In this review, I take a look at UserTesting, a human insight platform that allows businesses to understand customers on a much deeper level.
Table of Contents
What is UserTesting?
UserTesting is a third party vendor that provides human insight to businesses through its testing services. Businesses use this platform to receive feedback about a product or service.
The contributors (product testers) are qualified by UserTesting to test a product if they are part of a business’s target market demographic. These contributors act as freelancers on UserTesting getting paid per testing gig.
Contributors on the platform are given tests to complete if their profile fits the certain demographic a business is looking for. Once chosen these contributors will then provide feedback on their experience using the chosen product or service. Once providing the initial feedback, contributors will then have to answer some questions related to the product or service they just tested. The business will then take the product testers’ feedback and use it to improve the product or service they are offering and the contributor will get paid by UserTesting for completing the test.
Businesses on the platform use it in order to receive feedback from their target customer demographic. This ensures improvements to their product or service are made based on what their own customers wants and needs are.
Who are the Founders?
The two co-founders of UserTesting Dave Garr and Darrell Denatar first started working together in 1999 when they recognized the need for fast human insight. However, UserTesting was not founded by the pair until 2007. It was created to be a more scalable solution to test web experiences and that it did. With UserTesting now being one of the world’s leading human insight platforms. As UserTesting has grown, inevitably roles in the company have changed, with the new CEO now being Andy MacMillan.
Dave is the co-founder of UserTesting and according to his LinkedIn profile he has held this position since May 2006 to present. Dave himself on his profile states he is “Trying to eliminate bad user experience from the world” with UserTesting.
Darrell is the co-founder of UserTesting. According to his LinkedIn profile between January 2008 and May 2018 he acted as CEO of the company. Currently Darrell acts as UserTestings executive chairman with him having held this position since May 2018.
Andy is the current CEO and chair of UserTesting. With him according to his Linkedin profile having held this position since May 2018.
Is UserTesting Legit?
Is UserTesting legit? Yes. UserTesting is a legit company and you can get paid. However as all things are it’s not as black and white as it seems.
While the process does seem simple and straightforward with contributors just having to test a product or service then answer a few questions in order to get paid. It doesn’t always work out like that.
Contributors on various review websites have complained about the lack of tests they are able to complete due to their own profile not fitting the required demographic that certain tests require. With one user on Trustpilot stating they only were able to complete 1 test in their first 3 weeks using the app.
Although this is inconvenient for contributors it does benefit businesses using the platform as they are clearly getting reviews from testers in their own target market demographic. As a result of this it’s clear to see that UserTesting is legit especially for businesses on the platform.
While not confirmed, some contributors have reported on review sites that their accounts have been deactivated after they have completed tests and are owed money by UserTesting. However, this has not been confirmed so take this with a grain of salt.
Furthermore other users on the same review sites have reported being paid on time by UserTesting. With one reviewer on sitejabber making $165 in their first 3 weeks using the platform as a contributor.
These two reviews I just mentioned both are from users who have been using the platform for only 3 weeks and have had hugely different experiences. With one reviewer making practically no money while the other made $165. As a result of this it is clear to see how two separate people using the same platform can have completely different viewpoints on whether or not it’s a scam.
This difference in opportunities these two teters received is likely due to the fact that they both fit different demographics with one demographic being more in demand than the other and therefore qualifying for more tests. This suggests that a testers experience on UserTesting may be determined largely by luck.
It is also important to note that UserTesting has a strong social media presence across various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn). Having such a strong following on all these platforms further boosts their credibility and social proof as a legit app and not a scam.
After going over hundreds of reviews and taking an in-depth dive into the platform and its inner workings I think it’s safe to say it’s definitely legit and you can make additional income using UserTesting.
How Do You Make Money?
While you can definitely make extra income on UserTesting it unfortunately will not be enough to be considered your main source of income. Think of it as a side hustle to get you some extra money.
UserTesting on their website also does not claim that you will make thousands of dollars on the platform, instead they state you can earn extra income and up to $60 per test. It is also important to mention that $60 per test is very rare for contributors to receive with the average most likely being around $10 per test.
The payment rates for each test does depend on a number of factors like the type of test and duration of the test – the more effort a test requires the more you will get paid upon completion. As I mentioned earlier the maximum payment for a test is $60 and the minimum is $3, so there is a very big variation in what you can actually receive.
UserTesting pays $10 for every 20 minute video and $4 for a 5 minute video you complete – both of these video length options also often require the tester to also complete 4 follow up questions. The follow up survey questions are required to provide further information and insights into the products or services you are testing. Common questions you may receive in the surveys are:
- Your overall opinion on the product or service?
- How would you improve the product or service?
- What do you think is the best or most useful feature?
- What is your level of frustration with a particular feature?
