What is user research and why should I participate?
User research takes customer feedback and uses it to help uncover issues underlying products and services. Many of these issues have to do with the product’s usability, that is, how effective, efficient, and satisfied users are when interacting with the product. User research can take different forms, from one-on-one sessions with a researcher to focus groups to online surveys. Businesses are able to create more usable products and services by using your feedback to drive the decisions made during the development process. When you participate in user research, you get to interact with the latest technology in a setting where your opinions really matter. Also, you can expect to receive between $50-$200 gratuity (in the form of a check) for taking the time to participate.

I’ve never done a user study before – is that okay?
Of course! Most of our studies are supposed to feel like what it would be like to use a product in a normal setting, such as at home or work. You probably interact with software and products every day, and that’s all the experience you need to give us really useful feedback. Remember, we’re testing the product, not you – there are no wrong answers, and all your feedback is valuable.

What kind of products do you test?
We run user experience studies on all types of products, software, and services from a variety of companies around the world. We run studies on technical products (server software and tools, tools for developers, etc.) and consumer products (mobile apps, websites, skincare products, etc.). Whatever your experience and background, we’ll most likely have a study for your profile!

How do I participate in a research study?
It’s really easy. The first step is to enter your contact information into our Participant Database. As we start recruiting for a particular study, we alert those in our Participant Database via email. If you are interested in a study and meet the criteria, you will be asked to complete a brief (5 minute) questionnaire. If you qualify, we will invite you to participate. We do our best to schedule a study time that is convenient for you, including evenings and weekends. You will be sent a confirmation email when a study time has been agreed upon. The day before your study, expect to receive a reminder call. We understand that schedules often change, but please provide at least 24 hours’ notice, by email or phone, when rescheduling or cancelling.

How do you select participants for a study?
Every study has different participant requirements, based on the user profiles for whatever product or service is being evaluated. Criteria can range from basic information, like your age or gender, to very specific, like the type of phone, operating system, or skills you have.  We will include study criteria with each study announcement, as well as a Participant Profile Questionnaire that will help us determine if you fit the profile and quota required for the study.  We work with many companies and teams, and will most likely have a study that fits your profile within a month of you joining!

How long are research studies, and how much will I be paid to participate?
Typically, studies are 1-2 hours and provide between $50-$200 in gratuity (in the form of a check). That said, the length and compensation varies for each study, depending on the type of study being conducted. You will be informed of the specifics in the initial email that announces the study. Gratuity is paid by check immediately following your study session, unless otherwise noted in the study announcement.

Where do the research studies take place?
Many of our research studies are conducted in our Redmond office, although sometimes they take place remotely. Our office address is 17602 Union Hill Road, Redmond, WA, 98052. Note: Online and GPS directions are not always accurate, so please follow the map and directions provided here.

Do I need to bring anything with me to a research study?
Nope! Unless otherwise noted, all we ask is that you arrive on time and be prepared to give honest feedback.

How will the information I provide be used, and is it kept private?
Your privacy and that of our clients is crucial to us. Your information is considered confidential and is only used for internal reporting between User Research International and our research partners. In order to participate, you must have a valid Social Security number and sign a non-disclosure agreement. The non-disclosure agreement is intended to protect product information shared during the research study.

Audio and video of each research session is recorded, but participant names are removed from recordings. Clips from the recordings may be used in research presentations, but these presentations are only ever internal to User Research International and our research partners. As is true during any part of the research study, your feedback and participation are entirely voluntary.

How can I make sure I don’t miss a study opportunity?
To make sure you are up-to-date on our latest studies, be sure we have current contact info from you if you make any changes. And be sure to like us on Facebook – we update all of our studies there, and often share last-minute cancellations or extra incentives that might be attractive to you!