Our participant pool

About the participant pool

In 2020, the library's UX team created an opt-in email list of people willing to participate in UX studies. The aim of these studies are to improve university websites, services, spaces, and more. The pool is open for anyone to join, though it's primarily for people affiliated with the university.

As of January 2022, the pool has over 360 subscribers including:

  • 250+ undergraduate students
  • 130+ student employees, graduate assistants, and interns
  • 60+ members of the community
  • 40+ graduate students
  • 30+ university staff
  • 10+ faculty & instructors

Using the participant pool

While managed by the library's UX team, the participant pool can be helpful for others on campus. Here are guidelines if you're interested in using the pool for your own recruitment.

Scope and criteria

The study being recruited for must be:

  • In service of improving experiences of people using University of Arizona services or products.
  • For program evaluation exempt from IRB, not rigorous studies intended to contribute to generalizable knowledge.

The pool cannot be used for a commercial or profit-seeking product or endeavor.

If asking for more than 30 minutes of participants' time, you must offer incentives. Examples include gift cards, food/drink, or swag.

Tips for success

For the best response rate, we advise you:

  • Keep the invitation to participate simple. Make it clear what is in it for them, why they should care, and if you are offering any incentives.
  • Avoid long and complicated surveys. Keep surveys approachable, succinct, and less than 5 minutes to complete.
  • Limit the ask to 30 minutes or less for moderated research (e.g. usability tests, interviews). We have found low response rates for invitations to focus groups that take over an hour, for example.
  • Visit The UX Cookbook for guidance on building successful UX studies.

Examples and inspiration

Here are some sample recruitment emails that had strong participation:

Example #1: Preference testing (survey-based)

Email subject: Vote on COVID-19 library poster wording

Email body:

The library is putting up posters to understand the level of safety in our spaces.

We've narrowed it down to 3 choices. Help us decide which one is best!

[CTA button: Help us pick]

Example #2: Usability testing (moderated)

Email subject: Help test out a new UA web interface!

Email body:

[Headline: Help us improve a new training tool and receive a gift of your choice]

A new online training tool is being created for students and employees across campus. It's called EDGE Learning and we need your help to make it better!

If you are a current UA student enrolled in classes but not working for the university, we invite you to meet with us for just 15 minutes to try out the tool on Wednesday, October 21, 9-9:30 am.

You'll be joining remotely over Zoom, and we'll guide you from there. As a thank you, we'll mail you a gift of your choice: A stadium bag with a USB adapter, notebook and pen, or a tracker tile.

We appreciate you and hope you are keeping well!

[CTA button: Sign up now]

Contact us

If you're interested in using the pool for your UX study or would like to learn more about this project, contact Leonardo Echeverria, UX Researcher at the University of Arizona Libraries.