Top User Research Tools You Should Know About

Want to conduct user research online? Here are a few tools that can help you in the process.

Author

Aishwarya N K

Date

December 9, 2023

Understanding your users is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

User research is a great tool that empowers businesses to design products and services that users love, leading to increased engagement, conversion rates, and overall success. However, navigating the vast array of user research tools available can be daunting.  

Whether you're a seasoned researcher or just starting out, this guide will equip you with the knowledge to choose the right tools for your specific needs. Let’s delve into the functionalities of popular platforms, and try to understand their core offerings.

Why should you use a user research tool?

Smart decision-making: These tools help teams make smarter decisions by providing insights based on real user behaviors. This means designers and decision-makers have solid information to guide them.

Saves time: User research tools automate parts of the research process, saving time compared to older methods. This allows teams to focus on understanding results and making improvements.  

Remote accessibility: Many tools allow researchers to test products or services with users from anywhere in the world. This is handy when you want to ensure your product works well for a diverse audience.

Usability testing: User research tools often include usability testing features, allowing designers to observe how users interact with a product or prototype. This helps identify pain points, areas of confusion, or elements that require improvement.  

Quantitative and qualitative data: User research tools can collect both quantitative and qualitative data. This comprehensive approach provides a holistic understanding of user experiences, combining metrics such as task success rates with insights into user motivations and perceptions.

Iterative design: Good design happens in steps. User research tools support this by letting designers test different versions of a product and make changes based on user feedback. This way, the final design is more likely to be user-friendly.

Cost-effective: While there might be initial costs, using these tools can save money in the long run. Finding and fixing issues early is cheaper than dealing with problems after a product is launched.

Team collaboration: These tools encourage different teams (like designers, developers, and marketers) to work together. Sharing information ensures everyone has a user-focused mindset.

Back decisions with data: Having a tool that collects data helps when explaining design choices to others. It's like having proof that the decisions made are based on what users actually need.

User satisfaction and loyalty: Ultimately, using user research tools helps create products that users like. Happy users mean they're more likely to stick with and recommend a product, which is great for long-term success.

What are some UX research tools you should know about?

Qatalyst

Qatalyst is an integrated user research platform powered by Insights AI, that helps UX, product, and design teams test their digital products and experiences. With Qatalyst, you can conduct moderated and unmoderated research and arrive at actionable insights that can help you build an engaging digital experience that will keep your users coming back for more.  

Features:

Mixed method research: Conduct both moderated and unmoderated research in one study to get a holistic understanding of user behavior and interactions with your product.

End-to-end research: Test your apps and websites from the prototype to the post-live phase for continuous product discovery and to ensure that mistakes and errors are caught and addressed before launch.

Panel recruitment and management: Get access to a panel of over 80 million respondents across 120 countries to get the ideal panel for your study. Additionally, you can also add your own panel within Qatalyst to send studies to.  

Live website and app testing: Test your websites and app in real time to identify usability issues and gain deeper insights from real users, without the need for embedding any code within.

Insights AI integration: Get behavior and emotion insights from our patented Facial Coding and Eye Tracking tech that can tell you not just what your users are looking at, but also the ‘why’.

Custom user dashboard: Tailor your dashboard to include metrics and insights that are most relevant to your research goals.

Custom research templates: Create your own templates on Qatalyst for your studies and save them to be used at any future point in time. This is in addition to the 25+ templates that already a part of the platform.  

Collaboration with stakeholders: Invite team members and stakeholders to collaborate on research projects in real time. You can also share the results of the study with your team members with an easy-to-access link.

Highlights and tags: Create tags and highlights for your transcripts to highlight pivotal moments in the conversation and share them with your team.  

Maze

Maze is a continuous product discovery platform for user-centric product teams. They offer both moderated and unmoderated research but do not support mixed method research.

Features:

Unmoderated research: Conduct surveys, prototype testing, card sorting and tree testing to understand the usability of your product.

AI-supported moderated research: Get AI-generated transcription and summaries of your recordings along with key themes and highlights to identify insights faster.

Panel and participant management: Create your ideal panel with the right filters from over 400 options and save them as segments to send studies to.

Clips: Capture video and screen recordings of usability tasks to highlight real-time reactions of users.

Automated reports: Customize your view of the results with filters and communicate key insights with the relevant internal and external stakeholders.

Usability scores: Get a usability score in every report to measure the ease of use of the screens, missions, and study.

In-product prompts: Design prompts to pop up at crucial stages of the user journey and get feedback from real users in less time.

