An interesting online side hustle to explore is to make money testing apps and websites. There are various websites that will pay you for user testing – trying out an app and ensuring it works as intended.
If you’re tired of filling out surveys for low pay, consider testing websites instead. Here’s how to make money with user testing, the best sites to use, and tips for increasing your earnings.
Ways to make money testing apps and websites
Website and app developers utilize user testing to get feedback on their sites, their functionality, the user experience, the design, and more. You might have to follow a defined customer journey and visitor flow or try navigating the app or website yourself, like any random visitor.
Usually, you will record yourself using the website with a webcam, microphone, and screen recording software. That way, the reviewers can see your real-time reactions and discover how users react to different elements on the page or application.
After the test, the platform will typically ask you to complete a survey detailing your experience. It might ask for your opinions on the app’s usability, user-friendliness, and ease of use and what you think the developers should change.
There’s another way to make money by trying out new apps. For example, platforms like Swagbucks will reward you for downloading games and apps and trying them out. Sometimes, it will reward you for downloading a banking or investing app, creating an account, and making a deposit. However, that’s not what user testing usually refers to.
User testing also differs from software testing, which requires more in-depth knowledge of the software you’re testing. Software testing requires you to look for bugs, programming errors, and other problems; it doesn’t usually focus on the UI side of things.
How much can you earn?
Is it possible to earn a full-time living from testing apps and websites? Yes, but it’s not easy. User testing is best as a way to earn some side income and extra cash.
The problem is that it can be hard to find enough user testing opportunities to make a full-time income.
If you check out the websites below, you’ll see that many sites pay you around $10 per test, with each test taking as little as 5 minutes or up to an hour. While $10 for 20 minutes is decent pay, the question is how many of them you can do a day. Remember, you won’t qualify for every test, and there are also others competing to be testers.
Signing up to as many sites as possible will help increase your earning potential. However, since others might snatch up testing opportunities as they appear, it’s important to keep checking back regularly for new testing opportunities.
What you need to be an app tester
There are not many requirements to become an app tester. All you need to get started is:
- A computer running an updated version of macOS or Windows (there are usually software requirements for user testing, and Linux might not always be acceptable).
- A quality webcam that shows your face clearly and a good microphone.
- Fast and stable internet.
- Video conferencing or screen recording software (some platforms provide their own screen recording software).
Most of all, you need the ability to follow directions. Platforms might grade your performance or give you a rating on how well you were able to follow directions and the quality of your feedback, which can affect your future testing opportunities.
You must also have good communication skills and the ability to talk about your experience in a clear and articulate manner.
If you want extra protection against possible scams and other online dangers while doing this sort of job, you can subscribe to a VPN service.
The best user testing platforms to make money
The following are the best user testing platforms that pay you to test websites and apps, along with their requirements and earning potential.
One of the most famous user testing sites is UserTesting. Start by signing up and taking a quick practice test to check your microphone and webcam and see if you qualify.
Moderators will review the practice test and see if you make a good fit – they might look at the audio quality, your communication skills, and your ability to follow directions. It can take a few days to get results for your practice test.
Some of the basic requirements include the following:
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Speak English, French, or German (you don’t need to be a native speaker, but you do need good speaking skills in one or more of these three languages).
- Have an external microphone.
- Have a PayPal account (it’s the only payout method).
You will also take a screening test to help you match with testing opportunities. The payout will vary by test, but you’ll see how much you’ll earn before you start a test. Typically, you can expect to make around $10 for a test that lasts 10–20 minutes, although some tests pay more depending on the amount of work and time you need to invest.
You can perform the tests using your browser on your desktop or by downloading the UserTesting mobile app on your phone.
uTest has a variety of user and software testing projects. Many of these projects have specific requirements, such as owning a bank account in a certain country or speaking a specific dialect of English.
You might also test websites for bugs and errors, try out banking systems or GPS apps, and even go out into the real world and test out the customer experience at restaurants or stores. If you find bugs, the payout will depend on the value of the bug.
uTest provides free training to testers in the uTest Academy, where you can learn advanced skills such as API testing. It also offers two payout methods: PayPal and Payoneer.
Userfeel pays between $3 and $30 per test, with tests lasting as short as five minutes and as long as one hour. Most tests, however, are 20 minutes long and pay $10. That equals $30/hour.
Earnings depend on test length. You’ll earn:
- $3 for 5-minute tests
- $10 for 20-minute tests
- $20 for 40-minute tests
- $30 for 60-minute tests
The requirements to join Userfeel are minimal. You’ll need a Windows or Mac – if you’re testing on Windows, it needs to be Windows 7 and above. You can also test on a mobile phone or tablet. Furthermore, you’ll need a microphone, but your internal microphone is enough.
