Disabled Voices Matter, in Market Research and User Testing


Posted by Saros Research:

What’s YOUR opinion worth, as a consumer, as a disabled person, as a person with ideas and suggestions? It could be worth cash incentives, from researchers who need your input.

Every day new products are brought to market, new advertising campaigns launched, new applications released and strategic decisions made, on thousands of commercial and social questions. Some of these might seem like tiny choices: do we run with the label with the green border or the blue one? Or they could be huge… do we launch this product in the UK or not? Should we create a whole new version of this portal for specific users or not?

All of these decisions need different input, and in many cases that has to come from the ultimate end users or stakeholders in the finished product – they are the ones who are going to make choices as consumers in the end, and if the product fails at that point it’s horrifically expensive. Brands that overlook the need to consult their customers do so at their peril – remember ‘New Coke’? And in today’s hyper-connected world, the backlash is immediate and incalculable.

So this is where market research and user testing comes in, and Saros Research is the UK’s leading portal for members of the public who want to take part and have their say. Recruiting every week for focus groups, accompanied shops, application tests, in-depth interviews, product tests and user reviews, as well as larger exercises like citizen juries and public consultations, the variety is huge. All our events are fairly and ethically run, are genuine and regulated research exercises, and attract generous payments for participants.

Traditionally market research recruitment was often done by word of mouth, and the opportunities it involved were therefore generally limited to those in the know – personal contacts of recruiters and interviewers. This often lead to a dangerous lack of diversity in research samples, because we all tend to mostly know people who are like us in some way, and this was one reason Saros was established in the year 2000 – by a fieldworker who wanted higher standards, and a researcher who felt her clients deserved better participants.

As well as the quality of research issue, Saros believes in the basic fairness of making research opportunities as widely available as possible, so that everyone has a chance of influencing the products and services they use, as well as getting paid very well for doing so. This means no one individual participating more than occasionally, and everyone’s voices getting heard in the end.

It’s important to us that every section of the community is represented in our membership, and we would love more disabled people to join us and apply to take part in our events. In addition to ‘mainstream’ research where the views of disabled people should be a representative part of population as a whole, we also recruit on behalf of a number of brands specifically seeking the input of people with varying impairments for special projects – such as adaptive technology firms, academic researchers, or users of particular medical products (we don’t recruit for medical testing or pharmaceutical research, but for equipment testing, patient information leaflets or packaging, for example).

Signing up is easy and fun and you can register with Saros here. You will need to trust us with a certain amount of personal information needed to match you to the right opportunities, but we are Company Partners of the Market Research Society and registered Information Controllers, we’ll keep it safe till we have the right project for you, and we will never share or use it for any other purpose.

For further information, please see sarosresearch.com or email maya@sarosresearch.com.

Company Profile:
Saros Research is the UK’s leading register for participants in paid market research and user testing