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The User Interviews Contributor Guidelines

Carrie Boyd
November 14, 2018

Here at User Interviews we’re all about helping teams make better business decisions by making user research easier, faster, and more joyful. And we hope our content does that too. To make sure we’re making quality stuff, we need your help! If you like to write, talk, or ramble about user research, we would love to collaborate with you.

Our blog, newsletter, and Field Guide are designed to be useful and inspiring resources for researchers of all types and experience levels. We’re also launching a podcast and a webinar series to help build community around a discipline we love and are huge believers in: UX research.

We feature ideas, stories, articles, and contributions of all kinds from user research practitioners. We would love to hear from you!

We call our blog “Views,” and our newsletter “Fresh Views,” for two reasons.

1) We love qualitative research, and user interviews in particular (eh hem), and so we love using interviews as a key format in our content. And we hear our audience of researchers, product managers, designers, marketers, and entrepreneurs likes it too!

2) We want to highlight people with a point-of-view. Fundamentals have their place, but what do you believe that not everyone does? What have you actually learned from the field? How do you bring these insights together in new and interesting ways that will inspire your peers? What do you like to read? That’s the kind of stuff we want to publish.

Here are some ways you can contribute.

Email carrie@userinterviews.com to submit your ideas for the below or something else you have in mind that fits with our overall vision.

1. Participate in Other Side of the Table

It is pretty wonderful

This is a light lift for most researchers. Just copy and paste the template into a new document, then fill in your responses. Feel free to modify the questions or add additional ones. We love featuring videos, sketches, and photographs from your experiences!

Here are a few recent interviews from this series:

Caveat: I can’t promise we’ll publish every submission if you don’t have something interesting to say, and we always go through some light editing.

2. Write something

If you have something good to share, we want to hear it

If you have something to say and are looking for an outlet for that, we’d love to feature you and help promote it.

  • Here is a recent article written by Ashley Tudor, formerly head of UX research at Thumbtack, for inspiration. 🙋
  • Here is another from JH Forster, our VP of product, on what exercise and user research have in common: 26.2 Things. 🏃

Good to know: We love straight talk. We describe our audience of PMs, UXers, researchers as:

seriously curious, playfully deliberate, humbly confident, collaboratively independent, pragmatically empathetic. We’re looking for honest content that reflects these complexities.

3. Guest write “Fresh Views,” our newsletter

Image result for endless newspaper print

If you’d like to write an issue of our newsletter, and, optionally, link that back to an article you’ve also written for Views, great! Let us know your ideas. Here are a few recent issues, but you could write something a bit longer and stand alone too:

4. Submit your Medium articles to our publication

Already writing all the time? Awesome!

If you are already in the habit of publishing on Medium, we’d love to continue building out our publication with original content that helps extol the virtues of, question the assumptions of, and generally make us think critically about, user research.

To do that, email carrie@userinterviews.com, who will add you as a contributor to our publication, then follow these steps, pictured below:

5. Contribute to our Field Guide

It’s our map to the UX Research World

We launched the UX Research Field Guide with the goal of creating a rich resource of fundamental UX research content. We wrote all about it here. In short, we want it to have a little something for everyone, have customizable delivery (email, bookmark, web push, etc), be approachable and engaging, be living/breathing/feedback driven.

We want to hear your field stories!

On the living/breathing bit, we would love to continuously add more stories like below. If you have a story to tell from the field, and better yet with photos, sound, video, or sketches, please share those for inclusion. These can be quick anecdotes (serious or humorous or both), lessons learned, a way to think about a particular principal, tricks that work, etc. They can be just a couple sentences of a short essay.

You can see all published topics here, and also, generally, what’s coming in the next few months.

Submitting your content and ideas

If you want to toss some ideas around before committing to a draft, email carrie@userinterviews.com anytime with those ideas. Include a sentence or two describing the point of the thing and then how you’ll tell that story.

Draft checklist

Once you have a draft, share as a Google Doc and grant access to carrie@userinterviews.com. Make sure to include:

  • A couple of suggested headlines that actually describe the content AND are compelling 🏃
  • Include your name, title, company, and where you’d like those to link (e.g. Twitter, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook if you’re so bold). 🙋
  • Please spell check and copy edit first to best of your ability. A good tip is to write it in one (or more) setting, then read it through and edit in another. ✏️
  • Images, videos, soundcloud links, illustrations, drawings, sketches, extemporaneous notes—anything that provides texture to your story is awesome. 🖼️

Please allow at least two weeks for editing and another two for publication. It’s possible we can move quicker at times, but we can’t promise it will.

