Free user experience testing tools to delight your customers
By Benedict Adam
The cost and time involved in User Testing is often a perceived barrier to small businesses. However, there is a plethora of free, or paid tools with free price plans, out there to test and improve your website.
Below are our favourite four:
UsabilityHub is a great tool for running quick and simple usability tests.
They offer five different types of tests, Click Test, Five Second Test, Question Test, Preference Test – and Nav Flow Test.
Click test – Upload an image of your website or even mockups and wireframe, then simply ask testers where they would click to carry out a given task. Where they clicked and how long it took them is recorded for you to review.
Five second test – Test key pages of your website or even, logos, brochures and other marketing material. A five second test is perfect for situations where first impressions count. Testers are shown your design for five seconds and when time is up, they’re asked questions about what they remembered.
Question test – Simply upload an image – you can test pretty much anything here – and enter the questions you’d like testers to answer about it. Testers have as long as they like to answer the questions you’ve asked.
Preference test – Similar to the click test but allowing you to upload two images and ask testers which one they prefer.
Nav flow test – Another click test, linking together a number of designs to help understand how easy your website interface is to navigate.
You can submit tests for free, with each user that undertakes your tests costing you a credit. You can earn up to 20 credits a day by taking other people’s tests. Test responses come from UsabilityHub members (designers, developers, UX experts, marketers, students, and website owners).
Peek by User Testing
Peek is a free usability testing tool, powered by UserTesting, one of the leading online user testing research tools available. Online user testing allows you to get videos of real people speaking their thoughts as they use your website. Peek is a paired down version of UserTesting, recordings are limited to five-minutes and you don’t get to brief or select the socio-demographic profile of your users.
With Peek you can run three tests per month and as it’s free and fast you’ll quickly get insights into how users view your website and even those of your competitors. You can also browse the library of 90,000+ ‘five- minute user tests’, to get insights into users’ behaviours.
Lookback is a simple way to record everything on a mobile screen, including any native app, mobile website or prototype. Simply install the app – available for both iOS and Android devices – find your panel of users and start recording. The app records the users face using the phone’s camera.
You can also use the invitations feature to easily invite external participants, in order to receive feedback on your app or website. No account registration needed, only an email address.
Currently only free while in beta, with pricing plans soon to be announced, so take advantage while you can.
Hotjar is a new tool offering heat-maps, visitor recordings, conversion funnels, form analytics, feedback polls and website surveys all under one ‘roof’. The free price plan has a more limited number of recordings and data storage than the paid for plan, but the paid for plans won’t exactly break the bank.
Utilising heat-maps and visitor recordings helps eliminate guess work from UX by allowing you to see real people’s mouse movements and clicks on your site.
Conversion Funnels and Form Analytics will allow you to streamline important forms, identifying any parts that may cause your potential customers to jump ship.
Polls and surveys can help you understand your customers and get feedback about your website and products or service, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Split or A/B testing is a fairly simple and extremely effective marketing methodology. Optimizley is one of the leading A/B and multivariate testing tools out there, not to mention they have a free plan. Using their code-free visual editor, anyone can easily create a new variation of a page of your website. However, if you do know code, it will help you make more sophisticated variations and probably gain better results in the long run.
Once you’ve come up with your idea and created your variation, test it against your current version and gain statistical backing to website changes, rather than going on gut feeling.
The slightly paired down starter plan is completely free, thanks to Optimizley’s belief that testing should be for all – who’d say no that, right?
So there we have it, our run down of some great free to use user testing tools.
Leave a comment below with any questions or opinions you have – we’d love to carry on the conversation.