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Your freshly updated map to the universe of the best user research tools to find gaps and overlaps in your stack.
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).
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.
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, copytesting.com 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:
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.
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 email@example.com.
Ready to recruit some participants, really fast? Get your first three recruits free (you pay incentives) by creating a free account here or use our Research Hub plan, free forever.
Active Research: I want to run a study to collect user feedback.
Insight Management: I want to store and organize the data I collect.
Passive Insights: I want to “set and forget” a method to collect feedback as users interact with my product.
Research Ops: I want to build and manage research participants and studies.
Design: I want to create visuals that help me get feedback.
JP Allen is a Growth Marketer at User Interviews. Obsessed with languages, writing, learning, spreadsheets, and bad puns.