By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Home > Blog >
5 Ways to Make User Research More Efficient
Home > Blog >
5 Ways to Make User Research More Efficient

5 Ways to Make User Research More Efficient

Saviour Egbe
November 22, 2023

In the fast-paced world of product development, user research often gets a bad rap for being time-consuming and resource-intensive. But what if there are simple ways of streamlining the user research process, making it more efficient and cost-effective without sacrificing quality?

In this article, we’ll walk you through 5 practical strategies for increasing efficiency in user research, so you can still make insight-informed decisions in a fast-paced environment. 

  1. Do you already have the data?
  1. Rapid recruiting via panels
  1. Reduce no shows 
  1. Do rapid synthesis 
  1. Streamline the research process

1. Do you already have the data?

Often we see that a study is needed and jump head first into planning.

Sometimes though, we already have the data.

When you first get a research question, go through these steps first:

  • Check for data across existing studies. If you have a team of researchers you work with, ask them if they’ve studied something relevant before. If you’ve already invested in a repository like Looppanel, search across it with key terms and themes to see what you already have.
  • Check other data sources. Sometimes the answer doesn’t exist in the form of historical research, but it’s already present in other data sources. Is the data something that would’ve come up in support tickets, analytics data, or sales calls? Speak to the owners of these data sources or explore their data sets to see if the data already exists.

2. Rapid recruiting via panels

Recruiting often takes ages, unless you have a very responsive user base. When you’re facing a time-crunch, we may want to outsource this process or talk to look-alike customers (people who look like our users) where possible.

Solutions like, offer panels of people you can recruit. You can put in “screener surveys” asking people for additional information before you set up your call.

It will vary per your participants but these platforms should allow you to recruit participants within a few days.

If you must recruit your own users for a study, there are ways to bring efficiency to that too.

Read our detailed guide to recruiting the right users here.

3. Reduce no-shows

Not only do no-shows waste time and resources, but they also disrupt the research schedule and potentially lead to incomplete data. 

Addressing the root causes of no-shows can significantly reduce their occurrence. 

  • Clear Communication and Reminders: Communicate the research details, including the purpose, location, duration, and incentives. More importantly, send atleast two reminders about the session:—one 24 hours before, and another 1 hour before your session.
  • Communicate where users live: You may be sending calendar invites and reminders via email and wondering why your no-show rates are sky-high. If your participants don’t check their emails frequently, your reminders are falling on deaf ears. You can find this out simply by adding an “email open” tracking software like MailTrack to your emails. If your audience isn’t even opening these emails, you may need to communicate on another medium like phone texts / calls.

Meaningful Incentives: Not all audiences are created equal in terms of how they respond to incentives. Students will jump on $20 gift cards whereas a working professional may not. Calculate the perfect incentive for your user base to maximize responses. You can always adjust these for future studies as you learn more about how your users respond to a particular amount of incentive.

What to do when a participant doesn't show up

Despite your best efforts, no-shows may still occur. Here's how to handle them effectively:

  • Immediate Contact: If a participant does not show up, make immediate contact to know the reason for their absence. If you have their contact information (email / phone), this would be ideal. 
  • Backup Plans: Have backup plans in place to minimize disruptions. Recruit additional participants or consider using online panels to quickly find replacements if necessary.

4. Do rapid synthesis

User research often generates a wealth of data that can be overwhelming to analyze and synthesize. This is where rapid synthesis comes into play. 

Rapid synthesis is a process of quickly analyzing and interpreting user research data to extract key insights and findings. It encourages researchers to gather insights quickly and share them with the team in an ongoing manner, rather than waiting for a formal report. 

This approach allows for continuous feedback and iteration. It also ensures that research findings are incorporated into the product development process as early as possible.

Use quick debriefs (with the help of Looppanel!)

Sometimes, the most valuable insights come from those quick, off-the-cuff discussions right after a user research session. 

Quick debriefs are short, focused discussions held immediately after research sessions to gather initial impressions and key findings.

After a user research session, gather your team for a quick debrief. It's a way to capture the essence of your research while the experience is still fresh in everyone's minds.

But don't worry about remembering everything – Looppanel can be your trusty sidekick, capturing key notes for you automatically and turning them into a shareable document.

With Looppanel, you get automatic notes organized by interview questions. If something really crucial comes up, you can save that time-stamp in the moment. No more chasing after lost notes or sifting through endless spreadsheets. Everything is organized, accessible, and ready to be transformed into actionable insights.

Share insights in real-time

By sharing findings as they emerge, researchers can:

  • Involve stakeholders early: Get feedback from designers, developers, product managers, and other teams while the research is ongoing. If new follow-up questions are coming up or the team is noticing something you didn’t see, you get the chance to integrate that into your findings. 
  • Adapt research plans: Identify areas that require further investigation or adjust research questions based on emerging insights.
  • Drive product development: Some insights will become obvious right from the first few sessions. Bringing your team into those sessions and debrief calls allows them to start executing on obvious insights immediately. 

You can still go back and do deeper synthesis once your calls end, but your team already has something to work with which creates less time pressure on the process moving forward.

5. Streamline the research process

You can optimize even a near-perfect user research process further, by eliminating unnecessary steps, leveraging technology, and establishing a repeatable framework.

Identify and eliminate unnecessary steps

Start with taking a step back, and assessing whether any unnecessary steps exist.
Consider the following questions:

  • Are there any steps in the process that could be combined or eliminated?
  • Are there any tasks that could be automated or outsourced to save time and resources?
  • Are there any redundancies or inefficiencies in the communication channels or documentation processes?

You can conduct a review of the process, evaluating the significance of each step critically, and the value it adds to the research process.

Gather feedback from team members and stakeholders to identify potential inefficiencies too. 

Automate tasks and utilize tools

Technology can be a powerful ally in streamlining user research. By automating repetitive tasks and utilizing specialized tools, you can free up time to focus on the more strategic aspects of the research.

Here are a few examples of how tools can enhance your user research efficiency:

  1. Automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks like scheduling sessions and sending reminders, using software or tools like Google Calendar and Calendly
  2. Use transcription in products like Looppanel to generate instant transcripts of your calls in mere minutes.
  3. Research repository tools go a long way in organizing all your research in one place, tagging data points, making bookmarks, and organizing insights better. It also makes it easier to communicate findings with your team and share snippets with stakeholders.
Check out our list of top research repositories here.


By implementing the five efficiency tips outlined in the article, you can significantly improve the user research process, and streamline it to save time and money.

To summarize:

  1. Check if you already have the data required for your research,  you can avoid repeating steps and doubling effort.
  2. Build the right user panels. Cast a wide net, communicate expectations clearly, and conduct initial screenings.
  3. Reduce no-shows by offering flexible scheduling, meaningful incentives and communicating why the research matters. Have a backup plan ready if all fails.
  4. Do rapid synthesis of data–do quick debriefs after sessions, and share findings regularly with stakeholders, and the rest of the team..

Streamlining user research is key. Do an audit and eliminate unnecessary steps, and use tools to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks like scheduling and transcription.

Share this:

Get the best resources for UX Research, in your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related Articles