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Participant recruitment


Participant recruitment is a crucial step of your research project. Here are some suggestions on when and how to invite, brief and support participants during the project.


When you’re done with the set-up of your project, you can start inviting your participants and collect data.

Once you start collecting data, you cannot change the project settings anymore, because the project settings must be the same for all participants. As participants can also collect data offline, project settings cannot be changed anymore as soon as you start collecting data. So better double-check and maybe even do a pre-test and test the survey before starting the actual project!



How do I invite participants?

Click on “Invite participants” on your dashboard to find the project’s unique code – either in the form of a QR code or a token code. This is what your participants need to join the project – all participants use the same token to sign in to your project. You can copy and paste both the QR-code and token code and place them on your participation invitation, e.g. mailings, posters, flyers, etc.



You’ll find a simple PDF and HTML template in-app that you can draw on to create your own. However, individual and personalized invitations work best, so it might be a good idea to adapt the invitation to your specific project.



What do the participants have to do?

Participants need to get the mobile device from their app store (iOS or Android) and download the mobile app exp.fellow – the mobile app is available for free. With the app, they can either scan the QR code or type the token code you provide them with to get access to your project. Afterwards they can start start documenting their experiences right away.




When should I invite my participants?

Participants have an extended experience with your service, which also includes the pre- and post-service period.

For instance, you could invite your participants via email days before they arrive at your venue to find out more about their arrival.

All pictures and videos will be saved automatically on your mobile device AND as a copy in the web-app once synchronised itself. Therefore it is no problem if attachments are deleted on the device. The copy will always stay in the (web-)app!


A few things to think about when you invite participants:


Why should your participants take part? 

Think about incentives to motivate your participants. Give-aways work quite fine or a raffle among all participants. The incentive should be valuable for the participants – often something in context with your project works best. Also think about how you contact them if you do an anonymous project.


How many participants do you need? 

ExperienceFellow is a qualitative approach that can be compared with a usability test across all channels – online and offline. Often, researchers want to find out the main issues ("bugs") of a certain experience or find common patterns in a customer journey. We advice to start with a rather small number (such as 10), but really go into depth. When you're more experienced, you can handle many more participants as you can filter and group them for your analyses.


1-20 participants20+ participants
  • Learn about different views
  • and individual differences
    Gain insights by analyzing the data in depth
  • Motivate all participants by offering extensive support and valuable incentives
  • Follow up with other methods such as interviews or workshops

  • Discover clusters
  • Spread insights to larger populations 
  • Minimize the influence of outliers
  • Reduce bias based on one-off experiences


Typically, you’ll face a drop-out rate of approx. 50%. Consider this when you decide your sample size


What should your participants do? 

Give them clear instructions what to do and what to document. Depending on the project, it might make sense to ask participants to document whatever they think is important along the whole customer journey (e.g. their whole experience in a hotel) -or- to ask participants to focus on a particular aspect or channel and document this rather in detail (e.g. the breakfast in a hotel).

Also, you can give your participants certain tasks they need to resolve and report on.


Should you also use other methods? 

Use method triangulation and validate your results with other ethnographic methods, such as observations or contextual interviews. Log in as a participant yourself and use the mobile app for your field notes, so you have everything in one data set which makes it easy to analyze later.






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