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UX Design 15 min read
15 Best Usability Testing Tools to Foolproof the UX of your Product
Ever wondered how well your app or website will be accepted by the end users or how they will feel about it?
This confusion can be surpassed only by presenting the product in front of the potential users and getting their feedback. But how can you do it without risking your reputation or wasting valuable time and money?
This is where usability tests come into picture.
In this article, we will throw some light into user testing and the best tools suitable for various aspects of usability testing.
Why usability testing is needed and how it can help your business?
Usability tests evaluate the overall user experience by measuring the ease at which end users can accomplish a set of tasks given to them.
These tests are primarily used to gather the data needed to identify issues the users face and identify areas where they get confused or get stuck and make necessary changes in design.
Usability testing allows you to learn things about user behavior, needs, and expectations before releasing the design in the public domain.
Most frequently used user testing methods
A heatmap is a graphical representation of data that uses a color-coding system to show user activity. It is most commonly used to show user activity on specific areas in the interface of websites and apps where it measures frequency of clicks ,scroll depths etc.
Five second testing is run by showing a design to a participant for just 5 seconds to measure how well and how quick the design communicates a message. The participant answers questions based on their memory and impression of the design. These answers are analysed to understand the design’s ability to communicate to its users.
First click test
First click testing examines what a test participant would click on first on the interface in a functioning website, a prototype or a wireframe, in order to complete their intended task. First Click Testing allows you to evaluate how meaningfully and understandably the elements of your mobile/web app are linked to each other.
A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a web page or app against each other to determine which one performs better.
In Navigation tests the user is presented with your interface and asked to complete a particular task in which each step the users take, and the position and timing of their clicks/touches are recorded. This helps in analyzing how users navigate through your website or app or website, given a specific task or goal.
A survey is conducted among the users to collect their feedback and inputs and quantitative data is derived on what users do and their opinions. This shows what the users do and what they feel but not the context behind it.
In Session Recording, the browsing sessions of real website visitors are recorded. Behavior insights are gathered from these video records. This helps marketers the ability to understand entire user journeys on the mobile/web app, including clicks/ finger touch, scrolls, and more.
Usability testing tools
11. OPTIMAL WORKSHOP
VWO allows you to quickly prototype and test your new ideas which are typically based on your hypothesis. The A/B testing process starts with understanding the visitor behavior on your mobile/web app, making observations, and creating a hypothesis for testing. It also provides features like heat map,click map, session recordings, basic user survey etc.
Pros and Cons
- You are able to get a complete view of multiple tests you conduct which helps you frame deeper insights.
- A good collection of hypotheses which can be reused are available.
- VWO’s adaptability and customization options allow you to tailor your tests to very unique scenarios.
- They constantly change the pricing and plans according to the number of visitors to your product.
- It tends to consume a large visitor allotment to find a result. I, which is time consuming.
- The heatmaps within A/B tests are overlaid on the live website and these don’t work properly when scrolling down the site.
VWO offers Growth,Pro and enterprise plans.
In the Growth plan, the price varies according to monthly visitors to your product.
Pro and Enterprise plans offer you customized pricing
The tool combines world-class software products, an enterprise-grade SaaS testing infrastructure and a wide range of digital testing solutions and provides you access to the world’s largest community of digital experts to give you a harmonized approach to digital quality.
It sets a platform for rare tests like voice testing, payment testing,security testing, roaming testing. A full scale product development company benefits from this tool better.
Pros and Cons
- Helps in identifying obscure language bugs such as cropped text or poor translations and eliminating them before launch of the product.
- Skilled QA resources are made available quickly and effectively.
- Great interface for reporting bugs and interacting with testers.
- The testers are paid based on the number and importance of bugs they find, thus reporting of superfluous bugs happens very often.
- Users can come from any background and sometimes lack knowledge.
- The service is quite expensive.
Applause provides customized packages for each customer.
This tool enables you to receive user feedback remotely from actual users. You are able to see or hear the feedback the customers present while they use the product. This points out the problems they face with the product, thus making it easy for you to rectify.
When are they used?
The tests you conduct in this case can be helpful for UX research teams, product managers, marketers, and designers to identify pain points in your user experience and improve your product accordingly.
Pros and Cons
- Allows you to carefully choose target users and get prompt feedback.
- Lets you see the users actually using your app rather than in a test environment.
- Test video recording happens automatically and these can be easily added to your presentations.
- Being able to view the tasks for each session separately makes it easy to analyze results.
- UserTesting provides great customer service.
- There is no option to autosave your work , download it to your desktop or rename clips after you save them.
