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11 UX tools for organizing, researching, and synthesizing data

You’ve got a great product. It’s getting you conversions, generating solid revenue, and you’re hitting your forecasted sales quota. But on the flip side, you’re also seeing a steadily increasing bounce rate, high cart abandonment rate, and user complaints about a bug-infested product experience (PX).

Last updated

14 Apr 2022

Your business needs to identify user experience (UX) issues and fix them so you can continue to provide customer delight. But UX research can be a complex, time-consuming process—you need to plan your research, and collect, organize, and synthesize data to inform UX priorities. 

Using UX tools helps you automate repetitive tasks, streamline processes, unearth rich data, and make research insights accessible across different teams. If you’re confused about which tools to pick for your unique research needs, this article is here to help. We list the best UX research tools and show you how they can help you provide a stellar experience for your customers at different stages in the research process.

You don’t have to collect, analyze, and distribute UX research data manually

Hotjar’s tools provide qualitative and quantitative insights to improve UX.

The benefits of different UX research tools

“Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” is bad advice for UX research. You want to find out exactly what’s blocking your customers from finding what they need to purchase your products—and fix it.

Instead of relying on manual UX research, you can automate different aspects of the process using specialized tools that help you streamline workflows.

UX research tools help you:

  • Extract rich data and insights: UX research tools give you access to high-quality data you can analyze and convert into actionable insights. They offer granular data that would be difficult to unearth manually.

  • Cut down on time manually searching for insights: many research tools come with integrations and workflow management features that help you automate time-consuming and repetitive tasks to focus more on implementing UX improvements than managing research data.

  • Organize and centralize research: UX research is not a one-person task. It requires organizational synergy and cross-functional collaboration. UX research tools act as the go-to resource for all team members, allowing them to easily access data, validate their ideas, and manage task coordination. This makes the process more efficient, eliminating bottlenecks and delays so you can deliver excellent experiences faster.

UX research tools can help you create customer delight, but it’s important to know which tools to use at different stages of the research process.

Let’s look at the different types of UX research tools and how they can help you with different aspects of UX design in your journey to enhance the customer experience (CX).

Planning and organizing tools

The first step in the UX research process is planning and organizing: the way you start your research defines the kind of insights it’ll help you uncover.

You want tools in this phase to help you build a repository to manage your data, create journey maps, and specify the who, what, why, and when of your UX research to centralize your findings and make them accessible to stakeholders and team members. This process helps designers and product teams separate the wheat from the chaff, decide what needs to be prioritized, and manage the entire process in a goal-driven way. 

Here are our top planning and organizing tool picks: 

1. Airtable

#Airtable's dashboard helps UX teams organize their user research insights for streamlined planning. Img source: Airtable.com
Airtable's dashboard helps UX teams organize their user research insights for streamlined planning. Img source: Airtable.com

What it is 

Airtable is a cloud-based platform that combines spreadsheets and databases. It’s a low-code tool with a neat interface that offers templates for multiple use cases like project management, timesheets, and planners.

How it helps 

Airtable is a user-friendly solution for storing raw data and organizing it systematically in line with your goals. The tool's automation capabilities synthesize your user research data and insights into meaningful dashboards. 

What’s more, Airtable helps you arrange your data points and easily map out the next steps. You can leverage the platform’s multiple view options to visualize your data from different perspectives.

Pricing

Free for up to five creators; Plus at $10/month; Pro at $20/month—all billed annually.

2. Miro

#Miro helps UX teams map out their process with mind maps to layer out their research and prioritize accordingly. Img source: miro.com
Miro helps UX teams map out their process with mind maps to layer out their research and prioritize accordingly. Img source: miro.com

What it is 

Miro is a whiteboard platform with versatile capabilities for diagramming, mind mapping, and creating flowcharts and presentations. It’s a collaborative tool that lets diverse teams work in real-time and stay on the same page.

How it helps 

Packed with unique features for documenting data and ideas, Miro helps users brainstorm and creatively compose ideas. It doubles as a database, allowing you to present your research and highlight meaningful patterns. You can also use affinity diagramming to categorize both qualitative and quantitative data thematically.

Pricing

Free up to three editable boards; Team at $8/month; Business at $16/month—all billed annually.

Collect user data

Throughout the UX research process, you’ll come across two types of data—qualitative and quantitative. While qualitative data is language-based and more subjective, quantitative data gives you a measurable numerical value for a Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

Quantitative insights help you understand user behaviors through numbers, which is the first step in knowing what you can do to achieve your desired result. 

