Lately, we’ve been publishing a lot of articles on UX/UI design, and for good reason. Above all else, your users need to be able to feel comfortable using your site. Although business owners are first and foremost concerned about conveying their branding messages, there’s more to earning a customer’s trust than a great logo and an aesthetically pleasing color scheme. Many companies employ usability testing to allow fresh eyes to judge their site or app to catch all of the flaws in their platforms.
Usability testing encompasses all-things customer satisfaction. This includes intuitive navigation, quick answers, and an overall design that responds to your audience. Usability tests usually have some way of recording how users navigate your website: videos, heatmaps, click reports, feedback forms, surveys, and more. Whichever you choose to use will depend on your design team’s unique needs and preferences. To gain the trust and love of your audience, you need usability tools to make sure your audience can navigate, understand, and enjoy your site to its maximum capacity.
Note: Most of these tools are reasonably priced, though the cost varies depending on your needs. Some offer free trial periods while others require more commitment. There are plenty of tools to choose from, so don’t feel pressured to pay for something your organization isn’t ready to take on yet.
UsabilityHub collects data from your audience to help you make changes that better suit your customers. Its tools track where users click as well as surveys to figure out what pops out at them during their first impressions of a page.
Rather than a design team trying to guess where users are having issues, UsabilityHub offers surveys to ask customers themselves. These questions are ideal for figuring out what people most hope to accomplish by using your website or app. This software also tests for what logos, color schemes, and illustrations will most appeal to your audience.
UsabilityHub is most well known for its Five Second Test. This tool includes showing a viewer a page for 5 seconds, then ask what they remember about it. This short process can help weed out distracting elements and confusing features, as well as help you hone your design and develop a message that sticks.
Optimizely is a high-end usability testing tool that specializes in two areas: marketing and product. Their usability testing can also be used on a wide range of platforms, including websites, mobile apps, tv apps, and conversational apps.
Their brand emphasizing experimentation to help businesses break the mold. This tool addresses many if not all usability needs (depending on your plan): A/B testings, visual editing, multivariate testing, extensions, program management, and much more. As customers include BBC, IMB, and Microsoft, Optimizely is a refined usability testing tool for sophisticated businesses.
Feng-GUI is an AI-powered design auditing tool. It acts as a cheaper, faster, automated alternative to an actual eye-tracking test. Through algorithms, this tool simulates what real people will look at upon viewing a web page. These measurements can let you determine where users’ eyes go first, and what they are missing altogether.
Real eye-tracking tests can cost thousands of dollars, but a single simulation with Feng-GUI can be purchased for less than $1 (albeit as a 100-test bundle for $99). The algorithm acts as 40 participants and only takes in 5 seconds to run. This way, you can run a test every time you make a change until you find the best usability solutions for your design.
4. Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg defines its three tools as Heatmaps, Scrollmaps, and Confetti Reports. These three tools record how users are navigating your website so that you can find out where and why they leave earlier than you intend for them to.
For instance, Heatmap shows you where people click on your website. This way, you can see what users are clicking on that isn’t actually links, and where users are missing things that are actually meant to be clicked on. With this data, designers can figure out what distractions should be eliminated. You can also figure out what elements need to be more visible, and how to do so, based on what other elements of your pages receive the most attention. On the other hand, Scrollmaps measures how much time users spend on certain parts of your page. With this information, you can discern what parts of your pages are most engaging, and when gets barely glanced over. Finally, Confetti Reports. Like a heatmap, Confetti Reports also shows clicks on a page, but they can also be filtered by user information, like day of the week, origin country, browser, etc.
Use Crazy Egg to discover what usability issues need changes in order to get your users to follow through on the desired call-to-action.
5. Optimal Workshop
Optimal Workshop boasts 5 usability testing tools for improving UX design: Treejack, OptimalSort, Chalkmark, Questions, and Reframer. The latter two are familiar usability testing tools. Questions creates surveys for users, while Reframer provides a tool for sorting data that your own team collects.
The first three tools are more original. They allow you to create your own tests of your website to ensure your goals are being prioritized. Treejack allows you to create an outline of your website’s navigation without the distractions of the actual web design. Then, you give common tasks for the participant to fulfill using just this navigation skeleton, such as finding the answer to a certain question. Through this treasure hunt sort of test, you can figure out if your navigation makes sense to users. OptimalSort completes a similar goal, except backwards. Users see the names of pages and sort for themselves how they think your navigation should be arranged. This tool is known as card sorting.
