What do I need to know about research?

Where does the research takes place?
The majority of our usability testing and market research takes place in major cities (London, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff, Swansea) and larger towns, as this is where our clients are based.

Some projects may take place in smaller towns, villages and more remote areas, but less often. To get the most out of signing up, pick your closest city or large town so that you do not miss out, on any paid research opportunities .

We are also often asked to source participants to take place in remote testing (usability test, survey or diary study) which means you can make money from home, work… anywhere really, providing you have a laptop or pc, a good phone signal and a device with internet connection (all fully charged).

What is an incentive?
The incentive is what you will get in return for participating in the research. The incentive is usually cash and this can range from £25 – £250, the average is £40 for one hour.

What topics of research are there?
Topics for discussion can range from car insurance, holidays, education, investments, business banking… the list goes on. Whatever the topic, there is always a piece of research suitable for you.

If you have any particular interest, please go online and tweet us with your dream research subject @Research4People.

What time does the research take place?
A large proportion of the usability testing takes place during the daytime (working hours), whilst market research focus groups tend to be in the evening. Each project is different and we can also offer evening or weekend slots, depending on the availability of the research team and the project in hand.

How long does a research session last?
The majority of our projects require people for an hour (plus 15 minutes to sign you in first). The length of the session depends on the project; a short paid survey may last five minutes, whilst a focus group could be up to three hours. Diary studies on the other hand, could last a month or longer but would not require constant participation (e.g. you may need to only carry out a short task for five minutes, once a day). When we notify you of a research session, we will always let you know how long the session will last.

Who is commissioning the research?
We work with a number of clients and they are all very different. Some clients we work with are companies and brands you would easily recognise, other clients are usability, marketing, branding or market research agencies working on behalf of clients. Sometimes we work for government, local authorities or educational establishments and, occasionally, clinical or pharmaceutical companies.

Who conducts the research?
Sessions are led by moderators (professionals within their chosen field of usability, market research or branding). You may meet one or two moderators; any more is rare and if there were a number of researchers conducting the research, we would let you know when we send the email notifying you of the opportunity.

What happens during the session?
Each project is different: typically, during a usability session you will be asked to either talk about your experiences during an informal 1-2-1 interview, look at a website, application, device or game where you will be set some short tasks followed by your feedback on how easy or difficult you found them to use. Research may also involve larger group activities or discussion – card sorts, online (remote testing) or diary study.

Market Research interviews are very similar to usability interviews and will normally be an informal discussion – just yourself and a researcher (or two) –, whilst focus groups involve more people (groups tend to include six to 10 people) and these are far more interactive. The moderator leads the discussion, but everyone in the group will be asked to contribute at various points. For any research to be successful, you will need to be confident meeting a new person or people and willing to share your thoughts and ideas.

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