Let’s look at the best tools for analyzing quantitative data to improve the user experience. 

3. Hotjar

#Hotjar helps UX teams unearth rich qualitative and quantitative data to help them prioritize brilliantly and create customer delight. Img source: Hotjar.com
Hotjar helps UX teams unearth rich qualitative and quantitative data to help them prioritize brilliantly and create customer delight. Img source: Hotjar.com

What it is 

Hotjar is a suite of product experience insights tools that collects and analyzes different kinds of information you can use to enhance the user experience. Tools like Heatmaps, Session Recordings, Surveys, and Feedback widgets generate insights about user behavior and customer feedback to give you a data-informed picture of your product or website analytics.

How it helps 

Hotjar is an easy-to-navigate tool that digs deeper into the numbers to answer the why for every data point and make your research process more productive. It easily integrates with traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics to round out your data and help you understand exactly what your users feel. It uses powerful tools and features to collect accurate data and streamline your UX research process.

For example, you can use Hotjar’s Heatmaps to track user movement on each page and identify your site’s popular and unpopular elements. The tool also records anonymous user sessions so you can play back and analyze their behavior in real-time. Survey and feedback tools let you collect user opinions and ratings in context.

Pricing 

Free; Plus at $31/month; Business at $79/month—all billed annually.

4. Lookback

#Lookback allows UX teams to conduct research through feedback sessions and other data collection tools to collaborate and visualize insights for a better user experience. Img source: lookback.com
Lookback allows UX teams to conduct research through feedback sessions and other data collection tools to collaborate and visualize insights for a better user experience. Img source: lookback.com

What it is

Lookback is a remote UX research tool that facilitates moderated and unmoderated interviews to help you learn about your users' experience with your product. Through dedicated features for collecting, organizing, and visualizing your insights, it offers a comprehensive and collaborative research platform. 

How it helps

Lookback stands out from many UX research tools because of the real-time research setup. It’s a powerful platform that lets you interview users without worrying about the setup. You can also transcribe your conversations and convert your research into shareable decks. The best part? You can boost cross-team collaboration with shared access to all customer data.

Pricing

Freelance at $17/month; Team at $99/month; Insights Hub at $229/month—all billed annually.

5. UserZoom

#UserZoom helps UX teams track their product performance, and make data-backed decisions through rich user insights. Img source: userzoom.com
UserZoom helps UX teams track their product performance, and make data-backed decisions through rich user insights. Img source: userzoom.com

What it is

Userzoom is a usability insights tool that helps you track your brand's performance, make user-centric decisions, and validate your product design. It empowers design and product teams to identify what their users love with objectively curated metrics that help teams evaluate the quality of the product experience and run competitor benchmarking.

How it helps

Userzoom’s biggest selling point for UX research is its remote usability testing framework. You can use it to recruit participants for your tests, analyze user heatmaps on your product or site, and record critical data analytics to substantiate your research.

Pricing 

Customized plans.

Collect user feedback

To achieve results that generate user delight, you can’t just rely on quantitative data, essentially numbers. Gather user feedback to understand what people think and feel about your product—in their own words—to deliver an experience they will love.

Here are our top 3 tools that help collect user feedback:

6. Dscout

#Dscout helps UX teams collect user feedback with qualitative research through a select number of users. Img source: dscout.com
Dscout helps UX teams collect user feedback with qualitative research through a select number of users. Img source: dscout.com

What it is 

Dscout is a qualitative research tool that collects meaningful feedback from handpicked testers. It generates intelligent insights from live interviews, unmoderated sessions, and media surveys.

How it helps 

Dscout essentially simplifies and accelerates the process of collecting actionable feedback with a variety of research options. You can use 'Dscout Live' to conduct 1:1 remote interviews with customers and 'Dscout Diary' to view users’ everyday experiences.

Pricing 

Not disclosed.

7. Apptentive

#Apptentive helps UX teams engage customers by understanding their needs and feedback through emotion-based data collection. Img source: apptentive.com
Apptentive helps UX teams engage customers by understanding their needs and feedback through emotion-based data collection. Img source: apptentive.com

What it is

Apptentive is a customer engagement software used primarily to understand user feedback and preferences. The platform collects real-time feedback and categorizes all insights according to emotions. It also prepares analytical reports based on every feedback point to suggest user-centered decisions through its closed-loop feedback methodology.

How it helps 

Unlike most feedback tools, Apptentive attempts to explain the reason behind every piece of feedback, whether it be negative or positive. You can create mobile-optimized surveys, segment and target users, and build a robust dashboard with your UX research insights. 