- The voice to text transcription service is not very accurate
- UserTesting does not support an international user base which is inconvenient for non-English speaking users.
- Per-test pricing option is not available which can affect companies who need to do usability tests less frequently.
UserTesting prices their service at individual and enterprise levels. They provide customized plans according to as per requirement. For enterprise level they provide free trial runs too.
Optimizely is a platform that promotes experimentation which helps developers build and run A/B tests on websites. This helps to achieve validation for conversion rate optimization efforts.
This testing tool provides both dynamic and basic features with which you can experiment your webpage.
- Optimizely web experimentation -It provides a no code visual editor which makes it fast and easy to create and test UI variations to optimize and personalize website messaging, imagery, layout, forms etc.
- Optimizely Full Stack – This empowers you to roll out new features and experiment deep in your codebase on websites, mobile apps, business logics and even voice bots.
In addition to experimentation, it accelerates release cycles and confidently drives conversion, adoption, engagement & retention.
Pros and Cons
- Experiments can be developed without coding.
- Provides real-time statistical review of the experiment data compared to many other tools .
- Supports in performing A/B testing for minor visual changes to the site.
- It collects all tests in a single interface that allows multiple people to see what’s being tested.
- The user needs to go to the management interface to see what tests are running and their effects.
- It is comparatively expensive
- Very limited visibility to the product roadmap and ability to influence that roadmap.
Contact them for custom plans.
UserZoom is a usability testing tool that helps you understand what users think, track how they behave, and objectively measures user experience performance.
It Enables Businesses to plan, research, design, and measure Customer Experience and User Experience cost-effectively.
The tool segregates it’s products into Userzoom and Userzoom Go.
UserZoom offers features like :
- UX research capabilities
- Usability testing
- Click testing
- Card sorting
UserZoom Go offers features like:
- Live interviews
- Tree Testing
- Participant recruiting
Pros and Cons
- Screen share is possible and it allows observers to watch and participate in the sessions.
- Appropriate context and realistic testing situations are available
- Offers a wide variety of testing types: Click Testing, Card Sorting, and Screen Recording.
- Post-Test Reporting helps make sense of the pass/failure rate of certain tasks (and participants).
- It is relatively easy to add and edit tasks for users.
- It can be hard to use and not the most intuitive for a complete beginner
- The user-interface does feel a bit dated at times.
- The users seem to encounter some issues when a participant is using dual monitors.
- Some participants faced issues with external links.
There is no common pricing for the services UserZoom provides. It varies from customer to customer, based on the features you choose.
UsabilityHub is a user research platform that helps you validate your designs and product concepts with real users using test interfaces, interaction flows, iconography etc, to help you create intuitive and delightful experiences for your users.
First click test, navigation test, design surveys, preference test are few usability tests included. These tests help in fine-tune landing pages,optimise conversion rates on marketing campaigns and product launches.
Pros and Cons
- You receive quick responses after the tests.
- This tool is simple and straightforward to use with its clear and intuitive interface.
- UsabilityHub offers suggestions for questions to ask the users, which is very helpful for a first time user.
- Navigation to different pages/series of pages is made easy.
- Some reviews lack quality as it is difficult for them to filter their testers.
- It doesn’t offer video/audio record of the tests and feedback
UsabilityHub provides Free, Basic, Pro and Enterprise level services and bill accordingly.
- Free – You may conduct basic tests up to two minutes long & occasional research.
- Basic – This is for solo researchers & basic tests. This will cost you USD $79, which will be billed monthly
- Pro – Convenient for teams & frequent research. USD $199 is charged monthly for this service.
- Enterprise – Fits enterprise companies and bigger teams. Bespoke pricing system.
The services are priced individually for each user according to the product or service provided.
Loop11 is a user testing application that lets you run your own usability studies (moderated or unmoderated).It can do a 5 second test, first click test, and other standard tasks you want to test. Loop11 lets you recruit your own participants or from Loop11 itself to conduct the tests.. Recordings of video, audio and screen will be available to you from which you can understand the user’s first hand experience.
Loop11 provides you with critical UX metrics availability, responsiveness, and usability which checks with advanced data representation so you can easily gather and interpret valuable user insights. Some of their metrics include:
- Task completion rate
- Clickstream analysis
- Time on task
Pros and Cons
- There is no coding necessary or no need for CSS and HTML coding expertise to operate the system.
- Unlimited number of users can be invited to take the surveys and they can complete the tests at their own pace
- It is accessible to wider spectrum of audience as it is capable of running on all devices that can browse the internet
Reports are made available to the users quickly in three different export-ready formats which are CSV, PDF, and Excel XML.
