Participant Recruiting & Coordination

Skill theme: 
Coordination & Data Management
Coordination & Data Management

Participant Segments & Screener is a tool for action that supports effective participant recruiting. You will also encounter, from time to time, ad-hoc recruiting and coordination opportunities from the relationships established in a Customer Advisory Council or Front-Line Collaboration.

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The challenge

To ensure validity of our insights, we must ensure that research is conducted with the right participants. Participants who do not engage in the contexts or behaviors you are investigating will not be appropriate for the study at hand. You need to understand the potential suitability of a participant, as well as their motivation for being involved in a study, to appropriately frame and interpret what you learn from them.

Just getting access to the right participants is a challenge in skilled professional or highly regulated environments. It may take outreach through a variety of channels and networks to secure appropriate participants.

Quality of input data begins with the right participants, and is also a function of participant trust. The first contact and each follow-up coordination effort will set the tone for your relationship with each participant: you must attend to these relationships from now on and continue with care and respect until the project is complete.

The approach

Arranging to speak with the right participants, and making it happen smoothly, is a foundational skill in any research-practice.

Therefore, screen for recruiting in a manner consistent with the behavioral criteria previously identified in the screener criteria. Pay attention to the bias in your outreach channels and the implications of a convenience sample on the outcomes of the study. Leverage professional relationships or personal networks to gain access to difficult-to-reach participants.

Coordinate participation with the participant's experience in mind. Set clear expectations, be respectful and transparent, and as much as possible have a single individual or team manage contact with participants from initial outreach through interview follow-up. Help your participants with reminders and clear instructions as necessary, and be prepared to answer any questions they may ask about the process or the paperwork. 

Track your recruiting efforts in a central place, ensuring that participants’ identities and personally identifiable information are held in strict confidence by the smallest possible group of team members.

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The right participants at the right time, coupled with a guiding Interview Protocol, unlock every format of moderated user research: User Interview, Field Interview, Usability Test; Concept Test; IA Study; Experience Sample / Diary Study.

Last updated:
Apr 26, 2020 19:18


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