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User Testing Review: Get Paid to Think Out Loud

This User Testing review is long overdue for an update. Fun fact: This was the first blog post I ever wrote. Ever. It was originally published back in April 2015!

So, I finally took a moment to correct the outdated information and added some new details too. Now, it’s a much more accurate reflection. To my knowledge, this is up-to-date info as of January 2022. Without further ado, let’s get on with the User Testing Review!

Chances are, you spend a lot of time online. You probably read the news, check your email, do some shopping and give status updates to friends and family via social media. And this familiarity with browsing the Internet and navigating websites can actually translate into some extra cash each month.

When you become a usability tester for User Testing you can earn a little extra money in your spare time just for your thoughts. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into my User Testing Review. As far as work from home jobs, this is one of my favorite extra money makers!

User Testing Review Fast Facts

  • Sign Up Process: Easy, Requires a Sample Test
  • Pay Rate : $4.00 for 5-minute test, $10 for 20-minute test, and $30-$120 for live interviews
  • Availability of Work: Varies
  • Income Type: Supplemental, Less than $500 monthly

What is usability testing?

All sorts of companies want to know what we Internet users do while navigating their sites. They want to know what makes us click on certain links, abandon our shopping carts and our general likes and dislikes about their websites and apps. Why? Because it gives them the opportunity to improve points that are confusing and promote things that work well. This leads to greater customer satisfaction which turns into more money for them.

Why does usability testing matter?

According to Rocket55, user design is important “because it tries to fulfill the user’s needs.” Meeting user needs provide a positive experience and help build brand loyalty. And brand loyalty translates to recurrent sales.

Since companies want to constantly improve their bottom line, they will pay users for their thoughts so they can perfect their user design.

And that’s how usability testing companies (like User Testing) came about. These companies recruit people like you and me to “think out loud” while browsing websites.

Our thoughts are relayed to well-known companies, giving them valuable insight into our personal thoughts and experiences while visiting their online spaces. To date, companies like HP, Samsung, Wayfair, Adobe, CBS, Ford, and many more have used User Testing to create positive customer experiences online.

What does a usability tester do?

As a tester, you provide direct feedback so companies know exactly what your needs as a user are. This means you have to verbally relay your thoughts while visiting a website. Remember, companies want to know your thoughts both good and bad!

Confused? No worries.

Let’s take this User Testing review a bit further with a sample scenario. (Note: This is an actual assignment I’ve completed as a user testing).

Example User Testing Scenario

For example, let’s say Target wants to test out a new homepage design before publishing it. They hire Usability Testing to recruit real users so they can gather real feedback. You decide to complete this review, so you accept the task and get started.

The User Testing app or Chrome Extension will record your voice and screen as you navigate. For the test, you might have a scenario to keep in mind during the test. A scenario could be anything from “pretend you are looking to buy a new sheet set” or “act like you are shopping for items on a baby registry.”

As you compete the test, you will speak out loud about your experience in real time. Hate the layout? Let them know. Love the graphics? Say it. Not sure about navigation? Speak up.

You need to be honest and point out things you like as well as things that are frustrating and confusing. Remember, companies want to improve the user experience. Your honest feedback plays an important role!

User Testing Review: Requirements

There are a number of different companies offering usability testing jobs. Each of them operate a bit differently, but the premise is typically the same: record people’s thoughts as they complete tasks online.

My personal favorite usability testing site is User Testing. They’ve been around for a long time, are highly reputable and have never, ever been late with payments. I know this from personal experience since I’ve been a tester with User Testing since 2015.

But, before you jump in and sign up as a contributor make sure you meet their requirements. Check out the next section in this User Testing Review for all requirements.

Requirements for Testers

Before you jump into the User Testing waters, make sure you meet the criteria to become a tester:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older
  2. Have a PC, Mac, or mobile device with specific specs
  3. Reliable internet connections (upload speeds must be at least 3MBps)
  4. Microphone (here’s an inexpensive one on Amazon)
  5. Able to add the User Testing extension to your Chrome Browser or download the User Testing app
  6. Comfortable filling out a demographics info sheet
  7. Capable of speaking thoughts out loud in English
  8. Can accept payments online via PayPal

How to Sign Up as a Paid Tester

No User Testing review would be complete without talking about the sign up process. Fortunately, User Testing has a relatively easy one. If you meet the requirements above and you’re interested in becoming a tester, head on over to their sign-up page. Once there, enter your email address and agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Their sign up page as of January 2022

Now it’s time to complete your sample test. Don’t panic!

The sample test is just to make sure you have a clear speaking voice, are comfortable talking out loud while browsing a site, and can actually provide valuable feedback and not just describe what you see on your screen.

You don’t have to install the Chrome extension if you take the test on a computer. However, you will need to download the User Testing app if you take the test on a mobile device.

If your sample test is approved, you receive an invite to become a paid contributor. Now you can claim tasks and earn extra cash. Woohoo!

How do I start taking tests?

You get notified of new tests by email. If you are interested in a test, act quickly! Tests expire once all the spots are taken. Keep in mind, you won’t qualify for every one. Many tests will have specific demographic requirements. If you don’t meet them, you can’t take the test.

User Testing Review: Other Considerations

As part of this User Testing Review I want to address other facts to know before you get started. Here are important considerations for aspiring testers:

  1. You do not have to live in the United States.
  2. PayPal is the only way to get paid.
  3. A microphone is a must.
  4. Taxes are not withheld from payments.
  5. You do not have to pay to become a tester.
  6. Live Conversations pay $1 per minute (30 min. = $30, 60 min. = $60, etc.)
  7. Payments are sent 7 days after you complete a test.

That’s it! Remember to keep track of your earnings. US test takers are expected to pay taxes on all income (even side income).

User Testing Review Conclusion

To conclude this User Testing review, let’s recap and set expectations. This is an extra income opportunity only. You cannot rely on User Testing to provide any steady income. Remember, tests are released and expire once they get enough testers. Plus, you might not qualify as a tester if you don’t meet the demographics.

Have a question? Leave it in the comments below. I’m always here (and happy) to help!

Happily,

Ashlee

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