That doesn’t sound bad right? $30 on average for every hour of work is a very good income for somebody working from home. But here’s the kicker, the amount of work you will receive is quite limited so some users may only qualify for 1 test per week. Although to avoid any false expectations from new testers UserTesting do state clearly on their website that the opportunities (tests) you receive as a contributor will be limited and depend on a few factors – mainly the demographic you are in.
Now you know you can make some extra money with UserTesting. Here is how you should go about becoming a tester yourself. First and foremost all testers have to be 18 in order to sign up. The first thing you will have to do in the joining process is go to Usertesting.com and sign up. You will have to provide a few basic details like your name and email address, then you are required to complete a sample test.
After your sample is approved (it may take a while to get approved) you will have to provide more personal details to complete your profile – a large contingent of users on review sites have complained about the depth of details UserTesting requires with some even suggesting UserTesting may be data mining, although there is no legit evidence to support this.
As UserTesting pays all its contributors through PayPal you will have to create a PayPal account for yourself in order to receive payment for completing tests if you don’t already have an account.
My UserTesting Review
After extensive research into UserTesting as a platform and a company, would I recommend it to you? In short the answer is yes. If you want to earn a little bit more money on the side every month, UserTesting is a legitimate way to do that. However it is important not to sign up as a contributor with false expectations.
Furthermore if you are a business owner who wants to get real human insight into your product or service then UserTesting is the place for you. One of the main complaints from contributors when it comes to UserTesting is the lack of tests in which they qualify for. This selectivity when it comes to qualifying testers actually benefits businesses on the platform in a major way. The testers who are chosen will fit the target market demographics for the businesses therefore allowing them to receive feedback from people who would actually use their products.
As a result of this, businesses on the UserTesting platform will be able to improve upon their products in ways that directly benefit their customer base, allowing them to provide a better product or service and improve the overall customer experience.
One of the main reasons for UserTestings success with it now being one of the world’s leading human insight platforms is its low barrier to entry for contributors. Through the UserTesting platform normal people with no prior experience or degree can start earning money online with little effort and absolutely no upfront cost.
UserTesting being free to join for contributors is why they have been able to scale to such a large platform. The free to join nature of the platform means there is no risk factor involved for contributors except the time risk when joining. As a result of this the new contributors are not deterred from joining due to a joining fee that they do not know if they will make back.
This rapid growth since 2007 has allowed UserTesting to refine their processes and really improve the experience for both testers and businesses on the platform.
Another benefit in my opinion of using UserTesting is the fact that they use PayPal as the only payment method, with payments automatically being released 7 days after a test has been completed. Using a trusted third party payment processor adds to the legitimacy of the platform as a whole.
A big benefit of using UserTesting is the work the testers are completing is actually enjoyable and not boring repetitive work. With humans naturally drawn to sharing their opinions on things, testers who use the platform are likely to enjoy the work they are doing which increases the quality of review they provide for businesses.
As a result of this contributor life times at UserTesting is likely to be longer and businesses receive higher quality feedback which allows them to improve their product or service more. So as a result of the interesting yet easy work both testers and businesses benefit.
After using the platform myself and also going through many reviews, the main issue I have with UserTesting is the high percentage of disqualifications that many testers receive when attempting to complete a test. As a result of this users may only receive a few tests a month which may amount to no more than $30. Is the effort of checking to see if you qualify for tests every week worth $30 a month? For some maybe but for others the high percentage of disqualification on tests will put them off using the platform consistently.
Another big issue I have with UserTesting is the unusual amount of personal information you must share when creating a profile. Although I do understand that to offer businesses reviews from their target market UserTesting must know the demographics of contributors in order to qualify them for tests that are appropriate for them, the amount of information they need does raise questions. As stated on review sites a lot of users feel uncomfortable sharing this amount of personal information with a company. This therefore puts potential users off when they are in the signup process and see what is required for them to share if they want to be a tester.
Furthermore other reviewers of UserTesting have speculated that this personal information may be being used for data mining purposes. Although as I also stated earlier in this review there is no evidence to support this and this is purely speculation, I feel it is important to mention as new users may not be comfortable with a company having this much personal information on them.
My final drawback of UserTesting is it is still an active income source (you are trading time for money). Side hustles that accompany an individual’s main job often are passive, allowing the person to essentially earn money while they sleep. However with UserTesting due to the nature of human insight, contributors still have to trade time for money which may put off some users as they simply do not have the time required to complete the tests.
Other UserTesting Reviews
After reading hundreds of reviews from all over the internet, I have found that there is a mixed response when it comes to UserTesting. Some members claim UserTesting provides good pay for little effort while others claim finding and qualifying for tests is next to impossible.
As I shifted through review sites such as Trustpilot and sitejabber similar positive and negative reviews from users began to arise.
