How to choose a usability testing tool

There are a host of usability testing tools out there for you to choose from, with varying capabilities and price points. 

The options are almost endless, which can feel a little overwhelming. Don’t fret, though! By the end of this article, our handy Dos and Don’ts guide will make choosing a platform as easy as 1-2-3. 

DON’T > Pick the cheapest option 

In most cases, price is the deciding factor for UX teams. This is understandable—but be wary of forgoing functionality in favor of lower costs. Generally speaking, the cheaper the solution, the more manual work you’ll need to do yourself. 

Cheaper solutions can cost you more in the long term. We often see UX teams purchase a cheap dedicated UX tool only to find they need to prop it up with various unintegrated tools, leading to soaring costs and a cumbersome research process. 

DON’T > Take a DIY approach

Most companies now have dedicated access to video-conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype. While these solutions are great for peer-to-peer collaboration, they simply aren’t made for usability testing. 

Firstly, from a data security standpoint, Zoom is a little shady. As a UX researcher, you need to be 100% confident that you uphold participant privacy, so Zoom should be a no-go.

Zoom and Skype don’t have in-built tools for data analysis, reporting, and participant recruitment. You’ll have to do all of this yourself unaided, taking time, money, and resources. 

DON’T > Limit your testing options 

You can collect two data types through remote usability testing: qualitative and quantitative. Some tools enable you to manage qualitative data from video and voice recordings, while others collect structured metrics based on user interactions. 

Here’s a quick summary of how each type works: 

As you can see, both types of data are helpful for usability testing. So, ideally, you want a usability testing solution that offers you both formats. Don’t limit yourself to one! 

DO > Look for a holistic, purpose-built solution

Being a UX researcher is a fascinating job—but it can also be pretty stressful. You’re often pulled in different directions and are up against tight deadlines. You need a usability testing tool that enhances the research process—not making it more complex. 

So, look for a solution that supports you from end to end. Best-in-breed tools don’t just facilitate the usability tests themselves, but they can also look after participant recruitment, result collation, and data analytics. 

The right UX usability testing tool will be like having another member in your UX research team, so don’t settle for anything less than great. 

DO > Choose a provider that offers ongoing support

Look for a provider that offers not just a solution but also a service. By this, we mean investing in a tool that comes with human support and guidance.

Rather than just leaving you to it once you’ve purchased your tool, a great testing provider will help you make the most out of your investment, measure your UX, demonstrate its value to stakeholders, and glean accurate insights for your business to make confident decisions.

DO > Harness the power of automation 

In the fast-paced world of UX, your stakeholders want faster, more digestible insights—and they often wanted them yesterday! 

Such requests will no longer feel unreasonable with the right platform in place. By harnessing the power of automation, you can uncover insights at speed and scale. Our platform, for example, uses automation to record user sessions, provide transcriptions, collate results, and create reports for you.

This gives you more time to focus on higher-value, strategic research work - while the tool takes care of the time-intensive, repetitive tasks. 

Movin’ on up

Now that you’ve got your platform in place, it’s time to talk methodology. Learn about the different usability testing methods in the next chapter.