Could UserTesting.com (UT) provide a legit way to earn the extra cash that you have been looking for?
I am always being asked to suggest ways of earning money online and to be honest short of building your own online business, starting an e-commerce site or starting as a freelancer, all which take time and hard work, I find it very hard to recommend anything.
Usability testing can earn you some extra money but not enough to make you rich or to replace your full-time income.
In my User Testing review, you will find out if you should consider this to earn a little extra money.
Overall Ranking: 80 out of 100 or 4/5 stars
Price: Free to join
Owners: Darrell Benatar and Dave Garr
UserTesting was founded in 2007, after co-founder Dave Garr, who was managing several large websites, became preoccupied with usability testing. He had to use family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers to test the sites to get quick answers to what was or was not working.
Dave found that other people saw things he himself didn’t see that could improve the user experience but he didn’t have enough people to continue with the usability testing. Getting usability testing companies, at that time, cost too much and took too long.
He told Darrell Benatar an entrepreneur, about his testing problems and they set up UserTesting together, to give companies a cheap and rapid way of doing user testing.
What Is UserTesting.com?
This is a company that helps their clients to get feedback from real people, like you, on their websites, mobile apps, games or prototypes. The information they receive will help them understand where users may have a problem navigating their sites or with the features, they have built into apps or games.
Although the website or app may be similar to others already published, there will probably be certain things that could improve the user experience. How many times have you been navigating a website and had problems getting to the page or information you require or had problems making a purchase?
It’s probably happened to most of us. What happens when we can’t get what we’re looking for or make the purchase we want? We leave the site.
User Testing can help to prevent these problems. And as a tester, it’s your job to highlight any problems you encounter.
Who Is UserTesting For?
UT is for companies wanting feedback on their websites or mobile apps. Many of the well-known brands, such as PayPal, CNN, WordPress, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter or Microsoft use UserTesting.com. But as they require testers it can also be a way for you to earn a little money.
There are just a few things you need to sign up:
- A PC or Mac
- An internet connection
- A microphone – if you haven’t got a microphone these are not expensive. User Testing even has a link to Amazon for a headset with microphone that costs just $10.
- An iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet if you intend taking the mobile tests
- Be able to download the screen recorder
- You must be at least 18 years old
- As payments are made by PayPal, you must live in country that accepts PayPal
- And you must speak good English
You should only consider this as a way to make some extra income every month perhaps $20 – $50.
Work At Home As A Tester
You sign up by just giving your email address. Then you must complete a short sample test. Once you’re approved you get notified by email when there are tests available. The video below explains how it works.
With each test, there is a list of tasks you need to complete. The tests can be varied, for example, purchase something on an e-commerce site, find and book a restaurant from a business directory or buy an image from a stock photo site.
When you receive an invite to a test you should check the scenario and the tasks. If it’s something you are happy doing and you decide to accept the test you need to do so quite quickly or another tester will get the test.
A company may ask for just one test or for 100. If they ask for a single test this will be snapped up very quickly, the greater the number of tests they ask for the longer the test will be available. As a tester, you don’t know how many tests they have requested, so act fast!
It’s recommended to log in to UserTesting.com and to have it open in another browser window when you’re on your computer. Every time there is a new test invite you will get a ding, so you can check it out right away. After accepting a test you should start recording within 15 minutes.
The number of tests you are offered will depend on your demographic profile and the ratings you receive for your work. If you do a good job the, clients of UT may specifically ask for you to perform any future tests.
You are free to decline any test if you don’t feel happy about it. You are not penalized in any way for refusing a test.
Before some tests, there is a “screener test”. This is a short survey to see if you meet the requirements of the test. These normally involve just 3 or 4 questions. Nothing like the survey sites where you can spend 20 minutes or more before you’re told you don’t qualify.
When doing the test your screen is recorded. This enables the website owners or webmaster to see what you’re doing and where there might be problems. They can also hear what you are saying, it’s good to keep speaking or think out loud so they get a good idea of what you’re trying to do.
Most tasks are designed to be completed in 15 – 20 minutes.
If you’re interested in signing up but not sure if it’s right for you, this video of a tester may help you decide.
Types of Tests
There are a few different types of test that you may be offered.
- Computer Tests – most of the time you will be providing feedback on websites. These take 15-20 minutes and pay $10 per test.
- Mobile Tests – with the UserTesting mobile app you can carry out tests from your mobile phone for apps and websites. These tests take 15 – 20 minutes and pay $10.
- PEEK Tests – these tests are a way for prospective customers get an idea of your opinion of their website or app. These tests take about 5 minutes to complete and pay $3. You must follow the instructions as for all other tests.
- Recruitment Tests – these tests decide if you are suitable for future special studies. You don’t get paid to take these tests which usually last about 5 minutes. If selected you can be eligible to take these special studies which take longer and pay more. $40 is typical but varies depending on the time spent.
- Prototype Tests – tests on websites or apps that aren’t finished. Take 15 – 20 minutes and pay $10
- Mobile Webcam Tests – available for residents of US after completing 10 tests without having any 1 or 2-star ratings. You use a special webcam, that is sent to you, to record your mobile screen and gestures during a test. These tests pay slightly more than the other tests, $15 for 15 – 20 minutes, as they require more set up time. UserTesting seems to have stopped sending out webcams at the moment.
Pros and Cons
- Decent pay for 20 minutes work
- Pay on time, 7 days after completing the test
- Not enough work to earn a good income
- You may not be offered many tests if your demographics don’t match what they’re looking for
You can get support by email or telephone Monday to Friday from 8 am – 5 pm PST. There is also a support center on the UT site, with articles on subjects that might be causing you problems.
What Their Testers Are Saying
I did find quite a few complaints about UserTesting but most of the complaints seem to be from people disappointed not to be offered more or any tests. Or they were offered tests but didn’t qualify after taking the screener tests.
Many others are very happy with the platform although most would like to be offered more tests. You must remember that the number of tests you are offered depends on your demographic and your ratings.
My Final Opinion
This looks like a legit site to make a little extra money online and at the same time, you’re helping different companies improve their user’s experience. Most testers seem to enjoy the work once they’re used to speaking all the time they are doing the test.
If you do join UT remember you may only get a few tests per month. Most of the complaints I found were about not having enough tests, so don’t expect to make a fortune doing this.
User Testing is much better than many of the so-called money making schemes you find online such as surveys or paid to click sites. At least you are paid a reasonable amount for your time.
If earning $10 per test for a few tests per month isn’t enough for you, I suggest you check out my #1 recommendation for building an online business.
In the long term, you can earn a lot more than by user testing and a sustainable income. However, you have to put in the work and this will take time. But I’m sure you know you will have to work for a business before it start’s working for you.
If you have any experience with any usability testing or have any questions or comments please leave them below.
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Thanks for reading,
Description: UserTesting is a platform companies use to get rapid feedback from ordinary users on their websites or apps. Such feedback can improve user experience and increase conversions. This is also a way for testers to earn some extra cash and it's this aspect we consider in this review.
Owners: Darrell Benatar and Dave Garr
Price: Free to join
My opinion: This is a legitimate way to earn money online although don't count on this to get rich. It could be a good way to earn a little extra cash every month.