The Best UserTesting Alternatives in 2023: Top Picks for User Research
The Best UserTesting Alternatives in 2023: Top Picks for User Research
October 3, 2023
UserTesting is a popular UX research tool used by user researchers to gather valuable insights into user experiences.
Each tool comes with its own set of pros and cons. So, it's important to consider alternatives.
In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the top UserTesting alternatives available in 2023, helping you make an informed choice for your user research needs.
Let’s get going!
What is UserTesting?
UserTesting is a user research platform that allows businesses to get feedback on their products and services from real users. It offers a variety of testing methods, including unmoderated and moderated tests, as well as surveys and polls.
UserTesting is popular for it’s ease of use. It is also speedy at providing results!
Why Look for UserTesting Alternatives?
While UserTesting is a powerful user research platform, it’s drawbacks may make it unsuitable for certain users. Here are some of its limitations, along with why you might want to look for UserTesting alternatives:
Complexity: The UserTesting platform can be complex for users who are new to user research, or need to use advanced features. It is relatively easy to use for basic tasks such as creating and running unmoderated tests.
Limited Analysis Features: If you're looking for comprehensive research analysis features, you might find UserTesting lacking. Many researchers end up using additional tools like Excel or Miro for analysis.
Cost Considerations: UserTesting can be expensive, especially for small teams or solo researchers. Price plans are often custom-tailored, making it difficult to estimate costs.
5 Best UserTesting Alternatives
We’ve put together a few alternatives just so that you can see what’s out there, especially if UserTesting isn’t working out for you anymore.
Zoom / GMeet + Excel / Miro
Looppanel is an excellent alternative to UserTesting, offering seamless integration with popular video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, and Teams. It provides high-quality transcripts and AI-generated notes, making your research process more efficient.
With Looppanel, you can quickly organise your data with tags and make shareable video clips in a single click, thus allowing you to jump right into trend analysis and save a lot of time. Pretty cool, huh?
Looppanel offers accurate transcriptions and phenomenal auto-generated AI notes for participants, regardless of their accents. Transcripts can be generated in English, Hindi, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch.
Looppanel’s built-in analysis feature automatically organizes all your notes for a project in a single place. You can view your notes according to the questions they addressed or the tags you gave them (aka you don’t need to jump to a Miro board—we’ve basically created an affinity map for you!).
You can bring in your stakeholders to take live notes during user interviews, so you capture those juicy quotes as they come up!
Plug Looppanel into your Zoom, Google Meet, or Teams calls and we’ll auto-record them for you, so you get the data you need.
15-day Free trial period.
Overall, Looppanel makes discovering & sharing insights 5x faster.
Don’t believe us? Ask our customers
Looppanel doesn't recruit participants for interviews (we may dive into this area in the future). To use Looppanel, you'll need to bring your own or use external panels like UserInterviews.com.
Limited support for data uploads. Looppanel currently supports audio and video recordings.
The Starter plan is ideal for solo researchers and includes 10 transcription hours per month, up to 3 researchers, AI-powered notes, auto-record on Zoom, GMeet or Teams, live note-taking, tagging, 1-click video clips, analysis features, and shareable insights summary. It costs $30 per month or $324 per year.
The Teams plan is designed for research teams and includes 30 transcription hours per month, unlimited seats, a team workspace, centralized admin & billing, and everything in the Starter plan. It costs $350 per month or $3,500 per year.
The Business plan is ideal for larger organizations and includes 120 transcription hours per month, SSO, invoicing, custom contracts, priority support, and everything in the Teams plan. It costs $1,000 per month or $12,000 per year.
The Enterpriseplan is designed for enterprises and includes everything in the Business plan, plus a separate cloud instance, a dedicated account manager, service level agreements, custom access control, and data migration from other tools. Pricing is custom based on your specific needs.
Looppanel and UserTesting are both popular UX research platforms, but they have some key differences.
Pricing: Looppanel is more affordable than UserTesting, especially for small teams and solo researchers. Looppanel offers a free 15-day trial and then starts at $30 per month for the Starter plan, which includes 10 transcription hours per month. UserTesting pricing is not publicly disclosed, but it is reportedly in the $20,000-$100,000 per year range.
Recruiting participants: Looppanel does not have a built-in panel of participants, so you will need to bring your own or use an external panel. An in-built panel with UserTesting.com does come with its pros. This consolidates two parts of the workflow (recruiting and running tests).
Testing methods: Looppanel supports live moderated tests, but does not support unmoderated tests on the platform. However, you can upload recordings of unmoderated tests to Looppanel for analysis. UserTesting supports both moderated and unmoderated usability testing in one platform.
