How do you manage & schedule your own user tests / interviews?

1 year ago from , UX/UI Designer

Mainly times we are asked to reach out to our client's user base to collect insight. I am curious how others manage and schedule out sessions with your own users.

Currently, I just tried the mailmerge plugin with Gmail to email our list of participants our client gave us and monitor the open rates. Then use good old excel to track availability times, but the process hurts my head. The system works for a small set, but I am curious if there a better way. Feels similar to a sales funnel.

  • What tools do you use to engage with them?
  • What do you use or set up to manage communication and scheduling?
  • Any other tools you use to make your life easier for this process?


  • Carolann Merchant, 12 months ago

    One company I worked for had Intercom set up. Intercom made it really easy to access our existing user base, narrow them down by attributes or behaviors in our product, and send them an email (not a sales pitch, I don't work for intercom lol).

    Usertesting.com will source participants for you, but it's best for usability testing.

    When I worked at a consulting agency, we would put an ad out on Craigslist and source participants that way.

    For scheduling, Calendly is still my favorite tool. Kind of surprised Google hasn't bought them yet.

    2 points
    • Scott ThomasScott Thomas, 11 months ago

      Thanks for the tip about Calendly! I noted Intercom as well for when we deal with more product-based sites. I thought I was yelling into a void with no one responding.

      Sadly about usertesting.com its perfect for a generic audience. However, my client wants to focus on their current/repeating user base to understand their frustrations. The tricky part is that our user base spans from every region of the United States and internet access not always available.

      0 points
  • UX ING, 11 months ago

    Pendo user here. We segment and target users based on usage (or lack thereof). Prompt and link said users to a Google form. Calendly handles the finding time part.

    0 points
  • Rey AlejandroRey Alejandro, 12 months ago

    What tools do you use to engage with them? Google Survey to ask questions and filter participants (e.g. are you interested for a phone or in-person chat?) Result will automatically be in a Google Sheet where you can filter it to your liking. Mailchimp to email them, Make sure to include the gift or stuff they will get for coming or joining you for a chat and how thankful you are for their time. :)

    What do you use or set up to manage communication and scheduling? Calendly — no back and forth, give them the available time slot and let them schedule. Put the calendly link after the survey.

    Any other tools you use to make your life easier for this process? Coda, Airtable, Notion to organize data. Coda and Airtable has free UX interview template.

    Whimsical sticky notes to gather thoughts and takeaways after the interview. I would recommend Typeform if your team have budget. :)

    0 points
    • Scott Thomas, 12 months ago

      Thanks for the smart tip about putting the calendly link after the survey and asking if they prefer phone or in-person chat. I never thought of giving them an option. We usually do a survey to collect and vet information, then schedule out.

      I just saw that airtable post last week... I was curious to try, but I am like should I introduce yet another tool for my client and team to understand.

      This time the client provided a list of vetted users, which were a mix of people that were aware they were on the list of not. I had to email them to introduce myself, once they approved and then ask about their availability. Seem to take 3-4 emails to get someone booked. 30 users, makes that task hard to follow.... at least for me it is.

      Follow up questions... - Have you run into users' trouble figuring out how to use Calendly? My users can range from 20-70. - is Whimsical sticky like Trello and sketch put together? I just watch their demo. Currently, I am trying to kept track of using Google Sheets. From scheduling to notes.

      0 points