User-friendly solutions delivered by user-friendly people. Discover opportunities, find your focus, see results.
Schedule a call
← Insights

A Curated List of The Best UX Research Tools: A Guide for All Your Needs

There are so many UX research tools out there that it can be overwhelming and time-consuming trying to decide which ones would work best for your user research. This article will help you figure out what type of UX research tools work best for you, your user research, test participants and will put a smile on the face of your client!

About the BTNG Research Team

Qualitative and Quantitative research is what the BTNG Research team gets out of bed for in the morning. Helping our partners to validate assumptions and discover new exciting opportunities is their speciality!

Table of Content

IMPORTANT: This article is part of The Complete Guide To UX Research.

Our Top Picks

  • For surveys: Typeform
  • For UX Research Recruitment: Dscout
  • For analytics and heatmaps: VWO
  • For documenting research: Notion & Airtable
  • For Customer Journey Management: TheyDo
  • For transcriptions: Descript
  • For remote user testing: Maze
  • For Calls: Zoom
"

This article will help you figure out what type of UX research tools work best for you, your user research, test participants and will put a smile on the face of your client!

Alternatives

  • For surveys: SurveyMonkey, Usabilla/GetFeedback
  • For UX Research Recruitment: UserTesting, Etnio, Prolific
  • For analytics and heatmaps: Hotjar, Google Analytics, Kissmetrics
  • For documenting research: Notion, Google Docs, Dovetail, Evernote
  • For Customer Journey Management: Smaply, IBM Journey Designer, SuiteCX, UXPressia, Custellence
  • For transcriptions: Otter.ai, Rev, Reduct
  • For remote user testing: Lookback, Userzoom
  • For calls: Google Meet/Hangouts, Butter, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Discord

Featured Tools for Surveys


Typeform

What does it do? Survey Forms can be boring. Typeform is one of those UX research tools that helps you to create beautiful surveys with customizable templates and an online editor. For example, you can add videos to your survey or even let people draw their answers instead of typing them in a text box. Who is this for? Startup teams that want to quickly create engaging and modern looking surveys but don't know how to code it themselves.

Highlights: Amazing UX, looks and feel very modern, create forms with ease that match your branding, great reports and automation.

Why is it our top pick? Stop wasting time on ux research tools with too many buttons. Always keep the goal of your ux research methods in mind. Keep things lean, fast and simple with a product with amazing UX.

Typeform: People-Friendly Forms and Surveys

ux-research-tool_surveys_surveymonkey


SurveyMonkey

What does it do? Survey Monkey is another powerful tool for creating UX Research Surveys. While they communicate their product is also used for NPS score and even collecting and managing job applications.

Highlights: Fully customizable questions, easily share before sending out, simple to navigate, accessible for participants.

SurveyMonkey: The World’s Most Popular Free Online Survey Tool

ux-research-tool_surveys_usabilla-getfeedback


Usabilla/GetFeedback

What does it do? Besides only sending out forms for your user research, what about asking your users for feedback when they're using your product? Usabilla/GetFeedback really puts the focus on Customer Satisfaction and the well-known NPS Score. Like the other Survey tools, a great option for collecting quantitative data for your quantitative research.

Highlights: Amazing integration with Salesforce.

Usabilla | Optimize your digital channels with customer feedback

Featured Tools for UX Research Recruitment

Surely you've included some form of usability testing in your user research, right? User feedback is an essential part of UX Research and making sure - even with remote research - you have the right people is very important. So how do you create focus groups with amazing research participants that have screened? Recruiting participants isn't that easy, let alone finding the right test participants! Here are some tools to make your life easier!

ux-research-tool_ux-research-recruitment_dscout


Dscout

What does it do? Dscout is a remote research platform that helps you recruit participants for your ux research (the right ones). With a pool of +100.000 real users, our user researchers can hop on video calls and collect data for your qualitative research. So test out those mobile apps user experience and collect all the data! Isn't remote research amazing?

Highlights: User Research Participant Recruitment, Live Sessions,Prototype feedback, competitive analysis, in-the-wild product discovery, field work supplementations, shopalongs.

