Which Network Should I Choose to Recruit Contributors?

At a Glance

UserTesting provides three ways to recruit contributors for your test: the UserTesting Contributor Network, Custom Network, and Invite Network. This article explains the differences between the three types of networks and when to consider using each one.


UserTesting offers several options to find the right contributors for your test. You can…

  1. Choose Build audience if you want to recruit contributors from the UserTesting Contributor Network or your own network of contributors via Custom Network. 
  2. Choose Create link to send a one-time test link to anyone you want outside the UserTesting Platform via Invite Network. 


Let's learn about each one.

UserTesting Contributor Network

The UserTesting Contributor Network allows you to select people UserTesting has already recruited worldwide. Select UserTesting Contributor Network under Contributor network options as you build your audience.


There are two aspects of the UserTesting Contributor Network that help you find the right contributors: Filters and Screener questions.

Filters are settings that allow you to select and limit criteria, such as age and income, and help you control the distribution of the test. Based on the information provided by the UserTesting Contributor Network member, we offer the test only to those contributors who match the criteria you have selected.


Screener questions are multiple-choice questions that contributors have to answer correctly before they’re able to accept your test. Only contributors whose answers match the answers you were willing to accept will be included in the test.


Use the UserTesting Contributor Network when…

  • You need immediate feedback from contributors
  • You want to recruit contributors from around the world
  • You want UserTesting to handle the contributor recruiting process for you

Custom Network

Custom Network (available on Ultimate and Premium plans) allows you to ask your customers, fans, employees, and more to be on networks you create on the UserTesting app.

Create a Custom Network by choosing the Contributor networks options from the account menu dropdown. From here, select the Custom networks tab to create your own Custom Network and invite your contributors to join (for a detailed step-by-step, see our article on creating a Custom Network). UserTesting handles the onboarding process and collects contributor information such as age, gender, and income.


When you build your audience for your test, select Custom Network under Contributor network options, and choose your Custom Network from the Which network do you want to use? dropdown menu.


The Custom Network filters allow you to target the contributors you need for your test. With your Custom Network, you can test with your trusted network again and again. Additionally, UserTesting compensates contributors, or you can choose to have an unpaid network. 

Use Custom Network when…

  • You want to test with audiences that are harder to find and not readily available on the UserTesting Contributor Network
  • You want to do continuous testing with the same group of employees, partners, or customers
  • You want to test niche audiences that you’ve already identified, like people who use a specific software tool your company offers.

Invite Network

Invite Network (available on the Flex plan and Professional and Premium subscriptions) allows you to recruit your contributors by generating a test link you send to anyone you like, from internal employees to a database of existing customers. Invite Network provides greater flexibility and gives you control over and responsibility for screening, communicating with, and compensating contributors. 

Get started by customizing your study and building your test plan. Customize your tests by deciding the number of contributors and the length of the test and by inserting logos and any other branding material. 


Once you’re ready, you’ll get the invitation link for your test, which you can send out to selected contributors. You can write your message to send with the invitation link or use one of UserTesting’s many templates.

Use Invite Network when…

  • You want to send a one-time test to a specific group of people
  • You want to be in charge of how you communicate with and compensate your contributors

Favorite Contributors and Specific Contributors

When you build your audience, you'll find options under Contributor network options for Favorite contributors and Specified contributors.

Favorite contributors allows you to test with a network of contributors that you added to your favorites from previous tests.


When you build your audience, select Favorite contributors and choose the network you wish to test with.


Select Specific contributors when you have a particular contributor in mind that you want to test. You'll then be prompted to add their username and any other requirements in the space provided.


Fuel Cycle (Beta)

The UserTesting integration for Fuel Cycle allows you to reach and manage networks of your own customers in your Fuel Cycle communities. Visit our Fuel Cycle article for steps on how to set up the integration with UserTesting.


Learn More

Need more information? Read these related articles.

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