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The 2020 UX Research Tools Map

Your freshly updated map to the universe of the best user research tools to find gaps and overlaps in your stack.


Explore the 2022 UX Research Tools Map here.

New year, new tools! We've released a new and improved Tools Map for this year, featuring more tools and categories.


User research can touch on a dozen different job functions in practice, and it seems like each one has at least 5 different SaaS tools vying for your attention. Design tools, research tools, prototyping tools, video conferencing tools—the list goes on.

So what’s a researcher to do? Go with a one-size-fits-all platform that boasts tons of features, but maybe not the 1 feature you really need? Or piece together a custom stack of products that might not always play nice with each other? And how do you even find tools that cover your whole stack, work smoothly with what you already have, and fit your team’s workflow well enough to actually use?

Enter the 2020 UX Research Tools Map.

Taking inspiration from classic subway maps, each “line” represents a type of feature or functionality, and each “stop” contains logos for tools that deliver those features. Connections between lines give a sense of where your tools overlap and serve multiple purposes.

Pretty cool huh? Feel free to download and copy in any of the following formats:

Give it a share by clicking one of the buttons below 👇

Last year, we made our debut version because we wanted to make it easier for UX pros to pick tools that worked for them. We grouped tools by functionality, and made it easy to see overlaps, so you can minimize the number of extra tools you’re using. The goal was to make something like the impressive (and somewhat overwhelming) “LUMAscape” of marketing tools, but for UX research.

Our 2020 version includes 47 new tools, tighter categorization, and even a lightweight version you can use in presentations to help show stakeholders where you need support in your stack, since many of you wrote us to say that’s how you were using last year’s map (user research FTW).

🗒 When we surveyed 525 people who do research for our ✨The State of User Research 2021 Report✨, 60% said they use Miro to organize their notes and make sense of their research—up from 8% the previous year. Read the full report for more stats on popular UXR tools and methods.

How to use the UX Research Tools Map

Part of the point here is to demonstrate how the UX research landscape has grown in the past year. But once you get past the initial shock of “OMG so many logos,” this map can help you identify which tools cover which parts of the UX research process. The lines show which jobs each tool can help with, and the stops illustrate where tools can cover multiple jobs. The goal is to show you where tools in your stack overlap, and help you find new tools to cover functions that might be missing from your stack.

Scroll through the map to get a closer look, or download the full image to share on social media or use in your presentations.

What's new this year

We wanted to share a little of our process for building the 2020 map, partly to help explain the logic behind our choices, but also because the Tools Map reflects how UXR as a field is growing.

More tools with more features. We added 47 logos, raising the total to 137. In addition to a few brand-new companies, we heard from researchers about a number of tools that hadn't been on our radar before. We also filled out subcategories that researchers let us know were important, such as session recorders and eye-tracking tools. A number of tools either debuted or expanded into new feature sets this year. For example, launched this year, and Handrail upgraded their repository tool with a number of new features.

Video and transcription. Technological advances in transcription and AI, combined with the Zoom-ification of everything post-COVID, mean video and transcription are more central this time around. Just a few examples of companies taking these ideas to heart:

  • Dovetail added video transcription, clipping, and sharing to their research repository and note-taking suite.
  • EnjoyHQ also upgraded their research repository with new transcription features, including for uploaded audio files.
  • Lookback has continued to hone their “made for researchers” video tool in some cool ways, especially on mobile.

More tools = stricter categories. To keep the map readable, we decided to err on the side of caution when adding tools to lines.

As we wrestled with definitions for each line, we made use of a technique that can be vital for working out information architecture for your own UX research: user stories. You can find a complete list of those user stories at the bottom of this post, but here are a few examples of how they played out in practice.

