Fair Hourly Rate for Usability Test

30 Oct 2007 - 1:43pm
6 years ago
2 replies
1269 reads
Bora Ultas
2007

Hello all. I am new to this list, but I wanted to get some people's opinion.
I received an SOW from a usability firm in San Francisco for user testing on
a mobile device. They want to charge $160 per hour for their consulting time
and some material costs. This seems like a very high rate, but I have never
hired such a company before, so I don't know what is fair. Does this seem
like a standard rate or is it too high? Any advice would be very helpful.

Bora

Comments

30 Oct 2007 - 4:36pm
Barbara Ballard
2005

Hi Bora,

In my experience, there are three factors driving hourly cost for tests:
- facility and travel costs
- expertise level - mobile frequently costs more because there's a bit
of specialized expertise necessary
- where the consulting firm is located

We, for example, charge a premium due to our mobile expertise, but as
we're in Kansas we can pay our people less than half what we'd have to
pay in San Francisco. We then use focus group facilities - anywhere -
to run the actual test. So $160/hour is more than what we'd charge
for the work. But then there's the facility, travel, and recruiting
costs. It still adds up to less than $160/hr.

If you want a Bay Area firm, I'm not sure what the average rates would be.

Barbara

On 10/30/07, Bora Ultas <boraultas at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello all. I am new to this list, but I wanted to get some people's opinion.
> I received an SOW from a usability firm in San Francisco for user testing on
> a mobile device. They want to charge $160 per hour for their consulting time
> and some material costs. This seems like a very high rate, but I have never
> hired such a company before, so I don't know what is fair. Does this seem
> like a standard rate or is it too high? Any advice would be very helpful.
>
> Bora

--
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

30 Oct 2007 - 8:55pm
Melvin Jay Kumar
2007

Hi Bora,

You might want to look at this way. Don't look at the overall cost.

Ask them for a breakdown of why it is 160 dollars an hour.

>From the breakdown, you can validate where the cost is going.

You can then try to see if those areas of the cost, can be taken care
by you or your company so that it is cheaper overall. ( rent of
location, facilities, etc..etc)

Also, you might want to shop around, as SF is pretty packed placed
with a no. of usability firms but make sure they have expertise in the
area you want tested.

Often, you would realize that the cost is sometimes jacked up for just
their expertise , which you could then negotiate if you see that
average price across is cheaper than that.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Jay Kumar

On 10/31/07, Bora Ultas <boraultas at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello all. I am new to this list, but I wanted to get some people's opinion.
> I received an SOW from a usability firm in San Francisco for user testing on
> a mobile device. They want to charge $160 per hour for their consulting time
> and some material costs. This seems like a very high rate, but I have never
> hired such a company before, so I don't know what is fair. Does this seem
> like a standard rate or is it too high? Any advice would be very helpful.
>
> Bora
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