Don’t like to write? Do like to talk?

6. We’re launching a podcast

If you’re more into talking about user research, we’d love to have you as a guest on our podcast, Awkward Silences. We’ve recorded a few episodes so far, and we’re excited to share them with you. The podcast is hosted by Erin, our VP of Marketing and JH, our VP of Product. They love to talk about research, product design, UX, and anything else that comes up (looking at you, politics)!

Our podcast is a place for conversation and, occasionally, some awkward silences. It’s casual, playful, and full of great insight. If your friends are sick of hearing you talk about user research, the podcast is the place for you. We’ll never get tired of talking about research.

Since this is a podcast and sound is pretty important, we do have a few requirements for contributors:

  • Please find a quiet place to chat. We’re not sound engineers and can’t cut out the background noise 😞
  • Be sure your microphone works well. You can test your microphone here. Listen to the quality of your voice and the amount of background noise you can hear. If you're not sure about the quality, just hit save and send the file to us for review.
  • In a quiet and well-insulated room, you may do fine with the microphone in your computer, but a wired mic is generally better. USB mics work really well and can be quite inexpensive. Anchor has some great recommendations.
  • We record the podcast through Zoom, audio only. For this to work, in addition to a good mic you’ll need a stable internet connection. You can test your connection here.

Want to contribute to the podcast? Email carrie@userinterviews.com to get started!

7. We want to create more webinars

Image result for professor ted
Got something to teach?

We love creating content that helps people learn more about user research, and that means video too! We want to create more webinars like this one. If you have a presentation/talk you want to share, we’d love to see it.

We want the webinars to be an opportunity for people to learn more about user research and the community. Therefore, we’re looking for contributors who have an idea they are passionate about and can present on for about 20 minutes. We’d love to be able to conduct webinars live so people have the opportunity to ask questions, but we’re flexible and down to chat about logistics with you.

Want to create a webinar with us? Email carrie@userinterviews.com.

Do you have another idea for a content collaboration? I’d love to hear it! Just email me at carrie@userinterviews.com and we can chat about all things content and user research.

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Tools to Help Find and Schedule Participants

These tools will help you find and schedule participants. Some of them pull from a vast internal database of real users, while others merely facilitate finding your own, such as installing a snippet of JavaScript on your website that will direct users to your test.

User Interviews

UserTesting Alternatives: User Interviews is a popular UserTesting alternative for sourcing, scheduling, and rewarding test participants.

  • Pricing: Plans start at $150/month with pay-as-you-go available options starting at $30 per recruited participant. View full pricing details here.
  • Rating: 4.0/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Recruit and manage participants for research.

Since we wrote the list, we thought we’d introduce ourselves first. (You didn’t really expect otherwise, did you?)

The User Interviews platform matches participants for you based on your provided criteria and screener questions. You can review profiles then accept or reject participants who initially qualify. We also handle scheduling and incentive payments to give you more time back in your day. Our customers report speed, ease of use, and high participant quality as the best things about our platform. 

The overall setup process is quick, automated, and streamlined. On average, we have participants for you to choose from just 3.5 hrs after you submit your listing and screener questions. 

Participant quality is high because we actively work to identify and block “professional testers” who lie about their background to get money. This means you’re more likely to get better data from your research participants. We also have ways to reduce no-show participants.

In addition, you can screen participants at a highly granular level based on characteristics such as ‘recently engaged’ or ‘Spotify Users.’ So if you’re looking for “moms located in Chicago who cook meals for their family,” we can find that.

User Interviews is an ideal choice for companies and research groups who are looking for an affordable, streamlined, and automated tool that will help them find, schedule, and compensate highly qualified participants.

If you’re ready to start a new study, sign up for User Interviews. We only collect payment on completed sessions with participants.


UserTesting Alternatives: UserZoom

  • Pricing: Contact for pricing.
  • Rating: 3.4/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Audience Sourcing, data gathering, analytics, and reporting.

UserZoom gives you the ability to understand user needs before creating a new product or building a new service. In addition to UX researchers, it’s also designed to help product managers, designers, and marketers extrapolate intelligent insights.

