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With so many different product discovery solutions available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to parse through your ideas and identify real opportunities more efficiently, but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different discovery tools with large teams and projects, with my picks of the best product discovery tools.

If you're part of a development team, this software could be best for you. It assists you in uncovering, validating, and assessing the impact of new product ideas, enhancing your understanding of what constitutes a minimum viable product for your audience. I've delved deep into these tools, and I'm here to guide you toward the ones that I believe will best serve your needs.

What Is a Product Discovery Tool?

Product discovery tools are software solutions that help you identify, analyze, and validate potential product opportunities. They do this by consolidating user data, prioritizing features, mapping out product roadmaps, facilitating user testing, and enabling strategic decision-making.

These tools not only aid in the product discovery process, but they're also instrumental in refining your backlog, facilitating valuable insights that turn abstract product ideas into real user stories with a compelling value proposition. Used by product managers, designers, and developers, they support a more data-driven approach to launching a new product concept.

Overview Of The 10 Best Product Discovery Tools

1

Airtable

Best for flexible product management with diverse database capabilities

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.6
1339 reviews

Free plan available

From $24/user/month

Airtable is a cloud-based software platform that combines elements of a spreadsheet with a database. It offers diverse functionalities, ranging from project planning to inventory tracking, making it a flexible tool for comprehensive product management.

Why I Picked Airtable:

I selected Airtable due to its unique blend of flexibility and robust database capabilities. Unlike other tools, it provides a variety of templates and views - grid, calendar, kanban, gallery, and form - to manage and visualize product data. I believe it's 'best for' those needing flexibility in product management because of its ability to adapt to different workflows and requirements.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Airtable provides powerful features like linking related content, data syncing between bases, and automation for repetitive tasks. It also includes robust reporting tools for tracking progress and identifying trends. In terms of integrations, it connects with a wide range of other platforms including Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, GitHub, and more.

Pros

  • Supports extensive integrations with other tools
  • Offers robust reporting and automation features
  • Adaptable to various use cases with its flexible views and templates

Cons

  • Free tier comes with significant limitations
  • Limited in-built data validation features
  • Can be complex for non-technical users
2

Segment

Best for consolidating and utilizing user data from various sources

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
418 reviews

14-day free trial + free plan available

From $120/month (billed annually)

Segment is a data infrastructure platform that collects, stores, and routes user data from various sources to analytics tools. Its key role in consolidating diverse user data makes it ideal for businesses that need to streamline their data collection and utilization processes.

Why I Picked Segment:

In my determination, I chose Segment for its strong focus on managing user data from multiple sources. This quality sets it apart from similar tools in the data integration landscape. It stands out due to its ability to simplify the complex process of gathering and analyzing data from various channels, making it best for businesses that deal with multi-channel user data.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Segment provides data tracking and API features that enable efficient collection and routing of data. Additionally, it offers features for audience segmentation and real-time data access. Segment integrates with several other tools including Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and Amplitude, among others, which significantly enhances its utility in diverse data environments.

Pros

  • Provides real-time data access
  • Simplifies data management from various sources
  • Strong integrations with a multitude of tools

Cons

  • Limited customization options
  • Some integrations may need technical know-how
  • Higher cost compared to some other tools
3

UserTesting

Best for comprehensive user testing with live video sessions and interviews

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.5
566 reviews

Free demo available

Pricing available upon request

UserTesting is a platform designed to provide real-time insights into user experiences. It enables product teams to conduct live video sessions and interviews, providing an interactive approach to user testing. It justifies its position as the best tool for comprehensive user testing due to its strong focus on live interaction, which brings invaluable firsthand insights.

Why I Picked UserTesting:

I chose UserTesting for its unique approach to user testing. Rather than relying solely on data, it facilitates live interactions to capture candid user reactions and feedback. This real-time interaction makes UserTesting stand out from other tools. Thus, I believe UserTesting is best for those who value comprehensive and interactive user testing.

Standout Features & Integrations:

UserTesting's live video sessions and interviews stand out as its primary features. It also provides features such as note-taking, clip-making, and video sharing, which aid in data collection and dissemination. UserTesting integrates with several other platforms including, but not limited to, Adobe XD, Slack, and Jira.


