Top tools for UX design and research

by Silvia Mazzetta Date: 23-04-2021 ux userexperience tools webdesign design

This article is a compilation of the "ux tools" I have tested in recent years.

I've separated the tools by categories, although I recommend you to take a look at all of them, you might find some you didn't know.

- Conceptualisation and project management tools
- UX testing and research tools
- Analytics tools

It is worth noting that a designer’s toolset is very personal. You should use the tools that help you to do a good job, period. I’ve listed here, the ones that help me to do a good job (and why they do), in the hope that you will get value from it.

Conceptualisation and project management tools

Before starting with the "practical" tools, I think it is important to list those that allow to conceptualise the project well and to start with a good management.

Without them, it is easy to lose focus and end up with everything disconnected from each other.


It's a classic, but it works really well (and it's free). With Trello you can create different boards with projects, assign categories to the different tasks and move them from column to column depending on their status.

It allows you to see at a glance how the project is doing right now and what is pending. In addition, it also allows you to link files from Drive, Dropbox and other third-party platforms.

Lean UX (Canvas and book)

It is not a tool as such, but rather a framework created by Jeff Gothelf that will allow you to lay the foundations of the project from a business point of view.

This allows you to focus on finding the right solution for the business, and not to look for solutions "just because" or for problems that are not really problems (or are not relevant).

If you are interested in how to apply lean methodology to UX, the same author has a book in which he explains the framework in detail: 'Lean UX: how to apply lean principles to improve user experience'. It also includes topics related to productivity and teamwork. You can find it on Amazon.

Mind Mapping

MindMeister is a tool that, when you open it, you first think "how ugly". But the truth is that once you start using it, the thought becomes "how useful".

With MindMeister you can plan projects, but also link ideas and concepts that come up in UX research and thus start to see patterns.

UX Research Tools

Research is the trick.

And beyond this, it is also important to have good tools at hand that allow you to collect all this information in a decent way, without having it all scattered and without being able to draw conclusions.

For this, I recommend the following tools.


As its name suggests, it allows UX testing. The best thing about this tool is that it doesn't have all that "fancy" layer that other products rely on to sell.

UsabiliTEST is simple and allows you to achieve exactly what you need, no more, no less. With it you can do card sorting, heuristic analysis and prioritisation matrices, with which you can decide what to implement and what not to implement.


With Helio you can upload screenshots of the wireframes you have made and test what works and what doesn't work.

For example, if you have doubts about whether to use one copy or another or whether the button should be green or blue, just upload it all to Helio and start the test.

From Helio you can choose what kind of panel (target group) you need and they send them the test. Do you need to test with: "female, 25-35 years old, with an income of 30k per year and living in a big city"? Helio has it.

Typeform and Google Forms

Both allow you to create surveys to send to your current users to get their opinion about a certain functionality, get to know them a little better, etc.

It's as easy as creating the survey, copying the sharing URL and sending it by email, adding it to a prominent area of the website or sharing it on social media.

Learn more about quantitative (and other) research in the article 8 UX research methods.

Make my persona

If you need to create user personas, you'll love this Hubspot tool.

Makemypersona allows you to create a step-by-step template that you can easily export with all the information about your persona: age range, profession, type of company, how they work, etc.


This tool is absolutely magical. With Miro you can conduct brainstorming sessions, user or customer journey, wireframes, conduct Design Sprints sessions, research, etc.

Analytics tools

I love all these tools. I guess it's because they allow me to see what users do on the website or app: how they use it, where they get some kind of "confusion", where they mostly abandon the purchase, and so on.

Google Analytics

Yes, I know it's obvious, but you'd be surprised how many professionals don't realise that a good analysis of the data collected by Analytics allows you to understand the user.


If you integrate Hotjar into your website (it's just a matter of adding a piece of code in the header or via Google Tag Manager) you can see where users click, a heat map of where they move around the most, whether they scroll or not, etc. It anonymously saves the sessions in videos that you can watch to draw your own conclusions. And it also generates reports separated by device: desktop, tablet and mobile.

Google Analytics and Convert

If you have to change a copy or the position of a button in an already implemented design, it does not make sense to use UsabiliTEST. In this case you should use a tool that allows you to do an A/B test on what already exists.

Again, you can do it with Google Analytics (what a surprise!), but if you are looking for a different tool with more options, Convert is the one you need: for example, it allows you to use an HTML/CSS editor.

Final notes

As always, the tools you choose will depend on your budget (although most of them are 100% free or have an option that is) and the type of project.

And tell me, is there any tool that you use that I haven't mentioned? Let me know!

Technology vector created by stories -
by Silvia Mazzetta Date: 23-04-2021 ux userexperience tools webdesign design hits : 2439  
Silvia Mazzetta

Silvia Mazzetta

Web Developer, Blogger, Creative Thinker, Social media enthusiast, Italian expat in Spain, mom of little 9 years old geek, founder of  @manoweb. A strong conceptual and creative thinker who has a keen interest in all things relate to the Internet. A technically savvy web developer, who has multiple  years of website design expertise behind her.  She turns conceptual ideas into highly creative visual digital products. 


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