UserZoom focuses heavily on finding the right participants for your research. They accomplish this through their fully-integrated participant sourcing engine. If you prefer to source your own users, you can invite them through a multitude of channels such as QR codes, emails, and social sites, to name just a few.

Mechanical Turk

UserTesting Alternatives: Mechanical Turk

  • Pricing: You decide what to pay participants. Amazon fee based on your payout.
  • Rating: 4.0/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Source, manage, and qualify workers.

Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is an online marketplace that connects researchers with a huge pool of participants. It has a robust set of filters that allow users to drill down granularly from a huge pool of participants.

There’s also a powerful API that enables companies to access the marketplace programmatically and connect participants to any platform of their choice.  

With MTurk, you only pay for what you use. This helps keep the costs down and avoids the need for recurring monthly subscriptions found in other UX testing and research tools.


UserTesting Alternatives: Microworkers

  • Pricing: Contact for pricing.
  • Capabilities: Find participants, templates, task management, verification, rating, vcode generation.

Microworkers is a Mechanical Turk alternative that provides ready-to-use templates to assist in getting your survey or task up and running as quickly as possible. 

Users can have the participants perform a wide range of tasks such as monitoring ads on a website, data mining mobile phones, and taking one of many different surveys, to name just a few.


UserTesting Alternatives: Alpha

  • Pricing: Contact for pricing.
  • Rating: 4.3/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Audience Sourcing, experimentation engine, design support, reporting.

Alpha focuses on allowing development teams to quickly and easily get user feedback on their development processes. Alpha provides access to over 100 million B2B and B2C users worldwide.

It comes with a set of tools that can help validate your approach to the marketplace or better understand the challenges of your users. One of the more popular features is the Experimentation Engine, which helps transform ordinary questions into ones that will elicit actionable insights from testers.

Tools for Testing and Analysis

These tools will help you test and analyze your website or mobile apps. Some of them will allow you or your web developers to identify and fix various UX issues, while others will allow your customer service department to co-browse your website in real-time with customers. Many of them work well together, so consider ways you could use them to improve your entire research process.


UserTesting Alternatives: TryMyUI

  • Pricing: Contact for pricing as it varies.
  • Rating: 4.7/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Find and schedule participants, remote user testing, mobile testing, wireframe testing, prototype testing, quantitative data display and reporting.

TryMyUI is a user testing and user research platform that allows you to watch videos of participants as they use your website. They also provide narrated video and written survey responses that will give you and your team the information you need.

Users choose from a pool of thousands of participants and filter down to such traits as gender, education level, employment type, and social network usage, to name just a few.

One of the more popular features of TryMyUI is how versatile it is. Users can test websites, mobile phones, web apps, mobile apps, and even competitor’s websites. It works with HTML, iOS, Android SDK, and comes with a robust tool set that provides valuable insights.


UserTesting Alternatives: ATryBox

  • Pricing: Pricing based on sliding scale. See website pricing page for details.
  • Capabilities: Find participants, run tests, analyze results.

ATryBox is an all-in-one user testing tool that gives you the ability to find participants, run tests, and analyze the results. They do this through a robust dashboard that helps you set up surveys, on-site and phone interviews, video recordings, and one-on-one personal meetings.

ATryBox will also manage payments and send out 1099 forms to the participants. If you’re worried about confidentiality issues, ATryBox has you covered: they require every tester to sign a non-disclosure agreement at sign-up.


UserTesting Alternatives: Wevo

  • Pricing: Entry-level plan is $600/month. Enterprise starts at $2,000/month.
  • Rating: 4.5/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Audience Sourcing, test running, insight generation.

Wevo helps you determine why visitors aren’t converting, then generates a list of conversion optimization recommendations. It accomplishes this in part by creating a panel of around 150 users. There are over 170+ filter criteria, which helps ensure participants will closely match your target audience.

Wevo will also run your test by scoring, filtering, and analyzing responses from the participants. It will then come up with a list of recommendations that are based on audience reactions, expert analysis, direct quotes, and key insights.


UserTesting Alternatives: dscout

  • Pricing: Contact for pricing.
  • Rating: 3.9/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Multilingual, test on any device, team organization features, highlights video, use your own testers, reporting, and test summary.

dscout provides a candid snapshot of your customers’ experiences through video, surveys, images, and text. It focuses heavily on the user experience. This is best exemplified in the mobile video aspect where users can give feedback while out and about. 

