User research is paramount throughout the design process. Why? Firstly, it prevents us from designing for one user, ourselves. Secondly, it helps to validate our assumptions, recognise problems that might never be identified without testing and improve your understanding of the product/service.
“Hearing and seeing real user experiences on your website or app is incredibly powerful.”
Below we have compiled a list of recommended UX research tools.
What users do
WhatUsersDo is a remote user testing platform which helps you to understand your customers better and increase conversion rate. They offer a panel of 30,000 UX testers from various backgrounds that will complete any task you set.
The user will share their thoughts, feelings and pain points which get shared via video recordings. The recordings are great for identifying the main reasons why customers leave your website or app.
Optimizely is one of the leading A/B testing tools on the market today. It offers analytics tools to accommodate users of all levels and has an abundance of A/B testing tools.
With Optimizely, you can send a specific amount of your users to a separate experience to get conversion data. For example, you could send 50% of users to a checkout experience and the other 50% to the existing checkout. If the experiment returns negative results, you delete the test, and 100% of users will see the original webpage – simple!
Optimizely can target specific user types and segments, and create experiments on any device. It has all areas covered.
Google Optimize is a free A/B testing tool that seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics. It is perfect for traditional A/B testing, focusing on comparing different ‘calls to action’ text, colours and content.
It is easy to use and doesn’t require developers to implement the tests – it’s a perfect place to start out with A/B testing. The results appear on a Google Analytics report which gives you a clear indication of which variation converts best.
Optimal Workshop has three products that allow you to manage different kinds of user tests which all have the end goal of increased conversion.
The first product is OptimalSort which is a card sorting tool where users arrange items into categories that make sense to them. This tool is a perfect way to optimise your navigation, ensuring users can easily find what they endeavour to see.
The second product is Treejack which is a usability technique for evaluating the findability of topics on a website. Treejack is an excellent usability tool used to test information architecture without any visual distractions. For example; proving your site structure will work before you begin the UI design.
The final product is Chalkmark. Chalkmark is a first click test tool which is perfect for running tests on wireframes and prototypes to identify usability issues before you begin to code. Chalkmark is aimed to increase your customer conversion, and task-oriented success rates by getting fast feedback on designs.
“Its essential to know the what, the where, the why, and have the ability to test a solution.”
Crazy Egg is an A/B testing tool combined with heatmaps and screen recordings. This tool is perfect for anyone, but with a slight focus on designers.
Crazy Egg is an all-around tool, with an attractive pricing plan. It is a very well known platform for heat mapping and screen recordings. However, they have relatively recently introduced the A/B tools to help with usability testing. It focuses on creating quick tests that can be pushed test live within minutes.
UserTesting is an on-demand platform that uncovers ‘the why’ behind customer interactions. It is one of the leading testing tools in the markets with clients such as Walmart, Facebook and Apple.
This tool allows you to test your products with everyday people in their natural environment, not a usability lab. UserTesting provides video footage of users interacting with your website and making comments on what they find all within one hour.
“By understanding the user purpose, you improve experiences, driving higher satisfaction and loyalty.” UserTesting
AB Tasty is a simple to use tool perfect for companies just starting out in conversion optimisation. It is known for its more in-depth customisations as it allows you to target visitors based on many different factors, such as demographics, geolocation or even user behaviours.
AB Tasty offers a variety of user testing solutions – A/B testing, split testing, multivariate testing, and funnel testing. This tool has a visual editor that allows you to quickly create tests and receive real-time reports with confidence levels on your goals.
Monetate is another favourite testing tool that is known for providing incredible customer services. They offer both testing and segmentation tools and a personalisation tool for advanced A/B tests.
Monetate’s personalisation tool is an advanced machine learning engine that defines which actions will help you accomplish a given goal and optimise business decisions.
Convert is perfect for small to medium size clients and businesses performing in-house optimisation. It is often compared to Optimzely and VWO as the functionality is very similar, but it has a lower price bracket.
Convert is a drag and drop system that allows you to create A/B, multivariate, and split tests using a visual editor. This tool gives you full control of your content and has seamless integration with Google Analytics.
Adobe Target provides you with the tools and capabilities you need to A/B test everywhere your customer connect with your brand. It has been designed to test variations, view results, gain insights and push winning experiences to maximise engagement, conversion and return on investment. If money isn’t an issue, its a no-brainer.
Visual Website Optimiser (VWO)
VWO is another well-loved tool in the A/B testing market and is often a leading choice for businesses with somewhat smaller budgets.
VWO gives you access to a variety of tools which get split into four categories; testing & experimentation, research & user feedback, analytics & reporting, and targeting & personalisation. If personalisation is a critical factor in your work, VWO is perfect for delivering targeted offers.
With any of the tools above, you can A/B test and begin to improve conversions, share positive results with stakeholders and build great user experiences. It may seem difficult to create tests but, it doesn’t need to be expensive, and you don’t need a developer to build compelling custom experiments.
“Even the smallest changes can maximise your conversion. In the long run, these won't feel small!”
If we could give you some advice it would be; think quality, not quantity. Testing with five users generally unveils 85% of usability problems.
Whichever tool best fits you, ensure you understand your baseline performance using Google Analytics. It is essential to know your conversion rates before any changes can be measured. Good Luck, its a fun process to success!