Apple always gets flack for not conducting user research (even though that’s a myth — it’s market research they don’t conduct). Apparently Facebook doesn’t feel the same way about keeping their research under wraps. I recently happened upon an interesting page on Facebook where they allow people to apply to participate in user research studies, surveys and telephone interviews — Facebook User Research.
I’ve done a lot of research for a lot of clients, and I’ve never seen anyone take this approach before. Typically you get better, more valid data when not using participants that have self-selected. Still, with Facebook’s huge user base, they can probably get away with a participant application without having much of a negative effect on the research results. I have to wonder how many people have applied.
If anyone at Facebook reads this blog, or if you’ve previously been a participant in one of Facebook’s studies, I’d love for you to shine some light on their research methodologies.
I know Facebook has a Design and User Research department, but I’ve never met anyone who works there, or gotten any insight into their UX practices. I was able to find a couple (1, 2) of their UX Researchers on LinkedIn though. And for Apple? No beans.
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