All guides

The best user research tools in 2024

January 6, 2024

Building an impactful UX research practice requires you to adapt the right set of user research tools. In this guide, we will cover some of the most popular UX research tools out in the market and compare them.

Types of UX Research Tools

There are may tools that UX researchers can use to conduct user experience research. UX researchers utilize a wide set of tools to carry out UX research, each with its distinct functions that aid in conducting research and revealing valuable insights from users.

Here is a breakdown of the different categories of  tools that UX researchers use to get the insights they need to improve UX:

  • Usability testing: Tools that help UX Reseachers and designers evaluate the usability of their products
  • User interviews: Tools that help UX researchers to conduct real-time interviews with users and participants
  • Participant pools: Tools that help teams find the appropriate participants for user research projects
  • Information architecture: Tools that help evaluate the information architecture of your product and how intuitive the overall organization is
  • Tools for product analytics: These tools provide data on how users interact with your website
  • Tools for user surveys and feedback: These tools enable you to create surveys that collect feedback and insights from users

Here is a list of top UX research tools for each category so that you can help decide which ones fit your needs the best.

Usability Testing Tools

UX tools can help UX researchers in many different ways when conducting research including participant recruitment, unmoderated study building, insight repository and many others. Selecting the right tools to empower your UX research team is very critical to improve the research operations and maximize the impact of the research insights to the team’s decisions.

Depending on your team’s stage and research tools, there are several tools that you will be able to select from. Below is a list of the usability testing tools that are popular in the market.

1. Hubble

Hubble is a continuous user experience management platform that provides a unified set of tools for continuous user research. Hubble includes a suite of tools including usability tests, prototype tests, card sorting tests and in-product surveys. With a variety of tools, product teams can collect feedback across all stages of product development.

Hubble offers an integration with Figma so that designers and researchers can import prototypes for testing. Hubble’s unmoderated tool allows for prototype tests, allowing teams to rapidly collect feedback on product concepts. Through Hubble’s usability results, UX researchers can collect quantitative data including heat maps, click data, success paths, completion rates and time spent on each task.

Through Hubble’s usability tests, UX researchers can also conduct A/B tests, design preference tests, open card sorting tests, close card sorting tests and many other types of tasks.

Hubble usability tests can be shared with anyone through a link and you can also use more than 3 million participants to collect testing results from a dedicated panel.

Key Features: Usability Testing, Figma prototype testing, In-product surveying, Informational Architecture Testing, templates, design preference test and multiple types of survey questions. Access to 3 million participants.
Pricing:
Custom pricing for enterprises and $500 per month for starting organizations

Elevate your continuous UX Research

Validate your concepts and collect post-launch feedback through Hubble

2. Userlytics

Userlytics is a use research platform that helps you conduct user research by testing your live website, prototypes and mobile applications. Userlytics supports usability tests, card sorting, moderated tests, unmoderated tests and many other types of research for teams.

Key features: Moderated and unmoderated usability testing, user experience studies, prototype testing, live conversations, card sorting, tree testing
Pricing:
Custom Pricing

3. Loop11

Loop11 allows you to conduct both moderated and unmoderated usability tests on various platforms, including live websites, prototypes, and even your competitors' sites. You can begin testing as early as the wire framing and prototyping phases to ensure your design decisions align with user preferences.

Loop11 can also help with other types of tests such as information architecture testing, A/B testing and others

Key features: Online usability testing, prototype testing, benchmarking, A/B testing, IA testing
Pricing:
From $199 per month

4. Lyssna

Lyssna (formerly Usability Hub) is a remote research platform that offers a range of testing tools, including first click testing, design surveys, preference tests, and five-second tests. These tests enable you to collect data and validate design decisions.

With Lyssna’s Panel, researchers can recruit test users from a pool of participants based on criteria such as age, gender, education, and more to get feedback from a relevant target audience.

