Editor’s note: this post was originally published on October 2, 2020 and was updated on June 14, 2022 to stay relevant and comprehensive.
Both UXtweak and Optimal Workshop aim to substitute usability testing in UX labs by remote user testing. They offer their users multiple features, and filters to obtain the most relevant data for each study. However, each of these tools offers a slightly different set of features.
The main focus of the tool
UXtweak and Optimal Workshop are both usability testing tools, meaning that they aim to make your website as user friendly as possible. Their focus, however, is quite different.
UXtweak is a more complex usability testing tool. As we are going to see in this article, its range of features is very diverse and thus suitable for the earlier development stages as well as the later ones. Thanks to this fact, UXtweak is your go-to tool for every stage of your website’s lifecycle.
Optimal Workshop’s focus is much more narrow. Its features are focused primarily on the website architecture and thus for the early stages of website development.
Card sorting is a frequently used method to help web designers better understand what the best information architecture for their potential customers is. During a card sorting session, respondents are given “cards” with various topics and they are asked to organize them into categories that seem logical to them.
There are three types of card sorting, all of them provided by UXtweak – open card sorting, closed card sorting, and hybrid card sorting.
- Open card sorting: your respondents do not only organize topics into categories that seem logical to them, but they also create the categories. This gives you a good idea about which words describe each category most accurately.
- Closed card sorting: your respondents organize the given topics into predefined categories – they do not name them. If you are working with predefined categories, this gives you a good idea about how your potential customers perceive these categories.
- Hybrid card sorting: this option combines the best of Open and Closed card sorting and it can be used to validate an information grouping strategy while still leaving respondents room for free expression.
After finishing your study, UXtweak allows you to filter your respondents based on factors such as time taken to finish the study and the number of categories. It also analyzes the results for you, giving you insights about what categories your respondents created, which cards they sorted into each category, or which card groupings had the strongest agreement.
Optimal Workshop offers, similarly to UXtweak, the open, closed and hybrid card sort. The study, moderated or unmoderated, is easy to set up and the results are analyzed straight after you finish it. However, their Card Sorting tool is also know as Optimalsort.
This part may be confusing to the ones who are new in the world of UX research, but Optimalsort, essentially, is just an another word for card sorting. This terminology was created by Optimal Workshop and describes the same process as any other card sorting study.
Image source: Optimal Workshop
Let’s say you conducted your card sorting study. Now what?
A great option to evaluate the category structure you created, whether by the help of card sorting or not, is tree testing. In a tree testing session, respondents are presented with a branching (tree-like) structure. The respondents are asked to find specific information within the menu. Thanks to obtained results, you can then evaluate where users get lost, whether category names make sense to them, and if category hierarchy matches user expectations.
UXtweak offers you three options on how to create your tested tree. You can:
- build a new tree in a straight-forward editor
- import the tree from a spreadsheet
- load the tree from your website
The study is fully customizable and it allows you to use questionnaires to screen out respondents, to collect additional comments and feedback, and to segment respondents later based on their attributes.
The results you obtain after finishing are designed to give you quick, actionable insights and enable you to delve deeper into the data. You can see how users move through the navigation menu – including where they got stuck.
Optimal Workshop also has the option of conducting an unmoderated tree test study. Similarly to Optimalsort, Optimal Workshop also has another word for their tree testing tool – Treejack. But don’t get confused! Treejack is the same thing as tree testing, just named differently. It describes the same process and caters to the same research needs.
In treejack, you can adjust the tree structure as you want, but you have to do it manually. After conducting the Treejack study Optimalworkshop analyzes the results for you and you can also filter the respondents according to several criteria such as time taken to finish the task or the success rate of your respondents.
Image source: Optimal Workshop
Congratulations, you successfully created categories for your topics and even after conducting a tree testing study, it seems like users can find what they are looking for in the navigation menu. Now, it is time to implement the results directly to your website. But the work does not stop here – you should be able to see how users behave on your website.
One of the best ways to evaluate this is UXtweak’s session recording tool.
- The session recording tool allows you to record and watch how visitors on your website interact with it and whether they are experiencing any problems. Session Recording captures every respondent’s journey on your website and provides heatmaps, activity tracking, and statistics which helps to understand how your regular visitors see your website, if they are confused by something or if they find something to be unclear.
Analyzing hours of recordings can be exhausting. Luckily, Session Recording’ feature SmartSearch allows you to skip sections of inactivity, watch sessions at double or quadruple speed, and directly seek out the important events on the timeline. Session Recording also gives you important insights into your respondent’s behavior such as success rate, time of completion, and lostness.
Optimal Workshop does not offer session recording. This means that these benefits only come with UXtweak.
