Top 7 UX research tools to help you design your product

15 min read
May 25, 2023

Designing a digital product can be a challenging task, especially if you aren’t familiar with UX research. 

In order to conduct UX research you need tools that can help you in achieving your goals. 

These tools are super helpful for understanding what your users want and need. By using UX research tools, you can address real user needs, articulate the problem that is trying to be solved, identify the competition and make informed design decisions.

There are a bunch of different tools available, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for your specific needs.

Here we’ll show you 7 crucial UX research tools that will improve your design. Let’s get into it!


When designing a digital product one of the first things to do is conduct user research

This is where SurveyMonkey jumps in as it provides the data needed for your research. 

An innovative online survey platform that has revolutionized the way organizations and individuals gather valuable insights, SurveyMonkey is one of the most used tools in user research.

The platform provides a versatile and reliable solution for collecting and analyzing data ultimately helping you in developing your digital product.

image 22

Source: Workspace

Let’s take a look at some of SurveyMonkey’s important features.

Important features 

Here are some of SurveyMonkey’s important features:

  • Survey Management – survey builder, templates, survey distribution
  • Survey Customization – branching/skip logic, branding, multimedia support, multilinguals,surveys
  • Survey Insights – Reporting & Analytics, BI Tools Integration, Data Exporting.

Now let’s take a look at SurveyMonkey’s Pros and cons.

Pros and cons


  • User friendly
  • Real time reporting
  • Array of survey options


  • Free version is limited
  • Limited options for survey customization


SurveyMonkey’s pricing plans are divided into 3 options:

Basic free

The free Basic plan offers essential survey features without any cost. Users can create surveys with up to 10 questions and receive a maximum of 100 responses per survey. 

The plan includes access to basic survey templates, customization options to personalize the surveys, and basic reporting features for data analysis.

Team plans

The team plan consists of 3 options and is designed for organizations and groups that require collaboration and shared access to surveys and data:

  • Team advantage (€30 per user/month)
  • Team premier (€75 per user/month)
  • Enterprise (custom price)

Individual plans

SurveyMonkey offers individual plans tailored to the specific needs of users who conduct surveys on their own. 

These plans are designed to provide features and functionalities that cater to individual survey requirements:

  • Advantage annual (€36 per user/month)
  • Standard monthly (€39 per user/month)
  • Premier annual (€99 per user/month)

Enterprise plan

The SurveyMonkey Enterprise plan is specifically designed to meet the needs of large organizations and enterprises.

It offers a range of advanced features and functionalities tailored to address the specific requirements of enterprise-level surveying and data management.

The price is determined based on company needs. 


If you’re getting into digital product design then Hotjar is the sidekick to have.

Ideal for user audit, Hotjar is a versatile web analytics tool that empowers businesses to optimize their websites.

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Source: BrillMark 

Its extensive suite of features enables businesses to make informed decisions by providing a complete view of their website’s performance and user behavior.

Important features

  • heat maps – visual representations of user activity, showing where visitors click, scroll, and move on your website
  • visitor recordings – real-time session playbacks that let you see exactly how users interact with your site -analyze user journeys to identify any obstacles or bottlenecks in the conversion process
  • conversion funnels – Analyze user journeys to identify any obstacles or bottlenecks in the conversion process, helping you optimize and improve conversions
  • surveys – customizable feedback surveys that allow you to directly collect user opinions, preferences, and satisfaction levels, providing valuable insights for decision-making
  • feedback polls – strategically placed polls on your website to gather quick feedback from users, helping you understand their needs and address any concerns

Through various functionalities, Hotjar offers comprehensive insights into user behavior but now let’s see the pros and cons of this tool.

Pros and cons


  • Comprehensive insights
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy implementation
  • Detailed data visualization


  • Limited sample size
  • A bit overpriced
  • Can’t be used for mobile apps
  • No custom reports


While Hotjar does offer a free plan, the limitations on data storage, features, and pageviews can be restrictive for businesses with higher traffic or complex needs. 