This in-context research offers a more organic way of looking at the user experience as the tester is using your product in real-time. 

Dscout pulls from an existing pool of “scouts” (participants who are willing to help out in studies). This makes it a great choice for companies who are looking for an all-in-one tool that offers both finding and testing.


UserTesting Alternatives: Userbrain

  • Pricing: $20 per user, per test. Subscription pricing is $14 per user, per test.
  • Rating: 5.0/5 on G2Crowd (based on one review as of this posting).
  • Capabilities: Find participants, capture insights, test anything you can link to.

Userbrain focuses on easy to use remote user testing. They accomplish this through user videos, audio comments, wireframe, and live site testing. 

The videos are anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes long and offer intelligent insights into user pain points. Userbrain also offers a world-wide pool of participants to choose from. This allows users to pick and choose only those testers who closely match their ideal parameters.


UserTesting Alternatives: Userfeel

  • Pricing: Price per user session: $59. Discounts available for volume purchases.
  • Capabilities: Multilingual, test on any device, team organization features, highlights video, use your own testers, reporting, and test summary.

Userfeel is a tool that helps with remote usability testing. It’s designed to quickly help web dev teams determine user issues such as slow speed, poor UX, or difficulty in performing a task. Userfeel is unique in that it can test mobile apps as well as websites.

Videos are taken of each tester performing the requested actions. Having video insights can help the team highlight the most critical issues with the design or UX. They can test on any device, from websites to iOS and Android applications. 


UserTesting Alternatives: Loop11

  • Pricing: Plans start at $69/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Rating: 3.5/5 on G2Crowd (based on one review as of this posting).
  • Capabilities: Test building, user audio and video, test customization, source participants, quantitative insights, reporting.

Loop11 gives researchers the ability to run powerful navigational and usability tests on any website. It records both audio and video from which users can extrapolate intelligent insights regarding the UX and design.

Loop 11 offers a complete testing framework. Wireframe, A/B, prototype, and user testing are all included. In addition to testing UX and design, the aforementioned tests can also help with product design, direction, and development.


UserTesting Alternatives: SessionStack

  • Pricing: 14-day free trial. Contact for pricing.
  • Capabilities: Co-browse with customers, monitor 100% of website user sessions, collect client-side data, identify users, store sessions locally.

SessionStack offers a set of robust tools to help testers figure out a wide variety of website usability issues. It logs all browser actions so that the devs can faithfully replicate issues. This is invaluable as most bug reports come with little to no information on how to replicate.

Users can also co-browse with customers in real-time. As the session progresses and bugs and issues are found, the user can create a support ticket in real-time that’s immediately sent off to the IT department. SessionStack can help your customer support department solve customer issues in real-time.


UserTesting Alternatives: Preely

  • Pricing: Free for a single user. Plans start at $69/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Capabilities: Create unmoderated remote user tests, recruit and manage groups of testers, data analytics, and prototyping.

Preely allows researchers and devs to create unmoderated remote user tests. Users can give feedback in a net promoter score, free responses, ratings, or multiple choice answers.

Users can select from one of several different tests such as navigation, simple click, first-click, and five-second. Preely also comes with a very robust analytics dashboard which enables users to extrapolate intelligent insights into the user experience.


UserTesting Alternatives: Validately

  • Pricing: Plans start at $499/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Rating: 4.3/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: Testing platform, recruiting services, and automated reporting.

Validately aims to help simplify the user recruiting, testing, and result analyzation process. They accomplish this by managing the logistics of user test recruitment. All you need to do is provide them with your availability and test participant criteria, and they will do all the rest.

They will source and schedule the right testers, arrange the technology, and perform same-day confirmations. Validately will also backfill extra testers and even payout incentive payments. 

It’s a great tool to perform moderated and unmoderated research studies, no matter what niche or industry you’re in. You can also test on desktop or mobile, which offers greater flexibility and easier tester recruitment.

UserLook Recorder

UserTesting Alternatives: UserLook Recorder

  • Pricing: Free.
  • Capabilities: Remote user testing videos.

UserLook Recorder records user sessions with just a simple link. It’s free and easy to use. 

Simply send your users a link, and in a matter of seconds, they can start recording their voice and screen after performing tasks or answering a set of survey questions. 

The videos are then automatically uploaded without the need to download external testing software.