Pros

  • Offers useful integrations with platforms like Slack and Jira
  • Enables note-taking and clip-making for comprehensive analysis
  • Provides direct interaction with users via live sessions

Cons

  • Time-zone differences may make scheduling live sessions challenging
  • The learning curve for mastering all features may be steep
  • No transparent pricing model available
4

Hotjar

Best for understanding user behavior with heatmaps and session recordings

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
251 reviews

15-day free trial + free plan available

From $59/month

Hotjar is a behavior analytics tool that provides insights into how users interact with websites. By utilizing features such as heatmaps and session recordings, Hotjar effectively captures and presents user behavior data, aiding teams in making user-centered product decisions.

Why I Picked Hotjar:

In selecting tools, Hotjar caught my attention due to its visually comprehensive way of demonstrating user behavior. Its ability to create heatmaps and record user sessions stands out as a valuable asset in understanding the user's interaction pattern. For these reasons, I hold the view that Hotjar is best for teams aiming to understand user behavior through visual cues like heatmaps and session recordings.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Hotjar's essential features are its heatmaps, which visualize user clicks, scrolls, and moves, and session recordings that capture real, anonymized user interactions on the site. It also provides feedback polls and surveys to gain direct input from users. Hotjar integrates well with various platforms including WordPress, Shopify, and Google Tag Manager.

Pros

  • Offers integrations with multiple platforms
  • Enables direct user feedback through polls and surveys
  • Provides detailed visual data via heatmaps and session recordings

Cons

  • Limited functionality beyond behavior analysis
  • Requires a minimum of two users
  • Can be expensive for small businesses
5

ProductPlan

Best for high-level strategic planning and visualization of product timelines

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
145 reviews

14-day free trial

From $49/user/month

ProductPlan is a dedicated roadmapping platform designed to facilitate strategic planning and visualization of product timelines. Its features enable users to establish clear product strategies and communicate them effectively, aligning with its strength in high-level strategic planning and visualization.

Why I Picked ProductPlan:

I selected ProductPlan due to its singular focus on providing a comprehensive strategic planning platform. Its ability to display complex product timelines visually makes it stand out among similar tools. Based on my comparison and judgment, ProductPlan serves as an optimal choice for teams that require efficient visualization of their product roadmaps and strategic planning.

Standout Features & Integrations:

ProductPlan's most useful features include roadmap creation, planning templates, goal setting and tracking, prioritization, and collaboration tools. Its integrations include popular platforms like Jira, Trello, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, among others, making it easy to incorporate into an existing workflow.

Pros

  • Efficient collaboration tools
  • Strong integrations with popular project management tools
  • Powerful visualization of product timelines

Cons

  • Higher pricing point compared to some competitors
  • Lacks detailed project management features
  • The user interface might take time to understand
6

Productboard

Best for product managers prioritizing features and mapping out roadmaps

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.3
197 reviews

15-day free trial

From $25/user/month

Productboard is a comprehensive product management tool designed to help product teams prioritize features, centralize product information, and craft compelling product roadmaps. Its user-centric approach makes it invaluable for teams dedicated to building products that meet real user needs.

Why I Picked Productboard:

I singled out Productboard for its strong emphasis on feature prioritization and roadmap visualization. It simplifies the usually complex process of determining what to build next and lays out a clear path to achieve it. The tool stands apart with its features like a user feedback portal and prioritization matrix.

Therefore, I find it 'best for' product managers to aim to systematically prioritize features and lay out clear roadmaps.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Productboard shines with its features like a customer feedback repository, feature scoring system, and visually appealing roadmaps. Additionally, it offers persona and segmentation tools to cater to different user needs. As for integrations, Productboard smoothly collaborates with popular tools like Slack, Jira, Intercom, and Salesforce to streamline product management workflows.

Pros

  • Comprehensive integrations with other tools
  • Robust feedback management system
  • Excellent for feature prioritization and roadmap visualization

Cons

  • Limited options for custom fields in some plans
  • Higher tiers are fairly pricey
  • User interface can be a bit overwhelming initially
7

Usabilla

Best for capturing real-time user feedback and improving UX

Free Demo

Pricing Upon Request

Usabilla is a powerful user feedback tool that helps businesses understand and improve the user experience on their websites, apps, and emails. Its comprehensive feedback-capturing capabilities are key to making informed decisions based on users' perspectives.

