User Experience (UX) Market Research Firm | Online Diary and Ethnography

This blog post is a recap of an example user experience (UX) recruitment project in 3 cities across the United States. Although Drive Research is a full-service market research company and often manages all facets of the project including moderating and reporting, for some projects our team is tasked with executing only the recruit. This outlines an example of this where Drive Research was responsible for the recruit-only in a 2-phased market research study with a national organization.

Drive Research is a user experience (UX) market research firm in Upstate New York.


Here is an example project of a client looking to hire a user experience (UX) market research firm to assist with a qualitative project. This qualitative project involved both online diaries from participants as well as ethnography. The goal of the market research was to deeply understand members of the African American community's experience with a variety of local policies and government in 3 markets through digital and in-home ethnographic research.


To answer these objectives Drive Research planned to recruit a total of 48 participants across the 3 markets. This equated to 16 recruits per market for a week long online diary study. The online diary would take 15 minutes or less per day to complete. Drive Research planned to over-recruit by 12 participants (4 in each market, 60 total) to ensure 48 fully participate. As a thank you for completing the online diary, each participant would receive a $175 honorarium processed by Drive Research.

The screening criteria for the UX recruit was as follows: (1) ethnicity was African Americans, (2) 50% men and 50% women, (3) aged 18 to 55, and (4) live in Atlanta, Oakland, or Washington D.C. After the online diaries have been completed, ethnography research lasting
2 hours will be held with 24 participants (8 per market). The client would prioritize these participants based on their responses from the online diaries. All participants from the online diaries would be eligible to be selected. Additional stand-by participants from the online diaries will be put on hold in case of cancellation. These stand-by participants can be swapped in for the in-home ethnography sessions. As a thank you for completing the 2 hour ethnography, each participant would receive a $200 honorarium.

The 30-minute kickoff meeting with the client would discuss objectives, process, timeline, and next steps. The process to recruit participants for the client is two-fold: (a) targeted email lists of panel participants living in the target markets and (b) paid randomized social media ads. Drive Research develops an online survey of questions to pre-screen the audience through random invitations. Those who qualify would receive a re-screening and confirmation call to ask additional questions. From there participants would receive a confirmation email asking them to reply back “yes” and a confirmation call before the online diaries begin. Participants would also receive a final reminder text.

Drive Research would mail a $175 check or process a $175 Amazon gift card for participants immediately following the conclusion of the online diaries. Once the 24 participants for the ethnography (8 per market) have been chosen, the confirmation and reminder process would follow a similar approach. At the conclusion of each market’s in-home visits, Drive Research would mail a $200 check or process a $200 Amazon gift card for participants.

An overview of the Drive Research recruitment process from start-to-finish.


In this particular project, the client planned to both moderate the online dairies and follow-up ethnography sessions. The online diaries work as a week-long forum where participants are required to login on consecutive days, answer questions, and record activities. For the in-home ethnography, a facilitator is on-site to observe behaviors and likely conduct an interview to ask questions at the conclusion of the session.

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Drive Research is a user experience (UX) market research firm in Upstate New York. We work with companies across the country to assist with UX and market research needs.

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User Experience (UX)