Sometimes, you might be experiencing a specific problem on your website such as the number of visitors subscribing to your newsletter being too low. In such a case, using UXtweak’s Website Testing tool may be a great option to understand why that is happening. At its core, it is very simple. The respondents are asked to complete a task – sign up for a newsletter, fill out a form, make a purchase, or simply find something on the website. If they manage to do so, they complete the task.
- Website testing is for task-oriented session recording or user testing. When using this feature, you set up a task directly on your website. Then you just watch them complete the given task. You can record mouse movements, scrolls, clicks, and keypresses on your web. These insights allow you to uncover the confusion, uncertainty, and hesitation of your users which is valuable information for improving your website’s usability.
Optimal Workshop does not offer you this option, thus these benefits are exclusive to UXtweak.
Another efficient way to evaluate how respondents behave on your website is to use heatmaps. Heatmaps are a visual representation of all the data you gathered. By using different colors, ranging from warmer colors such as red and orange to cooler colors such as green and blue, heatmaps show you what parts of your website people focus on the most – where they clicked, tapped, moved their mouse, etc. The visualization makes it easier to understand large amounts of data.
Both UXtweak and Optimal Workshop offer heatmaps, however, they are slightly different. UXtweak offers you pretty complex heatmaps with the visualization of mouse movements, mouse clicks, and taps. UXtweak also offers you scroll maps, which is a variant of heatmaps showing how far down the visitors have scrolled down the page.
Optimal Workshop offers different type of heatmaps. A part of their first-click testing is click maps – heatmaps, that visualize where users click the most often after landing on the website. This gives you numerous insights needed to make a website intuitive and efficient, however, the tool is limited to testing where on an interface people would click first to complete a task.
First-click testing is another type of usability testing, allowing you to evaluate the effectiveness of the linking structure of your site. First-click testing examines what a respondent would click on first to complete a certain task. This might seem to be of little importance, but statistics show that 87% of people who find themselves on the right path after the first click will successfully complete their task.
UXtweak offers an easy to set up First Click Test tool that gives you all the insights you need to guide users towards success. The first click is the most important one, right? With UXtweak all you need is a picture. First clicks provide a usability benchmark that can be used from early through every stage of design. This tool is perfect for A/B testing.
Optimal Workshop also offers a range of first-click activities to get insights needed to improve the usability of the website.
Image source: Optimal Workshop
Thanks to all the features described above, you already have a fair picture of how visitors feel about your website and how they interact with it. But even if you used every single tool we spoke about, you still only see data – actions, clicks, scrolls, etc. To know exactly what people think and how they feel about a certain thing, you have to use questionnaires.
Both UXtweak and Optimal Workshop offer a very similar set of questionnaires. To begin with, both of these tools offer you the option of using screening questions that enable you to “choose” the right people for your study – you can for example ask respondents about their gender if your study is primarily targeted at women. This way, you only get relevant results and save everyone’s time.
UXtweak and Optimal Workshop also allow you to ask questions before and/or after the study and even after each individual task.
Apart that, UXtweak offers a separate Survey tool that helps you gather both qualitative and quantitative insights about the users. Check out this “What is a UX Survey and how to conduct one” article to learn more about how to create an effective user survey.
Optimal Workshop has the online survey tool in their feature set as well.
Mobile Usability Testing
Providing good user experience even on a small screen size is crucial especially in a time when 72,9% of online sales come from mobile devices.
UXtweak has recently introduced their new Mobile Usability Testing tool, which can help you test your mobile UX with users and improve your product based on the insights! It gives you an opportunity to tap into real user’s minds, analyze their behavior and see how they perform certain actions.
Most importantly, by analyzing the recordings of a mobile usability testing study you can see where customers have problems with using your mobile website or app, what confuses and frustrates them.
With that new tool you can test a variety of products, which makes it an all-in-one solution for any case. You can test:
- A released mobile app from AppStore. You’ll just need to provide UXtweak with the link to the store where your app can be downloaded.
- An app’s beta version uploaded to TestFlight. Uncover usability issues and eliminate them all before the app’s release.
- A mobile website. Find out how users interact with your website on a small screen size and improve your mobile UX.
- Mobile prototype. Uncover and get rid of the issues early in the design stage by testing your mobile prototype of an app or website. Upload a link to your interactive prototype from tools such as Figma, InVision, Axure RP 9, Adobe XD, Sketch and Marvel.
To find out more about mobile testing and how to create a study visit our comprehensive Mobile Usability Testing guide where we explain it all! Unfortunately, Optimal Workshop doesn’t offer mobile usability testing, this tool only comes with UXtweak.
Competitive Usability Testing
Apart from the traditional usability testing studies you can do with UXtweak, from now on you can also test the UX of your competitors’ websites.
With our new Competitive Usability Testing tool you can uncover strengths and weaknesses in your web user experience by testing your competitor’s products, see what confuses users on their websites and learn from their mistakes.
It saves you from wasting your budget and allows you to get insights about user behavior on your competitor’s site before releasing a new product.