Why is it our top pick? Finding the right people is more important than finding people fast. BTNG helps corporate clients in all types of industries which require a unique set of users, each time. Dscout helps us to quickly find the right people and make sure our user research is delivered on time and our research process stays intact.

dscout | Flexible, remote, in-context user research

ux-research-tool_ux-research-recruitment_usertesting


UserTesting

What does it do? UserTesting is best known for its remote video-based participant feedback. Using your own participants or UserTesting’s panel, you can conduct interviews or gather self-guided videos of participants using products, then transcribe, share and create highlight reels.

Highlights: Capture video-based customer perspectives, collect feedback from any audience, UserTesting Contributor Network, Gather Insights & Key Moments.

UserTesting: The Human Insight Platform

ux-research-tool_ux-research-recruitment_ethnio


Ethnio

What does it do? Ethnio is a great place to recruit UX participants and other research subjects. You can customise the demographics of your desired participant (gender, age, location) as well as set filters on language spoken and whether they're available for all studies. Ethnio also provides automated scheduling options that help streamline the process of getting in touch with users.

Highlights: Ethnio offers an amazing pool or research participant which will help you filter and dynamicly sort the participants of your user research. It keeps track of your usability testing including spending - Yes, you can easily offer financial incentives!

UX Research Recruiting, User Research Recruiting, and Usability Recruiting (ethn.io)

ux-research-tool_ux-research-recruitment_prolific


Prolific

What does it do? Stop testing ideas and products on your mom or roommate. Use Prolific to launch your survey to 70k+ participants in North America and Europe.

Highlights: Find and research participants anywhere in the world, collect responses, conduct Behavioural Research, User Research or Market Research!

Prolific | Online participant recruitment for surveys and market


Featured Tools for Analytics and Heatmaps

If there's one thing we have plenty of, it's UX Research Tools! Running usability tests with test participants have never been easier. Your test participants can be open for remote testing but make sure you're able to document the quantitative data and the results of your qualitative research. But lets start with some exploratory research.

ux-research-tool_analytics-heatmaps_vwo


VWO

What does it do? When we were helping the Financial Times, our BTNG Research Team collaborated with FT Marketing Team who were already running experiments with VWO. 50% of the traffic would see one version of a certain page while 50% saw a different version. Which performed best? Perhaps you'd take a look at time-on-page. But more importantly: Which converts better!

Hotjar provides Product Experience Insights that show how users behave and what they feel strongly about, so product teams can deliver real value to them.

Highlights: VWO is an amazing suite that does it all:Automated Feedback, Heatmaps, EyeTracking, User Session Recordings (Participant Tracking) and one thing that Hotjar doesn't do: A/B Testing.

Why is it our top pick? Even tho it's an expensive product, it does give you value for money. Especially the reports with very black and white outcomes are great for presenting the results you've made.

VWO | #1 A/B Testing Tool in the World


ux-research-tool_analytics-heatmaps_hotjar


Hotjar

What does it do? Hotjar, according to Philip (a ux researcher), is a “more budget friendly - starter version of VWO". With its famous heatmaps usability testing, Hotjar shows you how users are experiencing your site without drowning in numbers. Hotjar analytics enables you to look at users’ behaviour and to see where they get stuck — those are the UX problem areas that require your attention. You can even run surveys on those specific trouble areas to collect users' feedback for your user research.

Highlights: Heatmaps, Website Visitor Recordings, Feedback & Surveys.

Hotjar: Website Heatmaps & Behavior Analytics Tools


Google Analytics

What does it do? The absolute standard when it comes to measuring the performance of your digital product. Whichever ux research tools you'll use, always keep the goal of your user research in mind. Finding issues in your digital product is an essential step in order to define the problem state ment you need for your research goal.

For these tasks, using Analytics for UX is indispensable as ever. It helps to understand how long users stay on a website, what pages they visit and what pages they are missing, what are typical user flows, etc.

