iA


Remote Usability and UX Research Tools

Tools for doing functional, soulful user experience, interaction, and usability research. If it’s related to behavior, it’s on here. We’ve assembled this over the years from our own use, UX Booth, Liz Bacon’s list, Craig Tomlin’s list, and magic. None of these companies have paid us for this placement. Yell @ethnio or comment to get updated or placed. No guarantees.

Our Picks

This represents our workflow and the tools we use right now. We’d like to write about how we use them together. Soon.

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
Join.me $30 / mo A participant with a screen to share Screen-sharing alternative Recordings
Ethnio free - $299/month Intercepts visitors to whatever web pages to which you add a special JavaScript that presents a pop-up.. Add JavaScript to whatever web pages you want to intercept on. "Ethnio works by displaying a survey-like screener to your site visitors. Create your screener, place one line of JavaScript on any of your web pages, and watch the responses come in. Find a user with interesting responses to your interesting questions and give them a ring."" "Graphs of recruits, incentive payments, and live dynamic recruits page"
GoToMeeting $49/month Invite desired participants; also provides telephone conference bridge. Upload materials Web-based meeting space, including shared desktop and audio; has VoIP Recording
Dscout $20/participant Mobile phone tasks They have an iOS app, Dscout, that participants download. You create tasks ("missions") and your participants are asked to take a photo or screenshot of their app usage and comment. Pretty cool charts and graphs of everyone's mobile submissions.
Usertesting.com $39 / participant User their panel or intercept your own users with Ethnioo Tasks and instructions for participants They record the participant's screen and voice as they "think out loud" while they use your site. Videos and comments

Scheduling

There are a ton of new tools out there, and these are a few we've come across but we can’t really say how awesome they are yet. But they're new, and newness in the internet age seems to count for something. Am I right, or am I right?

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
ParticipantFinder.com $99/month Your calendar/schedule, emails for participants, They provide automated research participant management for user and market research Automatic scheduling for research participants
PowWow App free gCalendar, participant emails Sync your gCal with PowWow, send out a link to participants to choose a time that works for them. A calendar full of scheduled participants for research!
BeeUX $25 - $300/month Tasks, a site, incentives Create unmoderated tests with tasks, surveys, preference tests, set incentives, and/or track paths & clicks. Participant data reports based on answers in graph or chart form (that can be export to XLS or PDFs)

Moderated Tools

These allow you to observe a participant directly and talk to them at the same time.

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
ClickTale $99/month - $290/month You choose the percentage of users you want to record. JavaScript tracking code for whatever page you want. Add a JavaScript code to your site and it "...captures every mouse move, click, scroll and keystroke that a visitor makes inside a webpage, and then sends this information back to the ClickTale servers in a highly compressed package..."" Visitor recordings, visual heatmaps, and behavioral reports of site visitors..
GoToMeeting $49/month Invite desired participants; also provides telephone conference bridge. Upload materials Web-based meeting space, including shared desktop and audio; has VoIP Recording
Morae $16 - $1,495 for a bundle Test with any interface that can be displayed with supported formats. "The Morae Recorder captures audio, video, on-screen activity, and keyboard/mouse input during a research session. Observer enables team members to watch the customer's experience, make notes, and flag tasks in real time. Use Manager to view and analyze Morae recordings, automatically calculate metrics, generate graphs, and create highlight videos to share with stakeholders."" Automatically calculated graphs and standard metrics.

Self-Moderated

Your participant speaks into their mic, and completes tasks they read on screen, giving you a video of their interactions.

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
FiveSecondTest free - $200/month Upload material Create a test, users complete your test, then view your results. Visitor feedback and "beautiful graphs."
Usertesting.com $39 / participant User their panel or intercept your own users with Ethnioo Tasks and instructions for participants They record the participant's screen and voice as they "think out loud" while they use your site. Videos and comments

Mobile

The number one most interesting category for remote research - ioS, iPhone, iPad, Android. Not a lof of usability or UX options, but we hope more!

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
Adobe Shadow free Use Mac iOS or Windows. Download from Android Market or iOS App Storee Mac iOS or Windows, and any iOS devicee For front-end developers and designers working on mobile devices. Download app and sync your computer to multiple devices at once.. Realtime synchronous browsing, remote inspecting, and debugging of devices.
Skala Preview free / iOS and $4.99 / Mac Clipboard option and can send to multiple devices simultaneously. Mac, iPhone, and/or iPad Send your designs to preview from your Mac to iPhone and/or iPad. Realtime previewing in both portrait or landscape orientation with lossless & color accurate images. Ability to zoom at 100%. Can test design's ability to be used by those with color blindness..
LiveView free Use it for interaction design, visual design, or just for the heck of it. Your iPhone or iPad, a secure wifi connectionn Remote viewing tool for graphic designers to use in all stages of product and app development. Gives you the ability to create graphics for mobile apps, interact with software prototypes and demos, or to press a button on your monitor remotely..
Revelation Gotta email them Code a research protocol inside their tool to present various stimuli to participants, such as images for participants to respond to or questions that participants can discuss individually or as a group. "Create diaries, assign photo exercises, ask questions, present stimuli, probe for more information." Tag clouds, visual overviews of responses, search/sort/filter capabilities, and export reports.
Dscout $20/participant Mobile phone tasks They have an iOS app, Dscout, that participants download. You create tasks ("missions") and your participants are asked to take a photo or screenshot of their app usage and comment. Pretty cool charts and graphs of everyone's mobile submissions.