Reliability: UserTesting requires you to use their own recording platform, which comes with major reliability issues. With Looppanel you can continue to run calls on highly reliable conferencing platforms like Zoom, GMeet, or Teams and have them automatically recorded by Looppanel.
Analysis features: Even though you can conduct moderated & unmoderated tests on UserTesting, you will end up exiting the platform to analyze the data elsewhere (usually Excel or Miro). If you use Looppanel on the other hand, everything is in one place—notes, recordings, transcripts, analysis, and insights.
That AI magic: Looppanel has the advantage of automatically generating AI-powered notes for your calls. This means that you can skip rewatching the entire call 5 times, and jump straight to reviewing the notes, creating clips, and analyzing your data.
Userlytics is an all-in-one platform for UX researchers, supporting various types of tests, including moderated and unmoderated studies. It offers features like sentiment analysis and automatic AI analysis of calls as well as quantitative surveys in more than 20 languages.
It has an exceptionally good, global participant panel. The specialized service for hard-to-find participants is also incredibly quick and effective!
The customer support panel is quick to respond and great at providing help with all kinds of issues.
Some parts of the admin portal’s UI can be clunky and not user-friendly.
Users have found the reporting and analytical tools to be limited and intuitive. Userlytics needs improvement in creating better reports from within the application, uncovering insights more readily, and offering a more seamless experience with annotations, transcripts, and highlight reels.
Userlytics offers three subscription plans; Enterprise, DIY and Custom. If that sounds too complex, we’ve broken it down for you.
Enterprise: The price starts at $3,450 per year which can be expensive for small teams. Based on your budget, Userlytics will offer you a discount on the condition that your yearly budget is over $5,021. Based on your budget you will get moderate and unmoderated participants/sessions. For instance, if your yearly budget is $3,450, you will get a maximum of 50 unmoderated participants with no moderated participants and if your yearly budget is $5,021 you will be given a maximum 56 unmoderated participants and maximum 6 moderated participants. Most importantly, at all prices, you get 30 minutes for unmoderated sessions and 60 minutes for moderated sessions. This also includes:
Unlimited admin and user accounts and seats
Unlimited storage of UX insights
Review of participants’ test results by expert Userlytics and more.
DIY: Userlytics DIY plan comes with two options – Premium at $499 and Advanced at $999. You only get 2 seats for your team to access. In both options, you can bring any number of unmoderated participants. In addition, both options allow you to conduct each study for 60 minutes but other features vary in DIY options:
The premium plan includes AI-based transcription (up to 20 per month). The advanced option gives you 100 per month.
The premium plan doesn’t provide unmoderated participants from the Userlytics panel, but the advanced option does at $19 per participant.
With the Premium DIY option you can’t bring in your participants from an external source to run moderated tests. With the Advanced DIY option you can bring 50 moderated participants for free (for additional sessions at $10 per participant).
Custom: This plan gives you flexibility in choosing any features you want. Check details here.
Integration: Userlytics offers more integrations than UserTesting, including Adobe XD, Axure, Figma, Framer, InVision, and Sketch prototypes. UserTesting primarily integrates with User Interviews. Testing Method: UserTesting primarily focuses on unmoderated and moderated testing while, based on your needs, Userlytics lets you use different testing methods like
Customer Research Surveys
5-Second Tests and more!
Recruiting participants: Once again, Userlytics comes with a participant panel, which UserTesting does not. How you source participants may help you decide which product is a better fit for you. Pricing: Userlytics and UserTesting both offer a variety of pricing plans, so it is important to compare the plans carefully to determine which one is right for your needs.
Userbrain is an unmoderated testing platform that allows you to get feedback on your product from a pool of test participants at an affordable cost. It is a good option for businesses and individuals who are looking for a quick and easy way to get unmoderated feedback on their products, without breaking the bank.
Tests are quite simple to set up, and results are typically available the same day.
Their customer service is fast, friendly, and always helps immediately.
It's inexpensive when you need user input at a low cost. Userbrain is excellent at refunding the credit too, allowing UX researchers to rerun the test quickly.
You can recruit participants from their panels or bring your own!
Demographics selection could be a little more granular to help you recruit the right participants.
The inability to create and export clips is a big drawback of the software. One needs extra work to manually edit the video in another piece of software.
Only supports unmoderated testing, so if you plan to do moderated interviews, you may end up needing another tool as well.
Userbrain is an affordable remote user testing tool that has the following three subscription plans.
Starter | $99 per month: Withthe Starter plan you get 3 testers recruited by the Userbrain, 10 rollover testers every month, and up to 10 sessions per month if you bring your own testers. The starter plan can be handy for small to medium size teams to run tests on a small scale to fix the usability issue of your product or services. Its limitations include the small number of testers you get access to and the lack of dedicated account management support to help you run your test successfully.
