Paid Website Usability Testing with WhatUsersDo

Source is a company that offers payment in return for testing websites for usability. No technical knowledge of how the websites have been constructed is required. They just want to know what you think of particular aspects of websites that their clients want tested for usability. These can include your opinion on how easy it is to find information, how the website looks, how useful you found it. It's all pretty straightforward, and they pay monthly by Paypal. Payment per test is £8, and each test takes around 15 - 20 minutes to complete. The site is UK-based but anyone from any country that can receive payments by Paypal is welcome to apply.

How it works

Unlike survey sites where you're presented with a range of questions with multi-choice answers, Whatusersdo records your voice and video records your computer screen. They ask you to perform some simple tasks on a webpage belonging to one of their clients and speak your thoughts as you perform them. They also want to see how you navigate through particular parts of the site as you follow their instructions. Basically, it's to let them know how a typical user interacts with the site on seeing it for the first time, and which parts of the site might need improving.

Note* As they record the whole screen, make sure to close, or at least minimise, all other sites or visible applications.

Applying to be a Tester

I don't have much experience yet of this site. When I came across it, it sounded interesting, so I researched it and was reassured to discover that it was a genuine (UK-based) company that has been in operation for several years. I also checked some forums and found users discussing it, with no complaints about non-payment.

So, I applied to join, took a short test to prove to them I could speak English, and I was accepted a few days later. I've done several tests since joining, each lasting around 15 - 20 minutes, and they've awarded me £8 for every test. In fact, their FAQ says "up to £8", but every test so far has paid exactly £8. Payments are processed on the 25th of each month and paid the following month via Paypal.

Who can be a tester?

Anyone who speaks English can apply to become a tester. You can apply from any country, but obviously you'll get fewer tests if you're from Outer Mongolia or Greenland than if you're from the UK or the US or any other English-speaking country. You also need a PC with Broadband Internet access and a microphone. Make sure Java is enabled in your PC and up to date - You may have to add WhatUsersDo to your Java panel's 'site exception' list. Don't worry, their FAQ gives full instructions.

To demonstrate that you can speak English well enough, and that you're able to speak your thoughts while performing the tasks, they give you a short practice test. The test that I was given involved visiting a well-known travel website, choosing a destination and travel date and finding out which hotels had vacancies during the period I chose. They wanted to know my impressions of the site, how easy it was to enter the information and whether I was impressed with how the site displayed the results.

On completion of the test, you close their screen recorder and upload the recording to their site. If something interrupts your test (such as a phone call because you forgot to switch off your phone) you can stop and restart the test.

In addition to uploading your application test, you also have to fill in a questionnaire giving information about yourself. The information is necessary so that you'll only be offered tests that are relevant to you. This includes obvious things like your sex, age range, employment status, income range, etc.

Requirements at a Glance

Reasonably fluent and clear English speaking ability
Java-enabled Windows PC or Mac with min 1GB ram
Firefox for Mac : Firefox or Chrome for Windows PC
Built-in or external
Typical website testing tasks
Typical website testing tasks | Source

Eligibility for Tests

Although anyone who can fluently speak their thoughts in English can become a tester, each test has eligibility requirements. Before the test begins, you're asked a question and have to select the appropriate answer. For example, if the site to be tested specialises in car insurance, the question may be something like the following:

Which of the following answers applies to you?

  1. I drive a car and pay my insurance annually.
  2. I drive a car and pay my insurance by monthly instalments.
  3. I don't drive a car/ I don't wish to say.

If you select number 3, you won't be eligible, and the test will close. Depending on what the test is about, those who select either option 1 or option 2 will be eligible and the test can begin.

You may receive several test offers per week, but there's no way to predict how many tests you'll be eligible for as it depends on your individual circumstances. The first test offer I received was about arranging a golfing trip to an exotic location. As I barely know one end of a golf club from the other, I had to select the option "I don't play golf" which immediately disqualified me from that particular test. Selecting another option might have got me the test, but it would soon have been obvious that I didn't know what I was talking about.

First Come, First Served

When a test is available, you are notified by email. If you wait too long to accept the test, you may find that someone else has accepted it, and it will no longer be available. There's also a time limit that applies after you accept a test. It has to be started within a few hours, which means you don't have to do it right away; just make sure you accept it right away, though, so that no-one else will be able to. You can also decline any test that you don't want to take.

My Impressions

So far so good. I enjoy doing the tests using this method far more than mind-numbing surveys with multiple choice questions that go on and on and pay very little or suddenly disqualify you halfway through. These tests or tasks are fairly quick and straightforward, and you know from the start whether you can complete the test or not.

The only negatives are that I've only qualified for less than 50% of the tests offered so far. Today, I received 4 offers and only qualified for one, but that's more to do with my personal circumstances. Someone else might have been able to qualify for all of them.

Uploading completed tests can sometimes be a problem. If the upload fails, you can try again and again until it finally uploads completely. Again, this may be more to do with shortcomings in my system than theirs.

If you're interested in giving it a try here's the link:

© 2015 chasmac

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Comments 12 comments

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 20 months ago from California

Good to know! I have heard a bit about these, but not run across anyone who is actually doing them before--glad to know it has been positive for you

chasmac profile image

chasmac 20 months ago from UK Author

Thanks Audrey - Yeah, so far so good. I'm still new to it, so hopefully It'll be a nice little additional income stream.

Kierstin Gunsberg profile image

Kierstin Gunsberg 19 months ago

Nice review! I've always been curious about trying these out. I've used MySurvey a ton and they definitely pay out, but it seriously is mind-numbing after the first 20 minutes and I'd prefer something with more action, I guess.

chasmac profile image

chasmac 19 months ago from UK Author

Thanks Kierstin - Yeah, I find this way much more enjoyable. There can be more technical problems, though, because of the video and java set up. That gets a bit frustrating.

Lovely  C profile image

Lovely C 19 months ago from Philippines


sounds pretty cool!!.I actually heard about this too but still hesitant because I am not sure if it works for IP address from the Philippines..and Does it work on laptops too?

chasmac profile image

chasmac 19 months ago from UK Author

Hi Lovely C - Yes it works from a laptop and according to the site, anyone from any country can join as long as they can speak English, but you might not get so many jobs being Philippines based, as most of their clients who want their sites tested are UK-based, such as UK finance or insurance schemes. Good luck if you try it.

Lovely  C profile image

Lovely C 19 months ago from Philippines

thanks for the response

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Chasmac, thanks for this interesting hub. It does sounds interesting. I'll might consider it in the future. Voted up!

chasmac profile image

chasmac 19 months ago from UK Author

Thanks Kristen. It would be interesting to know if it works well in the States.

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Anytime, my friend. I would have to check it out to find out, this summer. I'll let you know.

Rota profile image

Rota 18 months ago

They arent accepting testers from Australia unfortunately

Hanzamfafa profile image

Hanzamfafa 10 months ago from London

Another amazing Hub. Thanks Chasmac for sharing.

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