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11 Best Optimal Workshop Alternatives and Competitors

Viktoria Kakosova
•  05.06.2023
Have you been using Optimal Workshop and are looking to exchange the tool for a different one with similar capabilities? You’re in the right place! We’ve compiled a list of the best alternatives to Optimal Workshop, with similar functions and features, that will help you choose the platform that best fits your needs.

While Optimal Workshop is a popular choice for user research and is especially known for its tools to test information architecture, it’s always beneficial to explore alternative tools. You may find some Optimal Workshop alternatives can offer a fresh perspective and enhanced capabilities or features you were missing.

Table of Contents

For each alternative tool for Optimal Workshop, we evaluate these aspects:

  1. Features
  2. Pros & Cons
  3. Pricing & Plans
  4. User reviews
  5. Comparison with Optimal Workshop

Let’s explore some reasons why you might reconsider using Optimal Workshop and opt for an alternative tool instead. There are several factors to consider when making this decision.

Or, skip right to the list of Optimal Workshop competitors ⬇️ 

Optimal Workshop features

  • Card sorting
  • Tree testing
  • First-click testing
  • Online surveys
  • Reframer – a tool for qualitative research

Drawbacks of Optimal Workshop

1. Limited Research Methods

Optimal Workshop is a user research tool focused primarily on methods for information architecture research i.e. card sorting and tree testing. This focus is certainly beneficial to users of the platform that have a narrow research scope, however, anyone conducting complex user research or usability testing is bound to find the portfolio of UX research methods lacking.

2. Pricing structure

Optimal Workshop pricing is not the most user-friendly. Big teams of UX researchers in enterprise-level companies might not have problems fitting the Optimal Workshop plan into their budget, however, mid-level and smaller companies might find the pricing too high. This is true, especially considering the lack of some other important user research methods on offer.

3. Minimal Reporting Capabilities

While Optimal Workshop provides basic reporting features, some users may find them insufficient for their data analysis and reporting needs. Advanced analytics and visualization options are crucial for extracting meaningful insights and effectively communicating research findings.

List of the Best Optimal Workshop Alternatives & Competitors

  1. UXtweak
  2. UserZoom
  3. UserTesting
  4. Userlytics
  5. UXarmy
  6. Useberry
  7. Playbook UX
  8. Proven by Users  
  9. UX Metrics
  10. UserQ
  11. Maze

1. UXtweak

optimal workshop alternatives

UXtweak is an all-in-one UX research platform that offers many tools. Their card sorting and tree testing tools are of the best industry standard and a great alternative to OptimalSort and Treejack of Optimal Workshop. A first click testing tool and a survey tool are also in UXtweak’s portfolio. On top of that, UXtweak offers tools for prototype testing and website and mobile usability testing as well, all at a lower price point than Optimal Workshop.

Features:

👀Check out these demos see how a card sorting and a tree testing study looks like in UXtweak: 

What content organization makes sense to my users?

Open Card Sorting
What content organization makes sense to my users?

Can users find what they're looking for on my website?

Tree Testing
Can users find what they're looking for on my website?

Pros

  • Pleasant UI and a easy to use even for begginers
  • Advanced reporting and analytics options with PDF reports available
  • A free plan for lightweight research
  • Support by live chat, email, and telephone and detailed documentation, guides, and video tutorials available.
  • Integrates with 3 different prototyping tools: Figma, InVision, Axure (With the ability to build interactive prototypes in the UXtweak editor from design screens exported out of any design/prototyping tool)

Cons

  • Only supports 10 languages.

UXtweak Recruitment options

There are 3 main options when it comes to recruiting participants for your studies: 

  • Recruit testers from a cost-effective 155M+ User Panel with 2000 profiling attributes
  • Use the handy Onsite Recruiting widget – a smart website widget that transforms your website visitors into usability testers
  • Recruit your own tester using a unique tool Own Database – User research CRM-like tool to help you manage your participant database and send emails with invitations for user tests.

Reviews & ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.9/5

Ease of Use – 4.8/5

Customer Service – 5/5

Pricing & Plans 

Free forever Starter plan is available for trying out all the UXtweak tools – perfect for small projects.