The paid plans, while providing more comprehensive features, can be quite costly, especially for smaller businesses or startups on a tight budget.


The basic plan is free and includes automatic data capture together with unlimited heatmaps offering up to 35 daily sessions. 


The plus plan costs €39 per month – it includes the Basic plan together with filtering and segmenting data and events API: tracking custom user actions. It has up to 100 daily sessions.


Starting from €80 per month (depending on the number of daily sessions) the Business plan offers everything in the Plus plan together with custom-built integrations, Identify API: tracking custom user attributes, and lastly frustration and confusion signals.


Starting from €171 and increasing with the number of daily sessions this plan offers an extensive set of tools such as Hotjar API, console tracking (errors), and full access to every feature.

Google Analytics

Although mainly used for marketing, Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics platform that provides valuable insights into website performance and user behavior which helps UX researchers in auditing their users. 

Developed by Google, it offers a comprehensive suite of tools and features to track and measure various aspects of online activity. 

image 24

Source: MarketingPlatform 

Google Analytics empowers businesses and website owners to make informed decisions and optimize their online presence. 

With its user-friendly interface and customizable reporting, this versatile platform enables UX researchers to gain a deep understanding of their online performance and devise effective strategies to enhance user experience, increase conversions, and drive growth.

Now that we know how Google Analytics can be used for UX research let’s know what features it has to offer.

Important features:

Here’s the list of the most important features:

  • User behavior analysis – Analyzing and understanding how users interact
  • Funnel visualization – Visualizing and analyzing the step-by-step user journey
  • User segmentation – Dividing users into distinct groups based on common characteristics, behavior or demographics
  • Heatmap analysis – Utilizing visual representations of user interactions
  • A/B testing – Comparing variations of a webpage to determine which performs better in terms of user engagement

Now that we know what Google Analytics has to offer let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.

Pros and cons 


  • Creating custom reports
  • Excellent for analyzing quantitative data
  • Detailed traffic analysis
  • Robust set of free tools
  • Customizable dashboard


  • Can only integrate with G suite
  • Challenging for beginners
  • No user feedback


Google Analytics offers both a free and a premium version (Google Analytics 360). 

Free version

The free version offers the next features:

  • Conversion reporting
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Customer reporting
  • Real-time visualization
  • Flow visualization

Premium version

Even though the premium version is pricey (starting from $4000 per month) Google Analytics 360 offers a wide array of tools that will help you in your UX research:

  • Increased Data Limits – higher data processing
  • Roll-Up Reporting – ability to aggregate data from multiple properties
  • Data-driven Attribution – advanced attribution modeling capabilities
  • Unsampled Reports – ability to access unsampled data for larger data sets
  • BigQuery Integration – Google’s cloud-based data warehouse 

Now that we’ve covered tools for user audit let’s move to user testing tools.


Looking to level up your user testing game? 

That’s where Maze comes into play. It’s the ultimate platform that makes user testing easy and takes your designs to the next level. 

With Maze, you can effortlessly conduct remote usability tests and gather valuable feedback. 

Through its user-friendly interface and robust features, Maze allows designers to conduct usability tests, collect valuable insights, and iterate designs swiftly.

image 25

Source: Maze  

From wireframes to live websites, Maze has you covered with detailed analytics, heat maps, and user journey mapping.

Important features

Maze offers a wide range of features that will aid you in your research:

  • Direct Success – Percentage of users achieving desired goals on your website
  • Bounce Rate – Percentage of single-page visits without further action
  • Average Duration – Average time users spend on your website per session
  • Mis-click rate– measures the frequency or percentage of unintended clicks on your website
  • Clicks Heatmap – visually represents the areas of your website where users are clicking the most
  • Individual User Session Data – allows you to track and analyze the actions and behavior of individual users on your website
  • Design tool integration – Maze easily integrates with design tool such as Figma, Adobe XD, Invision and Sketch

Now let’s see what are the advantages and shortcomings of Maze.