Highlights: A lot (and by that we mean: A LOT) of information which can be overwhelming for UX Designers. If you know what specific information you need and where to find it within, it is not exactly as unbearable as it seems.

Google Analytics

ux-research-tool_analytics-heatmaps_kissmetrics


Kissmetrics

What does it do? As a starting point: Think Google Analytics. How Kissmetrics explains the difference: They're data ties every action on your website to a person instead of anonymous data. Filter the data based on a specific ruleset. For example: Show me the data of people who visited Page X. Kissmetrics ties all the data from the same person on different devices to the same account. Showing a more positive conversion rate.

Highlights: Gather revenue data that can help you make better decisions and understand Lifetime Value. Go beyond bounce rate to see the conversion rate of users who didn’t bounce. Discover your customer acquisition channels. Track your acquisition funnel.

Kissmetrics


Featured Tools for Documenting Research

Every UX researcher will tell you that documenting all your qualitative data and qualitative data is an essential part of your research methods. The Research process includes a step where you share your findings - and guess what? You need to document those! So these might not be research tools - but a necessary part of any usability testing.

ux-research-tool_document-research_notion


Notion

What does it do? Notion is our command center, where we store and constantly update our studio's aggregate wisdom. It is a super-flexible tool that helps to organise project documentation, prepare for interviews with either clients or their product users, accumulate feedback, or simply take notes.

Highlights: A very clean, structured way to write and share information with your team in a beautiful designed app with an amazing user experience.

Why is it our top pick? There's no better, more structured way to share information.

Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis

ux-research-tool_document-research_airtable


Airtable

What does it do? Airtable is a relational database tool that's also an online collaboration tool that helps streamline workflows. Airtable takes the best aspects of spreadsheets and databases and puts them together.

Highlights: Airtable’s free plan is simply great. It offers all kinds of functionality for the price of zero. Airtable has a light and user-friendly interface, is very customizable and versatile, has excellent collaboration support, and integrates with a long list of services.

Airtable | Create apps that perfectly fit your team's needs

ux-research-tool_document-research_googledocs


Google Docs

What does it do? Google Docs is a part of Google Drive and is the most popular and possibly best free online word processor available. Creating, uploading, sharing, saving, and collaborating on documents is all possible with Google Docs.

Highlights: The free storage plan includes 15 GB of space, which should be enough for most people's needs. It also offers a variety of different formatting options and styles that can help make your work more professional-looking without having to spend money on design software or programs like Microsoft Office.

Documents are auto-saved to your Google account, it has a user-friendly and simple interface, it is easy to share your documents or keep them private.

Google Docs: Free Online Documents for Personal Use

ux-research-tool_document-research_dovetail


Dovetail

What does it do?  

Dovetail is a cloud-based user research platform that makes it easy to create and distribute surveys, collect feedbacks, analyze data and share insights. Dovetail enables companies to understand their customers and make better decisions as a result.

Highlights: It has an intuitive interface, the ability to schedule meetings with participants for interviews or surveys, it also allows you to create personas automatically from the data gathered in their study. You can also record videos while people are using your prototype or app with the option of adding user commentary afterward.

User research analysis and repository platform – Dovetail (dovetailapp.com)

ux-research-tool_document-research_evernote


Evernote

What does it do? For note-taking apps, there is no app better than Evernote. It is an excellent tool for recording projects or ideas, storing images and videos, and keeping your tasks straightened out.

Highlights: Precise searching options, plenty of great features, available on all major platforms, a large selection of templates, multimedia integrations, integration with other apps, great organization functionality.

Best Note Taking App - Organize Your Notes with Evernote

Featured Tools for Customer Journey Management

ux-research-tool_customer-journeys_theydo


TheyDo

What does it do? TheyDo is a modern Journey Management Platform. It centralises your journeys in an easy to manage system, where everyone has access to a single source of truth of the customer experience. It’s like a CMS for journeys.

Highlights: Customer Journey Map designer, Personas and 2x2 Persona Matrix, Opportunity & Solution Management & Prioritisation.

