This market map covers some of the tools that you can use for user research. A lot is missing. It doesn’t cover site / app analytics tools, heatmap / clickmap tools, AB testing tools, NPS feedback tools, user research management software, product feedback management platforms, eye tracking kit, lab-based stuff or post-it notes.
You could probably add several hundred other tools to the broader ‘user research’ toolbox; this is deliberately narrow.
Suggest reading What is User Testing as a complement to this graphic.
I have almost certainly mis-classified someone, and left other worthy candidates off the page. If you feel strongly about it, please email me.
You can view a higher resolution PDF of the map here.
Bonus: the PDF includes clickable links for each platform.
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Some brief definitions.
1. User Testing
These are video-based tools that capture users’ journey through a site / app as they carry out certain tasks (find X, buy Y etc). Most include audio recordings of the user’s comments as they go through their test; some also include front-facing camera footage of the user’s face.
These tools are generally for remote tests (both moderated and unmoderated), and many automate the process by integrating with their own or third party panels of testers.
2. User Feedback
These tools are for polling or short surveys to live website / app users. Most use popup / overlay tech, and can be triggered by certain events (browsing a particular product, abandoning a basket, exit-intent etc). Where users are registered, questions can also be targeted based on know attributes (demographics, segment, history etc).
Under no circumstances should any label these tools ‘just a popup survey’. That is rude, unfair and will get you struck off Christmas card lists.
3. Usability Testing
These tools have specific features for testing navigation flow, information hierarchy and other aspects of usability. They include 5-second tests, card sorting, first click tests and other niche tools.