Key features: Remote user testing, first-click testing, design surveys, preference tests, five-second tests, participant recruitment
Pricing:
From $75 per month

🖌️ Quick Tip
Check our guide on usability testing.

Tools for user interviews

5. Lookback

Lookback is a user research tool that allows you to engage in live user interviews, enhancing the research process through live screen recordings of user interactions. This versatile platform enables you to conduct moderated, unmoderated, and remote research, all while offering a collaborative dashboard to centralize your research and customer feedback, facilitating seamless team collaboration.

One of Lookback's standout features is the automatic recording of sessions, allowing you to revisit them at your convenience. Furthermore, you can create highlight clips to easily share insights with colleagues and stakeholders. Additionally, the team plan offers the flexibility to conduct both remote and in-person research, test prototypes, and invite observers to participate in real-time.

Key features: Remote real-time user research, moderated and unmoderated testing, collaborative dashboard, live note-taking
Pricing:
From $25 per month

6. dscout

dscout is a remote qualitative research platform designed to facilitate the gathering of real-world insights from individuals who use your products. Among its key components, dscout Live enables the execution of remote user interviews and the collection of participant feedback. Additionally, dscout Diary allows you to conduct diary studies, providing a glimpse into users' day-to-day product experiences through video or photo documentation. Furthermore, dscout Recruit simplifies the process of recruiting research participants, eliminating the usual challenges and costs associated with traditional recruitment methods.

One of dscout's notable advantages lies in its ability to streamline the most time-consuming aspects of interviews by offering research-focused features, including participant scheduling, automated transcriptions, the presence of on-call observers, and an interactive timeline for note-taking and creating clips. This comprehensive approach enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the research process.

Key features: Unmoderated research, remote user interviews, participant recruiting, automatic transcriptions, on-call observers, interactive timeline for taking notes
Pricing:
Available upon request

7. User Interviews

User Interviews is a participant recruiting platform that enhances your product decision-making by providing effortless access to high-quality participants. This platform is recognized for its ability to enable you to create your own participant pool or tap into their extensive panel, consisting of more than 350,000 carefully vetted research participants, who can be filtered by their respective professions.

Among its capabilities, User Interviews offers functions such as screener surveys, interview scheduling, and tracking participation from your current user base. The median turnaround time for this platform is approximately 2 hours, although this timeframe may vary depending on the specific project requirements.

Key features: Participant recruitment, screener surveys, scheduling interviews, messaging participants, automatic incentives, participation tracking
Pricing:
From $40 per session or $250 per month

8. Respondent

Respondent is a participant recruiting platform that provides high quality participants for moderated research, unmoderated research and user interviews. Respondent has more than 3 million participants from 150 different countries, available for any type of UX research participation.

Respondent offers features such as screener surveys, scheduling interviews, integrations with calendars and tracking participation by invited testers. On average, you can find participants in hours. Respondent also offers B2B and B2C services, allowing for a wide variety of participants for recruitment.

Key features: Screener surveys, participant recruitment, moderated studies, unmoderated studies, scheduling interviews, messaging participants, participant incentives, tracking completion
Pricing:
From $39 per session or custom pricing for enterprise

9. Askable

Askable is a research participant recruiting platform based in Australia. Askable allows you to conduct in-person research, remote video user interviews and online unmoderated tasks. It also offers screener surveys to filter participants based on demographic parameters and you can also select between consumers and professionals.

Askable offers ways to integrate with existing research tools such as Lookback, Loop11, Userzoom, Optimal workshop and many others.

Key features: Screener surveys, participant recruitment, moderated studies, unmoderated studies, scheduling interviews, messaging participants, participant incentives, tracking completion
Pricing:
$100 for in-person, $80 for moderated interviews and $20 for unmoderated tasks

10. Ethnio

Ethnio is another user research tool that can be used to  find participants. Ethnio allows you to create screeners to intercept people on your website or app so that you can find the right internal research participants. Ethnio offers various ways to screen users and also an automated scheduling options that help streamline the process of getting in touch with users.

