If you’re looking for a job you can do from home that doesn’t require any specialist knowledge or experience, you may be interested to learn about user testing sites. Yes, it’s possible to get paid to test websites.
During your search for online jobs, you may well have come across the term “user testing.” It involves trying out new apps or websites and giving your opinion on them. So, if you’re a digital native and love the idea of giving your opinions and making websites function better, you may want to look into user testing.
In this article you will learn what’s involved, and be introduced to seven user testing sites that will pay for your time.
What is User Testing?
User testing involves using new prototype versions of websites and apps, and providing constructive feedback to the developers working on them.
Tests can be performed in a couple of different ways: Some involve answering simple questions or filling out questionnaires. The most popular method sees you record your thoughts out loud into your microphone, sometimes while a video is recording too. Usually you complete a prescribed set of tasks on the website (or app) to see how easy or intuitive the process was.
What are User Testing Sites?
User testing sites connect individuals with companies or developers that need a website (or app) tested. You can browse a list of jobs that are open and claim any if you meet the required demographics. Often, you test a website or app via the user testing site’s own system. Other sites may require you to download software or use systems like Skype.
With these sites, you typically register a free account so you can get paid to test websites. It’s important to note that the amount of available work tends to fluctuate. You might see a couple of dozen studies available at some times, and then have the lists completely dry up at others.
Also, if you don’t meet certain demographic requirements, such as age, gender or income level, you can’t claim certain assignments. Demographic requirements can be incredibly specific at times, with companies – for example – looking specifically for people who regularly book overseas travel, or those who use particular accounting software.
What can you Earn from User Testing?
As user testing offers no guarantee of consistent work, it’s usually only a source of side income for people. Most sites tend to pay in the $10 range for a study that typically takes around 20 minutes.
It’s not bad for work that needs no qualifications and only requires you to give your opinion on a website or app. However, it’s not “get rich quick” money.
However, with so many home working scams out there, user testing IS a legitimate way to make some money online. So if you’re looking for a bit of extra cash, check out the user testing sites below.
7 User Testing Sites
UserTesting works by having you install software on your computer or phone. This software allows the company to record your actions as you interact with a website. It records your thoughts as you speak them out loud. You work through a series of tasks on whatever website or app you are testing.
This site pays $10 for a test, and they take up to 20 minutes to complete on average. Some tasks can be more involved and pay more. However, you have to fill out surveys and be specifically invited to those tasks. The California-based company accepts testers from all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, the UK and Mexico. For more information, you can read our full UserTesting review here.
This Switzerland-based site allows you to test products at home through Skype, or directly on-site with the customer. The site pays up to €50 per study. TestingTime states that each test takes around 30 to 90 minutes.
The site works by having you first setting up an account. You provide profile information, and if your profile matches the demographics of a study, you get invited into that study. Tests are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. Payment comes within 10 days.
UserCrowd is a bit different from other user testing sites here, because you rate the websites and apps you test using a series of short questions. You also answer these questions directly from your browser. If you don’t like the idea of someone else monitoring your activity remotely, or are shy of speaking into a microphone, you may be more comfortable with this option. It’s also possible to use UserCrowd in an environment that’s not completely silent, which isn’t the case if you’re being recorded.
The site also works on more of a micro-task setup. Each task typically takes less than a minute and you simply give your opinion. However, each task also pays less than one dollar. For instance, you might be paid 10 cents or 50 cents per task. As such, this is very much “pocket money” income.
UserCrowd is the tester brand side of the Australia-based UsabilityHub, which has been around since 2008. For more information, you can read our full review of UserCrowd here.
US-based TryMyUI has mixed reviews online. However, it’s a common site to see pop up when you’re looking for ways to get paid to test websites, so its inclusion here is justified.
The controversy around this site suggests that you don’t get paid if the company deems that you did a test “wrongly.” While some people report prompt PayPal payment the Friday after completing tests, others state they’ve not been paid for work completed – so proceed with caution. This site pays $10 for tests that take around 20 minutes.
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, also has user testing tasks that you can claim. Amazon is, of course, a US-based site, but MTurk takes workers from many countries around the world. Workers outside the US in 25 countries can now transfer earnings direct to their bank accounts.
MTurk works on a micro-task format, where you complete small tasks for varying rates of pay. MTurk’s homepage doesn’t list usability testing as one of the most common tasks, but other sites give tutorials on using MTurk for usability tests.
This is one of the user testing sites that pays the standard $10 for a 10 to 20-minute test. You perform certain tasks on a website from your home computer or smartphone, such as navigating through the site or finding specific features. Your computer needs a microphone, since you speak though the experience as you go.
UserFeel is based in the UK and Greece, and the company has been around since 2010. The company takes clients and testers from across the world, and the site works in 15 different languages.
Userlytics is a little different in that rates can vary between tests. Common rates run from $5 all the way to $20. Some tests even pay up to $90. This is another site where you speak out loud into a microphone.
Most of the projects are based in Europe and North America, however, the company states that is has opened up projects to other locations like South Africa, China, Japan and other countries. The California-based company has been around since 2009 and currently has an A+ with the Better Business Bureau.
Tips to Make the Most of User Testing Sites
User testing is a fairly simple process overall. If you can use a website and give your opinion, you’re qualified. However, to get the most out of it, below are some extra tips for user testing sites:
- Get used to speaking your thoughts out loud – this is exactly what the testing sites want.
- Consider signing up for several sites. That way, you stand a better chance of finding studies that you qualify for.
- Make sure you work in a quiet environment. Many sites require you to work over a microphone, and some request a webcam. Distractions will reduce the quality of your tests which can stop you being allocated more.
- Many sites offer test participation on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you plan on doing this work, you should set up automatic email alerts and have fairly open availability. This work is best suited to those with the freedom to grab a test the second it becomes available.
- Be as detailed as you can in your website assessments. That helps give the clients better data and improves your test feedback.
- Carefully review each site’s equipment requirements. User testing sites may require you to have a completely up-to-date operating system, for example.
Getting paid to test websites can be one of the more enjoyable ways to earn extra cash online. It makes for a great way to supplement your income. You’re showing a company what it’s like for the average consumer to use a website, so the work isn’t too technical – and it’s not really something you can “get wrong.” It can also be rather fun to give your opinion!
- For more side job ideas, check out this post.
- Don’t fancy testing websites? How about doing some surveys instead? Check out Swagbucks and Prizerebel.
- Want a bigger, better online business of your own? How about playing the long game and starting your own affiliate website?
Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer who has written features for a number of consumer and industry print magazines, as well as stories for niche websites, digital lifestyle magazines and general news sites.