When it comes to user research tools, there are a ton of different products available in the market. But which ones are actually worth your time and money?
This is such an important question because the right UX research tool can make a massive difference in the quality of your data collection and research findings. Not to mention, it can also save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
With that said, there isn't really a "best" user research tool that'll work for everyone, but there are certainly a few that stand out from the rest for their particular purpose. So whether you need a UX research tool for recruiting participants, conducting user interviews, or collecting feedback from users, we've got you covered with our list of the best UX research tools to try this year.
For your convenience, we've divided our list of tools into 3 different categories: user interviews, recruiting, and usability testing. That way, you can easily find the type of tool you're looking for. Let's get into it!
For User Interviews:
For Usability Testing:
If user interviews are your primary method for collecting data and feedback, then you'll need a great tool stack for conducting effective research interviews.
Here are our top 3 picks.
Grain is the perfect way to record, organize, and share user interviews with your stakeholders and collaborators. You can build a searchable research repository for your entire organization to instantly discover and retrieve every customer insight—without any hand holding.
Take effective user research notes. Just clip, categorize, and share insights from your interviews in real-time. No need to take manual notes or spend hours listening to recordings.
With Grain Stories, you can turn hours of user interview recordings into a short engaging video summary your stakeholders love to watch. Just clip the key moments from your customer conversations and stitch them together to create a shareable highlight reel.
#Tags help you organize and discover all your existing and upcoming user research interviews whenever you need them. Your team can retrieve any specific moment from any conversation by just typing in a keyword or using #tags.
That’s not all. Grain highlights and stories embed in your favorite collaboration tools including Notion, Slack, Miro, and more—making it easier to align your team around the voice of the customer.
Average Star Rating: 4.6
ConfirmKit is the one-stop solution for all your interview preparation needs.
Its user-friendly interface and easy-to-follow scripts and field guides make getting ready for any upcoming interviews a breeze. You can take text notes, make real-time analyses of patterns and trends to ensure you're on top of your game, and easily create a final interview report.
Plus, with the added bonus of being able to see your collective insights side-by-side, you'll get a global view of your progress and be able to filter responses by question or insight. Get the edge you need to ace any interview with ConfirmKit.
Average Star Rating: 4.1
Looking to conduct productive user interviews and get feedback in real-time? dscout should be your go-to. Its innovative Live feature lets you interview participants remotely, while the Recruit feature makes it easy to find qualified research participants without the hassle and cost associated with traditional recruiting methods.
Not to mention, dscout features powerful tools like automated transcriptions, on-call observers, and interactive timelines (make taking notes and clips a breeze) – so you can be sure you're getting the most out of your user interviews.
Average Star Rating: 4.6
Finding the right participants for your user research can be a challenge. Make your job easier with these top user recruitment tools.
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to recruit participants for your research projects, you’ll be pleased with what User Interviews has to offer. With a pool of over 350,000 ready, willing, and vetted research participants (along with your current pool of users), you're sure to find the perfect match for your study.
You may also choose to focus your recruiting efforts on certain professions with over 500 distinct options. Plus, User Interviews will handle the incentives if you choose to offer them, making the whole process hassle-free.
Last but not least, User Interviews has screener surveys, scheduling interviews, and participation tracking for your existing users. The typical time it takes to match you with a participant is only 2 hours. Could it get better?
Average Star Rating: 4.6
With Ethnio, selecting very specific participants for your user research studies is as hassle-free as could be. With a couple of clicks, you can create customized screeners to identify the people who are the best fit for your project and then use automated scheduling options to get in touch with them quickly and easily.
Plus, Ethnio's Research Incentives tool makes it easy to reward participants for their time and participation by paying them instantly through different online services. So if you're looking for an efficient and easy-to-use tool for selecting participants, Ethnio is definitely worth checking out!
Average Star Rating: 4.8
If you’ve recruited participants before, you probably know the hassle of finding high-quality candidates. With the help of Respondent, that’s all in the past.
Through the platform, you can post your study and gain access to a participant pool that’s eager to take part. You can also vet who you want to participate in the study and schedule them for a session through Respondent’s easy-to-use interface, guaranteeing participants who match your ideal customer profile.
If you need to pay your participants, no problem! Respondent offers a variety of payment options through its own platform, but its lowest recommended incentive is $100 per hour, so you’ll need to be prepared to pay $100/hr if you opt-in for this tool.
Average Star Rating: 4.5
What if you want to test the usability of your product before you launch it or make changes as you go? These 4 usability testing tools will come in handy.
If you're looking for a comprehensive toolkit to help you with your usability research, Optimal Workshop is the answer. With a suite of different tests at your disposal, including card sorting, tree testing, and first-click tests, you can get a wealth of insights into how users interact with your product or website.
There's also a recruitment module to help you find participants for your studies. And if you're planning information architecture, Optimal Workshop will be an invaluable asset. Don't go another day feeling lost in your website's architecture.
Average Star Rating: 4.5
Sprig is the optimal tool for conducting on-the-spot user research and obtaining insights that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. By integrating Sprig into your app, you can ask users questions at key moments in their product experience and get immediate feedback that can help improve your overall offering.
With Sprig, you can conduct micro surveys, concept testing, and asynchronous user interviews, all within your app – making the entire experience seamless and unobtrusive for users. For you, that means you get insights quickly and efficiently, without interrupting user flow or compromising the user experience.
So if you're looking for a better way to understand your users and what they want to see in your product, Sprig is the answer!
Average Star Rating: 4.8
If you're looking for a way to get insights from real users on your latest prototypes, Maze is the perfect solution. It integrates directly with popular design tools like Adobe XD, Figma, InVision, Marvel, and Sketch, making it easy to get started.
Plus, you can create and run in-depth usability tests with ease. Simply share your test with your testers via a link, and you'll be able to collect actionable insights in a matter of minutes.
With its comprehensive usability testing features, including task analysis, multiple path analysis, heatmaps, A/B testing, and guerrilla testing, Maze is the ideal platform for rapidly turning your prototypes into polished products.
Average Star Rating: 5
UsabilityHub is among the leading remote user research tools that help you validate design decisions with data. With a range of powerful testing tools, including first click testing, design surveys, preference tests, and five-second tests, UsabilityHub provides the insights you need to build amazing products people will love.
And with UsabilityHub’s Panel, you can easily recruit participants for your studies based on criteria such as age, gender, education, and more. So whether you're looking for product feedback from your target audience or trying to get insights from a new perspective, UsabilityHub has you covered.
Average Star Rating: 4.7
No matter what stage you're at in your product development journey, there's a UX research tool to help you make better decisions. So don't wait any longer; start using one of these best UX research tools today and gain the insights you need to build amazing products your users love!
If you still need help selecting the right tools for your job, here are our preferences based on personal experience.
For making the most out of user interviews, Grain is your best bet. With real-time clipping and live transcription, it’s never been easier to capture and share feedback and insights.
As for recruiting, User Interviews is our platform of choice for finding the right participants, thanks to its advanced filters and a large pool of candidates. When it comes to usability testing, nothing beats Optimal Workshop's comprehensive toolkit with a suite of different tests and bonus features like the recruitment module.
Take your pick and happy researching!