Within the platform, Ethnio also includes a tool called Research Incentives, a calculator that helps you reward your participants by instantly paying them using different online services.

Key features: Central participant database, participant recruitment, incentives, participant management screeners, intercepts, scheduling options
Pricing:
From $12 per seat per month

11. KardSort

kardSort is an IA testing tool that offers moderated, unmoderated, and hybrid card sorting.

kardSort provides a simple drag-and-drop function which makes card sorting easy for researchers and participants alike. You can start and launch a card sorting session very quickly, it’s platform is simple enough to allow for running effective unmoderated card sorting tests

Key features: Moderated, unmoderated and hybrid card sorting, pre and post-study interviews, tool tips
Pricing:
Free

12. Optimal Workshop

Optimal Workshop offers set of user research tools to run information architecture tests. With OptimalSort, you can understand how your testers want to organize and categorize information in your product.

Optimal Work also includes a feature called Treejack, which is a tool helps you conduct tree tests to understand if users are currently getting lost on your site and where they expect to find key information.

Key features: Card sorting, tree testing, first-click testing, IA testing, online surveys, qualitative research, participant recruitment
Pricing:
From $99 per month

13. UX Army

UXarmy provides a variety of user testing solutions to help you run information architecture testing via tree tests and card sorting. You can create tests on the platform, or import existing ones.

The platform makes evaluating your layout easy, and in-depth analytics help you uncover insights from tests—including participant analysis, path analysis, and destination matrixes. It’s quick and easy to get started, and provides an intuitive process for your participants.

Key features: Card sorting, tree testing, moderated and unmoderated usability testing
Pricing:
All solutions are stand-alone, with card sorting costing $79 per month and tree testing $99 per month

14. Great Question

Great question is a user research tool that allows you to build a panel and recruit participants, launch interviews and send surveys.

The platform allows for screener questions to filter participants, panel management to build and manage each of your participant profiles and a repository feature to archive and share research results

Key features: Research panel building, recruiting participants and running preferred research methods
Pricing:
$35 per seat per month

15. Maze

Maze is a continuous product discovery platform that empowers teams to collect user insights. Maze offers participant recruitment, product research, and reporting, Maze helps teams build the habit of continuous product discovery.

Key features: Moderated and unmoderated usability tests, card sorting, surveys, and participant recruitment
Pricing:
$95 per month and custom pricing for enterprise

Tools for product analytics

16. Hotjar

Hotjar is a remote research tool which allows you to view real-time user behavior via heatmaps and screen recordings.

Hotjar also offers a variety of tools including feedback survey sand interviews.

Key features: Heatmaps, screen recordings, unmoderated research, in-product feedback widgets and follow-up surveys
Pricing:
Free for 35 sessions, then from $32 per month

17. Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a user analytics platform that helps product teams track user behavior across your site. By providing information about how customers interact with your product, Kissmetrics helps you acquire qualified prospects, convert trials to customers, and reduce churn.

Key features: Event tracking, user identification, custom reports dashboards, segmentation, session analytics, and user funnels
Pricing:
$0.0025/event or customized plans (starting at $25.99 per month for 10k events)

18. Mixpanel

Mixpanel is an user analytics tool that lets you track your users and understand their journey. Mixpanel provides all the detailed data needed to uncover trends and understand what are improvements you can make onto the platform.

Mixpanel is a great tool for getting insights the whole team can understand and use, offering great UI and easy ways to collaborate.

Key features: Event tracking, user journey analysis, funnels, event, user identification and segmentation
Pricing:
Free plan with limited features and paid plans starting from $20 per month

Tools for user surveys and feedback

19. SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey is a widely-used survey tool that simplifies the process of collecting customer feedback through online surveys. Its user-friendly interface allows for extensive customization, ranging from the survey's branding and background to font styles and URL settings.