Why is it our top pick? TheyDo fits perfectly with BTNG's way of helping companies become more customer-centric. It helps to visualise the current experience of stakeholders. With those insight which we capture from user interviews or usability testing, we discover new opportunities. A perfect starting point for creating solutions!

TheyDo: User-friendly CX Management

ux-research-tool_customer-journeys_smaply


Smaply

What does it do? Smaply is the experience innovation software that enables organizations to create and deliver truly customized experiences for each customer. With Smaply you can create, share and present your customer journey maps, personas, and stakeholder maps.

Highlights:

Create and share customer journey maps, personas, and stakeholder maps. Collaborate with your team on a project in real-time. Track the overall success of projects - including budgeting. Export reports to present to stakeholders or clients.

Smaply | Online tool for journey maps, personas and more

ux-research-tool_customer-journeys_suitecx


SuiteCX

What does it do? SuiteCX is an easy-to-update tool with an intuitive interface that  offers a number of pre-built templates to choose from. It helps you keep track and collaborate on all your projects in one place, so you don’t have to worry about the details or get bogged down by project management tasks.

Highlights: Work together with other team members; create multiple plans for different stages of your product launch; stay up-to-date thanks to automatic email notifications when new updates roll out; connect seamlessly with third party systems like Slack or Salesforce without having to input data manually.

SuiteCX | Customer Experience Mapping Solutions (suitecx360.com)

ux-research-tool_customer-journeys_uxpressia


UXPressia

What does it do? UXPressia is a collaborative user experience platform. Designers can upload their work to the platform and share it with other stakeholders, such as product managers or developers.

Highlights: What differentiates this from other competitors? This is an all-inclusive user experience design platform for anyone who wants to collaborate in real-time on any stage of product development – fast, easy and collaborative! Multiple users can edit one project simultaneously (even if they are remote) without losing track of changes made by others; projects have unlimited revisions so no more conflicts between designers; export your designs into interactive prototypes at any moment you want effortlessly.

Customer Journey Map | Customer Experience Mapping Tool – UXPressia

ux-research-tool_customer-journeys_custellence


Custellence

What does it do? Easily create dynamic presentations online with Canva’s drag and drop interface – no design skills required! Create a customer experience map of your business and find the points at which customers are having difficulties.

Highlights: Utilize this tool if you're looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction with your product/service through analyzing their journeys on different touchpoints within your company's ecosystem. It's easy to use, it helps you to drive towards change and collaboration, it has great flexibility to adapt and gather information in customer-centric work.

Custellence | The Customer Journey Mapping Tool

Featured Tools for Transcriptions

Even with moderated usability tests, you might want to record your sessions to make sure you capture all valuable insights. For the sake of team collaboration, you might want to share some of these recordings. But wait, isn't the transcription is a lot easier to digest for your fellow ux researcher? That's why transcription tools are part of our research tools post!

ux-research-tool_transcriptions_descript


Descript

What does it do? Descript is an all-in-one solution for audio & video recording, editing and transcription. The editing is as easy as a doc. Imagine you’ve interviewed 20 different people about a new flavor of soda or a feature for your app. You just drop all those files into a Descript Project, and they show up in different “Compositions” (documents) in the sidebar. In a couple of minutes they’ll be transcribed, with speaker labels added automatically.

Highlights: Overdub, Filler Word Removal, Collaboration, Subtitles, Remote Recording and Studio Sound.

Why is it our top pick? Descript is an absolute monster when it comes to recording, editing and transcribing videos. It truly makes digesting the work after recording fast and even fun!

Descript | All-in-one audio/video editing, as easy as a doc.

ux-research-tool_transcriptions_otterai


Otter.ai

What does it do? Otter is one of the best speech-to-text apps available, and it basically enables users to transcribe voice conversations. What makes it special? Otter offers a lot of features that other apps don’t, such as the ability to add callbacks for items like time and location.

Highlights: When it comes to speech-to-text transcription, there are few better than Otter. This app does an excellent job at understanding context and offers callbacks for time, location, and other contextual information. It offers fast and accurate real-time transcription and a very user-friendly interface.

