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May 28, 2020

  • Last Updated:
  • June 1, 2020

User Interviews Release Notes 2020

May: New plans, incentive upgrades, new tools to message users, and more.

JP Allen

Your feedback directly impacts what we build. Submit and upvote feature ideas on our public roadmap!

May 31 - 🍾 New plans (including Free Forever), 💳 incentive upgrades, 🧶 new tools to message users, and more

There's no single theme to this month's big product changes. Instead, each one was a major effort in its own right—and each one gives a preview of more ways we'll expand what you can do with User Interviews down the road.

1. New plans + Free Forever

It's taken some experimenting and a lot of user feedback, we've updated our Recruit and Research Hub (formerly Bring Your Own) plans, in ways that we hope will bring them more in line with how researchers actually do research. You can find full details on this page, but here are two highlights:

  • The Recruit Essential plan comes with 15 completed participant sessions per month, and unlimited rollover—so you'll never pay for recruiting you won't use. The new plan saves up to 58% per session vs. Pay as You Go recruiting. As always, you only pay for participants who successfully complete sessions.
  • Research Hub—our toolkit for automating research with your own users—is now Free Forever with up to 100 participants in your panel!

2. A new way to redeem incentives—with more coming

Sometimes, a seemingly small update can open up a ton of functionality. That's our plan for participant incentives.

In the past, participants received Amazon gift card codes directly in an email. Now, the email contains a link to a personalized page where the participant can redeem their incentive. Here's the new page:

For more info, here are step-by-step breakdowns for incentives on public and private projects

This flow is foundation for some big changes we're working on next—primarily, support for more types of incentives beyond Amazon gift cards, and even international incentives. Watch this space 👀.

3. More customizable (and stylish) participant messages 💅

In addition to adding Free Forever, we've made additional updates to Research Hub—specifically, to the automated messages you can send to participants on private projects.

We've cleaned up the default message copy, updated the styling to be easier to read, and enabled custom logos for teams on paid plans. Also, if you're running a study with no incentive, you can create a new custom thank-you email.

4. B2B upgrades under the hood ⚙️

Our product team is always adding features that aren't as immediately visible to researchers, but that make UI work more smoothly. We wanted to highlight two pieces of that essential work, both related to B2B recruiting:

  1. We improved the way we organize participant occupation tags, which means faster recruiting by occupation. ⚡️💼
  2. Our participants can now add a work email in addition to a personal one. While not visible to you, this information will help us improve our occupation targeting.

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April 30 - 🌎 recruit remotely from multiple locations, ⛓ move previous participants to new projects, 📩 reach out to "maybes"

We recently shipped four new features that were highly requested on our roadmap. All four help you get more value out of our recruiting tools without having to launch multiple projects.

1. Recruit from multiple cities or states on one project

You can now target multiple cities or states on the same project. No more making a new project for each location! This can especially helpful for remote projects where location is still an important factor.

2. Invite past participants to new and active projects

After you've closed a project with participants you recruited from our audience, you can now come back and invite any participant to a live project, right inside their profile.

This can come in handy in a bunch of scenarios. For instance, here are three themes that came up in researcher feedback for this functionality, in the (anonymized) words of real customers:

  • Repeat a project without having to recruit again
    “Last year we recruited warehouse managers. Now that we’re ready to do a second round, we would like to use the same people from the original recruit pool."
  • Run multiple sessions with the same participants
    “We want to run an initial unmoderated session, two weeks of using a prototype app, and a final interview to cover big issues. Can we transfer users from the first phase to the second one?” 
  • Extend a project after you’ve closed it
    “Can I add more time slots on this project?”
  • Talk to folks you liked from your last project, or who almost qualified
    “There’s a participant who completed the screener for one of our projects and does not qualify, but we think may be a good fit for a different project. Am I able to invite them to a different study?

Here's a preview:

In the "Invite to project" dialog box, you can choose to invite the participant to a currently active project, create a new one from scratch, or duplicate an existing project.

You can also search, filter, and invite previously recruited User Interviews participants from across all of your team's past projects by clicking Participants > Recruit Participants.

3. Message "maybe" participants on projects with advanced screening

Advanced screening lets you call or email participants who apply to your project for an extra round of screening before you approve them. If you see a participant who didn't quite pass your screener, but who you think could be a good fit for the project, you can now reach out to them for more information.

To get started, filter or search a project's Participants list to find who you'd like to talk to, then click into their profile. You'll see their contact info, plus a new "Start a conversation" button to message them in-app.

