Many Requesters choose Mechanical Turk because the large Worker community available enables quick results on projects. So, what are the best methods to drive speed as a Requester? In some ways, attracting workers to your HITs can be likened to dating. Similar basic rules apply: Your HITs must be available and attractive to Workers.
By designing HITS that meet these criteria, not only will more Workers want to do your HITs—Requesters typically see higher throughput as a result.
Making HITs Available
Your HITs are constantly competing for Workers’ attention. For this reason, they need to be easy to discover, or rather, available to Workers.
Most Workers use search to target HITs and rarely review beyond the first page of results. Thus, it’s critical to select descriptive titles, relevant keywords and competitive rewards that make it easy for Workers to discover your HITs.
For example, I enjoy surveys, but prefer shorter surveys. In order to discover these sorts of opportunities, I searched for “short survey” and sorted results in descending order based on reward. Here’s the top HIT returned:
Why was this HIT the first result? The Requester listed matching keywords (“survey” and “short”) and is paying $3.50 per HIT, which is the most competitive reward given my search query.
Making HITs Attractive
Just as if you were creating an online dating profile, it’s important to make your HITs appear attractive while at the same time providing a title and description that accurately describe your task. Exaggerations may attract more Workers initially—however, misrepresenting HITs will ultimately tarnish your reputation in the Worker community. For example, adding adjectives like “easy” or “fun” can seem more inviting, but aren’t effective if they are not truthful representations.
Designing HITs that are efficient and enjoyable also has a significant impact on how attractive they are to Workers. Use the best practices outlined in the MTurk Best Practices for Requesters to keep the design of your HITs simple. HITs with confusing instructions, or complicated layouts that require a lot of scrolling are perceived by Workers to be less efficient and have a lower return on their investment of time.
Finally, attract Workers by pricing competitively based on the length of time and complexity of your HIT relative to other HITs available on Mechanical Turk. Workers are constantly evaluating their opportunity cost and will abandon your task for similar, but higher paid HIT if there is one available.
For example, consider the following two opportunities from a Worker’s perspective:
These are just a few easy strategies that are helpful to consider when looking to get your HIT noticed in a sea of eligible HITs in the marketplace. By focusing on making HITs more available (or discoverable) and attractive using the simple tactics outlined above, you can increase your chances of attracting great Workers, and subsequently, improve the speed of your results.