Pricing: 4 tiers

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Starter, $99/month

Tier 3: Team, $1250/month

Tier 4: Organization, talk to sales

Userlytics

Userlytics is a user experience research platform that allows teams to rapidly receive quantitative and qualitative insights. They have a scalable pricing model and an in-house consulting team for a variety of professional services.  

Features:

Moderated and unmoderated studies: Conduct moderated and unmoderated studies with ease on Userlytics.

Mobile and website testing: Test the usability of your websites and mobile apps at any stage of development.

Benchmarking: The ULX score by Userlytics compares 18 key attributes to produce an overall score that represents the different aspects of customer and user experience.

Multi-channel testing: View participants (their mobile screen, in-store or in another offline environment) and listen to their comments as they compare the ease of discovery, pricing, layout, and overall experience shopping for products online (on their mobile) with offline.

Screening questions: Add screening questions to filter out respondents that don’t belong to your target demographic.

Sentiment analysis: Understand how users feel about your products through positive and negative sentiments attached to their session transcription.

Advanced reporting: Get access to transcripts, highlights, annotations, and more to create a comprehensive report for your stakeholders.

Collaboration: Collaborate with teams across the organization and add unlimited additional viewer, creator, or admin seats, as well as unlimited concurrent tests without any additional cost.  

Pricing: 3 plans (Enterprise, Limitless and Custom). Pricing depends on the add-ons you choose.

UserTesting/UserZoom

UserTesting is a user research and testing platform that helps teams get insights from customers at every stage of the product development process. Apart from their own platform, they have also merged with UserZoom, which is now a part of their research tools portfolio.

Features:

Mobile testing: Test prototypes and apps to discover what drives people on mobile devices, including why users abandon apps, what fuels frequent usage, and how to drive greater adoption.

Human insight management: Get auto-generated analytics, sentiment analysis, interactive path flows, clickstream data, and other insights to reduce the time spent on manual analysis.

Benchmarking: UserTesting uses QX score, a metric that incorporates the behavioral and attitudinal performance of digital experiences and helps to guide product investment decisions.

Full-service research: UserTesting’s in-house consultants can help you extend your team’s capacity by outsourcing entire projects.

Accessibility testing: With the support of the accessibility research team, you can get insight into what it's like for customers to experience your product through screen reader assistive technology, for an inclusive experience.

Centralized repository of insights: Enable teams to collaborate on research, discover insights and share knowledge to boost collaboration and increase productivity.

Pricing: Depends on the platform you choose: UserTesting, UserZoom or EnjoyHQ

Useberry

Useberry is a UX research platform that allows teams to test ideas, designs, prototypes, websites and information architectures. They offer both moderated and unmoderated testing methods. However, it is only a web-based platform, which could prove limiting to some users.

Features:

Prototype testing: Integrate with over 6 design tools to import and test your prototypes.

Website usability testing: Import your live website or paste a snippet of code into your website to get robust insights and evaluate your product.

Recordings: Video and screen recordings that capture users’ faces, voice, and screen to track users’ navigation and interactions.  

Open analytics: A self-reporting usability testing method, which allows participants to complete a task with a prototype or website and self-report their results.

Interactive clicks: Get a full visualization of the dynamic clicks on every element of your website, such as dropdowns and menus.

Easy participant recruitment: Use 100+ targeting attributes to choose the ideal tester panel.

Dynamic user flows: Use filters and segments and customize user flows for a streamlined view.

Pricing: 3 tiers

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Growth, $67/month

Tier 3: Enterprise, talk to sales

Lyssna (Formerly known as UsabilityHub)

Lyssna is a remote user research platform that helps businesses understand how users interact with their designs. You can conduct both moderated and unmoderated research, but live website testing or live app testing is not possible.

Features:

Integrated platform: Conduct quantitative, qualitative, moderated, and unmoderated research on a single platform.

Moderated studies: Conduct or upload moderated sessions and get multi-language transcriptions.

Panel recruitment: Access a panel of 530,000+ active respondents fast, at a budget of $1 per minute for surveys or usability tests.  

Insights: Get access to click and heat maps, flow analysis, similarity matrices, and navigation analysis for your studies.

Collaboration: Unlimited external collaborators to view and comment on studies, for paid plans.

Multi-device support: Lyssna tests can be completed by participants through mobile, laptop and desktop devices.

Pricing: 4 tiers

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Basic, $75/month

Tier 3: Pro, $175/month

Tier 4: Enterprise, talk to sales

UXArmy

UX Army is a video recording-based user research platform that offers Usability testing, User Research, and automated respondent recruitment. However, responses might take a while to come in.