Pros and Cons


  • Many integrations
  • Remote collaboration
  • Great for quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Easy test creation


  • Difficult navigation for new users
  • No real-time collaboration


If you plan to use Maze you have 3 options to choose from:

Free plan

The free plan offers basic options which are recommended for individuals & small teams interested in lightweight research:

  • 300 viewable responses/year
  • 1 active project & up to 10 blocks
  • Prototype Testing
  • Live Website Testing
  • In-Product Prompts
  • Closed Card Sorting

Professional plan

For $75 per month, the professional plan has all the features for product pros looking to grow with more research power:

  • 1,800 viewable responses/year
  • 18,000 Reach email sends/year
  • 3 seats included (buy up to 5)
  • 10 active projects & unlimited blocks
  • Clips
  • Open Card Sorting
  • Conditional logic
  • Pro Templates

Organization plan

Finally the organization plan gives all the features needed for experienced teams who research rigorously and often. The price is customized according to user needs.

  • Up to unlimited responses
  • Up to unlimited Reach email sends
  • Unlimited active projects & blocks
  • Dedicated CS Manager & priority support
  • SSO, Password protection & more
  • Custom templates
  • Amplitude targeting for Prompts
  • Remove Maze branding

All in all, Maze offers plans for all types of users.


UserTesting is an innovative UX tool that transforms the process of understanding and optimizing digital experiences for businesses. 

Picture this: real users using websites, apps, and prototypes while you sit back and gain priceless insights.

This user research platform offers a seamless user-centered design experience, enhancing overall satisfaction. 

And here’s the best part: UserTesting comes packed with great features that enable businesses to make decisions backed by real data.

image 27

Source: UserTesting

Important features

Now that we know how UserTesting can help in developing your digital product let’s what features it offers:

  • Click Maps – visual representation of user interactions on your digital product
  • Instant Insight – quickly gather feedback and insights from users.
  • Intent Path – provides insights into user intent and goals, helping you understand their thought process – visualizes user paths and navigation through your digital product.
  • Keyword Map – highlights the words or phrases that users frequently mention in their feedback
  • Sentiment Analysis – automatically analyzes user feedback and assigns sentiment scores
  • Smart Tags – automatically categorize and tag user feedback based on predefined criteria

UserTesting has many features that can help you in developing your digital product but let’s explore the strong points and drawbacks of this software.

Pros and Cons


  • Large participant pool
  • Easy to use
  • Great customer support
  • Usability testing


  • Creating reels could be easier
  • Lacking in quantitative metrics
  • Pricey


UserTesting offers 3 options for users Essentials, Advanced, and Ultimate. All the prices are customized according to user needs.

The Essentials plan offers next features:

  • Test builder and template gallery
  • Demographic filters and screener questions
  • Dashboard and metrics
  • Transcripts
  • Integrations with Slack, Jira, and Trello

The Advanced plan has everything the Essential plan has and offers some extra features:

  • Test plan and audience management 
  • Live Conversation 
  • Interactive path flows and click maps
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Unlimited workspaces

Finally the most extensive plan, the Ultimate plan has all the features of the Advanced plan plus other components that make your UX research easier:

  • Card sorting and tree testing
  • Onboard and manage custom audiences
  • Secure prototype testing 
  • Smart tags
  • Approval flow

All in all UserTesting offers a comprehensive suite of analytical tools and visualizations, empowering you to efficiently analyze and interpret valuable insights.


While Shake Bug Detecting Tool primarily focuses on bug detection and resolution in software development it can also be helpful when it comes to user research. 

Shake’s analytics and performance metrics capabilities can provide valuable data to UX researchers. 

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Source: Shake

By analyzing performance bottlenecks or identifying potential security vulnerabilities, researchers can gain insights into areas that may hinder a smooth user experience.

