To become a 5-star tester in Usertesting, you need to take care of 2 areas:
Audio Quality and Your Inputs (ie, what you speak)
Before we dive into these topics in detail. First, let’s clear out why you need to become a 5-star tester. It’s simple, Becoming a 5-star tester means you get invited for more tests, which in turn increases your earnings.
But don’t fret if your first test did not earn you a 5-star rating. The team would randomly check more tests submitted by you and might improve your rating if they find that your quality has improved.
So how to become a 5-star tester?
Have Exceptional Sound Quality
Your voice is the only thing that the reviewer would be able to hear. So the idea here is to make sure you have crystal clear, studio-level voice recording in your PC. It might sound impossible but it is not very difficult. Here are some tricks you can use to dramatically improve your voice quality:
- Get an external microphone: An external microphone will dramatically improve your voice recording quality, even if it’s a digital microphone or a headset. Most laptops have low-quality in-built mics and they sound very tinny. This degrades your recording quality, and it’s best to have an external mic for this reason. They are dirt cheap, and you will get back your investment by just participating in a single test on Usertesting. But if you really want to take your recording game to the next level, I would suggest that you get a Condenser Microphone.
A condenser microphone is only slightly costlier than a digital mic, but the improvement in voice quality is exceptional. I recommend you get a whole set, that contains a condenser mic, a phantom power supply, and a stand for your microphone. It sounds like overkill, but is actually a pretty good investment. The next thing you know you are starting your own podcast on Spotify or Youtube.
- Install AI Noise cancellation: These are AI-powered software which removes all background noise from your surrounding as you speak (LIVE!). It is really an exciting piece of technology, and I recommend you check out the video below to understand how powerful they actually are. This will let you record only your voice, and combined with a condenser mic you can get studio-quality results from the comfort of your home.
There are 2 AI Noise cancellation solutions in the market now. The first one is a freemium software called Krisp. They let you use it for free for up to 120 mins/week. It will actually work if you only use it for Usertesting.
The second one is a completely free solution by Nvidia, but there’s a catch. You need an Nvidia Graphics Card in your system to run it (GTX or RTX series). The software is called RTX Voice (download link), and even though the company claims that you can only use it with RTX series, it works flawlessly in the GTX series cards as well.
Check out AI Noise cancellation in action in this video:
Some tips on how to speak
You might have the best recording quality, but it is of no use if you cannot convey your message properly. The idea here is to most effectively convey your thoughts and feelings to the person who is going to view the test.
- Speak loud and slow. Slow speaking will help the other person easily understand what you are trying to say, and will also increase the clarity of your voice. Try taking slow and deep breaths (before speaking) if you have trouble controlling your pace.
- If you get confused or disturbed due to some reason, you can pause the test. It pauses the recording, allowing you to recollect yourself. Resume recording when you are ready.
- Don’t worry if your English is not good. Your grammar does not matter. What matters is whether you are able to convey your thoughts clearly. Your speech needs to be able to effectively communicate your thought process. Speaking slowly and clearly will help with it.
Follow their guidelines to be a good tester
I have mentioned this before. Your aim in these tests is not to complete the tasks, but to convey your experience and thought process while completing them. This includes speaking out every minute detail or observation you have, dictate the problems you encounter, and even ask questions you get in your mind.
The more verbal you are, the more helpful your test is to the team that receives it. Again, there is no right or wrong way to do the tasks. Here is a quick 30-second video from Usertesting explaining the same:
What if I still get a bad rating?
Even if you are unable to secure a 5-star rating on your first test, do not lose hope. Usertesting says that it checks the tests of lower-rated testers more frequently. So even if you get a bad rating in your first test, chances are that you will be reviewed again in your next test. So you have another shot at improving your rating.
The only downside is that you will have to work a little harder to get it, as you have fewer screeners available to you.