Posted by AnswerLab Research on Apr 26, 2023

Do you have strict project parameters and a complex target audience? In need of swift UX research insights before a product launch? We’ve seen it all. 

Conducting UX research is more than coming up with an objective and setting out to find answers. It requires communication, coordination, data privacy, risk mitigation, and compliance - all aspects that are necessary, but can sometimes take away from the actual research

Enter Research Operations. Research Operations encompasses the full spectrum of research logistics from recruiting the best-fit participants and managing NDAs to optimizing timelines and scheduling sessions. An expert Research Ops partner can transform your research into a seamless, productive, and insightful experience.

At AnswerLab, we have a team of 50+ experts dedicated to Research Operations, generating a seamless experience for our client and enabling our researchers to focus on what they do best - generating world-class insights.

Over the years, we’ve seen the full spectrum of research operations and logistical challenges. Learn how our Research Ops team solved challenges for our clients from recruiting wheelchair users for inclusive research to working with high profile social media content creators and more. 

A social media platform asked us: how do content creators conduct their work on mobile devices?

Most social media platforms are full of users who work as content creators. This group has grown rapidly over the past few years, churning out sponsored content for brands every single day.

Our client developed a new mobile app hoping to fulfill an unmet need for its users. Prior to launch, they wanted to learn insights around product-user fit, inform the product team of any necessary changes, and guide development of future features. 

Recruiting content creators for this study proved to be more challenging than expected. This audience is already using a mix of apps for their content, and overall we saw low motivation  to engage in the study. Additionally, these content creators are accustomed to being well compensated for any work related to their content or social media. When we saw the low engagement rates, we worked with our client to increase the incentive to adapt to market expectations and highlighted the value of sharing their feedback with our UX researchers. 

This in-person study required high level coordination of logistics due to the participants’ locations all over the country, given we needed an AnswerLab UXR, a client representative, and a videographer to attend each session. Scheduling travel and in-home visits can be challenging to begin with, but for this study, we tackled travel and logistics for additional people, while ensuring safety and quality for everyone involved.

Not only did we deliver insights for the client regarding the app and features, we also shared recommendations for working with this audience in the future. Increased incentives, frequent follow-up, and proactive planning for the in-home sessions proved absolutely essential for working with this niche audience. 

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A wearable device company asked us: how can we capture data for manual wheelchair users who wear our device?

AnswerLab partnered with our client to conduct a remote quantitative study in order to better inform how wearable devices measure movement for manual wheelchair users.

During the study, we experienced heavy drop off once participants tried to start the tasks due to not having enough space. We also saw low completion rates due to the level of participant independence needed to complete the study tasks.

To solve these issues, AnswerLab pivoted away from fully remote sessions, instead hosting an in-person session for multiple participants at the same time. This allowed our team to support the participants as they worked through the tasks, solve any technical issues, and create rapport with other wheelchair users. Ultimately, we were able to capture all of the data needed for the client through the in-person session.

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A large financial services client asked us: how can we better understand opportunities for couples sharing their finances?

For this study, AnswerLab was tasked with conducting recruiting participants based on strict parameters: married couples or couples living together while sharing finances, who also were in the process of planning a life event such as wedding, reunion, or fundraiser.

Additionally, the couples also needed to agree to share personal financial information and decisions, and be willing to complete a diary in addition to in-depth interviews in their home. 

Utilizing our Research Operations partners, we successfully recruited this audience through a range of methods and worked closely with the team to manage diary logistics and plan for in-person, in-home sessions. We also prioritized clear communication with participants to ensure they were prepared to openly share information regarding their financial decisions and feel safe when our researcher visited. 

Our focus on intentional recruitment and clear participant communication allowed our team to guide the participants through each phase of the study and deliver critical insights to our client.

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A B2C hardware company asked us: how can we improve the hardware experience for users with disabilities when setting up their gaming device for the first time?

For this client, we designed a multi-phase research program to better understand the experience and barriers of setting up and using a hardware device at home for the first time. We hoped to investigate the experience of people with disabilities when setting up new hardware and determine any pain points with accessing the device, while identifying the impact of non-accessible features. 

The recruitment criteria for this project was very specific: gamers who identified with having visual, auditory, upper body, or cognitive impairments. We knew this would be a tricky recruit and our team worked with the client to brainstorm alternative recruitment methods. We collaborated with a non-profit organization who works with people with disabilities to recruit enough participants for the study who were willing to unbox and set up the device. 

Our research team conducted a multi-phase study consisting of diary entries and remote interviews. Through this research, we identified key improvements for an inclusive launch of their new hardware device, along with accompanying apps and websites.

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An international online marketplace asked us: what is the optimal co-working experience for individuals and teams?

With the rise of remote work and the increased desire for travel, our client wanted to explore opportunities in the co-working space market. 

AnswerLab designed a study to test a co-working space concept in various international cities. We set out to recruit individuals and teams/groups who would use shared co-working spaces and provide feedback regarding their experience. 

Logistically, it was initially challenging to recruit participants who would agree to spend the day working in selected co-working spaces with strangers. But to our surprise, we found it  more challenging to source professional teams who were qualified to work in the designated collaborative spaces on the selected research dates.

Our Research Ops team partnered with local vendors in the various countries who had robust panels and creative networking solutions to source qualified participants. To overcome any potential negative perceptions of safety and workability of the co-working space, we shared photos of the space, the exact locations, any included workspace amenities, and nearby restaurant information with all participants in advance of the sessions. This approach helped us build trust and rapport with participants, making the study process a positive experience from the start and setting the stage for open, honest conversation.

By utilizing multiple vendors, clearly communicating with participants, and thinking through the range of logistical steps, we were able to meet our quota in each market with participants who were willing and eager to provide feedback on their experiences.

Our Research Operations team at AnswerLab manages recruiting from start to finish, communicating with you throughout the process and responding with flexibility and creativity when recruiting complex target audiences.

Learn how we built a Research Operations team focused on complex B2B audiences.

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AnswerLab Research

The AnswerLab research team collaborates on articles to bring you the latest UX trends and best practices.

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