After brainstorming, workshopping, and rounds of review with stakeholders, you think you’re homing in on a perfect solution for your company. But what do your users think?
Every UX specialist will need to test their product with end users eventually, and we have countless resources to help us do so. But how do you know which testing tools to work with? That’s why you’re here.
In this article, I’ll walk you through ten great options for usability testing and go over the criteria you should use if you’re willing to invest in a usability testing tool.
- How to select a usability testing tool
- Usability testing tools to streamline UX testing
How to select a usability testing tool
There are many usability testing tools on the market. To select the right tool, I suggest you consider the following:
- Integration with design tools — can I import designs into the usability testing tool?
- Available usability testing methods — can I use methods such as wireframe testing, first-click testing, and five-second testing?
- Analysis and output format — are UX metrics such as task success rate, time on task, number of clicks, and self-reported ratings being analyzed? Is there a video clip to provide solid evidence?
- Recruitment — is there a user panel or an external tester database?
- Pricing plans — is there a free trial or demo? Can I work on a project basis or is it only a monthly subscription?
By considering these factors, you will narrow down the list of tools you need to evaluate. I also suggest involving the whole UX team in the decision-making process and encouraging them to start usability testing to gain insights from users!
Usability testing tools to streamline UX testing
Lookback is a video usability testing tool designed specifically for qualitative research on websites and applications. Lookback can capture participants’ cameras and screens, allowing your team and stakeholders to observe together and gain insights.
- Integration with design tools: N/A
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated and unmoderated usability testing are available, including live sharing, qualitative interviews, and usability tasks. Lookback also provides the opportunity to run mixed methods, allowing you to combine interviews, usability studies, and unmoderated step-by-step tasks within the same project
- Analysis and output formats: For qualitative interviews, Lookback provides session videos, transcriptions, and highlight reels
- Recruitment: Lookback integrates with third-party service UserInterviews.com to recruit testers
- Pricing plans: Lookback offers a free 60-day trial for all plans, with pricing ranging from $25 to $344 per month. There is also an Enterprise plan for unlimited sessions. All plans include unlimited seats and projects
Loop11 is a usability testing tool that you can use for prototypes and live website testing. Loop11 introduces AI in usability testing to gain deeper insights quickly into how users engage with your product.
- Integration with design tools: N/A
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated and unmoderated usability testing are available, such as prototype testing, online usability testing, and surveys. Loop11 provides more than usability testing, like information architecture testing, benchmarking, true intent studies, A/B testing, search engine findability, and AI insights
- Analysis and output format: Loop11 provides critical UX metrics with advanced data representation, including task completion rate, heat maps, clickstream analysis, lostness, time on task, NPS and SUS, so you can easily gather and interpret valuable user insights. Also, Loop11 creates highlight reels, AI-generated transcription, and a summary of key findings and design recommendations
- Recruitment: Loop11 integrates with 3rd party services such as UserInterviews.com, Respondent.io, and TestingTime to recruit testers
- Pricing plans: Loop11 provides a free 14-day trial for all plans. The price plan ranges from $179 to $533/month. The Enterprise plan offers unlimited moderators and projects
Maze is a usability testing tool that you can use at any stage of the design process, from concept and idea validation to wireframe testing and live website testing.
- Integration with design tools: Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, and InVision
- Available usability testing methods: Maze can conduct unmoderated usability testing such as concept and idea validation, content/copy testing, wireframe/prototype testing, feedback and satisfaction surveys, and live website testing
- Analysis and output format: Maze creates quantitative metrics from heat maps to path analysis. Additionally, the report can be embedded in different tools like Miro, Notion, and Figjam
- Recruitment: There are over 127,000 testers in Maze’s panel for you to sort by demographic filters including industry, language, device, age, gender (including nonbinary), and country
- Pricing plans: Maze provides Free, Professional, and Organization plans, which may cost more than $75/month. The above plans include up to 5 seats (which can be customized) and unlimited projects
Optimal Workshop is a usability testing tool that enables you to improve your websites, apps, and products using a range of user research methods.
- Integration with design tools: N/A
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated and unmoderated usability testing are available. Optimal Workshop has five specialized research tools: OptimalSort (card sorting), Treejack (tree testing), Chalkmark (first-click testing), Questions (online survey), and Reframer (qualitative research)
- Analysis and output format: Optimal Workshop generates automated analysis to uncover detailed insights with multiple visualization options and granular views that support your team in analyzing data your way
- Recruitment: There are over 239 million testers in Optimal Workshop’s panel for you to sort by demographic filters, including country, age, language, education level, occupation status, and gender
- Pricing plans: Optimal Workshop provides Free, Pro, Team, and Enterprise plans, which may cost more than $208/month. The above plans include up to 9 seats (which can be customized) and unlimited projects
Trymata (formerly TryMyUI)
Trymata is a platform for you to conduct product analysis and usability testing. It allows you to uncover user frustrations that impact the digital experience of your key user journeys. One of my favorite features is that Trymata can run iterative usability tests.
- Integration with design tools: N/A
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated (paid add-on) and unmoderated usability testing are available, such as task-based usability testing and post-test surveys
- Analysis and output format: Trymata can generate user-narrated session recordings and video transcripts. It can analyze task metrics and overall usability scores, benchmark performance over time, deliver post-test survey results, compare different design versions, and instantly identify pain points with integrated datasets
- Recruitment: Trymata has its own panel where you can recruit testers by demographic filtering and custom screener questions. And you can upload a custom NDA
- Pricing plans: Trymata provides five free user tests and a 14-day trial for all features. For usability testing, Trymata provides Team to Agency plans, which may cost more than $3,333/month. The above plans include two to unlimited seats (which can be customized) and unlimited projects
UsabilityHub is a tool for beginners to start usability testing, which can combine different research methods into a single test.
