Finding users for user testing, isn’t always an easy task. Companies with existing users can send out emails, send a tweet or may already have an established user group. What if your product doesn’t exist yet, and therefore doesn’t have any users? You’ll have to try and find potential users. How the hell do you do that?
Task Based vs Product Based
Try using a Craigslist post. Ask a series of questions that help describe user tasks that you’re trying to test and solve. Don’t mention specific applications, instead ask task based questions. If you were working on an email based product, instead of asking, “Do you use Gmail everyday?”, ask, “Do you send emails to 10 or more people a day?” or “Do you spend more than 1 hour a day responding to emails?”. You can tailor these questions to reach the level of user you’re looking for. In addition, offer a $100 gift card as payment for the user’s time. You should get several responses over the next few days, and you can pick 3–5 users, whose answers meet your requirements.
Let me know how this process works for you and if you changed anything to make it even more effective, @mkivikoski .