The Plus plan starts at $80/month and the Business plan at $144/month (billed annually). Enterprise plan and custom plans offers are available at request after discussing the needs of the organization.

💡Tip!

Interested in UXtweak? Compare Optimal Workshop and UXtweak more in-depth in the UXtweak vs Optimal Workshop article

2. UserZoom

optimal workshop alternatives

UserZoom is a user research platform targeted at larger companies. Its comprehensive range of features and research methods make it a valuable solution for gathering actionable insights and improving the user experience of digital products from websites to apps. It allows plan personalization with the option to add a choice of extra features based on your requirements and is a solid competitor of Optimal Workshop.

Features:

  • Usability testing
  • Card sorting
  • Tree testing
  • Surveys
  • Live interviews
  • Click testing
  • Qualitative research methods

Pros

  • Automated voice transcription
  • Unlimited screening questions
  • Great reports and analytics

Cons

  • Not well suited for individuals or small businesses.
  • Can be hard to use  – The UI of the platform (as remarked by users) is not the most intuitive and easy to figure out when starting to use the platform
  • Study instructions can sometimes be confusing
  • Doesn’t offer free trial plans
  • With a lot of traffic, the live function does not seem to always work properly.

Recruitment Options

With UserZoom you can either recruit your own participants (at no additional cost) or user their 120M+ User Panel, supporting 20 languages.

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.4/5

Ease of Use – 4.5/5

Customer Service – 4.7/5

Pricing & Plans

UserZoom primarily targets larger companies, and as a result, their solutions come with higher price tags. There is no free plan available, but UserZoom does offer a free trial upon request. The pricing is always upon request but the starting price for UserZoom’s services is typically around $70,000 per year.

3. UserTesting

optimal workshop alternatives

One of the oldest and a well-established online user testing platforms on the market offers a great alternative to Optimal Workshop if you are looking for a broader range of tools and methods. It comes, however, with a much higher price tag.

Features:

  • Website testing
  • Mobile application testing
  • Prototype testing
  • Card sort & Tree test
  • Preference test
  • 5 second test
  • Survey tool
  • 1:1 interviews with testers

Pros

  • Instant insights
  • Advanced participant targeting 
  • Tool for benchmarking 

Cons

  • Rather weak reports
  • Lots of non-qualified testers and lack of diversity in the user panel
  • The small non-English speaking user base

Recruitment Options

UserTesting gives you two ways to recruit participants:

  • Get testers from their 400K+ User Pane
  • Share a study link with your own testers

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.5/5

Ease of Use – 4/5

Customer Service – 4/5

Pricing & Plans

UserZoom’s pricing is not publicly disclosed and the price is calculated individually upon request. It caters primarily to large enterprises and mid-sized companies, with costs starting at approximately $30,000 per year.

4. Userlytics

optimal workshop alternatives

Another great and well-rounded user research platform that offers an alternative solution to Optimal Workshop is Userlytics. They offer a multitude of UX methods with tools for information architecture research and testing. Apart from the fact that their user interface is rather outdated (in our opinion) is a solid option, with some rather unique pricing solutions.

Features:

  • Moderated & Unmoderated Usability Testing
  • User Testing for Mobile Apps
  • Prototype testing
  • Card Sorting 
  • Tree testing

Pros

  • Ability to purchase AI-generated transcriptions of your user tests
  • A large and diverse user panel

Cons

  • Rather outdated UI (at least in our opinion)
  • Learning curve 
  • No PDF reports are available

Recruitment Options

With Userlytics you can recruit your own testers or get participants from their 1M+ user panel.

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.6/5

Ease of Use – 4.5/5

Customer Service – 4.8/5

Pricing & Plans

No free plan is available. Userlytics offer a pay-as-you-go option, starting at $49/participant. Alternatively, you can subscribe to one of their plans for $399 – $999/month, billed annually.

