OD FAQs | How do I recruit people for user research?

We recommend recruiting people with a professional market research recruitment agency. We use Farron Research*. Farron has been doing recruitment for us from the beginning and also recruit for many other usability and market research companies. It costs about $100 – $130 to find people from specific demographics for your tests.

It is generally not a good idea to do recruitment yourself. As it is very time consuming and can be very frustrating for the uninitiated.  There is nothing worse that being set up for testing and the participant not showing up. If you have limited funds, you can read our popular tips about recruitment blog post. 

Sometimes clients give us lists of their customers and this is totally fine. However, recruitment may cost a bit more with a list. This is because recruiters generally use a panel of known people. These people have signed up to be participants and expect irregular calls from Farron.  She manages the lists so that people do not do too many of the same types of tests. Those on Farraons list are profiled, so that Farron can select the right demographic for your requirenents. List recruitment usually costs a little bit more than using Farron’s panel and people from lists are prone to not turning up to testing 🙂

Another reason to use a professional recruiter is that they are very strict when it comes to meeting the criteria. Their screeners are carefully put together and only include people based on an ordered priority of criteria.

Something we have become cautious about is a request to test with people with low-level web skills. Someone too lowly skilled can be a waste of a test opportunity. It can be frustrating for everyone involved, and  unfair on the test participant who feels like a failure. When it comes to web skills, we ask about:

  • frequency of use
  • tasks completed and importantly,
  • unassisted use.

We like to give Farron about a week to find 6 – 12 people and we brief Farron with the following usability recruitment guideline and briefing document.


To incentivise participants to take time out of their day, we provide a cash payment. The higher $ amount it is, the easier Farron’s job. Currently, the standard rate for a one hour usability session with general public is between $80 to $100.

If you need testing done, please be ready to complete the recruitment brief. Of course, we will help you with it!

You’ll find a list of other important usability testing requently asked questions on our website.

*Of course we are happy to use your chosen recruitment method.

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About Objective Experience

Objective Experience is your partner for customer experience strategy, research, design and usability testing. Our team of passionate Customer Experience Consultants uncover insights from your customers to optimize customer journeys across all digital and physical channels – mobile apps, websites, systems, shopper and retail. We research on how customers interact with products, services and environments through interviews, surveys, focus groups, desk research, eye tracking and usability testing. Actionable recommendations are developed from our in-depth observations and testing. Our partners and clients come from a wide range of businesses and industries - from large financial institutions and government organisations to technical consultancies, Universities and not-for-profit businesses. Objective Digital Holdings Pty Ltd has offices in Sydney (Objective Experience Sydney) and Singapore (Objective Experience Singapore). Eye Tracking, CX, UX, Usability Testing, Shopper Research & Design Thinking across Australasia and South East Asia.

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