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Investing in digital inclusion and in a better user experience for all users

By Maria Santos

Digital Marketing Manager


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“The only disability is when people cannot see human potential.” – If you have read one of our many blogs about accessibility and digital inclusion, you will know that quotes such as this one by writer and activist Debra Ruh continually inspire us to improve our user recruitment services and digital platforms to better serve our participants with accessibility needs.

Following our #MakeTheWebAccessible campaign in 2016, we have more than doubled the amount of recruitment we do for user research and usability testing with a focus on accessibility and the use of assistive technology. We consider this not only a positive result for our company, but also a win for the cause of digital inclusion and to the improvement of research and testing in general. However, as our accessibility-related recruitment requirements grow, we felt like further improvements to our processes were necessary, also thanks to the help of some of our clients who generously took the time to highlight some areas that could be improved. James Buller, Access Needs Lead at Home Office, is one of these clients.

“We’re all only temporarily not disabled – by conditions or context. Plus, accessible designs are better for everyone. So create inclusive services for yourself, those you love and all users, now and in future. It’s right, sensible and cost effective.”

Since then, we have been researching and working closely with our designers and developers to improve our participant-facing digital platforms, improving the way participants with accessibility needs browse our website, sign up, log in or apply to take part in user research and usability testing opportunities.

We’re now glad to say that we have kicked-off this year’s efforts in the best way by implementing a series of small, but extremely important, updates on our participant website. Although these updates might seem irrelevant to most users who land on our website, we’re confident that participants who require assistive technology to interact with our digital platform have noticed some improvements on most sections of our website.

“It is great to see PFR improving the accessibility of their website – reducing the barriers to people with access needs taking part in our user research. That in turn will help us learn about them and meet their needs with our own services,” James added.

One of the many partnerships we established last year as part of our #MakeTheWebAccessible campaign was with the West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL). Back then, we published a guest blog by Steph More O’Ferrall, who told us more about the social model of disability, which states that it is not a person’s impairment that disables them, but the environmental, organisational and attitudinal barriers they face that prevent them from participating fully in society.

“The barriers faced by disabled people are what prevent them participating fully in society. We want to break down those barriers. A solution to overcome digital disability? Great user experience design.”, Steph wrote in her guest blog.

With one in five people in the UK affected by disability, we intend to keep improving our digital platforms to make the experience as user-friendly as possible for everyone who has an interest in sharing their feedback or testing a new website or app, so keep an eye on our blog for more updates on digital inclusion.

More blogs?
The user research participant’s journey

If you would like to find out more about our in-house participant recruitment service for user testing or market research get in touch on 0117 921 0008 or

About the author: Maria Santos is the Digital Marketing Manager at People for Research. You can find her on the People for Research’s Facebook or Twitter accounts, regularly engaging with potential participants, market research experts and the UX community.

About People for Research: We recruit participants for UX and usability testing and market research. We work with award winning UX agencies across the UK and partner with a number of end clients who are leading the way with in-house user experience and insight.

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