In this blog post, we’ll go over 16 best usability testing tools and their advantages, best use cases, pricing, and how they compare to one another.
Good UX can make or break products.
And when you routinely ship dozens of websites for your clients, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Each website—or app—has hundreds of pages and features that need testing.
While a good website QA checklist will help you deal with functionality issues, it won’t tell you much about user experience—whether the end-user is having a good time on the website or not.
Questions like “did the user manage to find the purchase button easily?” remain unanswered.
That’s when usability testing tools come into play.
But with so many tools out there—how do you choose the one that’s right for you?
Let’s get to it!
What are usability testing tools?
Usability testing tools help you observe users completing tasks on your website. Ultimately, this improves your website/app’s user experience.
With the right tools, you can:
- Zoom in on critical defects as testers complete tasks on your site or app
- Understand at what point users get frustrated, and evaluate user-friendliness across the board
- Do better A/B testing of crucial features on your site
- Deep dive into user research, getting participants to tell you firsthand how they feel about your product (or its prototype)
16 Best Usability Testing Tools
Here’s a list of the best 16 usability testing tools in 2023, including remote testing platforms, website feedback tools, test case management suites, and more!
Usability testing, client feedback, and deep integrations with PM tools, without leaving your website.
Running usability tests with Marker.io is a breeze. In one click, anyone—even the less technically savvy—can report bugs.
Visual user feedback
Marker.io lives as a widget on your website or staging environment.
Because of this, reporting usability issues is easy for anyone involved.
Say a reporter is in the middle of a testing session—for example, you’ve asked them to try to purchase a specific product on an e-commerce website.
They’ll go over the different categories, and play around with the filters, but ultimately fail to complete the task.
Sending a report with Marker.io is then a simple, 3-steps process:
- Find an issue, click the button
- Fill out the report and input details
- Click on “Create issue”—done!
You can go about this in two different ways:
- Prepare usability test cases and ask test participants to complete the task with a “Pass” or “Fail” custom field within the report.
- Simply have the tester create an issue whenever they can’t complete a task, using annotations and highlights to drive their point across.
In our example above, the reporter would typically click the button, and fill out the form with “Can’t find product XYZ”. Then, they'll list out the steps they took to get there.
Then, your team can go over the reports and find out how to improve the website:
- The search function is hard to see
- Filters are confusing/not specific enough
Cherry on top: we also record the full session, so you can retrace their steps yourself.
Marker.io’s unique features are its deep integrations with popular project management tools.
This means that when your tester clicks “Create issue”, their usability report is sent to Jira, Trello, ClickUp, or whatever your favorite PM tool is.
There are a few advantages to this:
- Reporters stay on the website for the entire testing session. No more back-and-forth between website, screenshot/annotation software, and project: all your tools are in one place.
- Project managers spend less time in the inbox. Because bug reports arrive straight in Jira/Trello/etc., you no longer need to transfer every issue into your PM tool.
- Developers stay in their issue tracker. Don’t ask your devs to adopt yet another tool: for them, nothing changes.
This also works the other way around.
Whenever an issue is closed in your PM tool, the reporter will be notified on Marker.io.
No more wasted time updating issue status for clients and testers!
Check it out in action:
Detailed bug reports
Not every reporter is technically savvy. Especially when doing end-user testing or asking clients for feedback.
And when you want to improve your UX design, you need detailed reports—so devs know exactly what went wrong and how to fix it.
Marker.io automatically captures the information your devs need to retrace the tester’s steps—with every report:
- Reporter name
- Source URL
- Console logs
- Environment info
- Session replay
- Any custom metadata
As a developer, when you receive a usability bug report, your first action is to try and reproduce that bug.
But even with all the technical data in the report—sometimes, you still fail to understand what’s going on. And for projects managers, it can be a headache to try and talk to the reporter in-person.
If only you could see exactly what happened when the bug occurred...
Well—Marker.io's toolkit includes session replay for that reason.
Straight from your PM tool, simply click the “Watch replay” link.
You’ll then be able to watch the last 30 seconds (or more) before the report was submitted.
Check out session replay in action:
We can clearly see this user journey during usability testing:
- Clicked on "About Us"
- Scrolled down & up
- Tried several times to click on "Contact Us"
- Gave up and reported a bug with the Marker.io widget.
Make sure the Marker.io widget is embedded on the website(s) or app(s) you are working on, and enable session replay in your widget settings. It’s as simple as that!
Finally, Marker.io was not designed just for usability testing. You can use it for internal QA as well as throughout your user acceptance testing process.
Pricing: free plan, then from $39/mo to $159/mo, with enterprise plan for larger companies.
