It’s taken me a long time to get around to writing this UsabilityHub review.
The main reason is that I’ve felt slightly conflicted about it; on one hand, signing up with UsabilityHub is a completely legitimate way to earn some extra money from home. Anyone can do it, and the platform is well-designed and works reliably. On the flip-side, the amount of money you can legitimately make is too small to get particularly excited about.
UPDATE September 2018: UsabilityHub has now been rebranded as UserCrowd, and apparently there are going to be longer and more lucrative tests available. They have also reduced their payment threshold. I shall be doing to testing over the coming weeks and then will update this and produce a proper UserCrowd review.
After agonizing over this for a while, I came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t hold this against UsabilityHub. Many home workers have numerous simultaneous hustles going on, and I shouldn’t mark one down because it’ll only ever be a small piece of the jigsaw puzzle. However, I should emphasize that this opportunity falls firmly into the “pocket money” or “saving up for Christmas” category. (More on the exact numbers below).
What Is UsabilityHub?
UsabilityHub is an online service for developers, that allows them to put new site and app designs in front of real people – to gauge reactions and test out functionality. As a home worker, you can be one of the people who test out the sites and apps, give your feedback, and get paid to do so.
It’s a similar concept to UserTesting, which we’ve reviewed here, but it’s executed in a very different way. For the testers, it’s nowhere near as lucrative – but it’s still worth a look, as we’ll come on to shortly.
How Does UsabilityHub Work?
Where UserTesting tasks its workers with spending a prolonged period on a website and recording their feedback, UsabilityHub is more about answering (really) quick questions.
For example, you may have to look at a website for just five seconds and answer a couple of really quick questions about what you saw and remembered. Or you may be shown four versions of a logo and asked which one you prefer. The kind of tests they have on UsabilityHub are shown in the image below, which gives a realistic idea of just how simple this work is.
The best way to use UsabiltyHub is to have the website permanently open in a browser tab while you’re on your computer. It “bings” when there’s a test to be done, and you can jump in and get started. You can also use customizable desktop notifications, so you don’t even have to have the site open. Instead, you get a little desktop pop-up when tests become available during the times you specify.
UsabilityHub Review: Rates and Payments
Unfortunately, it’s when we start to talk numbers that working on UsabilityHub becomes a less compelling proposition.
First off, I should point out that this really isn’t “work.“ Tasks typically take less than a minute, and some take literally seconds. You can’t get a task “wrong,” because you’re merely giving your opinion. So it’s no hardship to jump in and do these tests when they’re available.
However, each task pays just 10 cents. (Some supposedly pay more, but I’ve not seen one in over 100 tasks.) 10 Cents represents a “credit,” and you cannot cash out until you’ve earned 200 credits. So you need to complete 200 of these tiny tasks and get up to $20 before you can take a PayPal payment.
UPDATE: As a direct response to this review, UsabilityHub have now halved their cashout requirement, which is great news!
The problem is that even if you’re in front of your computer screen (as I am) for at least eight hours a day, you don’t get enough of these tests for that money to build up very quickly.
One of the reasons I’ve taken so long to write this review is that I wanted to wait until I’d hit “cashout stage” before I posted it. But after being on the UsabilityHub platform for just over two months, taking most of the tests offered to me, I’ve only built up 107 credits ($10.70).
This means that, realistically, this is an endeavor that’s going to pay out just $60-70 per year, IF you stick with it. As I said at the start, this is a pocket money job at best.
Is UsabilityHub Worth It?
Interestingly, when I decided to get on and write this review, I asked myself whether I’d feel inclined to carry on using UsabilityHub afterwards, especially in view of the fact that it’s never going to earn me (or anyone else) very much money.
To my slight surprise, the answer was an overwhelming “yes!” – primarily because the “work” only takes a minute or two here and there (at MOST!).
Because I’m at my laptop all day (and I’m my own boss), I can always take the time out to answer a quick question. It may only be at a rather unexciting 10 cents a pop, but given that the effort involved feels non-existent, why wouldn’t I build up $60-70 extra each year for a couple of extra Christmas presents?
So, when I see the message above on my screen, I’m going to continue clicking “take the test!”
But whether or not you should will depend a lot on your situation.
If, like me, you’re almost permanently looking at your laptop screen, and don’t have a boss or client who’s going to object to you flicking onto something different for 30 seconds here or there, I think UsabilityHub is well worth signing up to. It’s basically easy money just for giving your opinion (albeit only a small amount of free money!)
However, if you have a different work setup where someone keeps an eye on what you do on your computer, or have limited hours in front of a screen, the rewards are likely just too small to make this worthwhile.
UsabilityHub: The Good Bits
- Easy to sign up and get started.
- “Work” that anyone can do.
- A reliable platform.
- Sometimes quite interesting from a design/user experience perspective.
UsabilityHub: The Bad Bits
- Earning potential is limited at best.
UsabilityHub Review: Conclusion
If you’re only interested in big earning opportunities, UsabilityHub won’t be for you. But as a component of a money-making “toolbox,” or as part of a plan to save for a special occasion, it’s well worthwhile.
It seems likely I’ll carry on doing occasional tests for UsabilityHub. If you fancy giving it a try, you can sign up here.
UsabilityHub is NOT going to make you rich, but it's hardly going to take up any time either. Well worth a look if you're prepared to play the "long game."
- Ease of Use
- Earning Potential