Why I Picked Usabilla:

I chose Usabilla primarily because of its exceptional ability to capture user feedback in real time, enabling businesses to make quick and effective enhancements to the user experience. It stands out from other tools due to its visually intuitive feedback forms and surveys.

Usabilla truly is 'best for' those looking to better understand their users' experiences and preferences.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Usabilla's features include targeted surveys, visual feedback capture, and detailed analytics reports. These functionalities allow businesses to gather rich insights and identify UX improvement areas. On the integrations front, Usabilla connects with numerous platforms such as Slack, Jira, Trello, Zendesk, and Salesforce to streamline workflow processes.

Pros

  • Offers extensive integrations for workflows
  • Rich analytics for deep insights into user experience
  • Provides detailed, real-time user feedback

Cons

  • Initial setup might require some technical knowledge
  • Customization options may be limited
  • Pricing is not transparent
8

Maze

Best for rapid user testing and iteration in the design phase

Free plan available

From $99/month

Maze is a user-testing platform that allows product teams to test, learn, and iterate quickly throughout the design process. Its strength lies in enabling teams to collect and analyze user insights swiftly, thereby allowing for rapid iterations during the design phase.

Why I Picked Maze:

I chose Maze for this list primarily because it streamlines the user testing process in a unique way. Unlike other platforms, Maze provides quick, actionable user insights which are crucial during the design phase.

This distinctive capacity to facilitate rapid user testing and iteration led me to determine that Maze is best for teams during the design phase of product development.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Some of the key features of Maze include interactive testing for prototypes, heatmaps for visualizing user interactions, and actionable insights that drive decision-making. Maze integrates smoothly with top design tools such as Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD, which enhances its utility within the design workflow.

Pros

  • Integrates with popular design tools
  • Provides actionable insights from user tests
  • Rapid and effective user testing capabilities

Cons

  • Requires annual commitment for most affordable plan
  • High cost can be a barrier for smaller teams
  • Limited utility outside of the design phase
9

Contentsquare

Best for leveraging visual analytics for improved user journey insights

Free demo available

Customized price upon request

Contentsquare is a digital experience analytics platform that enables businesses to understand how and why users are interacting with their apps, mobile, and websites. It's an excellent tool that applies visual analytics to deliver deep user journey insights.

Why I Picked Contentsquare:

I chose Contentsquare due to its distinct focus on visually representing user interactions, making it easier to spot trends and anomalies. It's not just an analytical tool; it's a visual journey mapping tool that offers comprehensive insights into user behaviors.

This unique feature makes it 'best for' anyone seeking to leverage visual analytics for improved user journey insights.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Contentsquare comes with a dynamic heat map, session replay, funnel analysis, and AI insights to help you dive deeper into the user journey. It also provides actionable recommendations based on the data captured. In terms of integrations, Contentsquare can integrate with Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and a range of other marketing and analytics tools.

Pros

  • Useful integrations with other analytics tools
  • Insightful user journey mapping
  • Excellent visual analytics

Cons

  • Might require technical assistance for full deployment
  • Can be complex for beginners
  • Pricing isn't transparent
10

Jira

Best for agile project management and software development

7-day free trial

From $7.75 per user/month

Jira, by Atlassian, is a widely recognized platform used extensively for agile project management and software development. It provides teams with the tools to plan, track, and release world-class software, embodying the agile methodology at its core.

Why I Picked Jira:

I picked Jira for its comprehensive approach to project management in software development scenarios. It offers tools that embrace agile principles, facilitating scrum, Kanban, or mixed methodologies. It's my belief that Jira excels in catering to agile project management and software development needs due to its wide range of features specifically tailored to these practices.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Jira features include customizable scrum boards, flexible Kanban boards, roadmap planning, and advanced reporting capabilities for tracking progress. Jira integrates flawlessly with other Atlassian tools like Confluence and Bitbucket, while also providing integrations with a plethora of external tools such as Slack, GitHub, and many more.


