6 Alternatives to Validately.com for UX Designers in 2020

Published February 26, 2020 by Andrea
8 min read

🌟 Updated on July 27, 2020

validately alternatives and competitors

Looking to switch from Validately to another user testing tool? Here are 6 alternatives to Validately offering efficient user testing while being easier to pay for than their competitor.

So, you came here looking for Validately alternatives that can offer a similar quality of user tests all the while allowing you to spot usability issues on your website, app or early prototype without having to pay for a year up front?

Validately was founded in 2011 by Steven Cohn and started by offering moderated user testing and then later added an unmoderated option, while UserTesting, on the other hand, has been the first remote unmoderated usability testing tool. Validately has recently been recently acquired by UserZoom.


Screenshot: validately.com

What is it that makes Validately so popular?

Validately is a comprehensive solution for user research that includes a dedicated testing platform, recruiting services, and automated reporting. It helps you spend more time actually focused on research. Validately manages all the logistics of recruiting test participants.

But Validately isn’t for everyone.

The tool’s biggest drawback is that contracts are billed annually starting at $3,588 per year. In addition, the monthly plans put a limit on the number of people who can create or launch studies. If you need more, you’ll  have to pay more.

This pricing system can be expensive and harder to justify, especially for small teams and startups.

The best-rated alternatives to Validately with better payment options

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

Without further ado, let’s dive into the six best competitors to Validately’s 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’re satisfied with Validately but paying annually for user testing in longterm doesn’t work for your company, then we’ve got your back!


Screenshot: userbrain.net

Pros of Userbrain compared to Validately

Userbrain offers a similar feature set to Validately’s user test software. You’ve got:

  • No long term contracts and monthly paying available– There is custom pay-as-you-go option that allows you to pay only when you have something to test, monthly subscriptions can be canceled at anytime.
  • Fast results – You’ll receive your first results within only a few hours.

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

Cons of Userbrain compared to Validately

Userbrain is new on the market, which makes its feature set more limited, compared to UserTesting’s tool.

  • 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 just now.
  • Limited possibilities when searching for specific test participants – With Userbrain you can filter your participants by gender, age, language, region and device type or you can recruit your own testers. Validately can apply to the tool the criteria you want your test participant to have and they recruit the participants for you.

Userbrain’s pricing in comparison to Validately

With Validately the cheapest plan starts at $299/mo keeping in mind that all plans are billed annually. With Userbrain pricing already starts at $19 per participant with a monthly subscription (can be canceled on a monthly basis)

  1. Userbrain offers a pay-as-you go-option for $29 per participant without any subscription nor extra fees
  2. You can create a free account and get your first test free of charge

Here’s 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 Validately.


Screenshot: lookback.io

Pros of Lookback compared to Validately

  • 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.
  • Contracts can be billed monthly – With Lookback you can decide between annual and monthly billing.

Cons of Lookback compared to Validately

  • No tester pool – While Validately provides access to a pool of use testers, you need to invite your own testers via a link to Lookback.
  • No task steps – Validately allows you to break up tasks into separate steps which are shown to the participant one at the 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 is involved in carrying out and analyzing research.
  • Connection drops – As Lookback supports live testing with participants there might be connection drops during a session, something which is reported by a couple of reviewers.

Looback’s pricing in comparison to Validately

  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 Validately

  • 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, so that you can run in-depth analyses with any tool of your choice.
  • Buying credits – Credits for tests can be purchased on-the-go when ordering responses or pre-purchased here. Credits do not expire.

Cons of UsabilityHub compared to Validately

  • No screen and audio recording – UsabilityHub only delivers written answers to your research questions which makes it harder to understand the real thoughts of your participants, while with Validately you receive the video and audio recording at the same time that your participant completes your tasks.
  • 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.

UsabilityHub’s pricing in comparison to Validately

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 Validately

  • 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 – You receive an AI-generated searchable transcription of your user test.
  • Quantitative metrics – Userlytics offers more sophisticated reporting on quantitative metrics like time on task, SUS, NPS or SUPR-Q compared to Validately.

Cons of Userlytics compared to Validately

  • 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 – There are 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 – Userlytics doesn’t provide much demographic information about the participants (like income bracket, age and gender).

Userlytics pricing in comparison to Validately

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 UserTesting | usertesting.com

UserTesting is the first unmoderated user testing tool 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

Pros of UserTesting compared to Validately

  • Fast results – With over 1,5 million participants, UserTesting has the largest number of participants in their pool of testers.
  • Unlimited researchers – The new UserTesting plans have no limit on the number of people who can create or launch studies. With Validately, if you need more, you’ll have to pay more.

Cons of UserTesting compared to Validately

  • Updated Pricing Model – With UserTesting, if you want to test with more than 15 participants in total, you need to get in contact with their Sales team for an Enterprise plan. You’ll then be offered an about 18k/year long-term contract. This is a lot more expensive compared to Lookback’s pricing that starts at $59/mo.
  • No free trial – Even though the price for UserTesting is very high, there’s no free-trial to see if it works for you.
  • No bring your own testers for free – With Validately, all monthly plans allow you to use your own participants for your study at no extra cost.

UserTesting’s pricing in comparison to Validately

UserTesting offers you two pricing plans:

  1. For the Individual solution you pay $49 per Test; with this plan you can test with 15 participants in total
  2. An Enterprise solution is also offered, pricing depends on how the plan is customized.

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 Validately

  • Monthly billing – You don’t have to pay for a year upfront.
  • 5 Second & First Click Tests included – Compared to Validately, 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 Validately

  • No pool of participants – 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 Validately

Loop11 charges a monthly fee for the usage of the platform that does not include participant compensation as you need to bring your own users.

  • Pricing starts at $69/mo for running 3 user tests per month with up to 5 participants per test
  • The unlimited test & participant plan is $249 per month or $189 per month when billed annually
  • All plans include a 14 day free trial
Userbrain - Testing early and often finally becomes reality