- Integration with design tools: Figma
- Available usability testing methods: UsabilityHub can conduct unmoderated usability testing, such as card sorting, prototype testing, design surveys, preference tests, first-click testing, and five-second testing
- Analysis and output format: UsabilityHub generates open text analysis, funnel analysis, and click visualizations
- Recruitment: There are over 530,000 testers in UsabilityHub’s panel for you to sort by demographic filters, including gender, age, relationship status, education level, household income, occupation, hobbies and interests, shopping behavior, and more to find the right audience
- Pricing plans: UsabilityHub provides Free to Enterprise plans, which may cost more than $175/month. The above plans include at least three seats and unlimited projects
Useberry is a usability testing tool that mainly focuses on the design process and prototype testing for websites.
- Integration with design tools: ProtoPie, Adobe XD, Sketch, Figma, InVision, and Marvel
- Available usability testing methods: Useberry can conduct unmoderated usability testing such as session recording, card sorting, tree testing, first-click testing, five-second testing, preference tests, and prototype testing
- Analysis and output format: Useberry generates session recordings, heat maps, user flows, and design metrics
- Recruitment: Useberry is powered by Prolific to recruit testers. There are over 290,000 testers within Useberry for you to sort by demographics; lifestyle and interests; technology and behavior; family and relationship; finance and insurance; and shopping and consumer for the right audience
- Pricing plans: Useberry provides Free to Team plans, which may cost $84/month. The above plans include customized seat sizes ($17 for each additional seat) and anywhere from one single project to unlimited projects
Userlytics is a massive market research and usability testing tool for prototype and website testing. Userlytics is capable of testing websites, mobile apps, and VR devices.
- Integration with design tools: Proto.io, InVision, Figma, Marvel, Azure, JustInMind, UXPin, and more
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated and unmoderated testing are available, such as think-aloud, interview, and content testing, prototype/website testing, surveys, and additional advanced methods including heuristic evaluation, diary study, competitive analyses, and customer journey mapping
- Analysis and output format: Userlytics provides AI-powered session video transcriptions, summarized key themes, and actionable insights. Also, Userlytics analyzes 18 user experience related attributes organized into eight key constructs (Appeal, Adequacy, Distinction, Usability, Trust, Performance, Affinity, and Appearance) in addition to sentiment
- Recruitment: There are over two million testers in Userlytics’ panel for you to sort by demographic filters, such as their country, age, gender, education, employment, income, and more
- Pricing plans: Userlytics provides several plans, which may cost more than $999/month. Also, there is a customized plan where you can select your preferred features
UserTesting is a video usability testing tool where you can see and hear the experiences of real people as they engage with your products, designs, apps, processes, concepts, or brands.
A particularly unique feature of UserTesting is the template gallery, with premade test template that users can customize and build upon to create their own test without having to start from scratch.
- Integration with design tools: Adobe XD
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated and unmoderated usability testing are available, and tests include live interviews, brand and messaging testing, card sorting, tree testing, and clickstream tracking
- Analysis and output format: UserTesting generates and analyzes insights to inform business decisions via data visualization, transcriptions, ML-generated instant insight, and collaboration tools that are accessible through the platform for post-test analysis and sharing across your organization
- Recruitment: UserTesting has its own global contributor network that can easily find your target audience for any test using robust demographic filters or flexible screener questions that can be customized for your specific needs
- Pricing plans: UserTesting has several plans, but the price is not shared publicly
UserZoom is now part of UserTesting, but it can be purchased separately. UserZoom is a usability testing tool that empowers your team with high-quality UX insights to create digital experiences that delight users and grow your business.
- Integration with design tools: N/A
- Available usability testing methods: Both moderated and unmoderated usability testing are available, such as live interviews, card sorting, tree testing, click testing, surveys, and A/B testing. UserZoom provides mixed-method studies, which means you can combine two or more research methods in a study
- Analysis and output format: UserZoom generates study results with video clips and highlight reels, automatic transcripts, task reports, heat maps, and click paths. UserZoom also employs AI-powered analytics to identify the trends in user data
- Recruitment: There are over 120 million testers in UserZoom’s panel for you to sort by age, gender, household income, geographic location, and device type or screen
- Pricing plans: UserZoom has Quick Start and Enterprise plans, and the price is not shared publicly. The above plans include two to unlimited seats and anywhere from 40 to unlimited projects
Since there are many usability testing tools on the market, you can explore them based on your needs. For example, UXCam is a tool for mobile usability testing, and Hotjar is a tool especially for live web testing.
Most of the usability testing tools I’ve introduced are able to conduct summative usability testing and quantitative usability testing. Below are my suggestions for you to consider when choosing the tool for your team.
- Best for usability beginners: UsabilityHub, UserTesting
- Best for usability pros: Userlytics, Loop11
- Best for formative usability testing: Maze, Useberry, Userlytics
- Best for qualitative usability testing: Lookback
- Best for niche and international panels: Optimal Workshop, UserZoom
- Best for iterative design processes: Trymata
- Free plans for usability testing: Trymata, Lookback, Loop11
- Free trials for usability testing: Maze, Optimal Workshop, UsabilityHub, Useberry
Header image source: IconScout
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