UserTesting.com offers the opportunity to make money testing websites and apps, but is it legit? Is it safe? Is it worth the time?
In this UserTesting review, we'll dive deep into all of those questions and more, sharing first-hand experience testing with UserTesting, along with reviews, insights, and data from other users and sources around the web.
For detailed info on how UserTesting works (for both clients and testers), who can become a tester, how much you can expect to earn, and more, keep on reading!
Table of Contents
- Legit or scam: Legit.
- Overall rating:
- Description: UserTesting.com is a usability testing service that helps developers improve their designs and enables independent contractors to make money testing websites and apps.
- Who can join: Anyone 18 years or older, fluent in English, with access to PayPal and a Mac or Windows PC.
- Average earning potential: $10 minimum per test, or around $15-$60/hour.
- Average work volume: Depends heavily on your demographics. The average user can expect to qualify for 1-5 tests a month.
- Ways to earn: Testing websites, testing mobile apps, participating in live interviews.
- Payout options: PayPal.
- Minimum payout: None.
- Payment speed: 7 days after a completed test.
- Sign up bonus: None. Sign up here.
This UserTesting review was researched and written by Canadian Reddit user /u/essa618, who has been testing on UserTesting for over 3 years, earning $300 in the process.
I've also tested on UserTesting in the past, earning $280. I did a bit of research into the safety, legitimacy, and reputation of UserTesting, added additional content, and finally edited everything together for this in-depth review. Enjoy!
Notice something incorrect or want to add to this review? Leave a comment.
What is UserTesting.com?
UsertTesting.com is a usability testing platform that enables companies to test their websites, apps, products, prototypes, and more, with users of all different demographics and backgrounds.
Those users (aka testers or participants), are recruited by UserTesting and paid to complete usability tests on their own time as independent contractors.
According to Crunchase, Darrel Benatar (one of the co-founders of UserTesting), said the idea for UserTesting.com came about when he saw his co-worker Dave Garr doing usability testing on his businesses site, Suprise.com. After seeing its effectiveness, Darrel and Dave started UserTesting.com together to make usability testing easy for other designers.
Nowadays, UserTesting.com is one of the most popular usability testing platforms in the world, working with clients like Walmart, Dominos, Facebook, lululemon, and more.
- Founded: 2007.
- Name: User Testing, Inc.
- Located: 690 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94107, US (HQ).
- Founders: Dave Garr | Darrell Benatar
- Socials: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
- Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org | 1-888-877-1882
Is UserTesting.com Legit?
UserTesting is undoubtedly a legitimate company. They've been around since 2007 delivering a valuable service to clients and allowing everyday internet users to make extra cash by participating in their usability tests. The company is very transparent, they're active on socials, and they pay.
This all being said, don't quit your day job just yet. Keep reading for more info on how exactly UserTesting.com works, how much you can expect to earn as a tester, and more.
Who Can Join?
- Age requirement: 18 years old.
- Country requirements: Worldwide applicants are welcome, but you'll need access to a PayPal account to get paid. Also, if UserTesting already has enough testers from your country, they may not accept you right away.
- Device requirements: PC, Mac, iOS, and Android are all supported (to participate in mobile/tablet tests, you must first be an approved desktop participant.). There are requirements for operating systems and memory capabilities. You'll need to download the UserTesting screen recorder and have a microphone (built-in to the device is fine as long as the sound quality is good). Must have a reliable internet connection.
- Payout requirements: PayPal account.
- Other requirements: Must be fluent in English.
- SSL certificate? Yes.
- Terms of Service: Participants | Clients.
- Personal data collected from UserTesting users:
- Name, email address, zip code, demographic information (e.g. birth year, gender, household income range, web expertise, etc. — this helps them connect you with relevant tests), payment information.
- During test recording, your screen, voice, and occasionally your face will be recorded (you'll know the recording requirements beforehand).
- If you're a customer of UserTesting (ie. you want to get your website tested), you'll need to provide additional information like your address and phone number.
- Can you delete your account and data? Yes. Go to your account settings and at the bottom, you can delete your account.
Is UserTesting.com Safe?
Yes, UserTesting is generally safe to use. It's a legit site, signing up is easy and doesn't require sharing a ton of sensitive personal information, your data is protected and never sold, you can choose to accept or decline any tests as you wish, and you can delete your account at any time if desired.
Some tests may ask you to sign in to online accounts (e.g. banking, insurance, grocery, etc.), but you can pause the screen recording or decline the test altogether if you're uncomfortable with this. Most tests will just give you fake credentials to use anyway to protect your privacy.