Pro | $299 per month: The Pro plan is the perfect fit if you have large teams and are willing to spend. Subscribing to Pro gives you 10 testers and 30 rollover testers, which are enough to get the best result to improve your product if you’re not running your studies consistently.
Agency | $799 per month: This plan is for those who are running an agency that needs dedicated support to get the most out of their testing. You can test with 30 testers each month and run up to 90 sessions with your own testers. Other features include:
Unlimited video storage capacity
Up to 90 rollover testers
Dedicated account manager
Apart from the three main subscription plans, Userbrain has a Pay As You Go plan which you can use to test them out. For Pay As You Go, you need to pay $39 per tester; but you can’t transcribe your calls and get reports or insights in a flash.
Userbrain vs. UserTesting
Recruiting participants: A major difference between the two is Userbrain’s recruitment of users. Userbrain will recruit the best participants for you to test products quickly. Compared with recruiting from UserInterviews.com, it may also work out to be more cost-effective, although they do have trouble with getting high-quality participants.
Price: Userbrain has a more flexible pricing plan than UserTesting as you don’t have to commit to a yearly or monthly plan. Userbrain offers a Pay As You Go plan, as well as three subscription plans: Starter, Pro, and Agency. You can subscribe to any pricing option whichever serves your need and can cancel anytime you want. UserTesting only offers subscription plans.
Integration: Userbrain is compatible with a variety of prototyping tools, including Adobe XD, Axure, Figma, Framer, InVision, and Sketch. UserTesting integrates with a number of third-party applications, including Slack, Trello, JIRA, Adobe XD, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook.
Testing Method: Another key difference between UserTesting and Userbrain is the types of tests supported. UserTesting lets you conduct moderated and unmoderated studies while UserBrain only supports unmoderated tests.
Lookback as a user research tool assists UX researchers with usability testing and one-on-one user interviews, both moderated and unmoderated. It lets you bring your own users for usability testing and interviews.
You can collaborate with any number of stakeholders, take live notes, generate highlight reels, and get transcripts of your calls.
Lookback also supports integration with User Interviews and Respondent (recruiting panels) so you can seamlessly run research with research participants. That’s a lot of really cool features.
Lookback is free to try. You can test it out in one of your usability studies to determine whether it would benefit you.
You can timestamp key moments and add notes that you can quickly refer to once the call is over.
They have an observer room that allows team members to view a research session without your participant finding out (creepy, but cool)
Mobile usability testing can be useful on Lookback. This is still messy to do on Zoom/GMeet sometimes and Lookback offers an alternative to both run the test & record user’s phones.
Lookback users sometimes face poor connectivity while joining and/or during the live session.
Because you’re running calls on Lookback and not on Zoom, Google Meet or Teams, we’ve heard of higher participant no-show rates. Users get scared of clicking on links from conferencing platforms they’re not familiar with, and they end up not showing up for your studies as a result.
Limitations on analysis features available. Lookback doesn’t support research analysis well, so you’ll inevitably end up on an Excel sheet or Miro board, splitting your data across tools and generally making life more annoying.
Bring your own participants. Lookback also doesn’t solve for recruiting, so there again you’d need another tool.
Lookback doesn’t support all iOS versions. It is only compatible with these ones.
Freelance Plan: The Freelance plan is ideal for solo researchers and freelancers who need to conduct a limited number of user research sessions each year. This plan includes 10, 20, or 40 sessions per year, depending on your needs.
Starting at $25 per month
10, 20, or 40 sessions per year
Ideal for solo researchers and freelancers
Team Plan: The Team plan is ideal for small teams who need to collaborate on user research projects. This plan includes 100 or 150 sessions per year, depending on your needs, as well as unlimited collaborators. Some of the features of the Team plan are:
Starting at $149 per month
100 or 150 sessions per year
Ideal for small teams
Insights Hub Plan: The Insights Hub plan is ideal for medium to large teams who need more sessions and features. This plan includes 300 or 500 sessions per year, depending on your needs, as well as security self-assess and priority support. The features of this plan include:
Starting at $344 per month
300 or 500 sessions per year
Ideal for medium to large teams
Enterprise Plan: The Enterprise plan is ideal for large organizations who need unlimited sessions and observers, as well as a dedicated CSM.
Contact sales for pricing
All Lookback plans include:
Core features: recording, playback, transcripts, and notes
Additional features: highlight reels, timestamped notes, export, playback speed, and shortcuts, chat with observing guests
Customer support: 24/7 help center access, chat based support
Recruiting participants: Finding participants for research studies is a complex and time consuming process. Lookback doesn't have a pool of testers like UserTesting does, so you'd have to find users on your own or through a panel.
