Choosing A Sample



Choosing A Sample is a design method that prioritizes certain groups of individuals when deciding who would be the most appropriate or effective group of users given a limited time and budget.


List the user attributes that you believe will influence the behaviors involved with your service design.  Then, organize that list based on importance to determine what your most valued attributes are.

Some common attributes to consider include:

  • age
  • life stage
  • ethnicity
  • socio-economic background
  • gender
  • geographical location

The sample you choose should reflect what you want from your users.  Your preferred sample, however, does not have to be representative.  In fact, it should include individuals who relate to your list of preferred attributes to ensure that you are sampling a group of people that reflect your target user.


Because it is unreasonable to assume that you can research each of your actual users, Choosing A Sample is an effective tool in finding the most appropriate group of individuals to create a sample from.  Using this method saves time and money and is also a fundamental stepping stone for other tools that require an understanding of the user.