[Question: could a moderator fish out the original question, if it would help, and add it to the end of this post for clarity.

I asked a question on ux.stackexchange.com that I believe was deleted; last I saw it live, it had three downvotes, and at very least derisive comment amounting to "You're just asking, 'How can I make the most money by testing?'", and apparently it sunk like a rock.

The question as stated was saying that I had a friend with XYZ needs and interests, and asked along a couple of dimensions what were the best UX testing programs along e.g. what ToS;DR would have to say about the contracts testers have to sign.

I've heard an ethicist lecture that he almost never hears, "I have this problem..."; what he hears consistently is "I have a friend and my friend has this problem..."; although I expect the practice to be less common among SE crowds, it's a recognized practice in the English language to say that your "friend" is in some situation than to plainly say, "I'm talking about myself."

However, I really wasn't trying to find out how I could make more money testing, for a couple of reasons. One is that I have IT and some UX skills that would ordinarily place me in a "Disqualify as soon as clearly identified" category unless the testing in question was for audiences of IT or UX usage. Note that I am not claiming excellent candidacy in either arena; I am basically claiming "at least college intern-level competency" status in both areas (my LinkedIn profile lists skills but it is beside the point).

The one Jakob Nielsen quote I've seen most quoted, and one that is highly basic, is, "One of usability’s most hard-earned lessons is that ‘you are not the user.’ If you work on a development project, you’re atypical by definition. Design to optimize the user experience for outsiders, not insiders." And that means that almost all participants in this conversation are above being good testers unless the product being tested is a wireframing tool.

I tried to ask a question that would use a concern with a female friend (and I am a guy and not seeking transgendered status) to produce a useful contribution, and it seems that more than one person saw a money-grubbing "How can I make the most money testing?" question lurking behind my seemingly benevolent façade.

Is there a good way that I could have attempted to ask about tester's interests? If there are better ways, how could I have written the question differently to have made a better contribution?

1 Answer 1


This was your question:

What are best testing services as far as the tester's interests go?

As a slight bit of background, I know a family (perhaps we all do!) who want to supplement their income slightly by paid participation in user testing.

Which leads to a question: I know at least hazily about user testing services, but I have almost no idea what's best in terms of the interests of people seeking to augment their income.

So, to give a perhaps impossibly large question:

What's the best deal for the user I describe?

For a few examples:

1: What is their pay?

2: Are there any stipulations, such as how much work you're allowed to do?

3: What would/has TOS;DR or any attorney serving them say about legal and other related areas connected to their contracts?

4: Are there any demographics, skills, professions, language etc. that put some testers in a better negotiation position?

5: How's turnover and how's morale? If Glassdoor has decent coverage for their user testers, what do they say?

(6: Are there any questions that I didn't ask for should have?) Sorry this is off the beaten path. But I for my most part have been concerned about the user population for the sake of corporate usability interests; I've not really asked about user testing works for the interests of a specific demographic within user testing.

What are the lead testing environment(s) for the interests of this subpopulation within usability testers?

It is purely a question about how much money someone in a particular job that is related to User Experience can hope to achieve. That sort of question doesn't work here for a variety of reasons.

  1. It's not a User Experience problem. The is no issue that a user of a system is having that you are looking to provide a solution to.

  2. it's going to be different for everyone, depending on age / experience / where they're working / what year it is etc. (Even if there was a 'correct' answer, it'd only be correct for a matter of months before salaries change with inflation).

  3. It is lots of questions, not just one. This is a Question and Answer site - each post should be a single question, not six.

So yeah, in answer to this meta question - you would have to change the scope of the question so that it's about a single, specific, objective issue that directly relates to a User Experience issue that you are trying to solve. That's not really going to be possible with that question. Hence why it was closed off and then eventually deleted automatically.

Maybe a good place to start would be some of our pages, such as this one: How can I ask better questions on UX StackExchange?

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