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5 UX tools you can trust

Validate your design decisions with these leading industry tools for testing, video recording, surveys, heatmaps and form analytics

Visual Website Optimizer

GOOD FOR: Validating assumptions or testing new hypotheses that’ll improve the overall user experience

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is becoming increasingly popular in marketing circles for its ability to prove what changes can be made to a website’s design that’ll promote an uplift in performance, by pitting two or more designs against each one another.

This is a great way of testing your own assumptions or validating design decisions, whether you’re a digital marketer or UX researcher. In either scenario you need a tool that allows you to test multiple options, whether it’s for a live website or a prototype. There is an overlap here between performance optimisation and experience optimisation. However, in order to create the best experiences for projects, UX researchers benefit hugely from the insight that tools like this can offer in the pursuit of effective and efficient interaction design.

One of the best tools for this is VWO. By simply adding a snippet of JavaScript to your website VWO can overload the design of one or more web pages for a proportion of web traffic, as determined by the modifications made to those pages using their editor. Most importantly, in order to measure the effect of those changes, VWO measures performance against pre-configures goals such as any URLs the user eventually visits.


GOOD FOR: Watch videos of visitors interacting with your site in minutes, with minimal setup required

Have you ever wanted to observe customers visiting your website and seeing how they use it, but without organising controlled lab tests? Well there are an array of tools out there that can help you – Inspectlet being one of them. Like VWO, by adding a snippet of JavaScript to your site Inspectlet will monitor each visitor to the site and record their movement around the page, producing a video of their session.

Providing you’ve selected the correct research method, videos like these are worth more than surveys or interviews because they allow researchers to observe how people actually use the website. Inspectlet keeps sessions organised in a handy listing where they can be queried and searched for against certain attributes, such as specific pages visited or the duration of their session – especially useful when sifting through thousands of recordings.


GOOD FOR: Quantitative analysis, exploring attitudes and identifying trends in larger datasets

Typeform is a beautiful and engaging survey platform that’s really easy to use, which is why it’s proven to be so popular amongst researchers who need to analyse attitudes.

Whilst alternatives like Survey Monkey are also available, Typeform offers a number of exciting benefits, including an intuitive drag-and-drop design tool making it really easy to build logic into your form. For example, if a set of questions become redundant based on a previous answer, Typeform will skip past them, making your survey as efficient and user-friendly as possible.

How you distribute your surveys is up to you, and while Typeform won’t gather respondents on your behalf, it does offer a range of integration methods so that you can collect data. Of course, it wouldn’t be so great if you couldn’t analysis responses. Fortunately, Typeform has got that covered with insightful metrics and automated reports that look great too.


GOOD FOR: Revealing trends in the way that web pages are interpreted by visitors

HotJar is a handy all-in-one analytics tool, combining heat mapping with video recording and funnel visualisations, with a free basic plan to get your started. Heatmaps are a graphical representation of user engagement, where the values are represented with patches of red, yellow and green, indicating engagement frequency.
HotJar plots each user’s click behaviour, mouse movement and scroll depth to reveal trends in the way that pages are interpreted, as well as those areas of a page that visitors are unwantedly ignoring, allowing researchers to analyse why this might be (perhaps they’re effected by ‘banner blindness’) and proposing changes. Of course not everyone accesses a website on the same device or at the same resolution, but thankfully HotJar makes it easy to segment data between devices.


GOOD FOR: Formisimo shows you why visitors don’t convert into customers, and identifies the pain points so you can make forms easier to use

As a valuable method of quantitative analysis, form analytics can be one of the most informative devices in user experience design, especially when it comes to the user’s perception of how to correctly complete a form.

By using tools like Formisimo, UX practitioners can gather direct evidence and track changes that impact the performance of that form. Where do visitors drop out? Are there any fields they keep correcting? Which fields do they leave blank? Formisimo is also helpful in that it will additionally annotate all of your reports so that you can see how any changes impact your site and your overall visitor success rate.