Recruiting research participants

Internal users

As our users are primarily developers, our own Sourcegraph developers are great interview participants. (However, we need to remember that our own developers are generally very experienced in the area of code search, which results in implicit bias that we must account for in synthesis.)

Use the following methods to identify internal research subjects:

  • Post a request in #dev-chat, #ce, #community-chat or #customer support with information about the area you are researching
  • Often, developers have little bandwith for new requests. Making direct requests of specific developers tends to yield a higher response rate

External users

Relying on internal users can lead to introducing bias into your research, yet sourcing external users for feedback is one of the most difficult parts of the research process. The following are methods product and design use to source research candidates:

  • Outreach on social media, either through our platform (ask for a post in #social-media-action) or via active and influential accounts such as the CTO, CEO, or members of your team.
  • The #feedback Slack channel can be a source of participants for specific issues
    • Use Productboard to identify multiple feedback entries related to a single issue
  • Consult customer engineering or support to identify customers who may be interested or have feedback on the area of research. Additionally, the following methods are helpful when locating customers to interview:
    • Searching Slack support channels (#support-{customer-name}) for users interested in the product space
    • Posting a request in the support channels of customers who are users of or interested in using the feature
    • Searching Productboard or for mentions of the feature in question
  • Reach out to members of the Sourcegraph Research Panel (currently a work in progress)
  • Consider running the test on