UserTesting Alternatives: Rayfeed

  • Pricing: Pricing starts at $36/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Capabilities: Remote user testing audio and video.

Rayfeed helps devs and designers make better decisions, fix problems, and improve the usability of their websites. They accomplish this through audio and video recording of user testing sessions. 

It’s designed to be easy enough that anyone can use it as there is no coding required. Simply create tasks in a bubble that’s reminiscent of a mind map, send out a link to participants, and Rayfeed will record the audio and video. Users can log in using any browser or OS to review the recordings.


UserTesting Alternatives: Ethnio

  • Pricing: Pricing starts at $79/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Rating: 3.4/5 on G2Crowd.
  • Capabilities: In-person and remote UX research, online exercises, and surveys. Set up and run tests.

Ethnio helps both large and small research teams streamline their participant recruiting, scheduling, and incentives. It’s up to you to source participants. Fortunately, Ethnio helps you by showing you how.

Users can upload their own list or source people from such places as a recruiting agency, global research opt-in page, or an existing Qualtrics survey. Ethnio also provides a snippet of JavaScript code to help facilitate user recruitment on web pages, apps, or mobile sites. 

Session Replay (by Freshdesk)

UserTesting Alternatives: Session Replay (by Freshdesk)

  • Pricing: Pricing starts at $61/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Capabilities: Remote user testing audio and video.

Session Replay (by Freshdesk) is an automated script that records user sessions. It comes standard with Freshdesk software. This is useful for such businesses as eCommerce websites who find themselves fielding a lot of customer UX problems.

If the customer sends in a trouble ticket, you or your devs can view the customers’ sessions with just a single click. This will replicate and help narrow down the problem so you can fix it in record time. You can also view important user information such as browser, OS, and even their geographical location.


UserTesting Alternatives: Hotjar

  • Pricing: Pricing starts at $89/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Rating: 4.3/5 on G2Crowd
  • Capabilities: Heatmaps, conversion funnels, visitor recordings, surveys, feedback polls, and form analytics.

Hotjar allows you to look at website user behavior through heatmaps, video recordings, and conversion funnels. As a result, you’ll be better able to understand where your users are dropping off and what problems they’re having with your site.

Hotjar also provides user feedback in the form of feedback polls, instant incoming feedback, and surveys. You can even recruit test users and collect important customer data such as email, age, phone number, and even cities directly from your own website.


UserTesting Alternatives: VWO

  • Pricing: Pricing starts at $368/month. See website for enterprise pricing.
  • Rating: 4.2/5 on G2Crowd
  • Capabilities: A/b, multivariate, split URL testing, funnels, heatmaps, session recording, surveys, form analytics, server-side testing, and cart abandonment campaigns.

VWO is a UX-focused company, but they also have a user session recording feature that allows you to record all user actions on any given page. This helps resolve checkout, shipping, or other usability issues.

One of the more popular features is the VWO Insights. It combines heat maps, surveys, and user session video recordings to help diagnose problems and improve the UX.

Overall, VWO requires a slightly advanced knowledge level to get the most out of it. However, their documentation and support staff are very responsive and can help quickly sort out any issues or answer questions you might have.


UserTesting Alternatives: YesInsights

  • Pricing: Plans start at $20/month. Contact for enterprise pricing.
  • Rating: 4.8/5 on G2Crowd
  • Capabilities: One question, email, website, and NPS surveys. Integrates with Zapier.

YesInsights gives users the ability to create powerful Net Promoter Score and simple one-question surveys in a matter of minutes. 

There is no coding knowledge required as it’s a simple one-click install. YesInsights can provide important information that regular analytics platforms can’t — such as the “why” behind certain reasons or actions.

Testers can deliver the survey on a website or via email. YesInsights integrates with a wide variety of email services such as Mailchimp, Drip, and AWeber, to name just a few.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many UserTesting alternatives; choosing the right one depends on your needs.

Do you have time to source participants? Do you want a tool that makes testing easy? A number of the tools we listed work well together — it’s up to you to decide which of them best serve your needs and the needs of your organization.

Note: Want to start user testing but don’t want to spend hours finding the right participants? We’ll find them for you. Get started for free on User Interviews today.

P.S. Can we email you?

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Carrie Boyd

Carrie Boyd is a Content Creator at User Interviews. She loves writing, traveling, and learning new things. You can typically find her hunched over her computer with a cup of coffee the size of her face.

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