Important features

Shake has several great features that will help you in your research:

  • Immersive User Interface customization – tailor the tool to your specific needs and preferences
  • Effortless Screen Recording – capture and share video recordings of your application’s behavior
  • Seamless Log Capturing – integrates with your software applications to streamline log capturing
  • Real-time Data Visualization – provides live insights into your application’s performance and behavior
  • Free Integrations with Leading Tools – integrates with popular development tools and frameworks

Shake is packed with features that make designers’ jobs easier, and these are just a few of them.

Pros and Cons


  • Fast
  • Lightweight
  • Infinite team members
  • Extensive customer support


  • The issue navigation could be easier to use.


Shake offers three different pricing options: Starter, Professional and Organisation

For small agencies and companies handling a few projects the Starter plan is the perfect option ($160 per month). 

The Professional plan is for medium-sized agencies and companies handling numerous projects ($280 per month)

Finally for $440 per month the Organization plan is designed for enterprise-level agencies and companies seeking premium VIP support.

All of the plans offer features such as:

  • Apps on dashboard
  • Bug reports
  • Crash reports
  • Integrations
  • Data retentions 

Now that we know what tools you need for user testing let’s see how you can organize your research data.


So now that you have all the tools needed for user research how do you keep everything sorted?

You use Notion.

Popular amongst UX/UI designers, Notion is a versatile workspace that combines note-taking, project management, and database functionalities. 

It’s like a canvas where users can organize tasks, projects, and ideas. With real-time collaboration, multiple users can work together seamlessly. 

image 26

Source: Notion

With Notion you have the ability to connect data sources and integrate with external apps, enabling users to create dynamic databases and automate workflows.

Important features 

Notion has a wide range of features and here are some of them:

  • Customizability
  • Database Capabilities
  • Integration and Automation 
  • Offline Access

Pros and Cons


  • Well organized
  • Easy to use
  • Free templates
  • Many integrations


  • Performance issues
  • Steep learning curve


Notion has 4 pricing options: 

Free – “For organizing every corner of your work & life.”

  • Collaborative workspace
  • Integrate with Slack, GitHub & more
  • Basic page analytics
  • 7 day page history
  • Invite 10 guests

This plan is free of charge.

Plus – “A place for small groups to plan & get organized.”

Everything in Free is included along with:

  • Unlimited blocks for teams
  • Unlimited file uploads
  • 30 day page history
  • Add collaborators external to your organization to specific pages in your workspace.
  • Invite 100 guests

This plan is offered at a price of $8 per user per month, with annual billing, or $10 per user per month, with monthly billing.

Business – “For companies using Notion to connect several teams & tools.”

Everything in Plus, and:

  • Manage employee access at scale with secure single sign-on
  • Private teamspaces
  • Bulk PDF export
  • Advanced page analytics
  • 90 day page history
  • Invite 250 guests

You can get this plan at a rate of $15 per user per month with annual billing, or $18 per user per month with monthly billing.

Enterprise – “Advanced controls & support to run your entire organization.”

Everything in Business, and:

  • User provisioning (SCIM)
  • Advanced security & controls
  • Audit log
  • Dedicated success manager (100+ seats)
  • Workspace analytics
  • Unlimited page history
  • Custom guest limit

The pricing for this option is decided based on the company needs.


UX research is a crucial aspect of app development, and there are numerous tools available to assist you in conducting effective research.

Let’s quickly see what tools were mentioned in this blog:

  • SurveyMonkey
  • Hotjar
  • Google Analytics
  • Maze
  • UserTesting
  • Shake
  • Notion

Remember, while these tools are helpful, it’s essential to choose the ones that align with your specific research needs and project requirements.

Incorporating UX research tools into your development process can significantly enhance your understanding of users’ needs and preferences, leading to a more successful and user-friendly digital product. 

If you would like to know more about UX/UI design feel free to check out our other blogs.

Written by

Antonija Veselski

Product Designer

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