SurveyMonkey's AI-powered feature, SurveyMonkey Genius, offers valuable guidance and assistance to optimize your surveys, ensuring that you obtain the necessary insights swiftly and efficiently.

Key features: Fully-customizable online surveys, market research solutions, Genius AI solution, online form embedding
Pricing:
Free plan with basic features, team plans start at $25 per user/month

20. Typeform

Typeform is an another online survey builder designed to assist you in creating distinctive forms for efficient information collection.

Typeform seamlessly integrates with your existing workflow, simplifying the process of gathering customer feedback. It offers a smooth and effortless experience for the users you are surveying, making it particularly valuable when prioritizing a seamless user experience to obtain genuine insights.

Key features: Simple form builder, branded forms, key integrations, varied question formats
Pricing:
Typeform starts at $25 per month for one user and 100 responses per month

21. Jotform

Jotform is another survey creation tool, delivering many templates for streamlining your customer feedback procedures. While it shares several essential features with the other survey tools mentioned, Jotform offers additional solutions, including a no-code app creator and an online storefront builder.

Jotform expedites the creation of customized surveys, making it an excellent all-in-one solution, especially when financial resources are limited.

Key features: Intuitive form builder, ample integrations, report generations, workflow automation
Pricing:
Free plan with survey limits, paid plans from $34 per month

Other tools to help with UX Research

In addition to the aforementioned categories, there are many other types of tools that can help improve the workflows for user research.

Research Repositories: Notion, Dovetail, Coda and Miro

Interview transcriptions: Otter.ai, Reduct, Rev

Remote user interviews: Zoom, Google Meet, Lookback, Slack

Selecting the best UX research tools

In this guide, we covered some of UX research tools in the market covering different categories including usability testing, participant recruiting, information architecture testing, product analytics and surveying

As you can see, there are lots of UX research tools to choose from. Your primary considerations when selecting a tool is the type of research you’re looking to conduct, but there are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Ease of use: How easy is the tool to use? Does it have a steep learning curve? Can product, research and design collaborate in the product?
  • Support available: Is anyone on hand to help you when you get stuck? Is there a dedicated help center to support your success?
  • How scalable is the tool?: As your team grows, can the tool support more sophisticated research needs and augment the level of collaboration between team members?
  • Trial & Pilot: Is there free access? How long is the free trial and is it possible to validate the use cases before committing to the tool?

As we showed above, there are many options available for each category so you should be able to find the right tool for you needs.

If you need a comprehensive tool that can help you run usability tests, recruit internal and external participants, launch in-product surveys with user segmentation, get started now with Hubble.

Hubble allows you to continuously manage your user experience, helping collect powerful user insights with multiple tools including in-product surveying, usability testing, IA hierarchy testing and participant recruiting.

Elevate your continuous UX Research

Validate your concepts and collect post-launch feedback through Hubble

Frequently Asked Questions

What are UX research tools?

UX research tools are software applications or platforms designed to facilitate various aspects of the user research process, including data collection, analysis, collaboration, and visualization.

How do I choose the right UX research tool for my project?

When selecting a UX research tool, consider factors such as the specific research objectives and methodologies, the needs and preferences of your research team, the characteristics of your target user population, and the available budget and resources. It's also helpful to evaluate the features, usability, and support offered by different tools to ensure they align with your research requirements.

Are there any free UX research tools available?

Yes, many of the tools have free trials or freemium versions that offer basic functionalities for conducting user research. Examples include Google Forms for surveys, OBS Studio for screen recording during usability testing, and platforms like Hubble for a more specific tool for research.

How do UX research tools integrate with other design and development tools?

Many UX research tools offer integrations with popular design and development tools such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Sketch, Figma, and InVision. These integrations allow product teams to easily test prototypes, share results with stakeholders, and collaborate on iterations based on user feedback.

Hubble is integrated with essential tools like Figma, Slack, Segment, and more.