6 Less Expensive Alternatives to UserTesting.com for UX Designers in 2020

Published January 16, 2020 by Andrea
9 min read

Looking to switch from UserTesting to another user testing tool? Here are 6 alternatives to UserTesting.com offering easy and fast user testing at better prices.

Okay, you came here looking for UserTesting alternatives offering a similar quality of user tests, allowing you to spot usability issues on your website, app or early prototype without charging too much?

UserTesting pretty much built the genre of unmoderated remote user testing. When co-founder Dave Garr was managing websites for Apple HP and Intuit and became frustrated with how much of a hassle usability testing was, he partnered with Darrell Benatar and in 2007 launched UserTesting – the first remote usability testing solution.

What is it that makes UserTesting so popular?

UserTesting is the first unmoderated user testing tools ever and
therefore had the time to built up the largest number of participants compared to any other service. According to their own data, UserTesting.com has over 1.5 million participants on their panel. This allows customers to receive very fast feedback, with access to a very sophisticated platform with lots of possibilities to run and analyze their user tests.

Screenshot: usertesting.com

But UserTesting isn’t for everyone.

What most UserTesting reviewers dislike is the updated pricing model. If you want to test with more than 15 participants (which you really should), you need to get in contact with their Sales team for an Enterprise plan. You’ll then be offered a long term contract which one of the reviewers describes as following:

“I was just given a flat-fee response from them (non-negotiable) of 18k/year which we can’t really afford.”

Thus, despite its popularity and the rich set of features, an annual UserTesting plan can be expensive and harder to justify for small teams or startups.

The best rated, less expensive alternatives to UserTesting

Knowing that UserTesting isn’t the best tool for every company, we’ve put together the following list of the best available and more affordable alternatives to UserTesting:

Without further ado, let’s dive into the six best competitors of UserTesting’s popular user research software:

1 Userbrain | userbrain.net

Of course we’re going to place our own software at the top of the list. We’d be silly not to, wouldn’t we?
If you think that UserTesting can provide it all, but is more than a little too pricey to run your user tests on a continuous basis, then we’ve got your back!

Screenshot: userbrain.net

Pros of Userbrain compared to UserTesting

Userbrain offers a set of features comparable to UserTesting. You get:

  • No long term contracts – There is a custom pay-as-you-go option that allows you to pay only when you have something to test, monthly subscriptions can be canceled anytime.
  • A diversified participant panel – Save yourself the hassle of recruiting, managing and paying for participants and get access to a worldwide pool of unbiased user test participants.
  • Fast results – You’ll receive your first results within only a few hours
  • Unlimited tests with your own participants – Recruit and onboard your own participants – included for free on all monthly plans (starting at $54/mo)

You can create a free account and even get your first test free of charge.

Cons of Userbrain compared to UserTesting

Userbrain is new on the market, which makes its set of features a little more limited compared to UserTesting.

  • No native app testing – Userbrain supports testing everything that can be accessed via a URL – websites, web apps, or even prototypes. Testing native iOS or Android apps isn’t possible for now.
  • Limited demographics – You can filter your participants by gender, age, language, region and device type. More sophisticated options offered by UserTesting like income or parental status aren’t currently supported by Userbrain.
  • No phone support – Userbrain offers support via email or messenger, a knowledge base for customers and test templates.

Userbrain’s pricing in comparison to UserTesting

Userbrain is 40% cheaper on average than UserTesting, making it the most affordable and cost-effective alternative to UserTesting.

  1. Pricing starts at $19 per participant with a monthly subscription (can be canceled on a monthly basis).
  2. There is a pay-as-you go-option for $29 per participant without any subscription nor extra fees.
  3. You can create a free account and get your first test free of charge.

This is what one Userbrain reviewer says about the pricing options:

“The best thing about Userbrain is the pricing structure. It’s also affordable for companies who are testing in small volumes”

2 Lookback | lookback.io

When you already have access to a pool of user test participants and don’t need a tool that provides access to an existing database of testers, Lookback is a great and more affordable alternative to UserTesting.

Screenshot: lookback.io

Pros of Lookback compared to UserTesting

Unlimited participants – Lookback doesn’t cap recordings or charge for participants. You can do as much research as you need to.

  • Remote moderated testing – Lookback allows you to directly talk with participants – live and face to face in moderated user tests.
  • Broadcast your research –Use the “Live” feature to broadcast your research to your team. Invite them to watch and gain insights.

Cons of Lookback compared to UserTesting

  • No tester pool – While UserTesting provides access to a pool of over a million testers worldwide, you need to invite your own testers via a link to Lookback’s user testing tool.
  • No task steps – UserTesting allows you to break up tasks into separate steps which are displayed to the participant one at a time. With Lookback, the task is fully displayed upfront.
  • No account sharing – Lookback charges a monthly fee per “collaborator” and doesn’t allow account sharing. This means that you need to pay for every team member who needs to be involved in carrying out and analyzing research.
  • Connection drops – As Lookback supports live testing with participants there might be connection drops during a session which is reported by a couple of reviewers.

Lookback’s pricing in comparison to UserTesting

  1. Lookback is available via a monthly or annual subscription.
  2. Lookback charges per “collaborator”. You need to pay for every team member who needs to be involved in carrying out and analyzing research.
  3. Currently, there are two pricing tiers starting at $59/mo and collaborator and $119/mo and collaborator for the Pro plan, which allows to export recordings, notes and a more sophisticated user management.
  4. There is a 14-day free trial – no credit card required.

3 UsabilityHub | usabilityhub.com

UsabilityHub allows you to run summative studies like first-click and five-second tests, design surveys or preference tests of multiple design solutions. You will receive written answers and can either recruit your own participants or use UsabilityHub’s integrated participant panel.

