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The 6 Best UX Testing Tools for UX Research in 2024

 By Mehdi El Taghdouini
 Jun 03, 2024
 1850 views
Home  »  Blog   »   The 6 Best UX Testing Tools for UX Research in 2024

Creating a product that is pleasant to use involves many elements. One of the most critical is user experience (UX) research.

Since the launch of the first remote UX testing tool in the first decade of the century, multiple UX testing tools have emerged. Some are focused on a specific category of UX research, such as Card Sorting and Tree Testing (e.g., Optimal Workshop), while others provide a holistic all-in-one platform for mixed methods UX research (e.g., UserTesting, Userlytics), and various other UX testing tool variations in between.

So, how do you go about choosing the right UX testing tool? It depends on your goals, preferred UX research methods, and budget.

In this article, we’ve curated and listed our view of the 6 best UX testing tools for UX research in 2024 and evaluated each one based on common needs and pain points for UX researchers, UX designers, and product managers.

The 6 Best UX Testing Tools for UX Research in 2024

Here’s our list of the 6 best UX testing tools available today, along with a comparison table:

  1. UserTesting
  2. Userlytics
  3. Maze
  4. UserBrain
  5. Lookback
  6. OptimalWorkshop

Let’s take a look at each UX testing tool’s main strengths and cheapest pricing plans before getting into the details.

UX Testing ToolsBest ForStarting Price
UserTestingLarge UX Research budgets

Feature-rich and mixed-methods UX research

Large panel with over 2 million participants

Degree of targeting of Persona dependent on type of plan

AI-powered sessions analysis

Benchmarking against competitors

UX Consulting services
$15.000 to $60.000 range, per seat/account, + usage based pricing
UserlyticsFlexible Scaling of UX Research budgets

Feature-rich and mixed-methods UX research

Large panel with over 2 million participants

Targeted recruitment with narrow incidence rates and/or complex user personas

AI-powered sessions analysis

360º holistic UX benchmarking vis-a-vis competitors (ULX® Score), based on 8 constructs and 18 attributes

UX Consulting services

Quick turnaround of UX research and feedback (within hours)

International Studies in over 79 countries
As low as 34$/session (usage based), or “all you can eat” unlimited plans (unlimited seats/accounts/tests)
Maze
Limited UX research budgets

Features targeted at UX Designers rather than UX Researchers

UX research that requires basic features and functionality
99$/month
UserBrainSmall UX research budgets

AI-powered sessions analysis

UX research that requires basic features and functionality
79$/month
LookbackLimited UX research budgets

AI-powered sessions analysis

Real-time collaboration

UX research that requires basic features and functionality

Quick turnaround of research and feedback collection (<24h)
25$/month
OptimalWorkshopUX research mostly involving advanced information architecture studies such as card sorting & tree testing208$/month

1. UserTesting

UX testing tool n°1: UserTesting

First on the list is UserTesting, one of the earliest and a leading UX testing tool, offering a wide range of capabilities and features like card sorting, tree testing, and client provided panel management. 

UserTesting capabilities

This UX testing tool simplifies the process of setting up UX studies with a template library, making it easier to conduct tests efficiently. It also provides both moderated and unmoderated UX research options.

UserTesting templates

UserTesting is in the process of becoming the most full-featured UX testing tool as it integrates features from its acquisition of UserZoom.

However, it is also the highest-priced UX testing tool on the market. Prices range from $15,000 per seat to as high as $60,000 per seat (+ usage based pricing) with some of its largest clients paying well over $1 million per year.

The restriction against concurrently launched studies within accounts, along with other limitations depending on the plan selected, suggests that for a large corporation intending to unlock the full value of this UX testing tool, the budget is usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more.

UserTesting pricing plans

The UserTesting platforms’ rich feature set also comes with a steep learning curve, which can be a barrier for democratizing user research within organizations, as it can be time consuming and costly to train hundreds of UX designers, product managers, market researchers and marketers on the platform.

It is a powerful UX testing tool for companies with a large UX research budget. If you can afford it, you’ll have access to high-quality UX testing tools and features that can significantly benefit your UX research.

Best Features of UserTesting:

  • Integrations with third-party tools like Jira, AdobeXD, Canva, Figma, Miro, and more.
  • AI UX research features such as Auto Transcriptions, Friction Detection, and Sentiment Analysis.
  • Large global participant panel of more than 2 million participants.
  • Templates library for quick UX study setup.
  • Client provided panel management.

2. Userlytics

UX testing tool n°2: Userlytics

Userlytics is a versatile and feature-rich UX testing tool that supports mixed method UX research, including moderated usability, unmoderated usability, quant & qual combinations, Card Sorting, Tree Testing, First-Click Testing, and Benchmarking on desktop, mobile, live assets and prototypes.

The clients of Userlytics run the gamut from UX Designers, UX Researchers, Product Managers, Conversion Optimization Specialists, Market Researchers and Marketing, providing both quantitative and qualitative data.