- Once a test is published you can’t edit the test. You can only delete it altogether.
- Sometimes the website you may want to use will perform slowly which could affect how likely people are to complete the test.
- Tasks need to be carefully designed when doing an un-moderated test as it needs to be much less fluid than a typical face to face usability test.
It offers different types of pricing schemes.
- Rapid insights- $63 per month, billed annually
- Pro – $239 per month, billed annually
- Enterprise – $ 399 per month, billed annually
Lookback lets you interact with your customers using their features like
- Liveshare, which lets you Interview users from any corner of the world.
- SelfTest, which lets you provide the users with a task which they can complete on their own time.
Lookback also enables you to invite colleagues to watch the sessions, inspect device details, test prototype, create notes and highlights, broadcast your research, gather recordings etc. These recordings are done remotely and without equipment. The screen, touches, voice and face of your test users are recorded.
Pros and Cons
- They have an expert panel moderators to conduct interviews.
- Clear instructions for an easy installation process.
- Timestamped notes are available.
- Enables the observers to go back and rewatch sessions.
- Most users face technical issues
- Lack of good categorization for highlighting
Lookback only offers plans with annual subscriptions. They offer Team, Insights hub and Enterprise plans.
- Team – $99 per month for 100 sessions per year
- Insights hub – $229 per month for 300 sessions per year
- Enterprise – You have to contact Lookback for details
A multilingual usability and user testing tool which provides remote unmoderated and moderated user testing in 40 languages. Userfeel enables you to conduct tests on anything on any device. It gives you videos of real users speaking their thoughts as they use your website or app.
For filtered testing panels and testers according to age,gender, country, language etc.
Voice transcription to identify particular parts of user videos.
Upload user videos to YouTube
Pros and Cons
- Setting up a test on this platform is easy
- Have templated labels for the rating scale
- Keyboard shortcuts are excellent and easy to use
- At times, uploading of videos recorded in phones are not done automatically
Price per credit – $59
1 x 60-minute unmoderated session using your users -1 Credit
1 x 20-minute unmoderated session using Userfeel users -1 Credit
1 x 40-minute unmoderated session using Userfeel users -2 Credits
1 x 60-minute unmoderated session using Userfeel users -3 Credits
1 x 60-minute moderated session using Userfeel users -3 Credits
3 x 5-minute unmoderated sessions using Userfeel users -1 Credit
There are no annual contracts or monthly fees
Uxeria is a tool for remote usability testing. It allows conducting usability tests on websites and computer applications. It helps to analyse the users and understand how much your landing page communicates, check the quality of your website’s solutions in comparison with what the tool offers, receive concepts on ads, banners etc validate wireframe and layouts and understand users journey from seeing the ad to converting.
Tree testing, intuition card sorting, close card sorting, and category card sorting are few of the usability tests included.
Pros and Cons
- Offers suggestions for banners and ads
- Checks the quality of communication of your page
- More than an analysis tool
- Users doubt if it is authentic or just spam.
Uxeria does not offer a fixed bill. They tailor their prices according to your needs.
#11 OPTIMAL WORKSHOP
The OPTIMAL WORKSHOP provides a single source of analysis for all of your user insights. It also enables you to confidently analyze and share your findings and thus make informed design decisions
The OPTIMAL WORKSHOP clearly states its features :
- OptimalSort – The card sorting that helps to see how people conceptualize, group and label ideas.
- Treejack – provides you with the insights you need to build a website structure that works for the people using it.
- Chalkmark – lets you test design prototypes with users quickly and easily which includes faster iterations, feedback, and turnaround.
- Questions – Helps you understand your customers and make informed decisions with the results you gain.
- Reframer – Make a record of all your research notes you gain from interviews and tests and analyse them with easy-to-use analysis tools.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to use and set up tests
- The tool offers most of the test types needed for analysis. The payment options are incredibly reasonable for both few and many tests.
- Quality of the participants recruited for testing are questionable thus result in lot of bad data
- The recruitment panelists are not professional
- Some analysis does not provide the contexts behind it.
OPTIMAL WORKSHOP brings in three divisions in its pricing
- Starter ( Quick small scale research project) – US$99 per month for one user
- Pro (Take the lead in qualitative and quantitative research) – US$166 per month for one user
- Team (Collaborate with your team to make fast and informed decisions) – US$153 per month for three users
USERBRAIN is a remote usability testing tool that focuses on continuous testing and capturing insights from unbiased real people who are from different parts of the world. A/B testing, moderated usability testing, survey/ poll management are a few of the features available
You can order and watch videos of real people interacting with your product. USERBRAIN offers no-code installation and the setup is done in minutes. You will be able to analyse user engagements and modify your product to improve usability. USERBRAIN suits best for eCommerce websites, SaaS companies, and startups.