Pricing

Not disclosed.

8. UserVoice

#UserVoice helps UX teams collect, and present data in an organized manner to make the research process efficient. Img source: uservoice.com
UserVoice helps UX teams collect, and present data in an organized manner to make the research process efficient. Img source: uservoice.com

What it is

UserVoice is a centralized product feedback software that systematically captures and presents feedback. Its solid analytics system helps you to derive valuable insights from your feedback.

How it helps

UserVoice lets you combine various sources of feedback and chalk out a feasible roadmap for product improvement. Use the tool to easily visualize every point of feedback and brilliantly prioritize your next steps. Internal stakeholders can also use UserVoice to share direct feedback with the product and design teams.

Pricing

Not disclosed.

Pro tip: use Hotjar Surveys to understand your customers' thoughts as they scroll through your website in real time. On-site surveys help you get first-hand VoC feedback you can deploy to improve the overall UX.

Hotjar’s Feedback widget offers more targeted, contextual feedback on specific page elements from your customers without disrupting their browsing experience. 

You can then combine these qualitative insights with quantitative data gleaned from site analytics, heatmaps, and user recordings.

Synthesize and distribute

Once you’ve collected a mix of quantitative and qualitative data, you need to synthesize and distribute it.  

Reports and visualizations will help you communicate your research discoveries in a digestible format and ensure all teams understand the steps they should take to improve the user experience. 

Let’s look at the tools that best help with this stage:

9. Axure

#Axure helps UX teams create a realistic prototype of their insights and feedback to make the research process more intuitive. Img source: axure.com
Axure helps UX teams create a realistic prototype of their insights and feedback to make the research process more intuitive. Img source: axure.com

What it is

Axure is a cloud-based prototyping tool that allows you to create limitless prototypes and bring your product ideas to life. You can produce interactive prototypes using automated workflows and triggers to create a realistic sense of your product.

How it helps

Axure’s no-code tools convert your insights and feedback into high-fidelity creations packed with all the required functionalities. You can also document your research in easily scannable flow diagrams and notes. 

Pricing

Axure RP Pro at $25/month; Axure RP Team at $42/month—all billed annually

10. Condens

#Condens helps UX teams analyze and store their data to facilitate better raw data structuring. Img source: condens.io
Condens helps UX teams analyze and store their data to facilitate better raw data structuring. Img source: condens.io

What it is

Condens is a UX research software for storing and analyzing your data seamlessly. The tool helps structure the raw information you’ve collected from multiple sources by creating intuitive patterns. 

How it helps

With its focus on boosting real-time collaboration, Condens strengthens your UX data analysis using AI-assisted tagging and powerful segmentation to elevate your research process. The tool also offers automatic transcription, participant panel management, and highlight reels to add more depth to your research.

Pricing

Individual at $33/month; Company at $135/month—all billed annually.

Pro tip: Use the Hotjar-Slack Integration to discuss feedback with your stakeholders as soon as you receive it. Instead of going back and forth through multiple apps, you can efficiently collaborate with your team members by getting notifications and validating the feedback with action on an ad-hoc basis. 

You can also use Hotjar Highlights to group your Session Recordings and Heatmaps into collections and share them for better cross-functional collaboration and UX implementation.

11. Evolt

#Evolt helps UX teams collect and present user feedback to convery data points into storyboards and patterns. Img source: evolt.io
Evolt helps UX teams collect and present user feedback to convery data points into storyboards and patterns. Img source: evolt.io

What it is

Evolt is a survey tool for collecting and presenting research insights. It helps you create and share surveys in multiple formats, whether you want to embed a survey in a slide deck or send a feedback form via SMS.

How it helps 

You can use Evolt to create interactive surveys or polls that generate rich insights for your planning phase. As well as collating data, the tool also translates key data points into coherent storyboards and patterns to guide your research.

Pricing

Free; Premium Plan for €24/month.

Use UX research tools to prioritize brilliantly! 

UX research is extremely important in improving the user experience, allowing you to go beyond guesswork and instinct, and base your decisions on data-informed insights. UX research tools facilitate this process by simplifying and automating tasks and offering a birds-eye view of all your research discoveries so you can prioritize the UX elements that matter most to your users. 

By identifying the right tools to use at each stage of the UX research process, you can save time, streamline your workflow, and create a better user experience.

You don’t have to collect, analyze, and distribute UX research data manually

Hotjar’s tools provide qualitative and quantitative insights to improve UX.

Frequently asked questions