Pros

  • Advanced reporting features
  • Extensive integrations with internal and external tools
  • Comprehensive agile project management tool

Cons

  • High cost for large teams
  • Interface could be more intuitive
  • Might be overwhelming for beginners
11

Miro

Best for collaborative brainstorming and ideation in product teams

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.8
3415 reviews

Free plan available

From $10/user/month

Miro is an online visual collaboration platform that enables teams to work together in real-time. Its focus on interactive, visual collaboration makes it an excellent choice for product teams looking to brainstorm and ideate together, regardless of their geographical location.

Why I Picked Miro:

In my judgment, I chose Miro for its exceptional focus on real-time visual collaboration. The platform differentiates itself with an extensive set of drawing and diagramming tools, supporting a diverse array of brainstorming activities. This focus makes Miro the best choice for product teams who need to visualize ideas and engage in collaborative brainstorming.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Miro shines with features such as endless canvas, premade templates, real-time collaboration and commenting, and intuitive drawing tools. The platform integrates well with many other productivity tools, including Slack, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft Teams, making it easy to incorporate into existing workflows.

Pros

  • Real-time collaboration and commenting features enhance team cooperation
  • Excellent integrations with commonly used productivity tools
  • Offers a wide range of drawing and diagramming tools

Cons

  • Occasional lag issues reported during heavy usage
  • More expensive than some competitors when billed annually
  • Can be overwhelming for new users due to the vast number of features
12

airfocus

Best for decision-making based on strategic prioritization of product features

This is an aggregated rating for this tool including ratings from Crozdesk users and ratings from other sites.
4.4
129 reviews

14-day free trial

From $83 /editor/month

Airfocus is a product management tool that offers strategic planning and prioritization features. By using a unique scoring system and visualizations, it aids product teams in making informed decisions on feature prioritization, making it the ideal choice for product teams who need to strategically allocate resources and prioritize development tasks.

Why I Picked Airfocus:

In determining the best tools, I selected Airfocus due to its exceptional capacity for strategic decision-making. What makes Airfocus stand out is its proprietary prioritization system, which assists teams in understanding which features will offer the most value. This specific quality led me to view Airfocus as the best tool for prioritization in product feature development.

Standout Features & Integrations:

Airfocus provides robust features including a priority scoring system, a roadmap view for strategic planning, and a collaboration feature to include everyone in the decision-making process. It integrates with a number of other project management tools such as Jira, Trello, and Asana, making it a flexible addition to any product team's toolbox.

Pros

  • Allows for team-wide collaboration in feature prioritization
  • Integrates well with other project management tools
  • Unique priority scoring system supports strategic decision-making

Cons

  • Pricing may be on the higher end compared to other tools
  • Has a bit of a learning curve, particularly for non-technical users
  • Annual billing could be a barrier for some teams
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Other Noteworthy Product Discovery Tools

Below is a list of additional product discovery tools that I shortlisted but did not make it to the top 12. Definitely worth checking them out.

  1. Miro

    Best for collaborative brainstorming and ideation in product teams

  2. airfocus

    Best for decision-making based on strategic prioritization of product features

  3. Userlytics

    Good for remote usability testing

  4. Intercom

    Good for customer communication and engagement

  5. Crazy Egg

    Good for visualizing user behavior with heatmaps

  6. UXCam

    Good for mobile app user experience optimization

  7. FullStory

    Good for digital experience analytics and session replays

  8. Uservoice

    Good for gathering and prioritizing customer feedback

  9. Typeform

    Good for engaging and interactive surveys

  10. Optimal Workshop

    Good for user research and information architecture

  11. Pollfish

    Good for market research via mobile surveys

  12. Google Optimize

    Good for A/B testing and website optimization

  13. Loop11

    Good for conducting usability tests on any HTML interface

  14. Qualtrics

    Good for comprehensive experience management

  15. Mixpanel

    Good for product analytics and user behavior tracking

Selection Criteria for Choosing Product Discovery Tools

In my pursuit of the best UX research tools, I've tried out more than 20 tools, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. While many tools offer a range of functionalities, I prioritized those that offered comprehensive and specialized features for UX research. Below, I'll delve into the specific criteria I used to select the tools that provide the most value in this context.