The last tool, Chalkmark, allows you to run tests on wireframes and prototypes. Before agonizing over lines and lines of code, you can pair a mere mockup of your site or app with a set of tasks to be completed, and send this test to users. This serves a similar purpose as the navigation tools, but now with the complete design’s distractions in place.
All of these tools help your team create tests to publish on your own website or else send to Optimal Workshop’s participant recruitment.
At first glance, Userfeel appears to be just another usability testing tool recording participants speaking their thoughts about your website; however, this tool has quite a few unique features. First and foremost, Userfeel can be used for websites of any language. You can even receive feedback on a site in a language you don’t even understand.
Another unique feature is this tool’s demographics measurer. Testers can be filtered by age, gender, and even web experience. Demographics can be easily overlooked, but if your brand is especially niche, this tool can ensure that your desired audience and enjoy your website or app with ease. Userfeel can also be used on any platform, receive annotations from any number of team members, and supply feedback forms for screeners. Reporting is easy with video highlights, video annotations and voice transcription. Userfeel also uses SUS, a usability ranking associated with a high correlation between ranking to user loyalty and likelihood to recommend. This tool works great for multilingual and niche websites.
Usabilla offers usability testing for everything from webpages and apps to emails and in-page feedback forms. The tools emphasize the customer experience with quick non-direct feedback forms that often include emojis. With Usabilla, you can discern if your customers feel angry-faced or heart-eyed about your weekly newsletter.
Usabilla specializes in helping businesses like e-commerce and retail, travel agencies, insurance, travel, IT, and telecom industries. Everyone from product teams to employees can benefit from the collected data. The site also includes “Usabilla Academy” to help your team learn how to collect and use data for themselves. This company is big on VoC being the forefront of its—and your—brand.
Userzoom prides themselves on being research-based UX company. The company offers a multitude of tests to supply you with well-rounded answers to your UX needs. This can include user feedback videos of screen and audio recordings, heatmaps, and surveys.
Userzoom also offers a tool similar to Google Analytics called UX metrics. This tool measures useful data like time spent on tasks, page views, and success rates. User testing comes from a pool of Userzoom’d 12 million participants. Otherwise, the company also allows to let you choose your own users for their tests. You may choose the latter option if you have a specific demographic in mind. Using this research, Userzoom also partners with you to develop a UX strategy to reach your goals and objective. UserZoom’s clients include PayPal, Monster, and Lenovo.
I’m not exactly sure how to pronounce this one (Validate-ly? Valida-tely? Vali-dately?), but this usability tool acts as a participant tester recruiting manager. If you have your own user test already in mind, or your website/app is especially niche and you want the freedom to pick your own testers, then this tool will take the legwork out of the recruitment process.
Validately uses your screener questions to recruit testers within 5 days. The tool recruits from your customer list, including screening, scheduling, and paying. With this precise testing pool, you can make sure that the demographic you’ve built your site/app for can actually enjoy using it. You can then take notes on each user’s session. You can even invite stakeholders to log in and show off your new and improved UX design.
Hotjar collects data from real users, rather than test participants. In addition to heatmaps and visitor recordings, this tool offers conversion funnels to see where user activity drops off.
If forms are an integral part of your website, hotjar also offers form analysis so that you can see what parts of forms take too long to fill out and why users abandon them altogether. This tool also allows you to collect feedback via surveys, comment boxes, and feedback pools.
Usability Testing Tools for a Better User Experience
Wherever you are in building your website or app, start usability testing. Your number one concern in design should be having a navigatable platform for your audience. Your brand is a big deal, but sadly, any great idea can go to waste due to a clumsy website or app.
Tools like Chalkmark will help you start testing your wireframes before going through the trouble of building out a problematic website. If you have the perfect pool of testers ready, have no idea where to start, or want to start recruiting but don’t have the time to manage testers, this variety of tools can accommodate your needs. What works for your team matters the most in picking your tool. Some team works better with quantitive data, others with visual click maps or audio feedback, and still others with surveys, comments, or emojis. A usability tool is all about connecting potential customers with the organization’s brain and heart. There’s a usability testing tool out there for you.
Usability testing shouldn’t break the bank, so don’t hesitate to invest in something with such a huge ROI. Remember, it’s all navigation. Just because YOU know how to get around your perfect website or app doesn’t mean an outside will find it as intuitive. Customers need to easily be able to find the answers they’re looking for with such ease and enjoyment that they are encouraged to go further with your brand. Adequate usability equals loyal customers.