Test websites and earn $30/hour with this flexible (and legit) work from home job. Learn exactly what a usability tester is and how to apply.
Get Paid To Test Websites
I’m always looking for different ways to make money online. I love the freedom that comes with having a location-independent job. This is not a path I predicted I would go down, but as soon as I had my daughter, I realized I really didn’t want a traditional full-time outside of the home job.
It turns out there are so many interesting online jobs (that are legitimate!) that you don’t really hear about in everyday life. It’s only when you start digging that you come across these less typical work options, which will probably become more mainstream over time.
When I started working as a search engine evaluator, I also came across another online job where you can get paid to test websites as a usability tester. Since I was already busy with a couple of different side hustles, I didn’t have time to dive deep into website usability testing. Things have slowed with search engine rating, so I had a bit more free time and I want to share what I learned about getting paid to test websites because it’s great!!
Companies hire usability testers to evaluate the user experience of their websites. You are paid per task and your verbal feedback is recorded as you navigate a site.
You can earn $10 per 20 minute task – good money and you get to work from home!
What Does a Usability Tester Do?
A usability tester goes through a particular task on a website and talks through their experience while being recorded. This offers valuable information to a company about just how user friendly (or not!) their website is.
If you are hired to test websites, you will be given a specific task to do and talk about.
Some tasks that a website usability tester might be asked to do:
- navigate to specific pages and talk about how easy/difficult the task was
- put an item in a shopping cart and describe the process of checking out
- watch an ad and talk about if it made you want to buy or not buy the product (and why)
Who Hires A Usability Tester?
There are many companies that want to make sure their websites are as user-friendly as possible. Some of the businesses that hire usability testers are:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Harvard University
- And so many more
Is User Testing Legit
Okay, so all this sounds good but you might be wondering:
Is user testing legit?
That’s usually what crosses my mind when I come across an interesting work-from-home job that I’ve never heard of. Is this legit or is it a scam? I wondered the same thing about mystery shopping (and then I became a mystery shopper to find out!)
As with any job, you want to research the company you’re looking to work with. There are many legit user testing companies out there. From research and reading many reviews, I have put together a list of legit companies that hire people to test websites:
- Enroll website testing
- test IO
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (owned by Amazon, pays less than others on this list)
- UserTesting (the biggie in the test websites world)
UserTesting is the main company for website usability testing. I would recommend signing up with them first because they seem to have the most tasks available. If getting paid to test websites is something you’re interested in, after applying with UserTesting, I would sign up with as many other website usability testing companies from the list above as you can.
There won’t be full-time work available from any of these companies that hire usability testers, so if you’re looking to make money testing websites, sign up for more than one to increase the number of tasks you’re offered overall.
Other work from home jobs:
- Search engine rating
- Selling on Amazon
- Teach English to kids online
- Start a blog
- Start a food blog
- Mystery shopping
- Freelance writing
- Best work at home companies
- Pet sitting
- Get paid to surf the web
Usability Testing Examples
There are so many different tasks you could be asked to do as a usability tester, but here are three usability testing examples to give you concrete ideas of what you might test:
1. Navigating a museum website. For these tasks you might be asked where you would search on the website if you wanted to plan a visit to the museum. You would potentially want to know exhibits, hours, maps to get to the museum, floor plans/maps inside the museum of the exhibits. You would talk through exactly what you’re doing and why.
2. You might be asked to try out a clothing website’s shopping cart. You would have to navigate to the item they want you to (pretend to) buy, put it in your shopping cart, and simulate a check out. You’d then describe how the process was – if it was easy and straightforward, if there were any confusing parts or things you found frustrating, etc.
3. You could be asked to book a car rental. You would go through the process of choosing the car and all the extra steps, talking through what you’re doing. The car rental company would want your honest opinion on how you found the process of renting a car through their website.
What Do You Need To Test Websites
1. An updated computer/laptop
2. High-speed internet
3. A speaker built into your laptop or a separate microphone (like this one)
4. You’ll need to download and install the screen recorder software onto your computer
5. Most tasks are voice only but some tasks require a webcam. If you want the option of tasks that include video (these usually pay more), a basic webcam will do.
You don’t need to have prior experience to test websites.
Related: 12 Home Office Gifts For Her
Tips For Website Usability Testing
1. Test out your microphone before you test websites
You have to get through the initial screening where you are given a test website and tasks to complete. They will record you to make sure you’re able to talk through doing the tasks because this is what they’re looking for in a usability tester.
The first time I tried I got an email back the next day saying there were audio problems and asking me to try again. I only have an internal mic so am looking into getting an inexpensive external mic and trying again. I am a soft-spoken person so I might need the little extra boost so my talking can be picked up well!
2. Speak clearly
It’s okay if there are umms and ahs and pauses because you will not be reading from a script, you will be talking off the cuff. You don’t need to sound perfect. But you do need to make an effort to speak clearly and project as well as you can.
3. Keep talking
You will probably feel a bit silly for the first few tasks but you will get over this. At first I wasn’t so sure I would feel comfortable with being recorded and didn’t know if applying to test websites made sense for me. But I thought no harm in trying and it sounded interesting. It actually felt less weird than I thought it would.
The main thing is they want you to talk out loud what you are thinking in your head. So “now I’m clicking here” wouldn’t be a great help to the company that wants website usability testing. “I’m clicking here because I’m looking for the hours they’re open and this is where I would expect to see them” would be much more helpful.
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Would you want to test websites and get paid to work from home?