Obligatory disclaimer: Anything on the internet is never 100% safe or private. Please take caution, do your own due diligence, and don't do anything you're uncomfortable with.
UserTesting has a virtual assistant available 24/7 for common questions. For more complicated issues, you can contact them via the Tester Support Center or the email/phone number listed above.
They say their staff will get back to you “as soon as possible.” In our experience, this ranges from 3 hours to 48 hours. That said, some users have reported it taking much longer.
We sent a purposely vague request asking “How do I start?” and their response was prompt, polite, and professional. They followed up with links to get started as both a participant (test taker) or as a customer (companies/businesses). They also were happy to answer any follow-up questions.
While our support experience was good, overall, the support quality on UserTesting is a hit or miss. Based on reviews, if you have a more complicated issue, you may receive a response much more slowly (or, in some cases, not at all).
How UserTesting Works
UserTesting works as a middle-man between web developers and app developers who want to test their designs for usability issues and everyday people who want to make extra cash testing websites and apps.
They provide the software and handle all payments and support issues, making the process easy for both parties.
If you're looking to test a website, app, prototype, or something else, UserTesting offers a free trial for new customers and they make it easy to get started.
You can use their on-site tools to set up your test in minutes, or you can get help from their research team for more complex studies. Tests can be self-guided or live interview style, can include all sorts of specific tasks and questions, and can be customized in many different ways.
When you're ready to distribute your test, you can either bring in your own audience or you can target UserTesting participants from specific demographics.
Once your test is distributed, you'll start receiving results in as little as an hour. You can then watch the feedback, annotate it, and share it with colleagues if needed. If you're unsatisfied with a test that you receive, you can request to have it replaced with a new one.
To become a UserTesting participant, you'll first need to apply and take a practice test. If approved, you'll start receiving paid tests to your dashboard.
Some quick details about tests:
- Device requirements vary. Some tests are available on multiple devices, others require a specific kind of device.
- All tests will require you to record your screen and voice, but some will require a face recording as well.
- There are live interview tests. These are typically conducted over Zoom.
To qualify for a test, you'll need to pass an unpaid pre-screener of 1-10 questions. Some customers are looking for very specific people so you won't qualify for every test that hits your dashboard.
Once you do successfully qualify, taking a test is easy. For standard non-live (unmonitored) tests, you'll walk through a set of simple pre-written tasks while speaking your thoughts out loud. You may also be asked to leave some written feedback at the end.
Completed tests pay anywhere from $10-$60 each. Payments are sent via PayPal seven days after test completion.
Completed tests may also be rated by clients, out of five stars. Users with lower ratings will have fewer future test opportunities, so be as helpful as possible during every test you take. If you submit an extremely poorly done test, your payment may be canceled, but this is rare.
Note: We'll go into more detail on each different testing opportunity available and how they work below.
UserTesting.com Earning Potential
Regular unmonitored UserTesting tests pay $10 each and typically take 10-20 minutes. Live interview tests pay $1/minute or $60/hour (e.g. a 30-minute test will pay $30, a 60-minute test will pay $60, etc.).
Factoring in time spent taking unpaid screeners, you should expect to earn $15-$60/hour on UserTesting.
Of course, you won't receive/qualify for enough tests to earn this kind of hourly rate consistently. You may only receive a handful of tests a day, and it may take 20 screeners just to qualify for 1 test. It all depends on your demographics and timing.
This opportunity is definitely not a job replacement.
UserTesting Review and Rating Breakdown
- Earning Potential
- Work Volume
- Payout Options
- Payout Minimum
- Payout Speed
UserTesting offers a steady stream of work and great hourly rates for website/app usability testers. However, it's not perfect: support can be hard to reach and unhelpful at times and qualifying for tests can be difficult. Still, it's worth trying out if you're looking to make some extra cash online in your spare time.
Ways to Earn Money as a UserTesting Participant
There are two main types of tests you can qualify for and earn money from on UserTesting.com:
1. Regular Unmonitored Tests
These are the most common tests available on UserTesting.com. They pay $10 each and involve completing a specific set of tasks on a website or app while recording your screen, voice, and sometimes even your face.
As an example, if you were testing a new movie theater app, you might be asked to add a movie ticket to your cart. You may also be asked more general questions like “How do you like this page?” or “Is this item where you would expect to find it? Why or why not?”
Once you're finished with the recorded tasks, you may also be asked to answer 1-4 written and/or multiple-choice questions.
