What's Involved in Being a Tester?

Thanks for your interest in being a usability tester for TryMyUI. Here's a little background about TryMyUI and the process for becoming an approved tester.
What is TryMyUI?
At TryMyUI we enable website developers to learn about users' experience with their website through Usability Testing.
What is a Usability Test?
A usability test consists of:
  1. A video of your computer screen (screencast) as you use a target website. The video features your voice as you describe in detail your impressions and thoughts as you use the website and perform the requested tasks. Please review this Sample Usability Test Video.
  2. Your written summary, responding to several questions about your experience using the website. Please review this Sample Written Usability Summary.
How is My Screen and Voice Recorded?
You are instructed to go to a web page containing a Java Applet that allows you to start and stop recording your voice and screen.
What are We Looking For in a Great Usability Tester?
We rate you based on several criteria. To be a great Usability Tester you must:
  1. Clearly say exactly what you are thinking as you are thinking it. We are interested in your impressions, expectations, and the motivations for your actions. Don't edit your thoughts as you navigate the website simply say exactly what you are thinking at each step.
  2. Follow instructions closely and stay on task. You will be given a set of tasks to perform on a website and you must follow them carefully.
  3. Write a clear written summary answering some questions about your experience.
Please review this Sample Usability Test Video and this Sample Written Usability Summary for an example of a great Usability Test. You can view a more specific description of what we're looking for on guidelines, requirements, and common pitfalls
How Long Does a Test Take?
A test should take you 15 to 20 minutes to perform.
How Much Do I Get Paid?
We currently pay US $10 per test.
What Personal Information Do I Need to Provide?
Website creators are generally interested in the opinions of users who fit their target demographics. For example, a website selling women's shoes is less interested in the opinions of a teenage boy. So in the signup process you have to provide general demographic information about yourself such as your age, country of residence, etc.. Certain tests also require that you register or otherwise provide personal information. In case an email address is required, you can create a temporary one at mailinator.com. If more information is requested, please only perform these tests if you are comfortable with this.
What is the Signup Process?
First you must pass a qualification test. The qualification test is just a sample test that shows you understand and can fulfill the requirements for being a great usability tester. In this test, you need to:
  1. Create a sample usability video.
  2. Provide a sample Written Usability Summary answering some questions about your experience.
We will grade your results based on the criteria above and provide you with feedback on how well you did. If your qualification test is approved you will be able to perform real usability tests for pay.
How Do I Find Out About Available Tests?
After you have qualified, you receive a notification email each time a test is available for your demographic. These go out to all workers who fit the demographic, and the available tests are filled on a first-come-first-take basis.
How Many Tests Can I Do?
There's no specific limit on the number of tests you can do, but realistically, you can expect to do a couple a week. This is definitely not full-time or even part-time work, but rather a way to make a few bucks doing something fun in your spare time.
How are the scores used?
Our notification algorithm takes into account a number of factors, including your score (or qualification score if you haven't done any tests) and how many times you've missed out on tests, that is, responded to the notification email but didn't get the test. So the higher your score, the more likely it is that you will be notified early when a new test comes in.
Why do I keep missing out on tests?
We typically send out notifications to a subset of our tester pool, based upon how long it is since they've done tests, how well they've done, and how many they have missed out on. So while we recognize that it's frustrating to constantly miss out on tests, do note that we track this and so put you at the head of the notification queue in recognition of your effort. However, we can't control delays caused by email servers, or how often you check your email, so this prioritized notification is no guarantee that you'll get the next test.