Price: The UserTesting price plan comes with higher rates. It would be difficult for a small-scale business to avail its services at $20K per year (on the lower end). But if you are part of a very large team with a generous budget, then UserTesting may be the best fit for you.
Testing Method: Lookback allows you to conduct both moderated and unmoderated research, while UserTesting offers even more testing methods like Card Sorting, Tree testing, and Clickstream Testing, in addition to moderated and unmoderated tests.
Recruiting participants: A in-built panel with UserTesting.com does come with its pros. This consolidates two parts of the workflow (recruiting and running tests), instead of using separate products for each with Lookback.
Using Zoom/Google Meet with Excel/Miro
Zoom, Google Meet, Excel, and Miro are tools that you can use to run research studies without a huge price tag. They work very well, especially if you connect Zoom or Google Meet with our budget-friendly and very reliable Looppanel. By integrating, you get high-quality transcripts with automatic sentiment analysis and auto-generated AI-powered notes, making your job 10x easier.
Easy-to-use and don’t require a special plugin or software
They’re widely used and most familiar tools for users
The rest of your team already lives there
Your data will end up across 3-4 tools, making it painful to work with over time.
This workflow can end up being very inefficient as you copy data from google docs to Miro boards, and basically do everything manually.
Here are the detailed pricing tag of each with some features or restrictions listed below:
Zoom is a video conferencing platform used for various purposes right from academics to conducting business meetings. Zoom’s basic plan is free but it has limited features which might not be useful for moderated testing which means 40 minutes of free calls is not a reliable option. However, you can upgrade to higher plans as per your needs.
Pro | $161.28 / per user / month: You get everything included in the basic plan like team chat, and access to whiteboard including:
Up to 100 attendee invites per meeting
Up to 30 hours of meeting
Cloud storage of up to 50 GB
and a free premium app for 1 year
Business | $219.92 / per user / month: The Business plan has more robust features which include
300 attendee invites per meeting
Access to unlimited whiteboards
cloud storage of up to 5 GB
a free premium plan for 1 year
Enterprise | Contact sales team: With the Enterprise plan, which is dedicated to large organisations, you can avail features like
Unlimited cloud storage capacity
1000 attendee invites per meeting
Anyone with a Google account can easily use Google Meet for free. You can use the platform for interviews or invite up to 100 participants for 60 minutes. That being said, you can also use the less expensive business edition, with pricing here.
While GMeet offers a great in-browser experience (aka users don’t have to download anything), the quality of video calls is a bit lower than Zoom.
Excel or Google Sheets
When it comes to storing data, Excel is handy for turning your research data into insights for free. It lets you create visually compelling graphs and charts to predict possible trends in your analysis reports.
Familiar to you and your team
Flexible—you can add columns, remove them, and move data anywhere with ease
You probably already have Excel or Google Sheets available for free within your organization
Miro is an excellent tool to conduct workshops, it quickly captures ideas and brings people together to brainstorm new ideas to design better products. You can use Miro’s free version to see what works for you.
For the visually-minded, this is a great place to synthesise your research findings, although you may have to manually copy-paste your data into Miro (this can be a pain).
Free: Signing up with the free version provides you with
3 editable boards
a wide range of ready made-templates
integrations like Slack, Trello, Gmail, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, Adobe Creative Cloud, Sketch, Unsplash and MS Teams.
collaboration with team members
Starter | $8 / per member/ month: With just $8 it lets you access a wide range of excellent features such as an unlimited number of editable boards, customizable and ready-made templates by Miro, integrations included in the free version along with Jira and Confluence and more. However, there are certain limitations which you should not overlook while purchasing this plan
No single sign-on
No activities facilitation mode (choose what participants can see and which tools can they use, etc.)
Can’t invite external collaborators to access private boards
Business | $16 / per member/ month: The Business edition is for teams that need additional features and security. Here are some of the restrictions which you should consider
Flexible licensing plan to manage license use.
Can’t access admin insights to See analytics for users, boards, projects, and templates.
Advanced user management
No premium support (24/7 during critical times)
Enterprise: Suitable for organizations with very large teams that require advanced security and support.
UserTesting vs. Zoom/Google Meet
Zoom and Google Meet by far are the most user-friendly and popular video conferencing tools for conducting remote research. Moreover, Zoom offers high-quality video and audio streams whereas on UserTesting you may face poor connectivity during live sessions.
Best of all, your team probably already has one of these options in-house!
Bonus: If you want to keep running calls on reliable platforms like Google Meet or Zoom, but want the benefits of a full-fledged research platform (live note-taking, transcription, AI-generated notes, analysis features), Looppanel is for you.
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