy Eights to ideate


  • Use journey map to ideate


Goal statements

  • Build a Goal statement


User flows

  • Introduction to user flows


  • Storyboarding user flows


  • Types of storyboards



  • Introduction to wireframes


  • Paper wireframes


  • Transition from paper to digital wireframes


  • Information architecture


Ethical and Inclusive Design

  • Identify Deceptive Patterns


  • Role as a UX designer


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