Features:

Testing across devices: Users can take the test across laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Heatmaps: Track  

Bookmarks and notes: Highlight sections of the recorded videos to take note of rich feedback or any issues in the product.

Analysis space: This is a place to gather all the text content highlighted and the video clips created, along with annotations and transcripts, all in one place.

Templates: Get access to 1%+ templates across use cases that can be used to create a study.

Participant recruitment: They offer the option to access their online panel through psychographics filters. You can also get specialized participants for online survey, In-depth interviews, usability tests, focus groups, or field studies, but it might take up to 3 weeks.

Usability metrics: Get SUS scores and success criteria/task success rate to quantify research results.

Pricing: 4 tiers

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Starter, $59/month

Tier 3: Compass, $129/month

Tier 4: Starter, $399/month

Loop11

Loop 11 is a user testing platform that allows you to conduct moderated and unmoderated testing on mobile and desktop devices. However, it is slightly on the pricier side.  

Features:

Search engine findability testing: Understand how easily users search for and discover websites and the paths they take to arrive there.

AI insights: Participant summaries and analytics to understand how each user has performed, AI-generated summaries for audio transcriptions, and summarized reports through AI.

Competitor benchmarking: Benchmark your product against competitors consistently to systematically improve user experience.

Multiple prototyping integrations: Import prototypes from over 11 tools, including Figma, Adobe XD, Axure, Marvel, Sketch, and InVision for a seamless testing experience.

True intent studies: Conduct six distinct types of true intent user testing such as in-session surveys, exit-intent surveys, task-based user testing, click-through testing, clickstream analysis, and heatmap analysis.

Consulting: Use Loop 11’s in-house consulting team to help you get clarity on your digital products through quantitative research and expert analysis.

Pricing: 3 tiers, along with 14-day free trial

Tier 1: Rapid Insights, $179/month

Tier 2: Pro, $358/month

Tier 3: Enterprise, $533/month  

User Interviews

User Interviews is a platform that helps teams make better business and product decisions through recruiting and participant management tools for teams.

Features:

Mixed method studies: User Interviews supports mixed method research by being able to combine different types of research types such as Interviews, focus groups, surveys, usability tests, and multi-day studies.

Integrations: Integrate with 10+ tools to conduct user research, or request an integration with the tools you need.

Session scheduling: Schedule your moderated research sessions automatically by setting up your calendar, availability, and scheduling preferences once.

Panel recruitment: Recruit participants from a panel of 4.1 million with powerful screening and verification criteria including screener questions and professional verification through social media.

Pricing: Depends on if you choose Recruit (source from the user interviews panel) or research hub (build your own panel)

Recruit:

Tier 1: Pay as you go, $45/session

Tier 2: Starter, $175/month

Tier 3: Essential, $325/month

Tier 4: Custom, talk to sales  

Research hub:

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Essential, $250/month

Tier 3: Premium, $1,250/month

Tier 4: Enterprise, talk to sales  

Optimal workshop

Optimal workshop is a UX research platform that allows teams to improve their digital experiences through a range of tools, mainly focused on testing information architectures and conduct qualitative research. However, there is no way to test prototypes or live website/apps.

Features:

Specialized tools for user research: Their tools include OptimalSort (for card sorting), Treejack (for tree testing), Chalkmark (for first click testing), Questions (for online surveys), and Reframer (for qualitative research).

Invite collaborators: Invite team members to help with note-taking and tagging during interviews and share data at the click of a button.

Affinity mapping: This is a visual way to group and organize qualitative data. Group observations into themes and use tags to make sense of data.

Multi-language support: Build surveys in over 80 languages.

Screening questions: Add screening questions to your surveys to get your ideal respondent base from among 239 million participants.

Participant recruitment: You can choose between in-app recruitment for general research needs and custom recruitment for specific job titles, which recruitment specialists will manage.

Pricing: 4 tiers

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Team, $191/user

Tier 3: Pro, $208/month

Tier 4: Enterprise, talk to sales

UXtweak

UXtweak is a user research and usability testing platform that aims to improve the usability of digital products. While it is a cost-effective option to conduct user research, the platform itself is a little complicated to use.

Features:

Website and mobile app testing: You can test the usability of both live websites and apps with real users to uncover usability issues.

Session recordings and heatmaps: Record and playback sessions for insights through heatmaps, clicks, scrolls, movements and any other dynamic changes on the site.

Logic flows: Set up logic flows for your survey questions through binding different questions together or skipping questions.

Participant recruitment: UXtweak takes care of everything related to panel recruitment, from recruitment to quality control and paying participants. You can also order panel for any external research tools.