With Competitive Usability Testing you can:
- Get inspiration for improving the usability of your website.
- Refine your objectives to remain on top of industry trends and updates.
- Integrate the results of competitive usability testing into your marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
The process of such testing is also super easy! Just create a new website testing study in the UXtweak app and add a link to your competitor’s website. Define tasks for the users that replicate real life scenarios and launch your study. In order to complete the test, participants will just need to install a UXtweak Chrome Extension – a browser plug-in that allows for tracking user activity on any website.
Optimal Workshop does not offer that feature.
Testing your prototypes is a must in case you don’t want to spend tons of money improving the usability issues on the already running website. It saves your time, money and the nerves of your developers.
UXtweak offers a great prototype testing tool that helps you easily uncover all the downsides of your Figma and Invision prototypes. You can set up a whole Prototype Testing study in a matter of minutes, without the need to upload any huge files. You just need a link.
The option to test Adobe XD prototypes is currently at the development stage, so stay tuned – we’ll let you know when it’s live!
Optimal Workshop offers prototype testing as well. Their tool allows you to easily get quick insights on your designs.
Above all UXtweak offers a Preference test tool that will quickly and sufficiently help you choose the design options that work best for the users. Just ask participants which design from a group they prefer most. You can also include the questions after the study and learn about their perspectives and the deciding factors.
Optimal Workshop, unfortunately, doesn’t offer a preference testing tool.
Five Second Test
A Five Second Test is a crucial tool for anyone who owns a website. It allows you to find out if users are able to grasp the message of your website or is totally irrelevant. Do users even know what your site is about when they first get there? That’s the question for a Five Second test.
UXtweak offers a great Five Second Test tool that will break all your doubts. It’s quick and easy to set up and gets you valuable insights into users’ perceptions of your website.
Optimal Workshop does not have a Preference test tool.
Alright, you managed to set up the perfect study. But if you want to get some valuable results, you need someone to participate in it. But where to find the respondents? To answer this question, UXtweak and Optimal Workshop have 2 different solutions.
UXtweak offers 3 ways to recruit respondents for your study.
- The first way of recruiting respondents with UXtweak is using a Recruiting widget. Inserting the widget into your website turns visitors into study respondents after they click on the widget. You can also provide testers with an incentive in the form of coupons after they complete a study.
- The second option is to copy a link generated for each study – you do not have to install any additional software or browser extension. You can send this link to your existing contacts, users, or customers, or you can simply post it on your social media. After clicking on this link your respondents will be automatically redirected to the study.
- The third option is UXtweak’s 155+M User Panel which provides you with quality targeted testers in no time. The price starts at 5$/respondent.
What is very important, these methods are mostly free and will not burden your budget.
Optimal Workshop decided to take a different approach here. They also offer you two different options on how to recruit your respondents, but they are not completely the same as with UXtweak. Firstly, and similarly to UXtweak, Optimal Workshop gives you the possibility to send your respondents a study link which will redirect you to the study after clicking on it.
Secondly, Optimal Workshop offers you access to their panel of 50+M participants. The price starts at $10, it can be heavy on your budget mainly if a bigger amount of participants is needed.
When you are making an important decision, you should have all the information possible.
UXtweak offers you a Free forever plan for small projects with an unlimited number of studies.
With Optimal Workshop, you can subscribe to a Free plan as well. However, it only allows 1 live study and 10 participant responses.
As we already discussed, both tools have a free plan. Let’s now take a look at the paid solutions. Subscribing to one of the UXtweak’s plans, including the free one, you get access to all of the tools.
UXtweak’s Plus plan, which we recommend for solo researchers, costs $83 per month for one user when billed annually. For this price, you get an unlimited number of studies with up to 30 responses per each and a full version of all research tools.
A business plan, best suited for companies, costs only $122/month when billed annually. It also comes with benefits such as unlimited number of active studies, invoicing, technical support as well as PDF and CSV reports.
We’d be happy to create a customized enterprise solution to fit your complex needs. You can contact us for a custom quote.
Optimal Workshop offers you 3 different plans. Their most popular one, Pro plan is $166/month (billed annually) and allows for unlimited live studies and participant responses. They also have a Team plan for 153$/per user and offer a customized pricing solution.
UXtweak and Optimal Workshop are two very similar usability testing tools.
They offer multiple features to help you evaluate what the best solution for your website is.
Both tools offer card sorting, tree testing, surveys, prototype testing and a first click test combined with advanced analytics. On top of that UXtweak offers a five second test, mobile and website usability testing, competitive testing, session recording and preference testing. It also has more recruitment opportunities, providing you with a handy Recruiting Widget.
If billed annually, UXtweak is also definitely the cheaper option.
The final choice is up to you. If you want a first-hand experience of UXtweak, go ahead and create you account!