I have seen and heard about UserTesting on various financial sites, usually in articles named like this “75+ Ways to Make Extra Money,” or similar. Despite seeing it time and again I had never seen a review of it on these bigger financial blogs, or heard of anyone actually using it. I decided it was time to give it a try.
What is UserTesting?
Usertesting.com is a site that connects companies with the average Joe on the internet, and compensates them for testing out a website. The companies that offer tests are essentially using you for User Experience (UX) feedback, instead of this testing being done in house. It’s easy and straightforward to sign up. They have you download a screen and voice recording software, which is used only when testing a website.
They pay $10 per successful test, and rate you on a scale of 1 – 5 stars. It’s important to get 4 and 5 star feedback on your tests in order to get paid out. Payment is sent to your PayPal, and they don’t issue tax documents because of this.
A normal test takes 20-30 minutes, so it sounds like it wouldn’t be that hard to make about $20 an hour, which isn’t bad for something so easy. It is also possible to have Windows or Mac specific tests, as well as iPad, iPhone and Android tests.
When taking a test, you want to be somewhere quiet and free of distraction. It is possible to pause your recording if you need to, and easily pick up where you left off, should something pop up.
The Sign Up Process
They start out by sending you a practice test, and the idea is to read the instructions and talk out loud about your thoughts and impressions as you navigate an app or website. Express confusion when something is not where you think it is, and note when something is easy or intuitive. In my practice test, I was asked to locate the address of a museum on it’s website. I had seen this information previously in passing, but it actually was difficult to find again. It wasn’t in a place I would normally look for an address on a website. They want to see that you can follow instructions and vocalize your thought process clearly and concisely.
Once you are done with the instructions and recording your thoughts, you upload the test. It can take a day or so to get feedback, but if you do okay on your practice test, you are able to access a dashboard. This is where you can start earning money from real tests.
It took a little while, but eventually some tests started showing up in my dashboard. They have a screening process before you get into a test and try to gear towards software and websites you normally use. I screened out of the first few tests, but got approved for the fourth one.
The recording software got up and running and I was to review Microsoft Teams, which I use in my day job, and explain how I normally go about using it. They then started asking about different features, like the calendar, calls, files, etc. Some of these I had used, and others I had not. I followed the instructions and after about 20 minutes was finished and uploaded the video.
At this point I waited three or four days while my video was reviewed. During this time, I couldn’t take any other tests, which was somewhat frustrating.
Finally I got some feedback and a 4 star review on my first upload. I had preempted some of the upcoming tasks by eagerly over explaining my thoughts. Even so, $10 was sent to my Paypal and I was able to see other tests in my dashboard again.
Is It Worth It?
I didn’t get a chance to take another test for a few days, but had a few hours to kill the next weekend. The tests in my dashboard had backed up over the week and I had about 100 in there. I was excited to get get going and rake in the cash.
After about an hour and a half, my enthusiasm was completely gone. 70 tests had screened me out for one reason or another, and I hadn’t earned a cent. It was pretty disappointing and I haven’t returned since. One of these days I’ll try again, but I suspect this is not a rare occurrence for UserTesters.
Overall, if I had no other easy options to make money, this could be something I would try more, but I think my time is better spent elsewhere. I’ll be following up this review with another on a similar site, called WhatUsersDo.