Unmoderated and moderated usability testing with UX sprints.
TryMyUI helps you set up remote usability tests and analyze them at your leisure.
It’s not easy to get in-person feedback, but TryMyUI gets close enough.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up a usability test—for example, “buy a shirt on www.example.com”;
- The task is sent to testers from the platform or your own users;
- Get a narrated video of each user navigating the website with mouse movements, finger gestures, and full audio;
- (Optional) have the tester fill out a custom post-test questionnaire.
UX Sprints is our favorite feature.
With sprints, you can run iterative usability tests. Whenever we want to extensively test designs, we simply:
- Send the first designs to tester set A;
- Analyze and redesign based on their feedback;
- Pass the same tasks to tester set B.
Then, we compare the metrics between the two sets to get advanced insights into our design usability.
Pricing: from $99/mo.
Website and prototype testing.
UXtweak is a usability testing tool that offers a variety of methods:
- Card sorting and tree testing, for content organization
- Prototype, mobile, and website testing
- Preference and five-second tests to identify what designs perform best
- Surveys & recordings
You can order testers from their own global panel or use your own set.
Pricing: from $80/mo.
User research and UX insights with B2C remote usability tests.
Userlytics is a massive market research platform and user testing tool.
They offer a simple, 4-steps process:
- Determine what type of insights you need from your ideal customer;
- Create a study with specific usability testing methodologies;
- Select testers based on demographic, or let the platform choose from their own international panel;
- Receive results and analyze with a UX expert.
Their global panel consists of over 1.5 million testers.
The pricing is more higher range and targeted at B2C enterprise businesses. If this is your goal, you’re likely to find an audience that fits on Userlytics.
Pricing: from $499/mo.
Unmoderated and moderated usability testing with highlight reels.
Lookback is an excellent platform for usability testing on a budget.
The website offer two options:
- Moderated usability. Talk to your participant in-person and observe their interactions in real-time.
- Unmoderated usability. Give a set of testers step-by-step tasks and analyze the data in-depth when you’re done with the campaign.
You can, of course, combine both. Take timestamped notes during live recordings, and compare them to your other tests for a complete overview.
With highlight reels, you get to collect clips of your most important insights within the same project.
This includes interviews, task completion metrics, and recordings.
Pricing: from $17/mo.
User testing tool with video interviews and surveys.
Methinks is a video research platform for usability testing from A to Z.
The process is simple:
- Create a project and set up tasks with benchmark for testers to perform;
- Recruit from your own set of testers, or use Methinks’ global panel;
- Conduct your research with live interviews and surveys;
- Analyze your recordings and survey responses.
Website and prototype usability testing.
Useberry is the go-to usability testing platform for websites, mobile apps, and SaaS products.
They offer a wide range of typical usability tests:
- Single & multiple tasks
- First click and 5-second tests
- Surveys and analytics
- Card sorting, tree testing, and preference testing
Their focus is on the design process and prototype testing for websites. Given designs and a task, testers will show you first-hand how easy (or difficult) it is to find information on your site.
Useberry also records participants as they go through your tasks.
Pricing: from $33/mo.
Customer insights, video transcription, and insights clusters.
Dovetail helps you make sense out of your customer interviews.
The platform helps you:
- Set up meetings with your customers
- Transcribe the recordings
- Discover patterns with powerful analysis features
- Cluster insights, create highlight reels, and collaborate with your team
Pricing: from $8/mo.
Recorded surveys and live interviews for moderated & unmoderated usability testing.
dscout is a suite of remote research tools that helps you run usability tests at scale.
Much like the other tools on our list, they offer options for both moderated and unmoderated testing.
Their platform has two main features:
- Diary. Create a list of tasks for your testers, and watch them complete it in session recordings.
- Live. Enhance your one-on-one interviews with an in-platform chat, take notes on the go, and isolate the clips that matter afterwards.
Invite your users for an interview or choose from their pool of participants to get feedback on your site or product’s usability.
You can set up the diary specifically to get insights from testers at every point of their journey.
Pricing: Custom, depending on your needs.
Multilingual user testing tool with tasks, ratings, and surveys.
Userfeel makes it easy to discover the issues and frustrations of your target audience as they navigate your website or app.
The platform offers everything you’d need for proper usability testing—and dozens of insights for product managers:
- Unmoderated & moderated tests
- Unlimited tasks, ratings, and surveys
- Video clips & notes
- Voice transcription
Where Userfeel really shines is their massive userbase of over 140,000 testers.
This includes people from all over the world—so you can determine how well your product is received abroad.
Then, transcribe your recordings, create highlight reels, and share them with your team to uncover insights.
Pricing: from $30 per tester.
