The Usability Blog
A Practical Guide to User Experience Insights

5 Secrets for Usability Recruiting

6306132745_347e21a6e8_oEvery usability research project requires the right participants, It takes a lot of concentrated effort to get those participants. To highlight the importance of a recruiting here are five secrets for usability testing straight from our recruiting team.

  1. The first and most critical step, build a robust screener. The screener is the most important part of recruiting; it will qualify or disqualify a user while also placing them in the correct segment.  Also incorporate multiple screener formats when possible.  For example, using a short online screener to first gather high-level information, followed by a phone screen.
  2. Floaters or extra users are a must. There is nothing worse than having a room full of stakeholders waiting to watch a usability session, only to have a last-minute cancellation or no-show. Paying extra for floater coverage is well worth the cost.
  3. Give yourself enough time to complete the recruit. Some projects can be recruited in a few days, but always give enough time for any hurdles that may arise, especially if there are complicated segments involved. A good rule of thumb is two weeks for a standard usability project.
  4. Know your database or client/customer pool and when to outsource. Even the best recruiting agencies must outsource from time to time, depending on the needs and requirements of each project.
  5. Set expectations with your users. Inform each user what to expect during their session, especially if they have never participated in usability research before. Send them directions, parking instructions and a direct phone number in case they get lost. A frazzled user is not a good way to start a session.

If you find yourself in need of recruiting services, contact us today.


Sign up to become a Paid Test Participant.

Sign UP Now


“From beginning to end, everyone I interacted with from Usability Sciences was professional and thorough. I was impressed with the testing technology, the methodology and especially the team that led the project. This is one of the most impactful pieces of research I have ever delivered to my team. Thank you!”

Senior Director
Digital Media Television Networks

“USC managed tight timelines and a client team that was tough to wrangle, But more importantly, the quality of the work was exemplary. It's work I would hold up as "the way we should do things" and share as a case study across the organization.”

Group Product Director
Digital Marketing, Pharmaceutical Company