Here are the apps and digital tools that I most frequently use to communicate, conduct, and analyze UX research.
For online surveys and screening, I prefer to use Qualtrics for its powerful branching capabilities and analysis capabilities. I’ve also used SurveyMonkey, SurveyGizmo, and Google Forms.
I use Word mostly for creating research plans and discussion guides.
Excel is used for managing research participants, tracking gratuity payments, research analysis, taking or organizing research notes, calculating project costs, and auditing content.
I use PowerPoint to create research reports.
Includes: Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. It’s hard to remember life before Google Drive. I use Google Drive for collaborating on blog posts, diary studies, documenting usability issues in real time with clients, and keeping track of ideas.
Used for diagramming user flows, process flows, use cases, and clickable prototypes.
Used for diagramming customer journey maps and other UX deliverables.
I primarily use Skype for remote mobile usability tests — using the laptop hug method.
I use Zoom for remote studies such as usability testing and contextual inquiries. Previously, I used Join.Me until they canceled their monthly subscription option. I’ve also used Adobe Connect, WebEx, and GoToMeeting.
The jigsaw puzzle of scheduling 30 research participants across multiple time zones is now a piece of cake: Participants schedule themselves.
I’m pretty sure I use SnagIt almost every day to screen grab something for a presentation. With SnagIt, I’m able to easily screen capture long scrolling pages. I also use it to record video walk-throughs.
RealTimeBoard and Mural are both excellent remote collaboration tools.
My favorite way to use this mindmapping tool is to collect and organize insights from a research study. It’s so much easier to see patterns here than in Excel or on a wall of 1,000 Post-Its (that keep falling off).
I use Treejack for tree testing and OptimalSort for open or closed card sorts.
I use dscout for diary studies.
For B2B qualitative research studies, Respondent uses verified LinkedIn accounts to allow me to target specific professions or job titles. They have an incredible interface to manage participants.
I was one of the lucky ones to snag a deck of “Mental Notes.” The deck includes 50 cognitive psychology tactics to persuade users to take actions — such as social proof, curiosity, and complete the set.
IDEO Method Cards
This deck of cards includes activities for internal stakeholders to collaborate and look at problems from a different perspective.
At Staples, you can print giant posters (called engineering prints) for just $4. FedEx also prints giant posters, but for considerably more money.