5. UXarmy

optimal workshop alternatives

UX Army is a user research platform that offers a solid portfolio of tools and services for conducting user testing and gathering valuable insights. It provides features for remote moderated and unmoderated usability testing. As an Optimal Workshop competitor it offers good tree testing and card sorting, however, the plans are based on choosing just one method and can get pricey when there is a need for more complex research.

Features:

  • Unmoderated usability testing (website/app/prototype)
  • Live interviews
  • Card sorting
  • Tree testing

Pros

  • Quick set-up
  • Great Asia-oriented user panel  

Cons

  • You pay for the specific tool you choose, not the whole platform. (If you want multiple methods it can get pricey.)

Recruitment Options

UXarmy provides help with recruiting from their private user base. Since the company is based in Singapore, its panel is mostly Asia-oriented. There is an option to bring your own testers as well. 

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.4/5

Ease of Use – 4.3/5

Customer Service – 4.4/5

Pricing & Plans

UXArmy offers separate plans for individual tools in their toolkit. A card sorting plan starts at $79/month, and a tree testing plan at $99/month. Access to all tools starts at a cost of $286/month. Custom enterprise solutions are available.

6. Useberry

optimal workshop alternatives

Useberry, a user experience startup with Greek roots, offers a variety of remote testing tools and methods very similar to Optimal Workshop. While they are relatively fresh on the market compared to the well-established Optimal Workshop, they nonetheless offer a good alternative to the tool, with a lower price tag.

Features:

  • Single task testing
  • Five second testing
  • Card sorting
  • Tree testing
  • First click test
  • Surveys
  • Usability testing
  • Prototype testing

Pros

  • Integrates with 5 different prototyping tools: Figma, Invision, Marvel, Adobe XD, Sketch

Cons

  • A rather small user panel with weak targeting options
  • The basic plan doesn’t have the option to include screening questions

Recruitment Options

You have the option to bring your own testers or you can recruit testers from Useberry’s 240K user panel.

Reviews & Ratings

According to G2:

Overall score – 4.5/5

Pricing & Plans

Free plan is available.

Prices for their paid solutions start from $33/month (annual billing). The most popular Pro plan is $67 and Team plan starts an $84/month (annual billing).

7. Playbook UX

optimal workshop alternatives

A UX research platform with similar capabilities as Optimal Workshop however with a higher price point for most plans. A great option when you want to branch out to moderated testing on top of the capabilities of Optimal Workshop, it is, however, lacking a feature for first-click testing.

Features:

  • Moderated and Unmoderated usability testing
  • Prototype Testing
  • Mobile app testing
  • Card sorting 
  • Tree testing
  • Surveys

Pros

  • Transcriptions & timestamped notes-taking
  • Allow tags and reaction labels
  • Intuitive UI

Cons

  • The Grow plan doesn’t include moderated testing.
  • Pay-as-you-go option, doesn’t include access to tree testing and card sorting.

Recruitment Options

You can invite your own testers by sending them a study link, or recruit participants from Playbook UX’s private user panel.

Reviews & Ratings

According to G2:

Overall score – 4.5/5

Ease of Use – 9.1/10

Customer Service – 9.6/10

Pricing & Plans

Playbook UX offers a pay-as-you-go option, which however doesn’t include access to tree testing and card sorting. Grow plan is $267/month and their Scale plan $450/month (both billed annually) and all tools are included.

8. Proven by Users  

optimal workshop alternatives

A good UX research platform that offers 6 user research tools and makes a solid Optimal Workshop alternative for those looking for a lower price tag. Proven by Users is a reliable resource for conducting user research and enhancing the overall user experience.

Features:

  • Cards sorting 
  • Tree testing
  • First click testing
  • Five second test
  • Preference test
  • Survey

Pros

  • A more affordable Optimal Workshop alternative

Cons

  • Rather outdated UI (in our opinion)
  • No help with user recruitment

Recruitment Options

Proven by Users does not have a user panel nor does it provide any help with recruiting. You’ll have to recruit testers on your own.

