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Part: III Appendixes > Buy Participants' Time with Gifts and Prizes

Buy Participants' Time with Gifts and Prizes

One way to recruit people is to compensate them for their time. You might be surprised what some people will do for a free T-shirt.[2] Some other ways of drawing in people include giving small toys, coffee mugs, gift certificates, or some money, or giving a large cash prize of $200 to $300 to the participant who “does the best.” This last type of compensation works well for experiments where creative performance is important. For straight cash payments, we normally offer about $20 per hour for university students and about $50 per hour for other participants.

[2] Then again, if you've been working in the computer industry, you might not!

If you don't have the time to recruit participants, several market research firms can recruit participants who meet the profile you need for about $100/participant, not including the compensation you must pay each participant. Many usability practitioners and designers go this route, although this approach may double your direct costs for running the tests.


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