Otter Voice Meeting Notes - Otter.ai

ux-research-tool_transcriptions_rev


Rev

What does it do? Rev has an accurate transcription service and a user-friendly interface that makes it super easy to use. It also offers callbacks for time, location, or other contextual information in the transcriptions; plus, there is no limit on how long you can record!

Highlights: Rev delivers on top-notch accuracy, easy editing, quick turnaround times, and is very affordable.

Rev Speech-to-Text Services | Convert Audio & Video to Text

ux-research-tool_transcriptions_reduct


Reduct

What does it do? Reduct offers an intelligent dashboard that allows UX researchers and designers to quickly annotate, organize, pick up on patterns in qualitative research. It also helps with user profiling by offering a wide variety of question types that can be broken down into different categories like demographics or behavior.

Highlights: Reduct is excellent at doing what it advertises. It is a UX research tool that specializes in qualitative data gathering and offers an intelligent dashboard for analysis, annotation, organization, and pattern spotting.

Reduct.Video | Highlight your Video

Featured Tools for Remote User Testing

When you’ve just designed anything, you’re a little biased. You need someone to tell you the truth about your results.

Usability testing software

Surely you have your team or your customer, your friends, and your mom, but if you want actual users to test your ux design, you may need tools for user testing, like Maze or Lookback.

ux-research-tool_remote-user-testing_maze


Maze

What does it do? Maze is a-mazing remote user testing platform for unmoderated usability tests. With Maze, you can create and run in-depth usability tests and share them with your testers via a link to get actionable insights. Maze also generates a usability study report instantly so that you can share it with anyone.

It’s handy that the tool integrates directly with Figma, InVision, Marvel, and Sketch, thus, you can import a working prototype directly from the design tool you use. The BTNG Design Team with their Figma skills has an amazing chemistry with the Research Team due to that Figma/Maze integration.

Highlights: Besides unmoderated usability testing, Maze can help with different UX Research Methods, like card sorting, tree testing, 5-second testing, A/B testing, and more.

Why is it our top pick? Usability testing has been a time consuming way of qualitative research. User Interviews combine with trying out a prototype can be... a Challenge. The way that Maze allows us to run (besides our hands on usability test) now also run unmoderated usability testing is a powerful weapon in our arsenal.

Maze

ux-research-tool_remote-user-testing_lookback


Lookback

What does it do? Lookback is a user experience research platform great for moderated remote usability testing for user researchers. While talking to your testers, seeing their reaction to your prototypes, guiding them through the tasks, and getting their feedback in real time.  

Highlights: The tool allows you to broadcast your researches and sync all your customer feedback on a collaborative dashboard to share it with your team and stakeholders. The best part is the ability to add comments while watching and examining the videos.

Lookback: Simple and powerful user research

ux-research-tool_remote-user-testing_userzoom


Userzoom

What does it do? A long-established UX research platform that rolls many user experience tools into one. It offers card sorting, click testing, surveys, tree testing and live intercepts. Following its acquisition of Validately, it also offers that platform’s tools for interviews, participant recruitment and remote usability testing, both moderated and unmoderated.

Highlights: Manage your decisions in a complete managed solution, unmoderated usability testing, Interviews, Surveys, Live Intercept Testing, Click Testing, Tree Testing, Card Sorting and Recruit Participants.

Actionable UX insights for better digital experiences (userzoom.com)


Featured Tools for Calls

By now it feels as if the whole world is an expert on the topic of video conferencing tools. Thanks to COVID-19 we're now more than able to work from anywhere. So what does this mean? Remote testing is a more accepted method of UX research. Our UX Researchers are happy with this development because it saves a ton of time and reduces our carbon footprint.

So how are we conducting interviews for our usability testing? With our favourite video conferencing tools!

ux-research-tool_remote-calls_zoom


Zoom

What does it do? As the other video conferencing tools you can run video calls. But what makes Zoom a great tool? We feel that the integration with conferencing equipment is huge for our bigger clients. Now that there's also a Miro integration we can make our user interviews even more fun and interactive!

