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Talk | Meeting Participant Needs in your Research Operations

Research operations are the people, tools and processes that enable user research to happen and scale. There are users of the operations that we put in place. To be able to build great tools and put smooth processes in place we need to understand the needs of our users.

Lots has been documented about the needs of a researcher. Participants are users of research operations too. They are users of the recruitment process and they use the tools we put in place to collect data. We must centre the recruitment and tools research operations pillars around participant needs.

We conducted a discovery to answer the question “what journey does a user research participant take?” so that we could understand how we could design future research operations that will help us to get deeper insights.

Our discovery research questions were:

  • Where does the journey of a user research participant begin and end?
  • What do user research participants need and when?
  • What’s it like to be a participant in a user research interview?
  • Are these needs being met today, how and by who?
  • How might we better meet these needs, and what would happen if we did?

We spoke with:

  • Participants of research
  • Lab managers
  • Recruitment specialists
  • User researchers

We discovered the tasks that potential participants need to complete to be able to volunteer for and take part in research.

We’ll share our findings to enable a conversation on how we can design our research operations to better meet participants needs. Our hypothesis is that by designing our operations around participants we’ll be able to get better research insights because we’ll empower more people to take part in user research.

Nic Price
Webhead, information architect and service designer
Ben Garvey-Cubbon
User Research Practice Lead at OVO Energy