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User Testing Tools

adzeds 10-24-14

User Testing Tools

As we all know Optimizely is a tool that allows you to test with real traffic to your website.


There are also tools that allow you to watch visitors browsing your site and providing a commentary of what they are doing.


I was wondering if anyone on here uses these sorts of tools/softwares and if they found any value from them. Generally I am not a huge fan as I feel that the users who perform these tests do not have the same motivation as your sites real visitors. I am interested to know whether I have written them off too early?


What would make you use one of these tools over a tool like Optimizely or would you run them side-by-side?



David Shaw
Level 11

MartijnSch 10-24-14

Re: User Testing Tools

Hey David,


Actually we just started using the UserTesting tool and to be honest I quite liked it. We gave them a couple of tasks and watched how they performed them. Of course these videos are biased and their not the perfect audience but we really found a couple of mostly UI/UX issues that we wouldn't have found otherwise as we have such a tunnelvision for our own product by now. We're still going to test these changes in A/B tests to make absolutely sure they'll have a positive influence!


Think that is already clear, butu we run them side by side next to our Optimizely / In house setup.

Jacob 10-25-14

Re: User Testing Tools

Hi David,

We use both and Sessioncam (a tool allowing you to watch replays of visitors using the site). You can't compare any of them to Optimizely (they are completely different type of tools).

Doing usability testing is great and used right, you can discover almost 80% of all usability problems on your website by just testing 5 users* is providing something called remote usability testing. We use that as well but also guerilla usability testing. This is carried out by just walking to a café asking 5 normal people to do tasks on your website and then recording them while doing it.

The advantage (except that it is very cost effective) is that you can observe the testers face expressions, their body language etc.

You can also "attack" people coming out from your competitors physical stores (if they have any) and ask them to participate in the testing on a nearby café.

I usually offer our test subjects a movie ticket in exchange for their help.

A great tool to use is either Silverback app (v3 coming out soon, unfortunately only for mac) and Camtasia (both PC and Mac).

Tbh, we haven't really used Session Cam as effective as we could have done. We watch it from time to time to remind ourself that our visitors are our bosses and that we have to try to build the site for them.

Hence, we don't use it for clients but usability testing is something we conduct regularly.


Level 2
jshklt 10-30-14

Re: User Testing Tools

You've written them off too early Smiley Happy. The main benefit of usability tests isn't seeing users attempting the tasks you've laid out, it's hearing them think out loud while attempting them. This is something you can't get from a session recording tool. If you're not leveraging usability tests already, you probably should be. Creating hypotheses using clickstream analytics (i.e. GA) is just one piece of a very large pie.

We usually use and I've really enjoyed the platform.
Level 2
Pauline 11-12-14

Re: User Testing Tools


If you want to start doing usability test I highly recommend this book:  


You can also watch this video:

It is old but very enlightening!



Product Manager
Level 2

Re: User Testing Tools


If you want to start conducting user testing, but you don't have the budget to use WhatUsersDo or UserTesting - try They offer remote, high-quality, user testing solutions at the fraction of the cost of competitors.

Likewise, check out some session based recordings tools like HotJar or FullStory.

I hope this helps!