Highlights: Call Recording, Collaboration tools, Screen Sharing, Free trial, connects to conferencing equipment, host up to 500 people!

Why is it our top pick? Giving the research participants of your user interviews a pleasant experience is so important. Especially when you're looking for qualitative feedback on your ux design, you want to make sure they feel comfortable. And yes, you'll have to start using a paid version - but the user interface of Zoom alone is worth it. Even the Mobile App is really solid.

Zoom: Video Conferencing, Cloud Phone, Webinars, Chat

ux-research-tool_remote-calls_google-meet


Google Meet

When dealing with multiple users, Google meet is absolutely fine. When you're organizing an event with +25 people, you might run into a few limitations. It does feel really low-entry for user interviews and with the paid version you can also record your user interviews.

We know that Miro will soon launch their integration with Google Meet - something we're really looking forward to!

What does it do? Google meet is hugely useful for organizing meetings with multiple users, interview recordings and remote user testing.

Highlights: Google meet includes document collaboration, an installable app not required, recordings are saved to Google Drive and it's integrated with Google Workspace and other Google apps.

Google Meet (formerly Hangouts Meet) - Free Video Meetings

ux-research-tool_remote-calls_butter


Butter

What does it do? Meetbutter assists with making meetings flow more smoothly. ence, you can easily organize your meetings and delegate tasks.

Highlights: Meetbutter offers a meeting agenda, participant queueing and an exercise timer to make your meetings flow more organized and smoothly. Moreover, you can also use it to share the meeting's agenda with all participants. And Meetbutter is free to use!

Butter | Workshops as smooth as butter (meetbutter.io)

ux-research-tool_remote-calls_microsoft-teams


Microsoft Teams

What does it do? Microsoft Teams offers the quality we'd recommend to any organization looking for a video conferencing tool. It offers good video quality, reliability and offers the option of having all your apps in one place.

Highlights: Microsoft Teams offers meeting space with high-quality video and audio, an intuitive interface for collaboration. Also, it comes packed with features such as threaded messages and chat rooms to make your work routine less stressful.

Video Conferencing, Meetings, Calling | Microsoft Teams

ux-research-tool_remote-calls_skype


Skype

What does it do? Skype is a free video-conferencing service that offers high-quality, reliable voice and video calls. It also has the option of sending text messages as well as making phone or FaceTime audio calls.

Highlights: The interface for Skype is intuitive and easy to use which makes it perfect for beginners who may have never used such an app. Skype has good sound and image quality, screen sharing, messaging with photo and video sharing and inbound phone numbers.

Skype | Communication tool for free calls and chat

ux-research-tool_remote-calls_discord


Discord

What does it do? Discord is a bit different compared to the other tools, with Discord you can create an entire hangout space with different voice & text channels for your team to communicate in! You can customize the interface, add an endless array of channels and apps, and chat instantly with people by voice, video or text.

Highlights: Discords really shines at low-latency voice chats, instant voice chat which can either act as a traditional voice call or in a voice chat lobby that is always available, team messaging, you can create an infinite amount of channels and it has easy live screen-sharing.

Discord | Your Place to Talk and Hang Out


Wrapping up best tools for UX research

So what have we've learned after going through this enormous list?

Well, for starters - typing can really hurt your fingers.

Secondly, it's great having a problem statement, research plan and getting ready to start doing the work.

But these amazing tools for UX Research (weather it be Usability Testing with new or existing users, card sorting sessions or the study of human behavior) will make your life a lot easier. So as a ux designer with a fancy design process, make sure that you're able to capture your findings.

And no, you don't need all the tools. But a great tool can go a long way.

So what are some of your favorite testing tools?

Do you use tools for a remote card sorting session?

How do you present your form analytics?

Which tools' free plan is a bit too good? Yes, you're still on that free trial! :')

So feel free to let us know which usability tests you use in your research process and which free tool is your favorite!


User-friendly solutions delivered by user-friendly people. Discover opportunities, find your focus, see results.