One of the main strengths of Userlytics is its vast global panel of over 2 million test participants, the strongest international proprietary panel among UX testing tools.

This makes Userlytics an excellent solution for participant recruitment. It also supports bringing your own participants or those of third-party panels with advanced features such as UID.

Moreover, Userlytics has leveraged its hundreds of thousands of UX test sessions to develop its proprietary ULX® Benchmarking Score. This score benchmarks a holistic 360º measurement of user experience by analyzing 18 key UX attributes across 8 constructs, such as Affinity, Appeal, Distinction, Usability, Trust and others. This provides a comprehensive benchmark of your user experience over time, as well as in comparison to the competition.

The platform includes several features to help you analyze UX research sessions effectively. Sentiment Analysis highlights positive, negative, or neutral feelings expressed by participants by highlighting passages on the video timeline and session transcription. AI UX Analysis uses AI to analyze UX research video sessions and present insights in a digestible format.

Userlytics' analytics tools

As for the pricing plans, Userlytics give you the flexibility to conduct both one-off and frequent UX studies.

If you want unlimited seats and a robust package of features to go along with your UX research goals, the Enterprise or Limitless plans should be ideal. If you have one-off project specific UX needs, the Custom plan can cover your needs. 

Userlytics' pricing plans

Best Features of Userlytics:

  • Supports mixed method UX research and includes no-download recorders, supporting usability testing (moderated and unmoderated), information architecture optimization, quantitative surveys, diary studies and more.
  • Strongest international panel of over 2 million global testers, ideal for companies targeting narrow Personas and low incidence populations, or international audiences.
  • Best in class customer support, as referenced by G2 and  customer reviews.
  • Study session transcriptions in 36 languages.
  • Automated analysis tools like Sentiment Analysis, AI UX Analysis, and Video Analysis tools.
  • The ULX® Benchmarking Score.
  • Flexible pricing plans for adjusting to a variety of UX research budgets, with unlimited seats and no restrictions in terms of concurrent testing (Enterprise and Limitless plans).
  • Integrations with Adobe XD, Axure, Figma, Framer, InVision, and Sketch.
  • Optional UX Consulting services upon request.

3. Maze

UX testing tool n°3: Maze

Maze targets startups and small businesses, particularly UX Designers, with an interface designed for non-UX Research specialists. It offers a “quick and easy-to-use” approach, making it accessible for those without extensive UX research experience.

It supports prototype testing, live website testing, feedback surveys, interview testing, card sorting, and tree testing. This UX testing tool also includes user-friendly reporting features, such as auto PDF generation of usability tests.

Maze capabilities

Maze has a very accessible pricing model. There is a free version for solopreneurs wanting to conduct one study per month. 

The first paid plan starts at $99/month for one study per month, five seats, and features like templates, clips, and AI question rephrasing.

The third plan is a somewhat more customized option aimed at larger organizations, unlocking all features and allowing customization of seats and studies per month according to specific UX research needs.

Maze pricing plans

Maze’s focus on startups and small businesses means it has some limitations in terms of capabilities and robustness.

For example, the lack of a proprietary panel and limited customization options forces the use of third-party panels or a client’s own recruitment efforts, and reduces flexibility for users seeking more targeted Personas in their UX research.

Despite these limitations, Maze is an interesting UX testing tool for startups and businesses with limited UX research budgets.

Best Features of Maze:

  • Easy-to-use approach, ideal for UX designers seeking quick feedback through simple tests.
  • Integrations with third-party tools like Figma, AdobeXD, Sketch, and more.

4. UserBrain

UX testing tool n°4: UserBrain

UserBrain is specifically designed for task-based UX research and recurring tests, making it a good choice for teams that want to test products iteratively over time.

UserBrain features and capabilities

It supports a wide range of integrations, including Figma, Sketch, InVision, Axure, Framer, and AdobeXD.

With UserBrain, you can either invite your own users or access a pool of over 120,000 pre-screened participants primarily from the US, Canada, the UK, Austria, Germany, Australia, and South Africa.

However, if your UX research targets audiences beyond these countries, has narrow target persona profiles or incidence rate criteria, or involves more difficult participant profiles, you will likely need to recruit on your own or use third-party panels.

UserBrain panel of testers

UserBrain has other strengths, such as generating presentation-ready metric reports that are easily digestible. Insights can be obtained through AI-powered analytics and features like auto-generated transcripts, time-stamped AI notes, and sentiment analysis.

UserBrain AI analytics tools

Regarding transcripts, UserBrain supports transcription in three languages (German, English, Spanish).

As for its plans, UserBrain offers competitive pricing for smaller companies and teams. They also offer a Pay As You Go formula (39€ per tester).

UserBrain pricing plans

In summary, UserBrain is a UX testing tool worth considering for smaller companies and budgets. While it has some limitations, such as a smaller tester panel, it remains a valuable resource for low cost/guerilla usability testing and UX research.