On trustpilot UserTesting received a 4.6 / 5 star rating from a total of 988 reviews at the time of writing. This is considered an excellent score by the review site. However, on sitejabber UserTesting received a 2 / 5 star rating from a total of 122 reviews at the time of writing.
These vast differences in star rating from two separate review sites does begin to raise questions about the legitimacy of the reviews left. The illegitimacy of the reviews could fall on either end of the spectrum with fake negative reviews written to damage UserTestings image or fake positive reviews written to boost UserTestings image. Unfortunately we do not know what the case is here so take both these review site star ratings with a grain of salt.
Common positive reviews:
- Tests are easy to do and not time consuming.
- Payments are made on time to contributors.
- You can make money from home using UserTesting.
Common negative reviews:
- UserTesting gathers a large amount of personal information from contributors.
- Very hard to find tests that you qualify for.
- Account deactivated when it was time to get paid – Suspicious!
Here are a few reviews on Trustpilot from verified UserTesting users:
5/5 star rating:
“UserTesting helps in getting honest and precise feedback about websites and apps. Being a tester it has allowed me to share my experience in using various websites and apps. This helped me in improving my knowledge as well as providing these websites with useful information. It has always been a pleasure working with UserTesting and am getting paid precisely for my work.”
5/5 star rating:
“This is one of the best companies I have come across when testing websites and mobile applications. I have been associated with this company for more than a year now, and my experience was just wonderful. Kudos to the level of tests, payout and responsive customer service.”
3/5 star rating:
“I answered the screening questions accurately, I am involved in “sales” as a health care professional in a pharmacy environment as a frontline healthcare worker. I got asked questions about virtual try on software even though I don’t use this software at my work and I would have said so if asked. I also got asked questions about “the list” and I had no idea what this referred to”
1/5 star rating:
“I have created an account and have very little work/ tests coming in to review. Since I joined 3 weeks ago I have only been able to complete 1 test. The feedback and payment for the one I have done almost two weeks ago still has not come through and I have no reviews. Extremely slow process and poor communication and feedback.”
As you can see from these reviews I have taken from Trustpilot’s website there is a mixed response when it comes to the platform. However it is important to mention that the amount of positive feedback (4 and 5 stars) greatly outweighs the negative feedback (1,2 and 3 stars). This being said, even a few 1 star reviews could suggest issues with the platform.
In summary the main purpose of this review was to dive in depth into UserTesting and decipher whether it is legit or not. In short, yes it is legit. You can actually make extra money online with no upfront cost.
You will be able to make some extra income using UserTesting. Emphasis on some. As UserTester unfortunately is not as straightforward as it seems. You don’t just sign up and start racking in the cash from review after review – which may upset some testers if they sign up to the platform with false expectations. However if a new user on the platform reads an article such as this and begins their testing journey with the correct expectations they will be happy.
As a new user on the platform you should sign up with the expectation that you will not get a new test all the time to complete and it may take a while before you even qualify for your first test. However you will find tests that fit your demographic and you will get paid for them even if it is just a small amount of money.
Furthermore the work you will not be doing for UserTesting is not repetitive boring work. Your job as a reviewer is to give your honest opinion on products or services you get to try through your phone and you get paid doing it. If you ask me that’s not a terrible deal.
If you are already earning a substantial income at your main job I would not recommend UserTesting to you as you simply won’t earn enough money from it to make a difference to your life. I would suggest UserTesting to students and people unable to work for whatever reason as the platform gives you the opportunity to earn extra money from the comfort of your own home. Even though that extra money might only be enough to change your standard of living for some individuals, every little bit helps , especially if it’s easy work.
As a company UserTesting is also legit and has a good reputation with it being around since 2007 with two co-founders who know what they are doing in the human insight space having worked in that area since 1999 and an experienced CEO who knows how to run a software company. Furthermore UserTesting as a company has won a multitude of awards and has been recognized for their work while also constantly growing their team in locations all around the world in places like Singapore, San Francisco, Atlanta and Edinburgh Scotland.
The test payment amounts vary depending on the test type – Your test feed will always show you the amount you’ll get paid for each test.
Once you complete a test payments are sent 7 days later.
You will have to complete a practice test first, once that is approved you will start receiving emails about test opportunities with new tests being posted daily.
The UserTesting site is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android systems. However, UserTesting recommends against using Xiaomi devices running the Android operating system as they have seen issues with these devices.
Yes a microphone is required by all UserTesting contributors.
If you are using a mobile device you will need to download the UserTesting app.
If you are using a computer you will not need to download anything.
The only way to get paid as a contributor is through PayPal.
UserTesting states they do not withhold any taxes from payments. With contributors being responsible for any tax liabilities incurred from payments received by UserTesting.
You will first have to complete a short practice test and fill out some basic demographic information. Then if you are successful on the practice test you’re in.