Frequently asked questions

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Getting started

About us

  • Microsoft User Research is a team of dedicated professionals who bring the voice of users to our product teams. The goal is to unlock the power of user feedback in order to create products that delight our customers. We conduct year-round research at Microsoft to better understand your needs and the way you use our products.

    Most of our research studies are conducted in our User Research Labs located on the main Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. Typically, studies last an hour or two. We watch, listen, and learn while you work or play. These studies provide a direct line of feedback to our product design and development teams.

  • We have a variety of ways to participate in research, and you’re offered a gift card gratuity for your time and feedback.

    • Lab Studies
      Lab studies are a traditional type of user research study. You meet with a researcher in one of our labs at a Microsoft campus (most studies are in Redmond, WA). They’ll typically ask you to “think out loud” about what you’re seeing and using. You’ll be glad to know there are no right or wrong answers!

    • Focus Groups
      Focus groups involve meeting with a group facilitator in a room where everyone is asked for their opinions in a group discussion, and the feedback is given to the development team.

    • Surveys
      Surveys are a way to give product feedback online from where you are. Surveys originating from Microsoft User Research may be hosted by our survey software provider. The URL for these surveys usually begins with “https://microsoft.qualtrics.com/ …” or "http://analytics.clickdimensions.com/microsoftcom…""

    • Site Visits
      As part of our nationwide site visit program, our product design teams conduct research in real-life work or home settings. Because the studies are run in real-world environments, we're better able to understand your real needs and expectations. The researcher will meet you there and observe you performing certain tasks, or ask you a series of questions. We work with you to find a time that fits with your schedule.

    • Playtest
      If you’re interested in gaming and entertainment studies, we also offer the Playtest program. You can find out more information at http://www.microsoft.com/playtest. You can enroll at this site or at Playtest. Participants in either program are eligible for both User Research and Playtest studies.

    • Panel Studies
      Panel studies are longitudinal studies that capture information and feedback from the same group of people over a period of time.

  • Contact Microsoft User Research for additional questions about our program or website. To learn more about how we help protect your privacy, visit our corporate privacy page.

    • For urgent or specific needs, call toll free (888) 261-8488
    • For questions about gratuity, call (425) 706-7197.

    Our mailing address is:
    Microsoft Corporation - User Research
    Building 111/2000
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA 98052-6399

Enrollment

  • Sign up to participate in a study by completing the enrollment form.

    Once completed, we’ll contact you when we have a research study that matches your experience and interests. If you’re under 17, you’ll need your parent or guardian’s permission.

  • You’ll see some very cool technology and you’ll help shape those products with your perspective, ideas, and comments. Because most of what we're working on is in development and confidential, you'll be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement before you start.

    Once you’re done, you'll be offered a thank you gratuity in the form of a gift card.

  • No you don’t! Microsoft products and technologies are used across the globe by nearly every demographic, including singles and families, kids and parents, young and old, techies and tech beginners. We want folks that use smartphones, PCs, paper calendars, Macs, calculators and the internet. You are all needed to help us ensure the highest-quality products.

  • Absolutely! You can sign up your child or, if they’re old enough, they can sign themselves up. If your child is under 17, there is a consent form that a parent or guardian must fill out and send to Microsoft. Instructions will be provided at the end of the enrollment form. Parents or guardians also need to accompany their children to the user research studies and sign a participant waiver form for them.

Participation

  • Regardless of which kind of study you choose, upon accepting an invitation to participate you can expect an email with all the details. Our researcher will meet you at the designated time and location, and will let you know if you need to bring anything. At the research study, you’ll be instructed what you need to do and the researcher will walk you through step-by-step. With all study types, you'll be offered a gratuity in the form of a gift card as a thank you for your time and feedback. After your study, you can pick up your gratuity by visiting our Microsoft employee company store on the Redmond campus, or send in our gratuity form (shipping typically takes 6 to 8 weeks).

  • When we find a study that matches your interests and experience, we’ll contact you via phone, email or text message. We won’t contact you more than once per month without your permission and you can update your preferences or opt out of the program at any time. To change your preferences, or opt out from the program, Click here or mail your request to Microsoft User Research with REMOVE in the subject line.

  • We sure do. Most research studies are conducted at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA. We have user research labs in many different buildings. To get directions to your specific research study, see our Directions page. Microsoft offers free or validated parking at most of our locations.

  • Yes, by all means! Friends or family – if you know someone who might be interested in participating in Microsoft User Research, email them to apply here.

Gratuity

  • After completing your study, you'll receive a gratuity as a thank you in the form of an American Express gift card to take home from our Company Store. The Company Store is open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (PST) Monday through Friday, and is located on the Microsoft Campus, Building 92 (West Campus / Studio Commons) at 15010 NE 36th St, Redmond, WA 98052.

    Get directions to Microsoft Building 92 from Bing:
    15010 NE 36th St, Redmond, WA 98052

    We will provide you a study number that you can take to our Company Store to pick up your gratuity. You must have a study number to receive your gratuity.

    If you can't pick up your gratuity from our company store, you can also email the appropriate information to us so that we can mail you your gratuity. If we're mailing your gratuity to you, it will typically take 2-4 weeks and we can't ship outside the US or to PO boxes, military address or dormitories.

    If you have any questions about your gratuity, email us.

Get Started

To get started, we need to know about you so we can find a study that fits your interests and experience. Start here with the basics, then continue by completing the full online form. The sooner you sign up, the sooner you’ll be trying out new technology and helping us make products you’ll love. Please know that your privacy is important to us. Your information is secure and used exclusively for User Research studies.
Email myself a link to the enrollment form

To get started, we need to know about you so we can find a study that fits your interests and experience. Start here with the basics, then continue by completing the full online form, or email yourself a link to the form and fill it out later. The sooner you sign up, the sooner you’ll be trying out new technology and helping us make products you’ll love. Please know that your privacy is important to us. Your information is secure and used exclusively for User Research studies.

To get started, email the link to yourself by clicking below, then come back when you’re at your computer to fill out the form. The sooner you sign up, the sooner you’ll be trying out new technology and helping us make products you’ll love. Please know that your privacy is important to us. Your information is secure and used exclusively for User Research studies.

Email myself a link to the enrollment formEmail myself a link to the form