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User testing recruitment: Why and When to recruit product testers in-app or outside your product

This article is written in collaboration with Tandemz, the self-service testers recruiting platform for all your user research needs.

In-App Survey & Feedback
alapini raphael
Raphael Alapini
Recruit inside and outside of your app

Regarding User Research, everyone wants to have the best testing process available. In fact, it’s a central step in the conception of your product and you don’t want to miss it.

Nonetheless, there is plenty of questions that you could have about the best time and practices for recruiting your product testers.

Why should I recruit my existing users when I’m launching a new feature? Is it better to recruit fresh testers outside of my product? When is the best time to do it?

Screeb is leading User Research for top brands like Nespresso and Doctolib for more than 2 years. We collected all the necessary insights to give you the best tips and help you make the best possible decisions.

In-app user testing recruitment: Pros and cons

Let’s keep it simple here, here are the pros and cons of in-app user testing :


  1. Authentic user feedback: Your existing users are already familiar with your tool and have experienced its functionality, which makes their feedback more authentic and relevant. By recruiting testers from your existing user base, you can gather insights from real users who are actively using your tool in their daily lives.This feedback can help you identify any issues or pain points that may not be apparent to your development team, and make data-driven decisions for improvements.
  2. Efficient and cost-effective: Recruiting testers from your existing user base can be more efficient than external recruitment methods. Your existing users are already engaged with your product, and reaching out to them for user testing can be a quicker and easier process compared to recruiting new testers from scratch.Additionally, in-app recruitment lessen the need for external incentives or compensation, which can save on costs associated with recruiting external testers.
  3. Enhanced user retention and loyalty: Involving your existing users in the user testing process through in-app recruitment can contribute to improved user retention and loyalty.

When users feel that their opinions and feedback are valued, they are more likely to remain engaged with your app and continue using it. By actively involving them in the development process, you can create a sense of ownership and loyalty among your existing users, leading to increased user retention and advocacy.


  1. Bias in feedback: Testers from your existing user base may have a bias towards your app, as they are already familiar with it and may have a vested interest in providing positive feedback.
  2. Limited diversity in testers: In-app recruitment may result in a limited diversity of testers, as you may only be testing with users who are already using your app, potentially missing out on insights from different demographics or user segments.
  3. Limited sample size: Depending on the size of your existing user base, in-app recruitment may result in a limited sample size for user testing, which may not provide a comprehensive understanding of your app's usability and functionality.
  4. User fatigue: Your existing users may already be engaged with your app and may not have the time or inclination to participate in user testing, resulting in lower participation rates.

To sum up, recruiting users inside your app can be really helpful but you should segment you target audience with finesse to collect insightful feedback.

Moreover, you should consider the bias and limits of this technique when you analyze the feedback you collect.

User testing recruitment outside of your app: A better option?

If you want to choose the better option, you need to have all the cards in your hands. Let’s make a deep dive into the pros and cons of this second user testing methods.


  1. Fresh perspective: Testers who are not familiar with your product can provide unbiased feedback and a fresh perspective, which can uncover issues or improvements that may not be apparent to internal team members or existing users.
  2. Diverse insights: Recruiting testers from different demographics, user segments, or locations can provide diverse insights and help identify potential usability issues or preferences specific to different user groups. Testers outside of your product are not influenced by any prior experience or biases, which can result in more objective and impartial feedback on your app's usability, functionality, and overall user experience.
  3. Expanded testing scope: Testing outside of your product can provide an opportunity to evaluate your app's compatibility with different devices, operating systems, browsers, or networks, ensuring a broader testing scope and uncovering potential issues in different environments.


  1. Cost and effort: Recruiting external testers may require additional costs and effort in terms of finding and compensating testers for their time and feedback.
  2. Time-consuming: It may take time to find and onboard external testers, which can delay the user testing process and impact your app's development timeline.
  3. Lack of familiarity with your product: External testers may not be familiar with your product or its specific features, which may result in feedback that is not aligned with your target audience or user goals. Off course, some specific part of your product (onboarding) could benefit from external feedback.
  4. Potential for lower engagement: External testers may not have the same level of engagement or motivation as your internal team or existing users, which may impact the quality and quantity of feedback received.

In fact, using tools to recruit testers in-app and outside app can make the combination way easier. For example, Tandemz takes care of the recruitment process based on all your criteria and Screeb helps you segment your users based on their habits.

Let’s focus on the best time to launch your user testing.

User testing recruitment agency

Using a user testing recruitment agency can streamline finding the right testers for your product. Agencies like UserTesting, Respondent, and TestingTime specialize in sourcing and vetting testers who match your target audience, saving you time and resources. They provide access to diverse tester pools, ensuring comprehensive insights. Whether you need in-app testers or external users, these agencies tailor their services to meet your specific needs, enhancing the effectiveness of your user testing efforts.

When should I launch my user testing?

Anytime you need it!

Generally speaking, there are a few key milestones that can serve as ideal times to launch user testing:

Early Development Stage: It's never too early to start user testing. Even during the early development stage, conducting usability tests with a small group of users can help you identify potential issues, gather feedback on initial designs, and make early improvements before investing further resources into development.

This can help you avoid costly redesigns or reworks later in the development process.

Beta or Pre-Launch Stage: When your product is nearing completion but hasn't been released to the public yet, the beta or pre-launch stage can be an ideal time to conduct user testing.

This allows you to get feedback from real users using your product in a more realistic environment, which can help you uncover any last-minute issues or make final adjustments before the public launch.

Post-Launch Stage: User testing is not limited to pre-launch or beta stages.

Conducting ongoing user testing even after your product has been launched can provide valuable insights on how real users are interacting with your product in the live environment.

This can help you identify areas for improvement, optimize user experience, and gather feedback for future updates.

Major Updates or Redesigns: Whenever you make significant updates or redesigns to your product, it's a good time to conduct user testing. This can help you validate the effectiveness of the changes, gather feedback on any new features or functionalities, and ensure that the updates are well-received by your users.

You know everything, it’s time to launch your first user tests, wether it’s in-app or outside the app.

Reach out to our friends at Tandemz or to the Screeb team if you wish to know more.

Now that you know the pros and cons of both methodes, visit the Tandemz website to know more about the process to conduct an efficient user research.

Enjoyed this article? Discover Screeb, our Continuous Product Discovery platform made for product teams!

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