User Research can be complicated to visualize without free UX research tools

6 Free User Research Tools You NEED in 2024

Let’s face the facts, shall we? Nobody likes to pay for stuff. Everyone is a bargain hunter. If there’s a free tool and a paid tool that both do the same job, nobody is going to voluntarily select the paid option. In fact, they may scour the web, searching long and hard to find a free alternative. That person may be you.

But fret not! If you’re a UX researcher or perform user research as part of a Product rolem then we’ve already done the hard part for you. We’ve compiled the ultimate free list of user research tools to scale, simplify and strengthen your work. With these tools in your box, there’s no reason for you to ever get as frustrated as Ian here.

@tldv.io You just can’t win #product #productmanager #productmanagement #tech #uxdesign #corporate #startup ♬ original sound – tldv.io – AI Meeting Recorder

So let’s kick it off: here are 6 free UX research tools that you NEED in your arsenal for 2024 and beyond.

The 6 Best Free User Research Tools

Before we reveal the full list of the best free user research software in 2024, it’s important to leave a note about paid versions. Many research tools in this list will have both free and paid versions. Always test out the free version first. There should be enough features on there for you and your team to play around and get to know how it works before commiting to giving your hard-earned cash away.

It may turn out that the free version is already good enough for your needs. If that’s so, great! If not, give these free versions a whirl and get to know the software first.

1. Google Analytics – The Best Free Tool For Analyzing Data

Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a well-known tool that is the epitome of research analysis. If you need to track performance stats, like the number of visitors a website receives, or bounce rates, for example, then Google Analytics is the free user research tool that you need. The recently updated consent mode v2 is designed to integrate website visitor consent preferences, ensuring compliance with Google’s analytics tools.
It helps you understand your traffic flow in more detail. For instance, it shows the source of traffic, helping you understand where visitors are arriving from. Is your SEO on fire? Are you conducting proper analysis using SERP analysis tools? Or do you have viral content on social media? Google Analytics will analyze domain quality for your site and provide insights about other channels. It can even report live visitors! And there are apps for both iOS and Android.
There are several key features that Google Analytics offers:

  • Reports keywords
  • Analyzes traffic
  • Tracks conversions
  • Gives audience information
  • Identifies traffic sources
  • Works with a variety of Google extensions

While Google Analytics does have a paid version, the free version offers more than enough tools to totally obliterate any competitors. If you’ve not used it before, first of all, why the hell not? Secondly, add it to your list for 2024. You won’t regret it.

2. tl;dv – The Ultimate User Interview Recorder for Sharing Insights

tl;dv is a video conferencing platform that allows you to record, edit, transcribe, and timestamp video calls. If you’re running some virtual user interviews, this remote UX research tool will save you days of work sifting through interview notes that never fully capture the true essence of the user. With time, details of the call may fade. With tl;dv, they’re permanently rewatchable and you can see every mannerism and utterance of your user to maximize the potential data gathered.

"You know a product is good when you imagine the world without it and your palms start sweating! tl;dv is probably my favourite tool out there."
Jose Fernandez Castaño can't imagine the world without tl;dv
Jose Fernandez Castaño
Co-Founder & CEO of Velaris

If your current research is not convincing your stakeholders to act, or even worse, not even reaching them, then it’s essentially useless. Measuring and analyzing data is important, but the accessibility and comprehensiveness of the findings is equally important. This is where tl;dv comes in…

"I spend so much of my life in meetings. This is an absolute god send. Thanks for making this a reality."
Gavin Dove
Gavin Dove
Co Founder and CEO of Fluent

tl;dv can help you here as it’s fully compatible with Slack (as well as 5,000 other work tools). Got a specific insight you want to share from your 2 hour video call? Make a timestamp and simply send it as a hyperlink straight to your work chat. Your colleague will be able to jump directly to the part they need to see. tl;dv really is one of the best free user research tools: and certainly the best virtual meeting tool.

To put this another way, tl;dv enhances your user research repository of choice by providing a link to the exact moment of your Google Meet, Zoom, or MS Teams recording and transcript. It only takes a simple click to instantly link the moment with your existing research repository, like Notion, or any other documentation tool. When it comes to analyzing your research, all notes and tags are directly linked to the exact moment of the meeting from which they came, and can be accessed straight from your platform of choice. This allows for a deeper understanding of your user’s needs and wants, as well as unbiased evidence to show to work colleagues and stakeholders.

Simply put, tl;dv is essential to any user researcher’s kit in 2024 and beyond. Its free plan is one of the best in the business, allowing for:

  • Unlimited video recordings on both ZoomGoogle Meet, and MS Teams
  • Transcriptions in more than 25 languages
  • AI summaries
  • Accurate speaker recognition
  • Timestamps
  • Highlights
  • Editing
  • Creating and sharing clips
  • Recording automations
"Any company looking to move to asynchronous communications should get tl;dv. It's time for synchronous meetings to get async superpowers."
Scott - a tl;dv happy customer. tl;dv is a Google Meet recording Google Chrome extension.
Scott Markovits
Former Head of Support at InVision

3. Maze – A Top Tool for Usability Testing

Maze is a powerful UX design tool

Trusted by over 60,000 brands, Maze is a well-known and well-supported usability testing tool. And it’s probably the best free research software you can get in the usability niche. It’s changing the way digital products are built, encouraging designers and builders to innovate and iterate until their design is proven with quantitative data.

Maze bills itself on providing your new competitive edge by encouraging continuous product discovery. It intends to fit every team’s schedule, experience, and needs, while breaking barriers between users and researchers: you.