4. Filter Research Hub participants by project history

There's a new option for filtering participants from your own user base in the Hub Participants view. You can now show or hide participants based on specific projects they have or haven't participated in. This can be helpful when deciding who to invite for research next, or who to add to which active project.

March 31 - 🎪 team calendars, 🧠 workspace comments + mentions, 🔍 participant search, and more

March was a busy month! We launched a number of much-requested features that make it easer for you to collaborate with teammates, shipped a search/filter tool in the project workspace (also highly requested), tweaked our app in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and released a number of updates and fixes. Let's get into it.

1. Team calendars are here

Multiple collaborators can now connect their Google or Outlook calendars to User Interviews projects! Details:

  • After you launch a project, you can invite anyone with edit access to connect their calendar.
  • You can find calendars in "Manage Availaiblity" section of the project workspace, color-coded and labeled with each collaborator's name.
  • Show/hide individual teammates' availability:
  • Choose whether unconfirmed sessions show up on your connected calendar, in addition to sessions that have participants confirmed:
  • Finally, you can choose whether to send invites to collaborators' Google/Outlook calendars for confirmed sessions. You and your collaborators can edit the event details (e.g. to add a Zoom link), and the edits will show up on both of your calendars (but not the participant's). Great for coordinating sessions and sharing notes ahead of time! To get a sense of how this works, here's a screen capture from Wen, the Product Manager who worked on this feature:

2. Workspace comments and @mentions

In addition to commenting on draft projects (see January and February updates below!), you can now comment on projects after they launch. Any collaborators you've granted edit access to will be able to add comments, too. We've already seen a lot of researchers use comments to iterate on screeners and coordinate sessions.

If you want input from a particular team member (on a live project OR a draft), type the @ symbol. A list of team members will appear, allowing you to ping someone with an email notification.

3. Search, filter, export, and bulk-message participants

This builds on announcement #1 from last month. Let's say you've got 300 applicants for your study. Some of them passed the screener, some failed, you've already talked to a few, you need to make a choice about who to invite next... and you need to look up 1 person in particular to send them a message. You can now easily filter everyone in your project to complete all those tasks in seconds.

  • Search for participants by name or email
  • Easily see participants who you haven't viewed yet (the NEW column)
  • Filter a project's participants by rating (best/potential/poor fit) or status (qualified, approved, etc.)
  • Export a CSV of the resulting filtered list
  • Send a message to everyone who meets your filters at once.

To visualize the changes, here's the Participants section of the workspace, with a 🎉 for everything that's new.

4. Pausing in-person studies

The spread of COVID-19 has affected life and work for pretty much everyone on earth. To help encourage researchers and participants to stay safe, our app won't support recruiting for in-person research sessions through at least the end of April. Product updates aside, we're also working with customers who have relied on in-person recruiting in the past to help them transition to remote research. If you have any questions about what this means for you, or if you'd like help with remote research, we're here for you! Read more here, check out our detailed guide for evolving your research, or email

February 29 - 🚦 rate and filter participants, 🏁 auto-approve, 📚 reuse screeners, and 🎟 share drafts (v2)

Quickly and efficiently finding the right users to give actionable feedback can mean the difference between useful research and wasted time. This month's major updates all tackle the problem of how to ask the right questions of the right participants, fast.

1. Rate participants before you work with them

Approving participants isn't always a binary yes/no decision. For example, if we find 100 participants for your 10-person study, it can be handy to approve your 10 top picks first based on their answers to your screener, followed by a list of 20 backups. You can now flag applicants as Best, Potential, or Poor fits, and filter your project's Participants view to show only those participants with a particular rating.

2. Auto-approve participants (or not)

If, on the other hand, you'd rather let your screener survey do the work, you can now set projects to automatically let participants sign up for sessions as soon as they pass your screener—no manual review needed. You can toggle between manual and automatic approval at any point before or after you launch a project.

3. Reuse surveys with the screener library

If you built an effective screener survey for a past project (or if you realize you almost got it right except for 1 less-useful question), you can now copy screeners into new draft projects with one click. You'll have access to screeners from your teammates' past projects, too. (FYI, the screener library is only available on subscription plans.)

4. Do more with drafts

An update to a screenshot from last month's Release Notes below 😉
  • Invite a teammate to a draft project by entering their email address—or share a link if you'd prefer.
  • Duplicate drafts, not just live projects. Duplicating a draft is a great way to start a new project with slightly different audiences or quotas, or base a project on a teammate’s draft without having to start from scratch.

