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December 2, 2020
NEW 11/24: Document Signing—Automate Getting Your NDA Signed, No More Chasing Down Signatures
Hub users, it's your lucky day! We're really excited to debut our newest Hub feature for paid subscribers—Email Themes. Create and apply themes so your emails reflect your brand, to look the way you want and your participants expect. Applying an Email Theme with your custom HTML/CSS helps your users recognize, trust, and respond to your Research Hub emails, ultimately resulting in a more effective recruit.
Include customizations in the header, footer, and body such as:
Apply themes in the builder, or to any live project. Admins can create themes which the whole team can utilize to help keep branding consistent. Learn more about how to create and apply Email Themes in our support guide.
This is a big one! User Interviews is now integrated with Zoom, solving the often error prone, manual step process of generating and distributing meeting links on your own. Free and included for all, even our Hub Free Forever plan! Check out our Zoom + UI blog post for all the details.
Save yourself steps! Sync your Zoom with your User Interviews account, and automatically:
Forget manually creating each link—we'll automatically create unique links for each session.
Zoom links will be sent to participants in their confirmation and reminder emails, so no need to manually send the link.
Get your teammates involved! Collaborators can be a default or session moderator for your study, so you can divvy up who leads sessions
All your session information where you need it! This feature is coming very soon.
Learn more about the Zoom + UI integration in our support guide.
Set standardized participant invite criteria across your team with our newest Hub feature: Invite Rules. Included on all paid Hub subscriptions! Invite Rules are automatically applied to all project invites, helping your team stay consistent with who's invited to your projects.
We hope this feature helps your team stay on the same page with who can and should be invited to projects!
This post usually focuses on product updates. We've got those as usual, but we also wanted to take a second to mark two important milestones for User Interviews as a company, and to share a little about what they mean for researchers and participants alike.
When you do research on our platform, you're not just helping your team build better products; you're also giving participants a voice and rewarding them for their insights and time. It means a lot, to us and to them.
We recently delivered our 10-millionth dollar of participant incentives, and we couldn't be more proud. Our mission is to make finding and learning from users painless—heck, even pleasant—for researchers. It's just as important to us to make the experience rewarding for participants, especially during tough economic times.
Back in August 2015, we helped our first customer recruit for a study—but really, the idea for User Interviews goes back farther than that. Our cofounders were inspired to build User Interviews after trying (and failing) with previous startup concepts, experiencing firsthand how difficult it was to do research and validate ideas. Whether you've known us five years or five minutes, thanks for joining us.
On to new features!
From the very beginning, screener surveys have been a key piece of how researchers find participants in User Interviews. We just pushed four big upgrades to screener surveys.
More screener resources
In addition to the US and Canada, you can now recruit User Interviews participants in Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom!
We hope this will help with your research in two major ways. First, it makes recruiting possible in markets our customers have told us were important to their research. Second, expanding into new markets makes our overall recruiting pool larger and more diverse—which means faster, higher-quality recruiting for everyone.
We've also made it easy for participants to redeem incentives in different currencies, with no setup needed on your end.
Recruiting by country is simple. In the project builder, you'll see checkboxes for each country. The US is checked by default, but you can select any combination you need. (Keep in mind, it might take a little longer to find participants in newly supported countries at first.)
If you choose to let User Interviews distribute incentives for you via Amazon gift card, simply enter the amount in US dollars as always.
After you mark a participant's session complete, they'll be able to redeem an Amazon gift card in the correct amount automatically in USD, CAD, AUD, GBP, or EUR—no extra calculations or setup needed. (Amazon gift cards in Euros can be redeemed for the Amazon.fr and Amazon.de stores, consistent with the two Eurozone countries where we currently offer recruiting.)
With Research Hub, you can recruit participants from anywhere in the world (you’re building your own panel, after all). Now, if you choose to pay incentives automatically with Amazon gift cards, your Research Hub participants can choose USD, CAD, AUD, GBP, or EUR incentives, just like participants recruited from our panel.
Now that we have a foundation in place for international panels and incentives, we're ready to grow and expand even more. For a full rundown of these new features, check out our support pages.
Finding great research participants fast is what we do—but a big part of our mission is also to smooth out the steps between sending you candidates and getting research sessions on the books. This month, we launched two new features that make it easier to schedule—and keep—session times with your ideal users.
Let's say you have an awesome participant who submitted great screener answers, who you're psyched to talk to—but their schedule doesn't quite work with any of the time slots you proposed. In the past, that participant would have to sit out your project, or start a back-and-forth message chain with you, taking up extra time.
Now there's a much simpler way to work out tricky schedules. If a participant is unavailable for your time slots, they can propose up to 5 alternate times, none of which overlap with already-scheduled sessions.
In the Participants view on your project, you'll be able to see and confirm/dismiss proposed times with one click. Full details here!
When you schedule a participant for a session, they'll now have the option to create an event their personal Google or Outlook calendar with 1 click.
We've heard from plenty of researchers and participants that if it's not in their calendar, it doesn't exist (and frankly, a lot of us at UI can relate). By saving participants a few steps between being confirmed for a study and putting it on their calendar, we've made the recruiting process a little more efficient and cut down the chances of dropped sessions.
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.
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:
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:
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 👀.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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.
Multiple collaborators can now connect their Google or Outlook calendars to User Interviews projects! Details:
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.
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.
To visualize the changes, here's the Participants section of the workspace, with a 🎉 for everything that's new.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
This month, we've launched a bunch of new tools to make managing projects and participants easier, smoother, and more collaborative.
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:
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!
You can now filter and search your Hub Participants population on more sophisticated criteria with an updated, cleaner design.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
...And would it be helpful if User Interviews could pass data back and forth with them? In other words: integrations, baby 🔀.
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!
UXR participant advocate, employee 9ish at UI, remote work forever. Interested in minimalism, thrifting, vegan cooking, sitcoms, and her grumpy rescue dog Nash.
November 23, 2020
We’re taking another tedious research chore off your plate! Introducing Document Signing—our newest feature that makes it super easy to get your NDA or release form signed by participants so you can focus on the research itself. No more chasing down document signatures, or cancelling sessions with participants who didn’t sign your document.
October 26, 2020
The Zoom + User Interviews integration makes creating and sharing Zoom meeting links simple. Once you've synced your Zoom to your User Interviews account, automatically generate and send unique meeting links to participants. Choose study or session moderators so your team can easily lead specific sessions. Coming soon- links in calendar events, so you always have your session link handy.