"Using Maze has supercharged our product design process and made it possible to drive faster turnaround times, speeding up product iteration and making for a better, faster user experience"
Yuna Akazawa loves Maze
Yuna Akazawa
Product Designer at Braze

Its free plan empowers you to kickstart your product growth without spending a single cent. Recommended for individuals, small teams, and for light research, this free plan is a nice way to test out the basic features. Check some of them out:

  • 5 seats
  • 1 study / month
  • Up to 7 blocks

4. Tally.so – A Fantastic Tool for User Surveys

Tally.so's homepage

Tally.so is a first-rate platform for building online forms that stand out. It’s super simple to use; so simple that you just write like a regular doc. Anybody can do it! It allows you to collect and share your data, maximize its effectiveness and organize your workspace more efficiently.

And you’d best believe there’s a free plan worthy of our list. We wouldn’t leave you high and dry with an expensive hurdle in the middle of our list of free user research tools. Tally.so offers up 99% of its features for free and without limits. Its impressive free plan includes the following:

  • Unlimited forms
  • Unlimited submissions
  • File upload
  • Custom ‘Thank You’ page
  • Email notifications
  • Redirect on completion
  • Calculator
  • Hidden fields
  • Close on submission limit
  • Custom closed message
  • Integration with Notion, Google Sheets, Airtable, Zapier, and Make

This is just the brief version. Tally.so’s free plan is as generous as they come. It’s more than enough to have a good play around and see if the online forms you create gather more data than your current method.

5. Hotjar – The Best Platform for Visual Insights

Hotjar bursts into the usability and analytics scene with the maxim, “everything you ever wanted to know about your website, but your analytics never told you…” It immediately lets you know what’s missing: a visual element, which Hotjar is all too happy to provide.

This epic little tool empowers you to make the changes that matter – the ones you may not have known you needed until Hotjar showed you. This nifty app is also connected to many other tools, allowing for simple and easy integration with all your favorite work tools, including Slack, Zapier and Google Analytics, among others.

Trusted and used by over a million websites in more than 180 countries, it’s safe to say that Hotjar is a big name in the digital business world. If it’s not already on your free tool radar, then the red alarm bella should be whirring right now, shouting, “Download me! Download me!”

As well as having easy-to-follow visuals on their homepage that explain all it does, Hotjar also offers up a free plan that you’d be silly to pass up on. While they’ve recently taken the details off their pricing page, it previously showed that you would get:

  • 35 daily sessions
  • Automatic data capture
  • Unlimited heatmaps.

For more features, you’d need to upgrade, but the free plan should give you enough of an idea to see whether it’s worth it for your business.

"We like to make people happy at Reed.co.uk and Hotjar's Feedback shows us how well we are doing."
Brett Orr
Brett Orr
Lead Product Owner, Reed.co.uk

6. Trello – The Best in the Business for Organization and Card Sorting

If you’ve never heard of Trello, you’ll have to convince me that you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade. Trello is a leading organization tool that allows you to create cards and boards visually, then move them all around in a flexible and freeing way to help you keep track of your user research (or whatever else you want to organize).

It’s one of the easiest project management tools to use, and if you aren’t already using it, it might be a wise idea to try it out now. Its no-nonsense design makes it intuitive and easy to learn. And, most importantly, the majority of its features are available for free.

The free plan allows for:

  • Unlimited cards
  • Unlimited storage (with a max file size of 10mb)
  • Up to 10 boards per workspace
  • Custom backgrounds and stickers
  • Unlimited activity log
  • Assignee and due dates
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • 2-factor authentication

There are dozens of other features that make the free plan well worth checking out too.

Again, this can be used for teams to organize a collaborative project – perhaps in combination with other free user research tools like tl;dv to arrange your users’ insights in a way that makes sense to your company –  and it can also be used for individuals who want to organize anything else. I’ve known people save their to-do lists on Trello and have different sections for goals that are in progress, for the future, and already complete.

"Trello is the foundation for every round of user research we conduct and makes insights accessible to everyone in the organization."
Hannah Ghidey loves Trello!
Hannah Ghidey
Former User Insights Manager at DoSomething.org

Bonus: Free Video Conferencing Tools

If you’re doing anything remotely user research-y, then you’ll need a video conferencing platform too. While tl;dv is the best option for recording, transcribing and editing your video recordings, it’s not a conferencing platform in and of itself. For that, you’ll need to download Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or any other video calling software that calls out to you.

If you choose one of those three, you need not upgrade to the paid plans so long as you partner it with tl;dv. tl;dv takes care of all the recording, organizing and editing that their native plans can’t handle (not even the paid ones). You can see a deeper comparison between tl;dv and G Suite here.

You can also check out our ultimate guide to recording meetings.

Take Your User Research to the Next Level for FREE

Using these free user research tools, you can upgrade your research, enhance your analysis, and prepare your business for take-off. We hope you take action on our free UX research tools, and integrate them into your work progress. At the very least, they’re worth a try.

After all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

tl;dv for Sales
Spend your time where it matters most. Uncover Sales intelligence and track how well your team follows your Playbooks. tl;dv is an AI Meeting Assistant that helps you (finally) get insights from all your meetings, right in your team's favorite tools.
Recordings & Transcripts (+30 languages)
Onboard new reps with ease
Evaluate your meetings against popular frameworks like MEDDIC, BANT and more
Create your own framework
Automatically push your meeting notes to your favourite CRM
Speaker insights to help you keep control of your meetings
  • Joins your meetings, even if you don’t.
  • Records and transcribes in +30 languages.
  • Takes notes in your preferred structure.
  • Summarize one or multiple meetings.
  • Auto updates your favourite tools (Slack, Notion, CRM, etc).
  • Provides coaching insights on your meeting style.
Running late to your next meeting?
Send tl;dv instead and get blown away!