Overall, a full test like this should only take around 10-20 minutes.
- Follow the instructions/tasks carefully
- Speak all of your thoughts out loud, slowly, and over explain – This is the major tip to be successful with UserTesting (or any usability testing sites). Explain how you expect something to work, explain what you do and don't like, explain everything as clearly as possible.
- Be engaged and interested – The more engaged you are, the better chance of receiving a higher rating. Higher rating = more tests.
2. Live Interview Tests
These tests pay $60/hour and involve speaking live with a client over Zoom or another video conferencing software. Most of them require you to have a face cam.
In some cases, you'll be testing a website or app live. In others, you'll simply be answering a series of interview-like questions such as:
- How knowledgeable are you about insurance?
- What is your biggest concern when choosing an insurance provider?
- Who do you consult with about your Insurance needs?
These tests can take anywhere from 30-120 minutes. When you qualify for one, you'll find the link to join the test on your dashboard, 15 minutes prior to the starting time.
Tip: Show up on time. Showing up late (or not at all) will hurt your rating and you won't get paid. If you need to cancel, do it as far in advance as possible.
How to Withdraw Your Earnings
All participants are paid via Paypal. You need a confirmed account in good standing to receive payments. Payment is sent exactly 7 days after a test is completed.
UserTesting Pros and Cons
- Good pay – $15-$60 USD/hour is an extremely good average hourly rate.
- Tests are fun and interesting – We've done tests for some well-known companies, which is really cool.
- Weekly payments
- No minimum to cash out
- Works on multiple platforms – You'll need at the least a Windows or Mac PC, but there are also tests on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
- Free to join
- Easy work – With usability testing, as long as you can speak your own thoughts out loud and think critically, you'll do awesome. It's all about your opinions so there are no wrong answers.
- Good customer support
- Not a job replacement – You won't qualify for enough tests to make a living off of this site (except maybe in some rare cases of luck and extreme frugality).
- PayPal payments only – This blocks anyone who doesn't have access to PayPal from making money with UserTesting.
- You might not get accepted – If UserTesting already has enough testers from your country, they might decline your application.
- Qualification test has to be taken on a desktop – That means if you only have a smartphone, you won't be able to test on UserTesting.
- Tests come on a first-come, first-serve basis – You need to be quick when you see a new test, otherwise, you might lose it.
- You will take a lot of screeners and not qualify – This can be discouraging but keep persevering, a test you do qualify for is coming!
- Live conversations can sometimes be uncomfortable and boring – I often feel like I am in the hot seat, but hey, they pay pretty well!
- Not available for Linux users – If you use Linux, try TryMyUI or another paid usability testing site.
UserTesting Reviews From the Web
Here are some late 2020 to early 2021 reviews of Usertesting from Trustpilot.
- “I love this app. I consistently get a few tests a week or more depending on how often I log in. The tests are on a variety of topics, and are usually fun to do. Customer service responds quickly, and payments are made quickly. Their website is easy to use and attractive.” – User from the US.
- “This month I was able [to] work with 3 tests and have [received] $10 each. I'm very happy in being a part of UserTesting. Thank you.” – User from India.
- “I have enjoyed the UserTesting experience so much. It has become a fun hobby that I get paid for! When problems have occurred the UserTesting customer service members have been responsive and have dealt with each issue I have had efficiently and fairly.” – User from the US.
- “UserTesting has been a fun way to earn a little extra cash… It has been fairly easy to get started and I appreciate their communication to keep things safe.” – User from the US.
- “It's just great company. had really great work experience” – User from India.
- “UserTesting has a nice platform and I've made a fair amount of money off of it. The only downside is you spend 10x the amount of time completing their automatic screeners (only for them to say “sorry this isn't a fit”) as you do actually completing studies. If you're looking for a quick buck, this is not it.” – User from the US.
- “You can make a few bucks here and there which is nice, but don't expect to earn enough to live on. When you do get a test assigned, they can be quite good fun to do[…]” – User from Germany.
- “Most days I get nothing at all. Most tests I see require a camera, and the rest I don't qualify. I'm on my PC most of the day and I'm lucky to get an actual test once a week.” – User from Canada.
- “It's the best usertesting website I've ever seen . But I gave them four star because they are too slow [when responding to] mails and support” – User from India.
- “Sometimes while I am in the midst of pre test screening, the test suddenly becomes unavailable. Even though the test seems apt for me and proceeding nice with questions. This wastes a minute or so. Not much big deal but should be fixed.” – User from India.