Screenshot: usabilityhub.com

Pros of UsabilityHub compared to UserTesting

  • Starting at $1 per answer – If you don’t need a video and audio recording of your participants and are more interested in running summative studies, you can do so quickly and at a convenient price by using UsabilityHub’s participant panel.
  • Full CSV export – UsabilityHub allows you to export the raw test data as a CSV file which allows you to run in-depth analyses with any tool of your choice.
  • Buying credits – Compared to UserTesting, credits for tests can be purchased on-the-go when ordering responses or pre-purchased. Credits do not expire.

Cons of UsabilityHub compared to UserTesting

  • No screen and audio recording – With UserTesting you’ll get a screen and audio recording of a participant’s session. UsabilityHub only delivers written answers to your research questions which makes it harder to understand the real thoughts of your participants.
  • No prototype testing – While UsabilityHubs supports running tests of wireframes, you can’t test interactive prototypes built in e.g. InVision, Sketch or Figma.
  • No multi-site testing – You can’t send participants to another website as part of your test, something that is possible with UserTesting.

UsabilityHub’s pricing in comparison to UserTesting

UsabilityHub’s pricing has two separate components:

  1. A plan starting at $79/mo billed monthly or annually.
  2. Paying for responses from the UsabilityHub panel starting at $1 per response.

There is a limited free plan which allows you to run tests with a duration of up to 2 mins and a branded interface.

4 Userlytics | userlytics.com

Userlytics offers a very competitive pricing options for a suite of user research tools at the expense of an outdated user interface.

Screenshot: userlytics.com

Pros of Userlytics compared to UserTesting

  • Multiple user research tools in one – With Userlytics, you’ll have access to a suite of user research tools like Card Sorting or Tree Testing besides the classic remote user testing functionality.
  • Automated and multilingual transcriptions – Receive an AI generated searchable transcription of your user test.
  • Quantitative metrics – Compared to UserTesting, Userlytics offers a more sophisticated reporting on quantitative metrics like time on task, SUS, NPS or SUPR-Q.

Cons of Userlytics compared to UserTesting

  • Outdated user interface – The user interface is considered old and challenging in terms of usability by a couple of reviewers on G2.
  • Complex pricing plans – Userlytics offers 4 different pricing tiers all with different options and features. It could be hard to choose the right plan for your needs.
  • No demographic information about users – Compared to UserTesting, Userlytics doesn’t provide much demographic information about the participants (like income bracket, age and gender).

Userlytics pricing in comparison to UserTesting

As mentioned, the pricing options of Userlytics can be quite hard to decide on. Userlytics offers:

  1. A pay-as-you-go plan at $49 per participant (without a minimum order quantity but a limited feature set)
  2. A pay-as-you-go plan at $99 per participant with a minimum order quantity of 5 participants
  3. And a pay-as-you-go plan at $69 per participant with a minimum order quantity of 50 participants
  4. Additionally there is an annual subscription as well, but without its prices being disclosed on the website.

5 Validately | validately.com

Validately started by offering moderated user testing and later added an unmoderated option. UserTesting on the other hand was the first remote unmoderated usability testing tool. Validately has recently been acquired by UserZoom.

Screenshot: validately.com

Pros of Validately compared to UserTesting

  • Moderated recruiting – You can tell Validately your exact test participant criteria and screening questions and they will recruit testers for your moderated research studies in 5 business days or less.
  • Bring your own testers for free – All monthly plans allow you to use your own participants for your study at no extra cost.
  • Moderated user tests – Validately supports moderated and unmoderated user testing on desktop and mobile devices.

Cons of Validately compared to UserTesting

  • Limited researchers – The monthly plans have a limit on the number of people who can create or launch studies. If you need more, you’ll have to pay more.
  • Smaller participant pool – As Validately added unmoderated user testing later than UserTesting, the latter has a larger pool of participants to draw from, allowing you to get results very fast indeed.
  • Contracts are billed annually – You need to pay for a year upfront.

Validately’s pricing in comparison to UserTesting

Validately offers different pricing options for moderated and unmoderated user tests:

  1. Plans that support moderated and unmoderated user testing start at $499/mo for unlimited recordings and 50/100 studies per year. All contracts are billed annually
  2. Unmoderated participant recruiting is $14 per test participant for a 15-minute research session and up to two screening questions.
  3. There is a free trial of 5 moderated and 5 unmoderated responses without recruiting cost.

6 Loop11 | loop11.com

Loop11 is a useful UX tool for benchmarking a site’s KPIs, finding out where exactly users are running into an issue and gathering quantitative data on UX improvements.

Screenshot: loop11.com

Pros of Loop11 compared to UserTesting

  • Quantitative testing – While UserTesting offers user tests for a qualitative research method, Loop11’s focuses on gathering a statistically significant number of answers to a test.
  • 5-seconds & first-click tests included – Compared to UserTesting, Loop11 also supports the recording of qualitative data like heatmaps, clickstreams and path analysis
  • Support for accessibility user testing – Loop11 customers can now tap into the AccessWorks database for all accessibility testing needs, saving time that would otherwise be spent on recruiting participants for face-to-face testing.

Cons of Loop11 compared to UserTesting

  • No participant pool – As Loop11 does not offer a pool of participants you need to send invites to your own users to get results for your study.
  • No editing after a test has been launched – You can’t edit a test after publishing it; you can only delete it completely. Thus, you should double check the test in the preview mode before allowing it to go live.

Loop11’s pricing in comparison to UserTesting

Loop11 charges a monthly fee for the usage of the platform that does not include the participants’ remuneration as you need to provide your own users.

  1. Pricing starts at $69/mo for running 3 user tests per month with up to 5 participants per test.
  2. The unlimited test & participant plan is $249 per month or $189 per month when billed annually.
  3. All plans include a 14 day free trial
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