Core Functionality

When evaluating UX research tools, I was particularly interested in tools that:

  • Enable user behavior tracking and analytics
  • Allow for user testing, with options for both remote and in-person sessions
  • Provide features for survey creation and distribution
  • Offer feedback collection and management

Key Features

The key features I was specifically looking for in these UX research tools include:

  • Heatmaps and Clickmaps: These offer visual representations of user interactions on your site or app, helping you identify what elements users are drawn to or ignore.
  • Session Recording: This allows you to replay user interactions, giving you a real-time view of user behavior.
  • User Surveys: Tools should have a feature that allows for the creation and distribution of surveys to gather direct user feedback.
  • Feedback Analysis: Look for tools with advanced analysis features to extract insights from user feedback.
  • Integrations: The tool should easily integrate with other commonly used tools in your tech stack.

Usability

In terms of usability, UX research tools should strike a balance between offering robust functionality and maintaining user-friendly design. Here's what I paid attention to:

  • Intuitive Interface: Given that these tools will be used to collect and analyze data, it's crucial that they offer a clear, organized, and easy-to-navigate dashboard.
  • Learning Curve: The tool should be easy to understand and use even for those without much technical expertise. Clear guides and instructions should be provided.
  • Customer Support: Prompt and helpful customer service can greatly enhance user experience, especially when dealing with technical issues or complex features.
  • Customizability: The ability to tailor the tool's features to your specific needs—such as customizing user surveys or defining user segments—can greatly enhance the tool's usefulness.

Most Common Questions Regarding Product Discovery Tools (FAQs)

What are the benefits of using product discovery tools?

Product discovery tools offer several benefits, including:

  1. User Insight: These tools help understand users’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, which inform product design and development.
  2. Improved Decision Making: Data collected from these tools provides evidence for making strategic product decisions, reducing the reliance on guesswork or assumptions.
  3. Risk Mitigation: By testing product concepts and features with real users, these tools help identify potential issues or areas of improvement early in the process, reducing the risk of costly changes later.
  4. Improved User Experience: They help optimize the user experience by enabling you to design and deliver products that align with user expectations.
  5. Competitive Advantage: These tools help you stay ahead of the competition by keeping you attuned to user needs and trends, and facilitating rapid iteration and improvement.

How much do product discovery tools typically cost?

The pricing for product discovery tools varies significantly based on the specific tool, its features, and the pricing model. They typically follow a subscription model, either monthly or annually, with different pricing tiers based on feature access and usage.

What are the typical pricing models for product discovery tools?

Most product discovery tools use tiered subscription pricing models. These tiers are often divided based on the number of users, the volume of data or participants, or access to premium features. Some tools also offer custom pricing for larger organizations or specific needs.

What is the typical range of pricing for product discovery tools?

Pricing for product discovery tools can range widely from about $10/user/month to over $200/user/month for premium tiers in high-end tools.

What are the cheapest and most expensive software options?

The most affordable options include tools like Google Optimize, which is free, and Hotjar, with plans starting at $39/month. On the expensive end, tools like Qualtrics can cost several thousand dollars per year, depending on the size of the organization and the package selected.

Are there any free tool options available?

Yes, some product discovery tools offer free options. For example, Google Optimize offers a robust free version. Additionally, many tools offer free trials or limited-feature free plans, which can be a good way to test the tool before committing to a paid plan.

Other Product Manager Tool Reviews

Summary

In this guide, I've ventured into the landscape of product discovery tools, examining their distinct functionalities, usability, and pricing models to help you make a more informed decision.

What Do You Think?

I hope you found this guide useful in narrowing down your choices for the best product discovery tools. Remember, it's not always about going for the most popular or highly rated tool but about finding the one that best fits your specific use case and workflow.

I'm interested to know, are there any tools you've used and loved that didn't make it onto this list? I'm always on the lookout for excellent tools to include in future updates. Your suggestions and experiences are valuable, so feel free to drop your recommendations, and let's help everyone discover the best product discovery tools out there!

By Hannah Clark

Hannah Clark is the Editor of The Product Manager. Following six years of experience in the tech industry, she pivoted into the content space where she's had the pleasure of working with some of the most brilliant voices in the product world. Driven by insatiable curiosity and a love of bringing people together, her mission is to foster a fun, vibrant, and inspiring community of product people.