User testing is a grid with 4 corners. UX Experts advise their clients to lean towards the behavioural/qualitative quadrant (upper left), because of the addictive nature of attitudinal and quantitative “number chasing”, sometimes called “vanity metrics”. It keeps product manager busy comparing scores while no real UX improvement is made.
For an overview on the two “fields” of customer experience testing, check out my article “Quantiative versus qualitative user testing”
Most services started in one end of the spectrum but kept growing. Originally I had them sorted by quantitative/qualitative, but this distinction is difficult to make nowadays. I guess I’ll sort them by alphabet instead. (So boring)
What everyone uses in order to improve being found through branded Google search queries (and to stop bots from finding you) Independent on how good one’s customer experience strategy is, this is the required leg work before user testing makes sense.
For those 99.9% of cases where the client wishes elaborate user testing on the basis of 0 € Budget.
For moderated testing, there can be a fairly high no-show rate, especially for projects that have little to no compensation for test participants. Calendly’s free plan lets participants choose the time that works best for them of your available times, reschedule if something comes up, and sends a reminder the day before so they don’t forget.
If you need transcription from your test sessions, whether video or phone, I recommend using the Google Docs mobile app. It offers fairly accurate automatic live transcription, which is easy to manipulate in Google Docs. Especially helpful for the creation of word clouds, if you need a large data set for any reason, or if you don’t have a third team member on the call for note-taking.
For unmoderated testing of simple prototypes, Typeform’s free plan enables you to upload images as part of a survey. Using static screencaps, you can make it very easy for participants to answer questions without leaving the prototype screen.
Turn on automatic recording of your calls that save to your local computer. You can set up the app to ask for consent to record before the participants join the call. It’s a feature-rich application that can be used creatively to make low-budget usability testing easier.
Paid services I found recommendable, sorted alphabetically. There are huge services here with dozens of tools, and small ones with just one or two. All claim to “measure customers” in some way. Every digital product designer has their own favorites.
Services that don’t collect data and don’t require visitor consent.
How awesome it would be to have some kind of rating system to see who uses what and why. If you’re a UX designer or researcher, could you leave a message if you’ve tried any of these tools and say a few words “Amazon rating style” on our overall experience and personal recommendation? I’ll incorporate it into this list. Thanks!