Reviews & Ratings

According to G2:

Overall score – 4.5/5

Pricing & Plans

They offer a free plan limited to 3 responses per project. They offer a Targeted Testing plan with only one tool available from $399.95/year or $39.95/month. Prices for the Full Testing Suite with all the features start at $499.95/year or $49.95/month

9. UX Metrics

optimal workshop alternatives

UX metrics is a young platform designed specifically to conduct user testing and research on information architecture. They are an adequate alternative to Optimal Workshop if you are interested only in card sorting and tree testing and are looking to lower your user testing tool budget.

Features:

  • Card sorting 
  • Tree testing

Pros

  • Quick setup and easy to use
  • Free trial doesn’t have activity limits

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Unclear participant instructions
  • Weak analytics

Recruitment Options

UX metrics platform doesn’t provide a user panel, you will have to bring in your own testers.

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 3/5

Ease of Use – 5/5

Pricing & Plans

There is a limited free plan available (max 10 responses and 1 study) and the Pro plan starts at $49/month.

10. UserQ

optimal workshop alternatives

UserQ is a user research platform that helps businesses gain valuable insights by collecting and analyzing user feedback and opinions. It is a fine Optimal Workshop alternative with a good selection of research methods and a user panel oriented on the MENA region.

Features:

  • Five second testing
  • Card sorting
  • Tree testing
  • First click test
  • Surveys
  • Preference test
  • Prototype testing

Pros

  • Good targeting filters
  • User Panel oriented on the MENA region (including United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.)

Cons

  • Rather a small user panel (10,000+) with local participants.

Recruitment Options

Share a link to the study and bring in your own testers or recruit from the platform’s user panel.

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.5/5

Ease of Use – 4.8/5

Customer Service – 4.5/5

Pricing & Plans

User Q doesn’t have subscription or monthly fees and only offers a pay-as-you-go option. A single test without recruitment support starts at $10. A single tree testing or card sorting with 20 participants from their user panel is $90 per test.

11. Maze

optimal workshop alternatives

Maze is a UX research platform best known for its prototype testing tool, they, however, offer other methods such as card sorting and tree testing that make them an option to consider when choosing an Optimal Workshop alternative.

Features:

  • Prototype testing
  • Survey
  • Live website testing
  • Card Sorting 
  • Tree testing

Pros

  • Easy collaboration with colleagues
  • Nice UI

Cons

  • No hybrid card sorting
  • Basic analytics for your studies
  • Surveying capabilities of Maze are limited

Recruitment Options

Maze offers two ways of participant recruiting:

  • 70K+ user panel 
  • bring your own testers at no additional cost 

Reviews & Ratings

According to Capterra:

Overall score – 4.5/5

Ease of Use – 4.3/5

Customer Service – 3.8/5

Pricing & Plans

Maze offers a limited free plan. Their professional plan is $75/month, billed annually and a custom solution for enterprise-level clients is possible.

Free Optimal Workshop alternatives

  1. UXtweak
  2. UXarmy
  3. Useberry
  4. Proven by User
  5. UX Metrics
  6. Maze

By free alternatives, we mean tools that offer a completely free plan without any time restrictions, to a tool that has a free trial period. A free plan might however include other restrictions regarding the number of active studies or responses.

How to Choose an Alternative to Optimal Workshop?

If your issue with Optimal Workshop is too high a price point, look for tools with friendlier pricing. Highlight which features of Optimal Workshop are crucial to you and see what tools from your selection can match them.

The limited feature selection of Optimal Workshop can also be an aspect you are considering. There are many tools with similar price tags that, however, offer more features and methods for user testing than Optimal Workshop. UXtweak platform is one of them, with lower pricing, yet a broader selection of tools

If budget is not an issue and you want to try your hand at moderated research in addition to unmoderated research, consider User Testing or UserZoom which can both offer this on top of tools that Optimal Workshop does.

Which Optimal Workshop Competitor is it for you?

We hope this article helped you to see what alternatives there are if you want to switch from Optimal Workshop to another tool. There are many tools available on the market today and the amount of possibilities to choose from can be overwhelming. That is why we included only the best there is.

If UXtweak made your top list we are ecstatic. You can create a free account and check out the tool to see if it is really the right fit for you. And if you have any questions our support team is always here to answer them.

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