Pros and Cons
- USERBRAIN’s pricing structure is commendable. It’s affordable for companies who are testing in small volumes.
- This user testing software is very easy to learn and use.
- You receive rapid responses from the tests they conduct.
- There is no refund if the testers prove to be not upto the mark.
- A prototype of the software in the background would have helped the users better.
- Notes and tags cannot be time stamped
USERBRAIN provides its users with two options when it comes to pricing
- You can pay $29 per test which will be valid for 24 hours
- You can make a monthly subscription for $19. It will be charged monthly and you may cancel it anytime.
Hotjar is a behavior analytics and user feedback service mostly built for marketers, product managers and UX designers.
Hotjar collects the user feedback through tools such as heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys.
It is an easy-to-buy and use service that combines user behavior analysis and website feedback tools to help you understand what’s actually happening on your site, what your users care about, and what they have to say and the context in which these people behave the way they do. Heatmaps, recordings to see what users see, instant visual feedback, surveys to understand the context behind the user behaviour.
Pros and Cons
- It is very easy to add tags with the user friendly interface and provides quick customer insights.
- The software is updated frequently thus providing the users the best version
- It can be installed quickly and easily via Google Tag Manager.
- Heat map tracking for website clicks and scrolls by users
- Recorded live user sessions that helps to improve UX
- Primarily used to determine web-based experiences, Hotjar is not helpful with mobile apps
- Lacks expert recommendations on how to use the collected data.
- The pricing is not very feasible for startups.
Hotjar brings about a difference in pricing on the basis of size of business and scale of features used.
- 500 daily sessions – $99 per month
- 1500 daily sessions – $189 per month
- 2500 daily sessions – $289 per month
- 4000 daily sessions – $389 per month
- 8000 daily sessions – $589 per month
- 15,000 daily sessions – $989 per month
- For 40,000 + daily sessions – the cost is decided accordingly
Qualaroo is a software that helps companies gather customer insights and understand the reason behind their decisions. The users are surveyed while they use a product or a service.
Insights based on where visitors are on your site, who they are, how much they pay, visit history etc are provided by this tool. It provides you with professionally designed questions if you require.
Qualaroo provides a technology called the Nudge which lets you ask the right questions which are based on years of research, key findings, and optimizations at the right time, without being intrusive. Nudge for prototypes, A/B testing, survey templates, user experience feedback, product feedback are few of the features provided.
Pros and Cons
- Apart from the initial effort, it is reasonably simple to use.
- Provides a number of survey types, such as website surveys that can be embedded in the webpage, link surveys that can be sent to anyone via URL link etc.
- You can personalize your survey, like branding, targetings, survey design, etc.
- Very easy to create a survey and collect feedback quickly.
- Customer support is praiseworthy with their quick, friendly,helpful responses.
- Lacks a pre-built template options for employee surveys.
- Features to segregate people according to the way they answered which would help in deeper analysis should be introduced.
- A “nudge” gets displayed on certain pages where it is not supposed to be seen.
Qualaroo offers three plans for their customers and you may try any plan for free for 15 days.
- 100k tracked page views per month – $80 / month
- 150k tracked page views per month – $120/ month
In both the cases you will be charged in one payment and the bill will amount to a year’s price.
- 100k tracked page views per month – $160 / month billed annually
- 150k tracked page views per month – $240/ month billed annually
- 200k tracked page views per month – $320 / month billed annually
- Enterprise – bill amount is customized
A remote testing tool that provides quantifiable user insights you can act instantly. It easily integrates with leading design platforms like Figma, InVision, Adobe XD, Marvel, and Sketch and helps you with transforming your ideas into tasks and testing them.
It involves company-wide participation during tests which provides the users with insights about user experiences. Test results that are instantly translated into metrics are shared with stakeholders as actionable reports.
Usability tests included:
- InVision Analytics
- Prototype testing
- Clicks Heatmap
- Painless tester gathering
- Easy split testing
- Product Design analysis
Pros and Cons
- Good for design led organizations
- Easily available test result eliminates time consuming job of watching the test process
- Easy export and setup
- While very few users suggest improvement in analytics, the majority has nothing negative to say about it.
Maze provides the users with four schemes.
- Free trial
- Starter ( Individual designers) – $42 per month which is billed annually
- Team ( for your team) – $25 per seat/month which is billed annually
- Enterprise( large teams and enterprise) – A customized bill which is billed annually