Panel management: You can import your own set of participants manually or through csv and xlsx files and create segments and filters to use for future studies.

Onsite recruiting: Through a small popup widget, you can convert website users into respondents by recruiting them.

Sharing results: You can share the results of your study with stakeholders through a password-protected link or export the results through csv files and pdf reports.

Pricing: 4 tiers

Tier 1: Starter, Free

Tier 2: Plus, $59/month

Tier 3: Business, $161/month

Tier 4: Enterprise, talk to sales

Sprig

Sprig is a user insights platform that enables product teams to build better product experiences by going beyond basic analytics. It is mainly a prototype testing tool but does not allow for IA testing or moderated research.

Features:

Prototype testing: Import your prototype from a list of 12 integrations Sprig offers to get insights through screen and video recording.

Replays: Capture the most important parts of the user journey to capture friction points and customize it to protect user data by blurring sensitive data.

AI analysis: GPT-powered AI analysis allows you to create customizable dashboards, generate automatic summaries, and spot emerging trends.

Templates: 90 study templates for a variety of usability testing scenarios.

Survey targeting: Leverage your product data to specify which and when users should see your survey.

Pricing: 3 tiers

Tier 1: Free

Tier 2: Starter, $175/month

Tier 3: Enterprise, talk to sales  

Lookback

Lookback is a user research platform for mobile and web devices that focuses on session recordings as a method of capturing user interactions. However, it does not allow for end-to-end research from the prototype stage like many other platforms do.

Features:

Mixed method research: Combine moderated and unmoderated research methods in the same project for a comprehensive study.

Highlights and tags: Tag your teammates at relevant times during recordings or highlight important clips and share them in a video.

Collaboration with teammates: Invite your teammates to your workspace to listen in on conversations and capture insights collaboratively.

Capture user interactions: Capture touch indicators on taps and gestures, audio, and face cam to see what your users are reacting to.

Multi-device support: Lookback tests can be taken on desktop, iOS, and Android devices.

AI-integrated qual research: Eureka, an upcoming feature, allows you to turn video playbacks into digestible summaries and analyze multiple sessions to help trace and themes across the project.

Pricing: 4 tiers

Tier 1: Freelance, $25/month

Tier 2: Team, $149/month

Tier 3: Insights Hub, $344/month

Tier 4: Enterprise, talk to sales

Hotjar

Hotjar is a tool that allows you to visualize how users navigate your platform. They offer a variety of tools to measure website navigation but do not provide any other ways to conduct end-to-end user research such as prototype testing or tree testing.

Features:

Heatmaps: View click, scroll and rage clicks data to see friction points in the user journey.

Recordings: Record user interactions and journeys as they browse through your website to see how they interact with it.

Live feedback: Embed feedback widgets into your site to get user feedback after specific actions.

Participant recruitment: Use screening questions to shortlist participants according to specific criteria.

User funnels: Access funnel data by segments to understand user drop off and identify usability issues.

Highlights: Create highlights and clips of user behavior on recordings, and store them by grouping them into collections.

AI summaries: Generate AI summaries for open-text responses from surveys to save on time and get sentiment analysis insights to see how users feel.

Analysis tools: Customize your insights dashboard by adding custom conversion metrics and KPIs and comparing them across segments to spot issues quickly.

Pricing: Pricing depends on the tool you sign up for – Observe, Ask, Engage, or Custom

Dscout

Dscout is a qualitative remote research platform for unlocking in-context user insights. They focus mainly on field research and do not have research methods such as prototype and website testing.  

Features:

Diary missions: Capture user experiences in context through video diaries and text entries, gaining insights into their daily lives and interactions with your product.

Advanced reporting and analytics: Generate detailed reports with data visualizations, user feedback, and key findings to inform design decisions.

AI-powered insights: Leverage AI to analyze open-text responses and automatically identify key themes and trends in user feedback.

Real-time collaboration: Share research projects and discuss insights with team members in real-time, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Recruit & manage participants: Access a global panel of participants and leverage pre-screening tools to find the perfect fit for your research needs.

Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Build the Right Products, the Right Way: Elevate your UX with Qatalyst's integrated user research platform with Insights AI.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Click on Study templates

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Start from scratch

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Add blocks to the content

With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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With lots of unique blocks, you can easily build a page without coding.

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Author Bio

Aishwarya tries to be a meticulous writer who dots her i’s and crosses her t’s. She brings the same diligence while curating the best restaurants in Bangalore. When she is not dreaming about her next scuba dive, she can be found evangelizing the Lord of the Rings to everyone in earshot.

Aishwarya N K

Senior Product Marketing Specialist

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