A few weeks ago I heard about a UX researcher who died because he got lost in the labyrinth of UX research tools. 🙂 Of course it’s not true, but you can easily get lost and puzzled when you start looking at all the infinite options that have become available lately. That’s why I decided to compile the most common UX research tools for you and hopefully, you will be able find the proper ones for your needs.

UX research tools

User testing and recruiting tools

Naturally, I have to start with user testing and recruiting tools. These are just some of the countless options, which are not only well known, but I think are the best ones as well. Let’s have a look at them.

usertesting tools

UserTesting.com

UserTesting is one of the biggest tools on the market. You can even test websites, mobile apps and record everything. UserTesting is also full of useful content if you want to expand your research knowledge.

Pros:

  • Audio, video and written feedback from real users
  • Auto recruitment

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Unmoderated testing
  • Not the best for validating concepts or ideas

Price: starts from $49 / 10 videos

What users do

A competitor of UserTesting.com. It’s a UX testing platform which helps you to better understand your customers and increase your conversion rate.

Pros:

  • More than 30.000 users
  • Moderated remote testing
  • Recruiting your own customers

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

Price: £140 / mo for 5 videos

Usertest.io

It’s a cheap and easy usertesting solution, but it’s still in the beta version. You can test anything from a small feature of your site to the end-to-end user journey or even your competitors.

Pros:

  • Quick
  • High-quality videos
  • In-built recruitment

Cons:

  • It’s still beta version

Price: £10 / testers

MechanicalTurk

Pros:

  • Cheap to recruit users
  • Quick results

Cons:

  • Only available in a few countries (US, UK and Canada)
  • No information about users

Price: –

UsabilityHUB

It’s a great way to get a proof of concept for your page content and offering. If people can’t figure out who you are and what they’re supposed to do next in 5 seconds or less, you need to rethink your page!

Pros:

  • Complex usertesting solutions (Preference, 5 sec, Click, Question and Navflow test)
  • Clean UI
  • Quick results

Cons:

  • Difficult the get good test participants
  • Moderately expensive

Price: starts from $0

Optimalworkshop

Optimal Workshop is a User Research Platform that helps you and your team make design decisions with confidence.

Pros:

  • Free plan
  • Complex qualitative research solutions (Tree testing, card sorting, etc..)
  • Recruitment option (70+ languages)
  • Easy to test on your own participants
  • Project based subscription

Cons:

  • Big gap between free and paid subscription plan
  • Needs to be upgraded over 10 tests
  • Paid plan is quite expensive

Price: starts from $0

Analytical tools

Qualitative and quantitative data is incredibly important and severely underused. There are some great tools out there to choose from – start with one and expand when you run into user knowledge gaps.

analytical tools

Google Analytics

This is standard. Without an analytics suite you have no data and without data, you can’t do a darn thing (that’s well informed). Simply put: your analytics data will tell you where you are succeeding and where you are failing.

Pros:

  • Free (But there is a paid version as well)
  • Easy to install
  • Can be applied to websites, mobiles and other digital environments

Cons:

  • Limited number of goals
  • Requires constant training
  • Analytics premium is quite expensive

Price: $0

Hotjar

Hotjar is one of the most complex qualitative UX research tools on the market. It’s a good fusion of Clicktale, Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey, Ethnio and Crazy Egg. You don’t need to install any of them, but get all advantages from Hotjar.

Pros:

  • Complex solutions (heatmap, videos, polls, surveys)
  • Free options and low entry level price
  • 15 days trial version
  • Money back guarantee

Cons:

  • Limited number of sessions in the free version
  • Not the best choice for validation or proto testing

Price: from $0

Mouseflow

Mouseflow allows you to see visitors’ behavior and fix pain points with recordings, heatmaps, funnels, and form analytics.

Pros:

  • Complex solutions (heatmaps, recordings, funnels, and forms)
  • Demo option
  • Cheap option

Cons:

  • If you have more than one website then a starter package is not enough
  • Slow UI

Price: €30 / mo

CrazyEgg

Crazy Egg is one of the best-known heat mapping tools and has a lot of recommendations. The software works by taking a screenshot of any URL that you specify. It then collects data from every click made by every visitor and overlays them all as a heat map on top of the web page.

Pros:

  • Fast and easy implementation
  • Simple and clean UI
  • Variety of subscription plans
  • 30 days trial

Cons:

  • Only annually paid options are available
  • Only heatmaps

Price: starts from $9 / mo (paid annually)

Kissmetrics

You can track and analyze customer behavior with Kissmetrics to turn more visitors into customers. One of the best solutions on the market.

Pros:

  • Many integrations
  • Live view
  • Excellent support

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No demographic or location data
  • Lack of filtering functions

Price: from $220 / mo

Mixpanel

Mixpanel is one of the best choices when we are talking about metrics in mobile apps. With their solution you can easily find out how people use your mobile apps.

