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Foundational methods for practicing design research.



Identifying and gathering people to interview or who will test your product.


Recruiting people who represent your core user group is a critical and oft-overlooked part of research. Time spent with the right people using the wrong methods is better than time spent with people who aren’t your core users while using the right methods.

Time required

1–2 weeks for 5–10 participants

How to do it

Seek out people who

  • Are trying to use the thing you are working on right at that very moment.
  • Recently tried to use the thing you are working on.
  • Used the thing you are working on less recently.
  • Have used something like what you are working on, and are likely to use what you are working on.

Reach them through

  • Relevant community organizations.
  • Impromptu requests in or near the relevant environment.
  • Your personal and professional network.
  • The new or existing website.
  • Existing mailing lists.

Considerations for use in government

No PRA implications. No information is collected from members of the public.


18F Methods

An official website of the GSA’s Technology Transformation Services

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