Automated

You create tasks for participants, they see them in an iframe or window, and then they use a site while the tool gathers analytics about their behavior. You get task completion rates, length of time on tasks, and other analytics.

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
YouEye $39/ participant - custom Enterprise & Agency plans Either choose from YouEye's participant pool or provide your own participants. Tasks and followup questions for participants. Also have templates available. It's a one-stop shop. Create a remote user research study with tasks, survey questions and choose participants. YouEye conducts your study and provides analytics & valuable insights. Detailed study results page featuring links to individual videos with emotion data, demographic profiles, task completion statistics and written and aggregated survey responses to followup questions — including write-in, multiple choice and Likert Scale question types.
WebEffective Gotta email them Either recruit live or choose from their 3rd party participant panel Site you want to do research on "Create studies, deploy them, & analyze data" Aggregated click-streams, screen captures, exportable quantitative & qualitative data
Inspectlet free - $89.99/month Actions by users on your site is all captured and recorded. Add a javascript code to your site. The javascript you add to your site allows for real-time monitoring. This information is sent to Inspectlet's servers where they compile the info and present it to you. Screen captures, heatmaps, real-time analytics, and custom metricss
bagelHint free - $9/month Recruit live users or bagelHint can recruit from their participant database. A few landing pages of your choice as well as navigation instructions and/or questions. Setup in a test-like format, you get to choose questions for participants as they're guided through your site. Toggle grid, participant comments, and participants' choice design conceptt
Use It Better free - $99/mo & up There's detailed filtering tool that allows you to narrow down the types of visits by particular interest or category (you get to create your own filter sets). Your flash site When someone visits your website, it records their interactions so you can replay the video, while also looking over the analytics reports.. It reports activity, visits, paths, and trendss
Treejack $109/mo or $990/yr Your sitemap, or "tree," plus a few common tasks for users to completee Treejack tries to prove the effectiveness of your information architecture. "1. Input your tree 2. Set tasks 3. Recruit participants"" Task by task breakdown charts, Detailed path analysis or "pietree," a Destinations table showing probable problem areas. All of which you can download and share.
UserZoom $1,000 - $3,000/mo (or customize your own plan & pricing) Recruit from a UserZoom partner panel or your own, Intercept visitors from your site, or send a link to people on your own mailing list Tasks and instructions for participants 1. Create an online study with their application 2. Send invitations to participants 3. Analyze results on the dashboard they providee Effectiveness & Efficiency Ratios, Visual clickstream paths, Click heatmaps, Popular words (text clouds), Users' suggestions & feedback, Satisfaction & perception indicators, Cluster analysis & dendograms
ClickHeat free JavaScript, either Linux or Windows, Apache or Lighttpd, or PHP, the graphic library GD2. It's a visual of what real users are clicking on while at your site. It doesn't come with any analysis, that's up to you. Gives you a visual heatmap of clicks on a HTML page, showing hot and cold click zones.
Revelation Gotta email them Code a research protocol inside their tool to present various stimuli to participants, such as images for participants to respond to or questions that participants can discuss individually or as a group. "Create diaries, assign photo exercises, ask questions, present stimuli, probe for more information." Tag clouds, visual overviews of responses, search/sort/filter capabilities, and export reports.
OpenHallway $49 - $199/month Your website and navigation instructions and/ or questions. Create a scenario with instructions and a recording link to send to users. OpenHallway records a tester's screen and voice, then uploads a video for you to watch after the test is completed. A screen and voice recording of the your tester.
Loop11 $350/project or $1,900 - $9,900/license Navigation tasks You create a remote usability test... "Create tasks and questions to help you explore the user experience, determine satisfaction and validate task completion on any website." Invite participants then analyze the data. A report featuring: task completion rate, time per task, most common success page, most common fail page, most common first click, most common navigation path, detailed participant path analysis, and number of page views to complete tasks.
Chalkmark $109/month - $990/year An image of a screenshot, wireframe, or mockup. 1) Upload an image. 2) Set a task. 3) Recruit participants with the help of a unique study link Chalkmark provides. Nifty heatmaps and click-density grids.
Concept Feedback free - $99/expert Your app, landing site, logo, whatever concepts you want expert feedback on. Community provides feedback. Objective reviews of your design concepts.
Usabilla $49/mo to $199/mo Static images or URLs """1) Create Test: Create a new experiment. 2) Select Pages: Select the pages or images to test. 3) Add Tasks: Add basic questions or tasks. 4) Invite Subjects: Invite your users to share their opinion. 5) Browse Results: Use your users' input to improve. "" Pretty cool heatmaps

Surveys

We really try and focus on behavioral tools instead of self-reported, but there are just a few that we use and we wanted to include. Because, face it, we all have to do surveys or analytics sometimes.

Tool Price Participant Options You Provide How it Works Deliverables
Typeform Free or $40 / mo None Questions An alternative to surveymonkey Gorgeous surveys and reports
UITests free - $9/test Recruit your own for free or pay $9 for 10 immediate responses. Screenshot or URL Quite simple. Just show your website or landing page to 10 people for 10 seconds, then ask questions about what they remember and score the results. Answers from 10 participants, word clouds of answers, and tools for scoring, commenting upon, and sharing the test results.
KISSinsights free - $49/month You can customize and change the questions whenever you'd like. A KISSinsights code that you add to your sitee Insert any question you'd like to ask your users, into the KISSinsights code. A question slides up from the bottom of the page and users can respond to your questions.. Real-time, unique answers from site visitorss