9 Prompts Every User Researcher Should Know

Shavin Peiries Jan 18, 2023 6 min read

User research is communication.

As a process, the only two steps that I enjoy about it are:

  1. Actually conversing with prospects or customers.
  2. Synthesizing the insights.

The other steps are loaded with communication. Recruitment ads, emails, screener surveys, sending out incentives, thank you notes and more emails!

These are less than desirable to-do but essential to making the process work.

But fret not.

Gone are the days of having to do this by ourselves. Wouldn't it be great to have a dutiful assistant to do it for you? And almost instantly? So you can focus on the parts that you actually care about.

That's what the folks at OpenAI have been working on.

With ChatGPT (their large-language model) generating communication material has gotten a lot easier. Making this researchers life a whole lot better.

In this post I want to tell you how I use it, what prompts I use and what sort of output you can expect. I'll also briefly explain when you should be using them.

Ready to streamline your workflow? Let's jump in!

#1 – Writing a recruitment ad on Facebook or Instagram

When to use: New product discovery and usability testing.

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Prompt: I'm a researcher at a startup [focused on consumer psychotherapy.]

I need you to write ad copy for Facebook and Instagram inviting people who have previously worked with psychotherapists to join a research study that will be 45 minutes long.

Include that selected participants will receive a voucher of their choice (Amazon, Starbucks, or Walmart) worth $50.

The study will happen on a specified date. Include the sign-up link at the end. Use a friendly and approachable tone. Ignore hashtags.
Result for recruitment ad on FB and IG prompt

#2 – Writing a recruitment ad on Reddit or forums

When to use: Recruiting people from industry specific forums where they might be harder to reach on other platforms.

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Prompt: I'm a researcher at a startup working on monitoring website status.

I need you to write the post copy inviting developers on a subreddit to join a usability test that will be 30 minutes long.

Include that selected participants will receive a voucher of their choice (Amazon, Starbucks, or Walmart) worth $25.

Additionally, include a subject line.

In the body, let them know that it isn't a sales pitch or scam and tell them that it's difficult to find users hence why you're searching on Reddit.

Ask to DM if interested. Use a friendly and approachable tone.
Result generated for recruitment ad on Reddit prompt
Be sure to check out my other article on recruiting people when you don't know them before hand.

#3 – Writing a recruitment email for your own product

When to use: When testing new features with your own customer base or if you have to do a discovery call for a feature request.

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Prompt: I'm a researcher at a startup. We connect parents to extracurricular service providers.

I need you to write an email inviting parents of our app to do a 30-minute usability test for a new feature we're exploring.

Include that selected participants will receive a voucher of their choice (Amazon, Starbucks, or Walmart) worth $50.

Additionally, include a subject line. And in the body, start with Dear [parent name], and include the date of the test and a link to book a call with me. Use a friendly and approachable tone.
Result generated for recruitment email prompt

#4 – Writing an introduction to a screener survey

When to use: When you need to prime interested participants right before they need to fill out survey.

✏️
Prompt: I'm a researcher at a startup. We're conducting a 45-minute product discovery interview.

I need you to write a message (including a title) to encourage participants to fill out a 2-minute screener survey.

The message has to state the following information:
1. The date on which the study is happening
2. The fact that it's going to be a casual over-the-phone conversation (nothing serious)
3. Selected participants will receive a $50 gift voucher from Amazon.

Use a friendly and approachable tone of voice.
Result generated for introduction to survey prompt

#5 – Creating a screener survey

When to use: When you need to qualify the participants attending the research.
Adjust parameters such as date and time as needed.

✏️
Prompt: I'm building a startup that's focused on medicine delivery.

I need you to create a screener survey to identify potential participants who have NCDs (non-communicable diseases) for a research interview. The screener survey should contain:

1. Input the full name, email and phone number to best reach them.
2. Input their availability on the 14th of February 2023 using multiple checkboxes. Encourage them to select all their available time slots: 9 am, 10.30 am, 1 pm, 2.30 pm, and 4.15 pm.
3. Ask relevant questions to qualify whether they have NCDs and how they approach procuring their medicine.
4. Include some services in the United States that they might be utilising right now.

Each question should include a helpful text to guide them.
Result generated for a screener survey prompt

#6 – Emailing selected participants

When to use: After qualifying some participants to confirm their participation.

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Prompt: I'm a researcher at a startup. I help people progress towards quitting the habit of smoking.

I have a list of selected participants for a research interview. I need you to create an email confirming their participation in the interview on the [specified date and time].

Mention that it's going to be an over-the-phone interview and it's going to be a casual conversation. Ask them to respond with confirmation by [specified date].

If they have any questions ask them not to hesitate to either reply to the email or call me on [phone number].

Use a friendly and approachable tone.
Result generated for emailing selected participants prompt

#7 – Interview script for the research

The structure of a script depends on what you're trying to learn.

Instead of including all the possible variations, I wanted to include my go-to place for interview scripts from Michele Hansen:

Scripts - Deploy Empathy
Deploy Empathy Script Templates Practice Interview Script Discovery Interview Script New Customer Interview Script (aka Switch Interview) Long-Time Customer Interview Script (aka Happy Customer Interview) Interactive Interview Script Cancelation Interview Script Google Docs + Notion Templates To mak…

#8 – Thank you notes including incentives

When to use: After an interview has been completed.

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Prompt: I'm a researcher at a startup that's focused on developing payment APIs for developers.

I have interviewed some developers for a research. I need you to write a thank you note for their participation and tell them that their $100 amazon gift card has been attached.

Remind them that the card has an expiration date and to utilise it before the stated date.

Use a friendly and approachable tone. Avoid sounding corporate.
Result generated for thank you prompt

#9 - Synthesizing insights

Synthesizing is a multi-step approach. I wrote a specialised guide on how you can use ChatGPT to synthesize insights and 2x your output.

It's full of useful prompts and tips. Check that out here:

How I used Chat GPT to save time researching customers
A practical application of using Chat GPT to spend less time synthesizing insights from customer research

That's all I have for you at this time. I will continue to update this list as I use ChatGPT for more research cases, so make sure to save or bookmark it for future reference.

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