When signing up, you’ll take a qualification test to see if your microphone works. Your qualification test will decide your initial rating, which will impact the opportunities you qualify for.
You’ll also have to answer screening questions before starting a test to determine your eligibility. The questions may disqualify you, and you won’t be able to complete every test, but that’s just part of the game.
According to Test.io, most of its freelance testers get at least five testing invitations a day, which is pretty good if you’re looking for consistent income.
After signing up, check out the Testing Academy to learn new testing skills. Once you get your first testing invitation and start testing, you’ll earn money for each bug you find. Note that the client has to accept your bug as valid, but the biggest bugs can earn you as much as $50. However, you may need a specific device and be in a specific region to qualify for those.
Test.io pays out once a month, though, so it can take some time until you get your earnings.
Trymata, formerly TryMyUI, pays you $10 or more per test. You’ll have to try out different websites and pretend you’re a new visitor, voicing your frustrations and narrating your experience in real time.
Each test requires you to record your screen and voice. After the test, you’ll have to answer a few questions about your experience.
Test opportunities are not many, though. According to Trymata, you can expect to get a few tests per week, so it’s best to sign up for Trymata together with a few other testing sites.
One of the advantages of working for Trymata, though, is that it pays via PayPal each weekday morning. Still, it can take time for your test to clear and receive payment approval.
TestingTime is a company that pays you for taking surveys, testing websites and apps, and participating in studies in person. The latter pays the most, while testing sites or attending interviews via video calls pays less. Online surveys pay the least.
According to TestingTime, you can expect to get test invitations on an irregular basis, so don’t rely on it to earn a full-time income. Since TestingTime is based in Switzerland, it’s best if you live there or in one of the other core countries: the UK, Germany, France, Austria, or the Netherlands.
However, you can still apply from the US, although you may not qualify for as many test opportunities.
One of the advantages of TestingTime is that it notifies you of test opportunities via email, so you don’t have to keep checking the platform. However, you’ll need to answer a few questions after an email invitation to see if you qualify.
Tests usually last for 30–60 minutes. The amount you’ll earn per test depends on the length and test requirements.
TestingTime pays via bank account or PayPal, although it recommends PayPal if your bank account is not in Switzerland.
Most user-testing apps require you to use your microphone and record your screen. Some also require you to use a webcam to record your face.
If you’re not comfortable with that, your earning opportunities will be limited. However, you can still use a site like UserCrowd, which only involves answering a short series of questions after each website you test. The questions focus on design and usability, but you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to answer the questions.
Most tests only pay $0.20 or $0.40 (one or two credits, with each credit equalling $0.20). Some tests, however, pay more. The good news is that most tests take just a few minutes and often less than a minute. Once your account balance reaches $10, you can request a payout via PayPal.
Since UserCrowd pays so little, it’s best for earning pocket money during your free time when you have nothing better to do.
Userlytics is another excellent site for earning some side cash from usability testing. It pays between $5 and $90 per test. Depending on how many tests you qualify for per week, you can earn a decent part-time income from it. Best of all, Userlytics pays you at the end of each week.
You’ll need a desktop computer running Windows or Mac (Windows 7+ or macOS 10.13+), an Android tablet (Android 8.0+), or a mobile phone (Android 9.0+ or iOS 12+). You’ll also need a microphone, and some tests require a webcam.
Your usability tests will focus on websites, online stores, checkout pages, advertisements, and more. You’ll have to voice your thoughts out loud, in real time, and detail your experience. Sometimes, you’ll have to compare one website to a competitor’s; you might compare the homepage or the checkout experience on both sites.
Most tests take 20–40 minutes to complete. Once you complete a test, it must receive approval before Userlytics can pay you. The platform pays out every 15 days.
Userbrain pays just $5 per test, but tests usually take 5–20 minutes. Thus, your earning potential is anywhere from $15 to $60 an hour.
You’ll need to take a qualification test when starting out. Once you receive approval, you’ll need to download the Userbrain recording software for Chrome or iOS to start testing websites. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll need a Mac Sierra or higher.
Payments are via PayPal, and you can request a payout once you have a minimum balance of $10. That means you’ll need to complete at least two tests. However, your test will be pending for seven days – Userbrain declines some tests for reasons such as poor audio, not speaking, and not following instructions.
While some testers manage to earn a full-time income from user testing, it’s best to have other eggs in your basket as well. Freelance writing, affiliate marketing, and e-commerce are excellent ways to supplement your user testing income when you don’t qualify for any tests.
Guest Author: Mauricio Preuss is the CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwards – one of the biggest tech review websites, with well over 1 million in monthly traffic. He is at the helm of the company and steers a team of editors, writers and designers from all around the world.