User Research Panels demystified –

Image courtesy Anna Dziubinska

A year back I was conducting user research for a suite of products. I was the lone gun and all of these products were being run in an agile methodology Each product followed a three-week sprint cycle. So time was not my BFF. I didn’t have the luxury of an amazing research budget.

As a researcher we (at least myself) are accustomed to writing a sexy recruitment brief and tossing it over to a research recruitment panel agency and lo behold, magically get a list of participants, all vetted and listed in a tidy spreadsheet. Nah! I didn’t have this luxury. Some of the products had a very niche type of users, while some had users who were relatively easy to recruit. I tried a few recruitment panel companies and didn’t get any success. So the logical decision was to recruit users from the existing user-base and use whatever budget was available only for incentives.

So problem solved, right? Well no… I still had to recruit and conduct the research for each product within a three week sprint cycle. Enter research panels.

Author: Anirban Basu Mallik

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