What are the key challenges that you face in find suitable respondents to speak with for your research?

If you can list out the most important key characteristics of DT respondents what would it be?

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What’s the context behind your question? Would love to hear more about the difficulty you might be having perhaps, in order to better discuss this…

Just started a biz to support in the sourcing for respondents for their ethno sessions. I want to have a sense what are the challenges the DT team typically face in sourcing for respondents so I could better support the design teams, would like to provide some value added support in their work.

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  1. Not being able to articulate clearly the kind of respondents I would like, getting overly focussed with demographics and forgetting about attitudes, lifestyles, behaviours, etc.

  2. Getting greedy and spreading the scope so wide that its hard to find a particular segment

  3. My project sponsors / bosses giving too little time, budget, to recruit for enough participants to make their research rich, as well as enough time to find/book suitable participants

My take on the typical challenges a design team faces when recruiting respondents:

  • No time - tight project schedule, lack of manpower to source
  • Limited social networks - recruiting from immediate circle of friends means the research could be limited or even biased
  • No/Low budget for incentives - this decreases the possible pool of respondents, making it harder to find
  • Profile too specific/broad - if the respondent profile is too specific, it gets hard to find someone who fits. Too broad, the respondent might not be able to offer anything useful for research
  • Difficult stakeholders - the design team might have to manage other internal/external stakeholders, who don’t see why the profiles/method is useful. Scope creep might come in, or profiles that don’t make sense.
  • Wrong problem definition - this is painful because if the design team is given the wrong problem to solve, being able to recruit all the users they need wouldn’t help them solve the deeper issues. Example, root issue might be that elderly don’t know where to turn to when they need help, even though there’s plenty of services available. Agency might want to develop a one stop website for all services and helplines for elderly. But many elderly don’t get online or feel comfortable to. Therefore, recruiting all the right users to design a good website for the elderly might end up falling short of solving the root issue.