- “I am really dissatisfied because I live in India and I rarely get any studies on my account like not even 2 per month” – User from India.
- “This is an easy way to make some extra money, but I have run into an issue multiple times while uploading a completed test on my Android mobile device, with the test crashing, not showing in the list of completed tests, or showing as Processing for over a month. Each time I have reported the issue and received no response from UserTesting support, and no payment for the completed tests, even after reporting the same issue multiple times. I have deleted the app from my phone and no longer complete tests that way due to this problem…” – User from the US.
- “Don't waste your time. I am on it [for] a few weeks and not getting any tests.” User from the US.
- “The site sometimes doesn't work and makes you get very low ratings and the support is one of the worst of the century, they answer you after a month and don't even answer you.” – User from Italy.
- “Customer service takes 3 weeks to respond to an email and then they don't even answer your question. They actually do NOT pay you when their tech screws up and doesn't upload a finished 15-min test video, so don't fall for that lie. Also, they will cancel live conversations the day of the conversation and not even tell you, let alone compensate you for saving that time for the conversation.” – User from the US.
- “I've been logged in for 2 weeks and I never really got something to test. I'm disappointed.” – User from Argentina.
- “Had the app for a while now and earned no money, but disappointed it’s not really student-friendly![…]” – User from the UK.
Usertesting.com has a surprising amount of negative reviews on Trustpilot. Their overall rating is a poor 2.7/5.
Most of the complaints are due to a low number of available tests, the pre-test screeners being annoying, bad customer support, and occasional bugs when conducting tests.
That said, some users have no problems earning money on the site and report a good experience. During our tests, we didn't have any issues either, which is why we were surprised by the low rating.
Want to help? If you're a Usertesting user (tester or client), leave a review below!
Is UserTesting Worth It?
Although UserTesting isn't perfect, it's definitely worth trying out. It's one of the top paid usability testing sites on the web, offering a decently steady stream of testing opportunities and great hourly rates.
The application process is simple and quick as well — and the practice/qualification test is compensated, which is rare — so you don't have much to lose by applying.
Just keep in mind, you won't qualify for every test that comes your way, so don't expect to make a fortune off this site. The income you earn here can be very unpredictable. It's even tougher to qualify for tests if you're not near your phone/computer very often.
How to Get Started
Getting started with UserTesting is easy. Here's a step-by-step breakdown:
Step 1. Sign up to become a participant
Here's the application page. The application process takes 10-20 minutes and asks for general information about you (i.e. your age, country, devices, career info, tech experience, etc.).
Step 2. Take the practice test
If you're accepted, you'll hear back within a few days and will be asked to take a practice test. This pays $10 just like a regular test and it'll give you an idea of what to expect going forward.
Tip: While taking the practice test, be sure to test your mic beforehand, speak clearly, and follow instructions carefully.
Once you're finished, you'll have to wait for the verdict from the UserTesting team. They'll give you some feedback and a rating, and if your test is approved, you'll start receiving paid tests in your dashboard.
Step 3. Start earning!
Find tests that you meet the requirements for, take screeners, and wait until you qualify for one. Don't giveup right away if you're not qualifying for anything, it can take some time.
- Don't lie on screeners – While this can be tempting, UserTesting will most likely find out and it could get you banned.
- Keep your profile updated – This will help you receive more relevant testing opportunities.
- Leave the dashboard open at all times – Some tests go very quickly but leaving your dashboard open will allow you to see them as soon as they're posted, giving you a better chance of qualifying.
- Read the test description before trying to qualify – There’s no point in wasting your time taking a test screener that you know you won’t qualify for.
- Don't create multiple accounts – This will get you banned.
- Conduct tests in a quiet room
UserTesting Alternatives and Similar Opportunities
Here are some UserTesting alternatives that we've reviewed:
- TryMyUI Review – A popular usability testing site very similar to UserTesting.com.
For more opportunities and ideas, check out these guides:
- Paid usability testing sites – Full list of sites like UserTesting.com that pay you to test other websites and apps. Plus, tips and tricks to help you become a better usability tester.
- Micro job sites – Full list of sites offering paid tasks and other small jobs.
- Paid survey sites – Full list of the top survey sites.
- GPT (Get Paid To) Sites – Ultimate list of sites that will pay you to do a variety of tasks + tips.
- Focus groups – These offer some high payouts for easy work but they're infrequent. Try Respondent.io or User Interviews.
- Ways to make extra money – Tons of other ideas on how to make extra cash on the side!
Want to work from home full-time? Read my guide on how to start working from home.
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