ITS User Experience Research Pool

About the research pool

Information Technology Services has an opt-in User Experience (UX) Research Pool. This group is for campus members who would like to participate in evaluating digital services at UCSC. Student, faculty and staff participation in the research pool directly improves technology at UCSC by providing ITS with ongoing feedback on a variety of applications and systems. Recent research pool efforts include evaluating campus websites, web forms, and testing new features in the campus multifactor authentication (MFA) system.

ITS user experience research privacy policy ensures all UX Research Pool analysis / findings are anonymous and don’t contain personally-identifying information.

The Pool has a diverse set of participants including:

  • undergraduate students
  • graduate students
  • student employees
  • university staff
  • faculty and instructors

How to join

Membership in the ITS User Experience Research Pool is open for anyone affiliated with the university. Most research activities are conducted online, and only require access to a quiet space, a network connection, and mobile device and/or computer running Zoom.

Join the ITS User Experience Research Pool

After signing up, participants are emailed periodic invitations to join surveys, feedback sessions, usability tests, prototyping sessions, and more. You may decide whether to opt in to any given invitation. Some research activities may provide an incentive for participation such as gift cards or bookstore items.

How to enlist the ITS User Experience Research Pool for a study

While managed by ITS Experience Strategy and Design, the ITS User Experience Research Pool may be available for a variety of UCSC projects and initiatives.


To recruit from the research pool the study must be:

  • For the purpose of improving experiences of people using UCSC digital services or systems.
  • For non-commercial or non-profit-seeking purposes.
  • For research exempt from IRB.

Tips for success

For the best response rate, we recommend:

  • Offering an incentive for research studies that require more than 30 minutes of participant time, such as chances to win gift cards or free food.
  • Keeping the invitation to participate simple, including what’s in it for participants and why they should care.
  • Avoiding long and complicated surveys. Keep surveys approachable, succinct, and ideally less than 5 minutes to complete.
  • Limiting participant commitment to 30 minutes or less for moderated research, e.g., usability tests, interviews.

Contact us

If you're interested in enlisting the ITS UX Research Pool for your study or would like to learn more, please contact the ITS User Experience group at