Different study needs call for different types of studies! Our four study types, along with our three study formats (online, over the phone, or in person) can help you schedule participants for any type of study you may be running.
If you're new to user research, check out our field guide to learn about different discovery methods.
When building your project you'll be presented with four options: 1-on-1 interviews, focus groups, multi day studies, and unmoderated tasks. The study type you choose primarily changes how you can set up the schedule in the last step of the project builder.
This is the most common study type on User Interviews! Schedule participants for a one participant per interview session. This can be an online, phone, or in-person interaction.
Although it's called a 1-on-1, we know many studies will have multiple researchers in the interview for every one participant—that's no problem! This study type is best for more exploratory research, field research, and for getting a participant's take on a design, prototype, or concept.
When you choose 1-on-1 interview for the study type, you'll set the session length in the "Session details" section of the project builder. We'll then automatically format sessions of that length when you add sessions under "Scheduling".
A launched project's "Confirmed sessions" section will look like this. Notice that there's 1 slot per session.
Traditionally, focus groups are used to schedule multiple participants for a group session. This session may be online or in-person. We generally discourage over the phone focus groups as they can be a bit chaotic! Focus groups are a great way to initiate a group-think type of conversation where participants collaborate or play off of each other to discuss a topic.
When you choose focus group for the study type, you'll set the session length in the "Session details" section of the project builder. We'll then automatically format sessions of that length when you add sessions under "Scheduling".
A launched project's "Confirmed sessions" section will look like this. In this example, there are 5 slots per focus group session time.
Multi day studies are the best fit for studies that span more than one day and require a series of unmoderated tasks. These can be an online, over the phone, or an in-person interaction.
For example, a multi day study can be:
We do not recommend using multi day studies for studies that have multiple methods. If you are running a multi-method study, we recommend creating one project per method and using our Recruit Participants Tool to invite past participants across projects.
When you choose multi day for the study type, you'll set the session length in the "Session details" section of the project builder. The session length represents the full span of time the participant is committing to. i.e. 30 days, 2 week, etc. For example, if a participant will need to fill out 1 survey a week for a month, the session length is 1 month.
We recommend adding the time and requirements within that date span in the "Project Description" so participants understand the study expectations before applying.
We will then automatically format sessions of that length when you add sessions under "Scheduling".
A launched project's "Confirmed sessions" section will look like this. Notice that there are 5 slots per session.
Our scheduling system only takes into consideration the full length of the multi day study, and events or deadlines within the date span cannot be scheduled on our platform. Participants will be reminded of their session before the start of the multi day study, but will not receive additional reminders throughout the date span. Any other reminders will need to manually be sent to participants. If you choose to have UI distribute incentives, participants cannot receive partial incentive payments for completing certain portions of your study. We can only pay out incentives in their entirety.
Unmoderated tasks are commonly surveys or user tests, and are tasks a participant must complete on their own time before a deadline. Unmoderated tasks can only be completed online.
An unmoderated task may be a simple SurveyMonkey or Google Forms survey, an assignment like asking them to record a video of themselves using a product or responding to a question, or any other task where a moderator does not need to be present.
When you choose an unmoderated task for the study type, we'll prompt you to set a deadline on the "Session details" section of the project builder. You can link directly to your task and add task instructions on this page as well.
Pro Tip: include instructions, expectations, and troubleshooting tips in your Task Instructions to ensure your research goes off without a hitch. i.e. "Be sure to vocalize your experience and turn your camera on, or else you will not be incentivized."
A launched project's "Confirmed sessions" section will look like this. Notice the deadline.
Note, you must still mark the participant attendance confirming if the participant completed the task on time or not.
When building your project you'll be presented with one to three options based on your selected study type: online, over the phone, or in person. The study format you choose may change which study formats are available.
This is the most popular study format at User Interviewers! Online studies can be unmoderated or moderated. If the participant is using a link of some sort to access the study to participate, it's an online study! For example, online studies may include 1-on-1 interviews via Zoom, a focus group via Webex, or a unmoderated task via Lookback. Online studies are great for studies requiring a visual component, like showing designs or prototypes, if you need to screen share, or just so you can talk face to face.
When setting up your online project, you'll be able to choose acceptable device types participants use for their session.
When setting up your project, choose to have the Zoom integration automatically generate and send unique meeting links, or opt to include your own default location link. You can then update the session link once participants have confirmed.
Participants will automatically be sent links autogenerated by Zoom, default location links included in the project builder, or links added to a live project before approving in the participants confirmation and reminder emails.
Phone studies are primarily moderated, and usually involve the researcher calling a participant at their session time. You'll receive the participant's phone number after they confirm, or, if you have Double Screening, will see it before they're confirmed. Phone studies are great for simple conversations where analyzing facial expressions isn't necessary or if you don't need to show participants designs or prototypes.
When setting up your project, choose whether you want to call participants or have them dial in. If you choose dial-in, include the number they should call in the study instructions which will be included in the participant's confirmation and reminder emails.
In person studies are moderated, and involve the participant and researcher meeting up in real life. In person studies are great for more hands on product testing, for studies where you'd like to observe someone in their home or office, or if you'd just like to experience their full in person body language as it relates to specific questions or topics.
When setting up your project, choose whether the study will be conducted at a certain location, like your office or a local store, at the participant's location, like their home or office, or a mutually agreed upon location, like a coffee shop.
If you choose "My location", you'll be able to include the address in the builder. If you choose "Location to be determined", you'll be able to include the city where you're intending to have the sessions to give participants a general sense for where the location may be.
For more information on launching a project in UI, check out this support page.