The User Research Center (URC) can provide consultations on what types and how many participants to recruit for your studies. We use a variety of recruitment approaches included:
- Targeted email recruiting; we provide templates and best practices. See examples in the UX wiki.
- On the spot recruiting for informal testing; we provide a list of locations on-campus and information on how to reserve space. See examples in the UX wiki.
- If you’re interested in recruiting users of assistive technology for testing for accessibility, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Recruiting from the HSA/URC Participant Pool. See further details below.
HSA/URC Participant Pool Overview
The URC works with Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) to manage a participant pool of Harvard students who are interested in participating in usability testing, focus groups, and other user research activities. There are 106 graduate students and 538 undergraduate students in the pool. Participants can be recruited by their year, academic concentration, or usage of mobile devices.
Students can be hired for $35/hr (*Note: price subject to change) which covers payment for their time and time the HSA will spend recruiting and coordinating scheduling participants. Students will be paid through the HSA and your department/project can pay the invoice from HSA directly with a credit card. If you only have a 30-minute study, you may consider partnering with another department or running 2 studies during the hour to make the most of your time with students.
If you’d like to recruit participants for a study, please contact the URC at email@example.com and we will help coordinate recruitment.
If you are interested in training or consulting from URC staff members, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project needs. The URC lab space can also be booked for your test sessions. Read more information about the URC.
HSA Participant Pool Combined Data
The study pool consists of 644 total students. 106 of them are graduates while 538 of them are undergraduates.
About 78% of the students have at least one iPhone while around 22% have at least one Android. Less than 1% either don't have a smartphone or have a Windows phone.
Around 60% of students don't own tablets while 28% have iPads. The remaining 12% either have an Android, Windows, or other tablet.
HSA Participant Pool Undergraduate Only Data
Of the 538 undergraduates, around 44% of them are freshman. The other 30% are sophomores while the remaining 26% is roughly split between juniors and seniors.
The concentrations seem to be a microcosm of Harvard, with economics, computer science, and government being the top majors.
HSA Participant Pool Graduate Only Data
The largest amount of graduate students come from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The remainder largely come from the Divinity School (27%), Division of Continuing Education (14%), and Kennedy school (11%).