Pros:

  • Out-of-the-box reports
  • AB testing
  • Notifications

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Limited features in free version

Price: starts from $99 / mo

Koncept

It’s a great tool to test prototypes on Web, iOS or Android. Get objective and measurable usage insights.

Pros:

  • Prototyping tool
  • Heatmap
  • Web and mobile version
  • Fast validating design ideas

Cons:

  • Can’t measure the number of the visitors and the differences between sessions
  • Can’t add external links
  • No integrations

Price: starts from $99 / mo

A/B testing tools

In order to run a split test, you are going to need technology to edit variations, split these variations, and track conversions. Most of these technologies are about the same, especially at their lower tiered price point. We use Optimizely, but feel free to use whichever you prefer.

AB testing ux research tools

Optimizely

With Optimizely you can easily create A/B tests on your website.

Pros:

  • 30 days free trial
  • Easy to set up
  • Cheap solution

Cons:

  • Bugs
  • Sometimes it is difficult to preview A/B test variations easily and quickly

Price: starts from $19

VWO

It’s an A/B testing software for marketers or researchers. You can easily optimize and personalize your website with minimal IT help.

Pros:

  • Complex solutions (Testing, user feedbacks, analytics, reporting and targeting)
  • 30 days trial option
  • Idea Factory
  • Minimal IT help

Cons:

  • Sometimes it’s hard to create tests across pages with complicated URLs.
  • No built-in multi-page testing functionality (across navigation/check-out etc).

Price: starts $49 / mo

GA experiments

Maybe you haven’t heard that you can create A/B test with Google Analytics. It called GA experiments. Google Analytics experiments framework enables you to test almost any change or variation to a website or app to see how it performs in optimizing for a specific goal.

Pros:

  • Set up testing is very straightforward
  • Free

Cons:

  • Makes your URL very “ugly”
  • Difficult to set up targeted campaigns

Price: $0

Adespresso

Adespresso is one of our favorite tools. It is a Facebook integration where you can easily create paid traffic campaigns on Facebook. We have recently tested some of our product ideas’ value proposition with Adespresso.  

Pros:

  • Much better UI than what Facebook Power Editor has
  • Easy to create multivariate tests
  • Full analytics of Facebook advertising
  • 14 days free trial

Cons:

  • Can’t say anything yet

Price: from $49 / mo

Recording apps

A good recording software is crucial for a UX researcher. You can’t work without it. So let’s have a quick look at what you can use.

recording ux research tools

Reflector

Reflector is a wireless mirroring and streaming receiver. Mirror your content to the big screen without wires or complicated setups. Play games, watch movies, demo applications or present from the palm of your hand.

Pros:

  • Wireless mirroring
  • MAC, Win, Android
  • Good quality

Cons:

  • A little bit expensive

Price: $14.99

Quicktime

QuickTime is an extensible multimedia framework developed by Apple. Capable of handling various formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. And you can also record voice, screen and video.

Pros:

  • If it comes with OSX then it’s free
  • Easy to use
  • Supports many formats

Cons:

  • You have to install extra codecs manually to playback video and audio
  • Designed for macs

Price: 0$

CamStudio

CamStudio is a free streaming video software. It’s able to record all screen and audio activity on your computer.

Pros:

  • Open source
  • Free
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Only for Windows os
  • Bugs

Price: $0

Camtasia

Camtasia is a video editor and screen recording software for Windows and Mac. With this software, you can easily create high-quality videos.

Pros:

  • All-in-one software
  • 30 days free trial
  • Capable of recording anything

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Bugs
  • No web based version

Price: $199 / license

Morae

This tool is designed for ux research. It’s good for focus groups for usability studies. You can record and remotely observe your users’ behavior and interactions. You can share your findings with anyone.

Pros:

  • Designed for usability testing
  • Easy to communicate with other observers
  • Paper prototype testing

Cons:

  • Very, Very expensive
  • Only for win

Price: €2.234

AZ Screen recorder

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Easy setup
  • Free version

Cons:

  • No cloud service (storage issue)
  • Unreliable
  • Can slow down older devices

Price: starts from $0

Marky

Marky is a voice recording app for reporters, journalists and UX researcher. You can easily mark the most important moments during your interviews and create a transcript from your footage. And… It’s developed by UX studio 🙂 Any feedback are welcomed 🙂

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Designed for UX researchers and reporters

Cons:

  • Only for Android

Price: starts from $5 / mo

Free gift

And we have a gift for you guys. Under this link, you can find a

  • Persona template
  • User Journey template
  • Strategy canvas template

created by us.

Have I missed something? I am interested in finding out what you use for particular cases, so leave us a comment down below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and share this list!