User recruitment for usability testing when you don’t have cash to invest in a recruitment agency is a tricky business. For my Masters studies I have to do all my user recruitment through word-of-mouth, but it is important I recruit the right users to fit my Hobbyist persona or my data will be flawed.
The Blogosphere is populated by millions of people but there appears to be a Blogosphere Black Hole in Reading, UK – or if they exist, they’re clearly stuck on the Inner Distribution Road.
Reading is infamous for its Inner Distribution Road (‘IDR’), a ring road for local traffic movements and a lovely irony when the university has one of the only Town Planning degrees in the UK. Those students who passed must have left Reading, leaving Town Planner dunces staying in Reading and dedicating their special skills to this Thames Valley city. It took them about 20 years to build the IDR, and the result was a road which choked the city centre.
The same band of mad Town Planners are currently debating to make the whole thing one-way, turning Reading into a giant Roundabout.
The IDR and delightful buildings like The Hexagon Theatre all add to Reading’s charms. There are nice bits, near the river and around Forbury Square, where the Town Planners in the 60’s clearly didn’t reach.
I needed to recruit 6 users for my usability testing – so far I have found 5, and most of those live in London and just travel to Reading for work. 5 users would be OK – there are debates as to whether 5 or 6 users is the optimum number for usability testing. I could get away with 5, but I’d ideally like 6 to be on the safe side. So 5 willing victims recruited, I still have one to find, and my usability testing starts next week.
So, if you happen to read this, and know any bloggers in the Reading area of the UK – please ask them to contact me. If they can face travelling on the IDR to travel to the test venue in the centre of Reading the incentive is £15 John Lewis Vouchers.