User testing is a technique that web developers often use in order to test the efficacy of a website or prototype. It is very much an analytical tool whose results can be used to determine whether or not a business is hitting the mark. If a prototype needs more work, doesn’t perform to function, falls apart or is dangerous – it will all come out in the user testing process.
Nowadays, companies are hiring people to test apps, websites, games, and other digital products all from the comfort of your own home. The big question here is, can you make money with user testing? Let’s find out.
What is User Testing
User Testing is a website that reviews software products in return for payment. It is reportedly the biggest online site where you can partake in user testing, as the name suggests. This site is user-friendly for both product testers and firms who need testing. They specialize in prototypes as well as websites, so there is a chance you can earn well.
Both businesses and end-users can register to start working with this service, and it is mutually beneficial. Here is how it works.
Businesses can register their interest, order tests for their product, and wait for users to test their software on their behalf. This provides insights into the way their products, services and customer experience while also rewarding the users who do the tests.
On the other end of the scale, users (that’s ordinary people with access to the internet, a mobile device, and a willingness to make some money on the side) are paid to complete these tests.
Through User Testing, a willing participant is paid per test. They visit the website, app, or software location, and complete a number of predetermined tasks. They, then record their findings for the firm.
While the business finds out how effective their website is, or how engaging their mobile app is; the user is paid per test. The pay is usually in the region of $10 per go and each task varies in time. Most tests will take no longer than 20 minutes.
User Testing isn’t the only site that conducts such services though. Here are three more sites that are always looking to hire testers worldwide.
- TryMyUI – This site specializes in website usability and doesn’t have so many prototypes as User Testing do. They are very focused on helping firms streamline their websites but promise that you can earn as much as $10 in 15 minutes with their help. They even give one user test free as a sign-up bonus to firms who want to better themselves. What we do know is that they are reliable and professional.
- TestingTime – Join the panel to test future products. The service will match a test project that fits your profile and lets you test products via Skype or on-site with the customer at a scheduled time. Potentially earn up to 50 Euros per hour and you’ll get paid within 10 days upon completion.
- UserFeel – This company has been around since 2010 and they pay $10 per test. You need to pass a qualification test in order to join and also subject to screener questions to determine if you are the right fit for the test. They also provide fairly extensive FAQs to help you understand what is required as a good tester.
If user testing looks fun and interesting to you, let’s find out how you can become a tester.
How To Become a User Tester
It is reasonably easy to become a tester with User Testing. Companies are always on the lookout for specific demographics of people to test their products. For example, they do not really want a 65-year-old woman to test their skateboarding game – you get the idea.
Marketing agencies require people from all walks of life so the job is basically open to international residents. Be sure to tell User Testing anything you think may help your case during your initial registration. To register, all you need to do is to sign up at the website and download a screen-recording software as instructed.
We would suggest you watch this demo video first to discern what is to be expected from doing this task. Meanwhile, there are a few things you will need in order to carry out the task effectively. They advise you to have:
- A PC, laptop or Mac.
- A working internet connection.
- An Android or iPhone smartphone.
- A microphone
- Ability to download the testing software.
You also need to be over 18 years of age and to be able to speak your thoughts clearly and concisely in English. These are then recorded through the microphone and testing software. When you send the completed tests back, it should take no more than 7 days to process the work. Provided that the recording is clear enough, they will then send a PayPal payment to you.
How Much Can You Make with User Testing
How much you can make will depend on how much time you are willing to put in. With a rate of $10 per 20 minutes video for every task you complete, it is also possible to make up to $60 buck for live conversation sessions.
Of course, the rate at which you will be hired depends on what firms are looking for at that time. If you love the holiday season, for example, it is likely that you will be kept busy in the winter months. The number of tests you are invited to will depend on your demographics and how fast the assignments are being filled up by other users.
It is unlikely that User Testing will make you rich – but it will help you to earn a little extra on the side. If you are able to take on two or three a month, it may make you extra hundred dollars in a few months, which is quite nice in my opinion.
So, if we consider the pros at-a-glance; is user testing worth it to make that extra money? Here is the breakdown of the pros:
- You stand to make an extra hundred dollars or two a month if you are really good at expressing your thoughts and committed to the assignments.
- The tasks don’t take up a lot of your time and it’s something you can easily work from a home PC or from a mobile phone.
- User Testing pays more as a side gig than completing surveys or clicking ads for sure.
- Since you are getting paid in US currency, the value could mean much more in your home country.
Not to mention that you are helping organizations everywhere clean up their websites and provide a better user experience. We think that user testing as a side gig has more pros than it does cons, and makes more money for you than many other online work-from-home opportunities.
Just as there are plenty of plusses to taking part in usability tests online during your free time, there are also some negatives, too. Some of the cons are:
- Some websites take a long time to approve your application (up to 2 months!).
- If you are not used to speaking your mind out loud and send in a less than desirable sample video, your application can easily be rejected. That happened to me, but fortunately, most sites will let you reapply so you do get the time to work on improving the skills.
- Some tests may require you to have a VR headset which isn’t a common thing you would have so technically, you wouldn’t join.
- The money they advertise you are able to make, and the money that you actually make, don’t always add up. That’s mostly due to task availability and also your qualification for each.
Is User Testing Worth Your Time?
Even with the cons taken into account, User Testing seems to come out on top as a viable and legitimate option for earning some side cash. All you really need is to have a functional computer/mobile phone, a stable internet connection and an observant eye for the digital user interface.
Spending your free time doing user testing isn’t impossible but as you can see, there’s no guaranteed income. It shouldn’t be treated as a long term strategy for making money since most of the assignments have a short availability period and they are quickly taken up if you don’t commit immediately.
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