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Sounds awesome, right? But what kind of company is UserTesting? And what is it exactly that user testers do? How do you become a paid tester at UserTesting?
This article will provide you with all you need to know to start and get paid as a user tester.
Here is a small preview: It is very easy to start as a paid user tester, and it is a great work-at-home gig too! So read along if you are still interested!
UserTesting’s story began in 1999.
Its founders, Dave Garr and Darrell Benatar started working together to find a more scalable solution to test web experiences.
An important characteristic is their focus on human insight. This elevates testing from a somewhat functional form to tests that give valuable information on the experience and emotions of a potential customer.
This kind of testing reduces the empathy gap between what companies think their customers need and what customers actually need.
What Brands Use UserTesting?
As stated on their website, they deliver insights to over 1600 of the world’s most customer-centric brands.
These include Walmart, Facebook, Hyundai, CapitalOne, Domino’s, Grammarly, Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, and many more.
While browsing their website you find several testimonials and feature stories of these brands.
Is UserTesting Legit
Yes. I have no reason to assume that they are not.
The reviews vary quite a bit.
Trustpilot, for instance, rates them 2.7 out of 5.
TrustRadius, however, rates them with an 8.9 out of 10 and even rewarded them Top Rated 2021.
A lot of the complaints that contributed to the lower rating are about the test volume. I will get to that later in this post.
Job Opportunity or Side Gig
Technically, these tests pay well, with a basic 20-minute test paying $10.
A Live Conversation with a customer might even go up to $120, but let’s stick to what you will find yourself doing most, the 20-minute screen recording tests.
Depending on the country you live in, $30/h makes a reasonable income, but…
UserTesting (and most other user testing websites) cannot provide you with a steady, continuous supply of tests as not all tests are available to you.
If you are lucky, 2 or 3 tests a day would be considered as a lot.
Making money as a user tester should be considered a fairly good side gig. It does depend on your demographics (see: ‘available test volume’).
I do not expect it to provide enough cash flow to consider it a job that replaces your income.
Available Test Volume
UserTesting receives some complaints concerning the low volume of available tests. Unfortunately, many user test websites target a specific audience, and your demographics may disqualify you even before you start.
New tests are uploaded daily, but not all tests are matched to you.
Companies have specific requirements for their target audience, and you need to check all the boxes before qualifying for a test.
No need to complain about that. It’s the nature of the game.
If a company has an online women’s clothing store targeting US customers, they will exclude males from other countries as these tests do not contribute to understanding their target audience.
UserTesting is available globally. Living outside the US, however, will reduce the number of tests that are available to you.
Optimizing Your Chances
You might be tempted to optimize your chances by providing different demographic information. Do-not-do-that.
As soon as UserTesting finds out that you are lying, you are disqualified and your pending payments are canceled.
- Be honest(1). If the volume of tests is low because your demographics don’t favor you, apply on more websites to increase the volume.
- Be honest(2). Speak your mind and don’t give socially acceptable answers or try to please the company.
Remember that these companies are doing research. They are not trying to get you to be their new fan.
- See the tests as a product you deliver and go for high quality.
Make sure the recorded audio has high quality and no background noises or interruptions present.
- Find a quiet workspace and reduce the chances of getting interrupted.
- Don’t hold back in speaking your thoughts: the more information, the better.
- Sign up for email notifications.
- Check the website and your email frequently. Some tests may have a limited number of participants or are time-sensitive.
- If you have an appointment for a Live Conversation: Be there and make sure you are not late.
Becoming a User Tester
It is easy to become a paid tester at UserTesting. You do not need a degree or complete training to start.
There are some requirements, however:
- UserTesting only accepts applications from testers that are 18 years or older.
- Since part of the test and review process is recording audio, the ability to speak your thoughts aloud in English is required.
- Having access to a computer with a fairly stable internet connection is essential.
- Recording the video requires screen recorder software. If you aren’t allowed to download and/or install software on your computer, you cannot participate.
- An internal microphone to record your voice is sufficient. I recommend buying a headset or external microphone as poor sound quality might disqualify your review.
UserTesting mentions this inexpensive headset on their website.
Applying to Become a Tester
Before you can start, you will need to register on the website.
The application process might seem a bit lengthy in my description but it is actually quick and straightforward:
- Start by entering your email address on their website.
- Verify your email address by clicking on the ‘Complete Your Application’ button in the email you received.
- Watch the video about a test participant’s example. It will teach you some important things like speaking your thoughts out loud. It is important that you describe what you see, but also what your thought process is.
- Click next and install the UserTesting Browser Recorder extension by clicking the ‘Install Extension’ button. This is necessary to record your screen during a test.
- After the installation, you see a screen with a video and a button that says ‘Start Your Test.’
Make sure to watch that video too. It holds some useful tips!
- Ensure you have a quiet workspace and are not disturbed the next minutes (Tip: turn of your phone).
- Hit that button and take the mandatory practice test.
- Complete some basic demographic information.
- As soon as you get approved, you can take the real tests and earn real money!
Payments are made through PayPal and are made seven days after completing a test.
You are not an employee. UserTesting does not withhold taxes, so keep an administration.
The responsibility for any tax liability incurred from these payments lies with you.
Most of the information came from their own website and my own experience. Nevertheless, I like to mention all my sources:
What is Next?
If you like to share your own experience or found an error in my post, please leave a comment!
You are awesome!
Like to Join UserTesting?
There were several links to UserTesting in this post, but if you like to join, follow this link to their ‘Get paid to test’ page: Get Started Now.