Website usability testing with heatmaps.
This wouldn’t be a list of usability testing tools if we didn’t mention Hotjar.
Heatmaps represent where users click or move on your site, providing you with a visual overview of your web pages’ performance.
- What areas of your page are often missed or overlooked
- Where users most often click, and after how much time
- What’s the most common drop-off point
They also offer video recordings and survey templates to get first-hand insights from your customers.
Pricing: from $39/mo.
Mobile testing analytics.
UXCam is the go-to platform for mobile usability testing:
- Session and event replays
- Embedded event analytics, allowing you to replay sessions based on custom events
- Screen flow, heatmaps, and issue analytics to zoom in on navigation, engagement, and crashes
And with funnel analytics, you can deep-dive into your user’s journey to understand when and why they drop off or get frustrated.
Pricing: Custom, depending on your needs.
Usability testing at every step of the product’s lifecycle.
Maze is all about usability testing at different stages of your product’s lifecycle:
- Concept & idea validation
- Content & copy testing
- Feedback & satisfaction
For every project, you get to test with a variety of methods, including tree testing, 5-second tests, card sorting, and more.
Test results are immediately translated into a qualitative aggregated report.
You then get deep-dive insights into the metrics that matter: miss-clicks, heatmaps, and survey responses.
The tool is perfect to validate ideas and concepts, then testing the usability of your wireframes on any device.
Pricing: from $75/mo.
14. Optimal Workshop
UX research with advanced observations and tagging.
Optimal Workshop is another all-in-one platform for usability testing.
They offer 5 main tools:
- OptimalSort. Find out how your users believe your content should be organized.
- Treejack. Discover the best structure for your site with tree testing.
- Chalkmark. First-click testing helps you uncover what happens during a user’s first interaction with your website.
- Questions. Design surveys that make sense, and send them to your ideal customers.
- Reframer. Capture all of your notes, recordings, and observations in one place.
With the tool’s advanced observation tagging, it’s easy to create clusters of insights that can be shared with your team.
Pricing: from $208/mo.
User research platform with remote usability testing, user surveys, and analytics.
UserZoom offers a complete range of usability testing options:
- Moderated and unmoderated tests
- Card sorting, A/B testing
- Online surveys, user feedback, and user journey mapping—all part of their user research suite
- AI-powered analytics to identify the trends in your user data
All of this helps your UX team inform design decisions, and uncover improvements for your website or app design.
Pricing: custom, based on your needs.
User testing tool for websites, apps, and prototypes.
Loop11 advertise themselves as the “easiest online usability testing tool”—and for good reason!
The platform has a few great features for usability testing, including
- Unmoderated testing, with participants completing the tests at their own pace—perfect for larger scale websites
- Simulated user tasks like website navigation
- Plenty of integrations with other user research tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Analytics, for a complete overview of user behavior
They also offer a panel of over 10 million participants worldwide, making it easy to start your tests right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is usability testing?
Usability testing is a testing method to assess the UX performance of your website, app, or product.
In short, you get a set of testers to accomplish pre-defined tasks (for example, “buy green pants on this website”). Then, you observe users complete the tasks and try to identify:
- Their frustration points
- Where they get stuck
- How the whole experience can be improved
Usability testing vs User testing vs User acceptance testing: What’s the difference?
These words are often used interchangeably and can lead to confusion.
The difference between the three lies in the testing timeline:
- User testing happens before launching, or even developing, the product. Here, you evaluate ideas, prototypes, and wireframes.
- Usability testing typically takes place on a staging environment. The goal is to watch ideal users test your website or app for the first time, observe areas of confusion, and ensure they can complete tasks.
- User acceptance testing happens when your new site or feature is live or in pre-production. You observe real users. The goal is to figure out if they are using your product the way you expect them to, and if business objectives are met.
What are usability tests?
Every usability test tries to answer this: how user-friendly is the current iteration of your product/feature?
Before choosing a usability testing method, it’s important to understand what you’re testing for.
For example, if you want to know how to organize your website and its structure, you’re looking to perform card sorting and tree testing tests.
But if you want to observe users completing tasks on said website, you’re looking at surveys, recordings, and website feedback tools.
And that wraps up our list of usability testing tools!
Depending on the type of usability tests you want to run, you’ll have to choose what tool works best for you:
- For website testing, Marker.io, Hotjar, and Useberry are all solid options.
- For advanced moderated and unmoderated tests, use Optimal Workshop and Userlytics.
- Best for recordings or one-on-one meetings: Lookback, Methinks, and dscout.
- If you need to test on mobile: UXCam.
We hope this post helped you make a decision!
Did we miss a tool? Let us know via Twitter or e-mail!