Make money evaluating/testing commercial websites - UserTesting review

; Date: Wed Nov 14 2018

Tags: Make Money Online

UserTesting is a leading service for companies hoping to evaluate their website user experience. User experience testing is about validating -- as the phrase suggests -- the user of a product or service has a good experience, or not. What UserTesting does is to match up potential testers with requests from paying customers. It is easy to sign up, and the teaser is UserTesting pays $10 for 15-20 minutes of your time, and therefore a tester will earn a solid $30/hour. But, it's not quite that simple.

UserTesting promises to offer the fastest path to a great customer experience.

Backing up that promise is a staff of independent contractors working with UserTesting. These contractors sign up with UserTesting, and undergo some amount of certification before being set loose to test website user experience. UserTesting calls its staff a "panel".

The UserTesting "panel" is made up of whoever signs up with UserTesting. UserTesting promises "Real insights from real people. Real quick.". Presumably by hiring outside people (rather than hiring a staff of full time user experience testers), UserTesting believes it is delivering authentic evaluations to its customers.

Professional user experience testing is often performed by bringing folks in to the office and being observed by the user experience team while using a product. With UserTesting, user experience testing is performed virtually, with the tester staying in their home and being recorded by the UserTesting application while using the product.

That's the model - so how does it work?

UserTesting panel members

As a "make money online" proposition, anyone signing up with UserTesting is a member of the "panel" and is expected to perform user experience testing for UserTesting's clients. You will be paid at the rate of $10 per 15-20 minutes. Some "tests" cover a longer period, like 30 minutes or an hour, and are paid accordingly.

During a test the panel member is required to speak out loud their thinking process as they use the website or application. That's so the customer can be clued in to what's good or bad or understandable or confusing about their website or application. For good sound quality, the UserTesting panel member is required to have a desktop computer and/or a mobile phone, and to use a good quality microphone.

For each test executed by a panel member, the customer will give a rating (1 to 5 stars) for the service provided. Having a high rating of course affects the opportunities provided to each panel member.

Panel members are required to take on only the tests for which they're qualified. They're warned at every step they won't get paid for executing tests where they are not qualified.

Signing up with UserTesting

Before getting excited about the $30/hour pay rate and rushing to sign up, first consider what this work entails. Is this something you're interested in doing. Of course UserTesting is looking to provide quality results to its customers. Therefore, think about whether you are well attuned to the work.

If after pondering this, go to ( and start the signup process.

You will be asked to identify yourself, of course. And, so that UserTesting is assured you will be providing quality results, there is a validation process.

The validation first stage is a brief online training course. Once the course is passed, you'll go to the next stage.

The second stage is to take an evaluation "test" by being sent to a website and asked to perform a few steps. You'll be recorded as you go through the steps, and the recording will be reviewed by UserTesting staff. If the recording is acceptable you'll proceed to the next stage.

The third stage is to take a live "test" from a customer. UserTesting staff again manually reviews this first "test" in order to further validate the new panel member. If you pass this evaluation, you'll proceed to the next stage.

The fourth stage is that you're a full-fledged panel member and can take on any "test".

UserTesting is not all it's cracked up to be

All the above probably sounds great and enticing. Earning $30/hour is nothing to sneeze at. But...

I've only just started with UserTesting - therefore maybe as I do more "tests" things may change. At the moment I'm unsure if the hassle is worth the income.

You see current "test" availability by logging in to the UserTesting dashboard. It lists the current available tests, and the list dynamically updates as tests become available.

Before taking a test you must pass through a set of "screening" questions. Obviously UserTesting needs to ensure you are qualified to take a given test, and that's what the screening questions do.

Screening questions make perfect sense, and I don't mind being screened. But what irks me is that I'm almost always knocked out by the screening questions.

It's a mystery why I'm not making it past the screening questions most of the time. Nothing is said other than unfortunately I was deemed to not be qualified, and please try again.

When signing up I had envisioned being able to log in to UserTesting for 2-3 hours a day, do tests for that whole period, then go on with my day having earned maybe $90 for the day. Instead I'm having to stay logged-in all day long, and I might get one test in a day.


About the Author(s)

( David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.