What is your go to usability testing tool?


what are the top tools and why are they your go to?

Also what is the main issue you face with the tools and how do you go about solving it


Here you go:


Hi Sarah, thanks for this, in your personal experience which tools do you lean toward and why?


Hey there,
You’re right – I should have been a bit more specific!

None. I’m not a practitioner so I don’t use these tools on a daily basis. Not very helpful, I know! With any luck you’ll get some more useful responses.


No worries it’s a waiting game now :grinning:


When testing I prefer to do it in person whenever possible.

If the design is still on paper I use A4 or A3 printouts, paper cutouts, sharpies, highlighters, sticky notes and a faux-pointer/cursor (or finger). This is easy, cheap and hands on - important for getting to grips with my work before I get distracted by the limitations of working digitally.

If sketches or designs have been captured for mobile testing I usually use Marvel because it works smoothly, is maintained by the developers and is free. (Although I see my older favourite POP is pulling it’s socks up again after being bought out by Marvel back in November). POP used to have issues crashing after loading new screens, and the interface had been designed assuming all users had newer/larger mobile screens (I didn’t) so chopping off controls at the bottom of the screen. If I need to record the user’s fingers offscreen too, I use my IPEVO ZiggyHD document camera on a desk.

For larger screen testing on my laptop I use Silverback to record the screen and a video of the user’s face simultaneously. Silverback is built by the Clearleft team and was one of the first apps I used that integrated recording the screen with the facial emotions of participants. I’ve never found a reason to stop using it and it only costs about $40.

I use Optimal Workshop’s OptimalSort for online card-sorting. It does exactly what I need it to, is flexible, and gives me great reports for analysis. Likewise, I use their Treejack for testing information architecture.

For simple remote navigation or click testing I like to use UsabilityHub. In addition to the team being personal friends who live around the corner, the tool is simple and effective and the pricing tiers flexible when I need them. In the past I’ve used others, including UsabilityTools, UserZoom, and Loop11.


Opportunities to do in-person testing are really hard for me currently. I work in a pretty difficult sector (apps for non-verbal people), and the largest user bases are in English speaking countries. So I have to rely on remote usability testing to get the insights I need.

So for myself, I primarily work with Invision, Skype, and QuickTime. Recently I have also been using Pear Note to share my findings with others, but I’m still in search for that killer tool!


We have recently been using a tool called WhatUsersDo. It can be a bit hit and miss, we have found that some of the users don’t actually read the tasks so end up going off topic, and because they’re unmoderated there is no way to guide the user back on track.

We have our own internal usability lab that we have set up, which I have written about in this post. Happy to answer any questions.