January 31 -  🏗 draft sharing and comments, 🔬 advanced filters, and 🌐 GDPR

This month, we've launched a bunch of new tools to make managing projects and participants easier, smoother, and more collaborative.

1. Share and comment on draft projects

We’ve added the ability for you and your teammates to comment on draft projects! Cool, right?

Click "Share" in the top left corner of your draft project to grab a shareable link; click "Comment" in the top right to see and post comments. Easy!

Here's the nitty gritty:

  • Each screen in the project builder has its own comments section, so your team's comment threads about, say, project details, screener questions, incentives, or scheduling, are kept separate and organized.
  • Anyone on your User Interviews team can view and comment on drafts. If you want to collaborate with someone who’s not on User Interviews yet, simply invite them to create a free account!
  • Once you launch your project, comments automatically resolve, leaving you with a fresh slate. You can keep working together once your project goes live by giving teammates view or edit permissions!

You can find a more detailed rundown of this feature in our knowledge base.

Coming soon 🔭: comment on launched projects, @mention teammates in comments to ping them, and more!

2. Organize your population with advanced filters

You can now filter and search your Hub Participants population on more sophisticated criteria with an updated, cleaner design.

Voilà! The new filters sidebar: apply filters based on activity history, incentives, empty/not empty states, and multiple values at once.

The Participants > Hub Participants view is where you can see the population of users you've brought yourself (via CSV upload, project invite, or your custom opt-in form). Click the blue plus sign (+) next to any field on the new sidebar to customize your filters. You can now filter by:

  • Multiple labels at once
  • Multiple values (e.g., users whose favorite color is green OR orange)
  • Incentives earned
  • Empty or non-empty (e.g., users with no last participated date)

These new options make finding participants easier. For example, you could show all participants who earned under $100 in incentives last year or no incentives at all, to target your next study invite at users who have been less active recently. Or, you could quickly search for a single participant without having to click through multiple pages.

These new filters build on earlier work to build more tools for keeping up with your user population, like more detailed participant profiles and opt-in forms to bring more users into your User Interviews audience.

You can find a detailed guide to the new filters here, or just email us with any questions.

3. Be more GDPR-friendly

Other posts cover our new suite of policies and tools to help researchers meet their responsibilities under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but we thought we'd pull out a couple of new features from the list to highlight here:

  1. Easily add a data consent notice that's consistent across all pages in User Interviews where you request user data
  2. Collect, store, sort, edit, and erase data—and run the whole research process end-to-end—without having to exit User Interviews and interact 3rd parties that might be less GDPR-aware.

January 28 - 3 product questions for 2020 🚀

Instead of updating our previous Release Notes post, we're starting 2020 with a fresh post, and taking taking a step back to talk about some larger-scale thoughts on the year to come.

Too often, all-encompassing product roadmaps set themselves up to fail; it's easy to make the mistake of over-planning, or being product-centric instead of user-centric.

The question isn't, "what will build?" but "what user needs are we tackling?" Instead of a bulleted list of specific future features, here are 3 questions we're exploring as we evolve User Interviews this year.

1. Within research, who does what, and when?

Research is a team sport. We have a ton of ideas for making collaboration in User Interviews even easier and more useful, but we also have a lot to learn.

When do researchers loop in other teammates? When do teammates reach out to you? How do we solve problems not only for individual researchers, but for whole teams? These questions are central to what we're building this year.

2. Is there more to life (well, research) than projects?

We built User Interviews to solve a specific problem: “we need to talk to 5 people for this project—how do we find them?” This was a great starting point, because it matches a mental model many users already have.

But what if, instead of a list of finite "projects," you had participant segments, a calendar, a few screener templates, and handy automations to link them all together? We want to evolve our product to address researcher needs that don't fit cleanly into the existing "launch a project" frame.

3. What are the other critical tools in your research stack?

...And would it be helpful if User Interviews could pass data back and forth with them? In other words: integrations, baby 🔀.

Your perspective matters

As we've said elsewhere (including in this post!), your perspective has a direct impact on what we build. If any of these questions got you thinking, hop over to our roadmap and add a note! Happy 2020!

JP Allen

Growth Marketer

JP Allen is a Growth Marketer at User Interviews. Obsessed with languages, writing, learning, spreadsheets, and bad puns.

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