Best Features of UserBrain:

  • Specifically tailored for continuous UX research.
  • AI-powered analytics.
  • Pricing plans for smaller UX research budgets.

5. Lookback

UX testing tool n°5: Lookback

Lookback specializes in qualitative UX research, especially mobile moderated sessions and offers three main UX testing tools: “Usability Testing”, “Interview”, and “Eureka”.

“Usability Testing” is self-explanatory. It allows you to test your apps and websites with real users. However, since it does not have its own panel, it relies on participants sourced via Userinterviews.com.

Lookback panel integration with userinterviews.com

It supports both moderated and unmoderated usability testing, with all sessions directly uploaded to the Cloud, although its primary focus and strength is in moderated usability testing.

This UX testing tool is particularly strong in mobile testing, enabling you to interact with users on iOS and Android, moderate sessions, and guide them through tasks.

Lookback features

“Interview” is a feature that is accessible directly through a public URL, allowing UX researchers to conduct video-call interviews with customers. These interviews are time-stamped, noted, and analyzed automatically.

Lookback interviews feature

“Eureka” is Lookback’s newest feature, an AI assistant that highlights the meaty parts of your UX study session recordings, similar to Userlytics’ AI UX Analysis.

Lookback Eureka feature

If you are looking for a UX testing tool that specializes in moderated and especially mobile moderated qualitative research, Lookback is worth considering. While other platforms may offer more features, Lookback focuses on one UX research method (moderated testing and similar) and excels at it with a sleek, easy-to-use interface.

Their pricing reflects this focus, with plans starting at $25/month for solopreneurs and freelancers for 10 sessions per year. Larger plans are also available.

Lookback pricing plans

It has some limitations, such as not having a proprietary panel and requiring an extension for recording sessions.

Despite these, Lookback remains a powerful UX testing tool for teams focused on mobile qualitative UX research, in particular moderated.

Best Features of Lookback:

  • Specializes in mobile moderated usability testing.
  • AI -powered analysis of UX research results.
  • Affordable pricing plans for solopreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses.

6. Optimal Workshop

UX testing tool n°6: Optimal Workshop

Optimal Workshop is a narrowly focused UX testing tool with a laser-like focus on information architecture studies, such as card sorting & tree testing. That said, it has recently added a few more methods to the mix, such as First-Click Testing.

Optimal Workshop features and capabilities

While this UX testing tool might not offer the holistic “all-in-one” experience of other platforms, it excels in supporting the UX methods it specializes in, such as tree testing and card sorting.

Optimal Workshop dashboard

Optimal Workshop’s pricing plans begin at $208/month (if paid annually) for an unlimited number of studies.

Optimal Workshop pricing plans

A limitation of Optimal Workshop is its participant recruitment process. Unlike some competitors, this UX testing tool does not have a proprietary panel and instead relies on third-party recruitment services.

The “239 million participants” mentioned on their website is an aggregate from these third-party services, contrasting with platforms like Userlytics and UserTesting that control their own proprietary panels.

Optimal Workshop panel recruitment

Best Features of Optimal Workshop:

  • Great for in-depth specialist information architecture UX research with Tree Testing, Card Sorting, and more.
  • Also has started to offer qualitative UX research capabilities.

Which UX Testing Tool Is the Best for You?

Now that we’ve covered the main features and pricing plans of these six UX testing tools, how do you choose the right one for you?

This table will help you decide based on your specific UX research needs and pain points. Selecting the right UX testing tool depends on your unique requirements.

Need/Pain PointUserlyticsUserTestingMazeUserBrainLookbackOptimal Workshop
For limited UX research budgets
For large UX research budgets
For one-off UX studies
For targeted recruitment
For holistic all-in-one UX testing
For AI-powered session analysis
For mixed method UX research
For UX benchmarking against competitors
For continuous UX research and feedback collection throughout a product’s lifecycle
For real-time collaboration
For quick research and feedback collection (within hours)
For optional UX consulting services

We hope this article helped you make an informed decision on which UX testing tool to use for your UX research.

For more information on how Userlytics can help you gain valuable UX insights, consider checking out our capabilities or scheduling a free demo directly.

FAQ

A UX testing tool is a software application that helps UX researchers, UX designers, product managers, marketers and market researchers test and evaluate the user experience of a product or service.

There are plenty of UX testing tools on the market, but the main ones are Userlytics, UserTesting, Lookback, Optimal Workshop, UserBrain, and Maze.

UX testing is crucial for identifying usability issues, understanding user behavior, and improving the overall user experience of a product.

Consider your specific needs, such as the type of tests you want to conduct, the number of seats/accounts/users, your budget, target Persona, and the features offered by different tools.

The best UX testing tools for recruiting participants are Userlytics and UserTesting. Both have large proprietary panels of more than 2 million participants, and in Userlytics’ case, it spans the globe (projects in over 79 countries).

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