So I headed over to Usability Sciences today to participate in a market research study! Can’t share the details of the product or anything discussed in the study, but that’s not the point anyway. The point of this post is to share with you a pretty great way to generate a little cash for your crazy money stash: market research!
Usability Sciences conducts market research studies for big-time companies who are interested in the opinions of their potential customers (you & I).
I participated in a “Usability Session,” which is basically a 1-hour interview with the market research company about the usability of a certain product. Beyond basic computer/internet skills, no technical or other expertise is required.
Once you sign up online, you receive emails periodically inviting you to answer a few questions to screen for qualified panelists. For example, they may ask you which types of electronic devices you own, so that they can then determine whether it would make sense to ask you for your opinion on an Android product.
Based on the answers you provide to their preliminary questions, you’ll either qualify or not. Be aware that you probably won’t qualify most of the time, but (in my opinion) it’s worth the try! I’ve qualified 3 times for in-office interviews over the last year-and-a-half, which is pretty average with them.
So once I filled out the pre-screening survey, they called me at the number I provided to let me know that I qualified for the study and got me set up with an appointment. The appointment is usually (in my experience) scheduled for the week following the phone call.
At the end of the 1-hour-long session, I received a paper check for $100 and walked away. The duration of the session will vary by study (normally between one to two hours), and the pay will vary accordingly.
Now, just to clarify: there are a lot of very effective means of wasting your time out there, and survey websites are no exception. This is not that.
This is also not for everyone. You may decide that the money isn’t worth your time, or you may not live within driving distance of their offices (although they have worthwhile on-line and over-the-phone opportunities also).
I personally live within an hour of the Usability Sciences Dallas office, and I appreciate having a little extra cash flow occasionally (gotta feed that crazy money stash), so it’s a perfect fit for me!
Last point: it’s fun! Their facilities are clean and modern, and they are super friendly. When my little girl was an infant they even let me bring her along (although for children 6 months and older, they require that you leave them with a sitter, friend, or family member).
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I’ll find you an answer!
Please note: I was not paid, or even approached, by Usability Sciences to write this article. I’ve just had such a good experience with them that I thought I’d share with you!