  • Loop11 offers an open-ended usability testing system, allowing researchers to create their own tasks and questions and send users to more niche tools like card sort or diary-study apps. It’s solidly on the Usability Testing line.
  • In addition to video interviews, Dscout offers a purpose-built Diary product for capturing feedback over time in a diary-study-like format—a Specialized Test.
  • Userlytics offers both general-purpose usability tests and tools built specifically for creating card sorts, tree tests, and other specialized types of research.
  • Here at User Interviews, we offer complex screener surveys as part of recruiting, but we didn’t qualify ourselves as a full-fledged Survey tool.

What's on the horizon

The UX research landscape changes quickly: new tools crop up, existing tools add features, all while researchers' needs evolve. We'll work to keep this map up to date.

Did we leave out an app you love? Let us know at

Ready to recruit some participants, really fast? Get your first three recruits free (you pay incentives) by creating a free account here.

More content and tips for building your UXR tools stack

The UX Research Flex Stack

User Interviews has joined forces with 7 industry leaders to create the Flex Stack: a bundle of exclusive offers on all the tools you need to power your full research workflow. Recruit participants, conduct research, and analyze qualitative data without having to resort to an expensive all-in-one solution.

The UX Research Field Guide

Our Field Guide to all things user research is packed with in-depth advice on building your research practice, and it includes a full module on research tools with detailed writeups for a number of the companies that appear in the map and the Flex Stack, plus sections for finding communities of fellow researchers and more.

Previous Tools Maps

We've got two years of maps under our belts (so far!). Check out the 2019 UX Research Tools Map to see how the research landscape has changed over the past year.

The UX Job Board

Interested in bringing your stack to a new role, or even finding a job at one of the companies on the map? Explore our user research job board.

Zoom + UI Integration

User Interviews is now integrated with Zoom creating and sharing meeting links simple. Sync Zoom and automatically generate unique links that and get sent to participants without the hassle of creating, copy/pasting, and sending links to participants yourself. Set default or session moderators so your team can divvy up sessions. Zoom is included in all plans.

Appendix: 2020 Tools Map “line” definitions

Active Research: I want to run a study to collect user feedback.

  • Usability Testing
    I want participants to test out a product or prototype and share their feedback, either live or async.
  • Surveys
    I want to send participants a survey to complete (more than a 1-question auto-survey or a pre-screener before the "real" research session).
  • Specialized Tests
    I want participants to complete a task that’s more specific than a usability test (tree test, card sort, diary study, SMS interview...).
  • Video Interviews
    I want to record 1:1 or group video calls with participants.

Insight Management: I want to store and organize the data I collect.

  • Transcription
    I want a text transcript of my video interviews.
  • Note-Taking
    I want to take notes on any kind of research, save them, and organize them.
  • Research Repository
    I want a single home base for all of the relevant feedback and insights I collect.

Passive Insights: I want to “set and forget” a method to collect feedback as users interact with my product.

  • Automated Feedback
    I want to trigger feedback requests at key points in the user experience (e.g., NPS surveys, in-app polls).
  • A/B Testing
    I want to show different users different variants of a page or feature, to see which variant performs best.
  • Heatmaps, Eye Tracking, Session Recording
    I want to track users’ mouse/finger/eye movements and interactions in real time to spot issues and opportunities in the user experience.
  • Analytics
    I want quantitative data on how users interact with my product.

Research Ops: I want to build and manage research participants and studies.

  • Research CRM
    I want to build a panel of research participants (including metadata and research history) and reach out to them based on that information.
  • Recruiting & Payment
    I want to recruit, screen, and incentivize participants. Participant panel for native tests: I can recruit participants for the study types available on this tool, and only those study types.
  • Scheduling
    I want to find convenient times for solo, group, deadline-based, or other research sessions.

Design: I want to create visuals that help me get feedback.

  • Brainstorming
    I want to explore ideas with as little friction as possible.
  • Wireframing
    I want to map out the connections between ideas, steps, or sketches of a user flow.
  • Prototyping
    I want to create a simple mockup that approximates my real product.
JP Allen
Growth Marketer

JP Allen is a Growth Marketer at User Interviews. Obsessed with languages, writing, learning, spreadsheets, and bad puns.

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