All graphic designers must agree that the designing process can get really frustrating and time-consuming when it comes to continuous corrections after the client’s feedback. This, as a result, negatively affects the workflow, impairs productivity and even worse – can lead creators to burnout. While many emerging artists and aspiring graphic designers look for the best free drawing software to ease their workflow, such programs often lack advanced sketching tools. Besides, free programs sometimes serve up poor user experiences and might stifle artists’ creativity.
However, there are ways to avoid this and bring in the balance as well as to boost the performance when sketching designs. It has never been easier to achieve desirable results faster because 2021 rewards the designers with a variety of Sketch Plugins to run user and usability testing.
If you are not familiar with Sketch Plugins for User & Usability testing, or plugins in general, don’t worry, keep on reading. In this article we will tell you the benefits of using plugins for Usability Testing and User Research as well as our top picks that will speed up your workflow in 2021.
Installing Sketch Plugins
Let’s start with just clarifying what plugins are. In simple words, a plugin is a piece of software that adds a specific feature and functionality to a certain program and makes it work smoother.
The main benefits that the plugins provide are: decreased workload, saved time and money, optimized work process, flexibility and many other great features that certain plugins can give.
Installing the plugin is so simple, it takes just a few easy steps. Here are the general steps on how to install a Sketch Plugin:
- Download the plugin you want to use
- Double-click on downloaded file to install it
- Once you have your plugin installed, you can access all its features and manage them in computer preferences > plugins.
Sketch plugins for user testing help to assess how potential users would interact with the created design. It provides designers with insights on what parts of the design would work well and what elements, perhaps, shouldn’t be added. The earlier designers discover problems in the development process, the more it will save them time and of course, money.
Why it is important to do user and usability testing
Regardless of the knowledge and experience level, designers tend to make assumptions about how the design will perform.
Even though the design might look nice, professional, and functional for the designer who created it, however, in many cases the expectations don’t live up. This is why it is important to do actual testing, and get real, useful insights from others.
User & Usability testing is a valuable procedure when it comes to developing product design. It allows designers to understand how actual users would interact with the product. Testing gathers information that helps designers to identify the issues. Simply put, it makes real people use the products and provides feedback, based on which designers make changes to improve the product.
Before entering the development state, habitual product testing makes the workflow less repetitive. Helps to achieve desirable results faster and boosts productivity plus, it’s pretty easy to do it.
So, now, when it’s much more clear what plugins are, why usability testing is important and what benefits it brings, let’s dive into the top Sketch Plugins for User and Usability testing.
Top Sketch Plugins for User and Usability testing
Mupixa provides an intuitive usability testing platform, whereby only following the 4 simple steps, you can test your design prototype and create a more user-centric user experience.
Mupixa key features:
Fast and convenient procedure – quickly upload design prototype directly from Sketch or other types of design toolkits that you use;
Real users interaction – gain valuable feedback and learn from their responses;
Remote and flexible testers experience – share the link with testers and they will be able to test it wherever and whenever;
Valuable testing results – make data-driven decisions with provided analytics and interaction flow details as well as visible replays.
The great thing is that Mupixa offers a free plan for individuals which includes key features.
For businesses, there is a Pro plan that costs from 39$/month, which includes all the Free plan features plus more advanced characteristics.
And the last plan offered is for Enterprises, which price is customizable and its features include everything from the Pro version plus advanced security, multiple licenses, and priority support.
The setup process of Mupixa is pretty simple and fast. No application required. Get to know this plugin more by checking their website.
Useberry has 5 key features:
Heatmaps – predict which elements of design will gain more attention;
User Flows – allow developers to see how users navigate throughout design;
Video Recordings – show testers’ real-time interaction;
Timebars – indicate the longitude until certain action is made;
Answers – allow receiving the feedback through scale and open type of questions.
The plan with the basic features costs from 33$/month.
Pro version – from 67$/month and Team package – from 84$/month.
Plus, you can contact Useberry team for custom plans. Check them out here.
Another quick and effective way to do user and usability testing is to get the Preely plugin. This remote user testing platform allows you to try-out assumptions, get rapid learnings, and expand ideas that will help to improve the design concept.
Preely key features include:
Effective collection of a large amount of quantitative feedback that creates a solid data-based foundation for certain design solutions;
User-led insights – bring value and fresh perspective on a product design;
Seamless experience assurance – easy to use, suits every designer’s needs and allows to reach even a global audience;
Users’ experience translated into numbers – make stronger arguments about certain decisions with actions and insights converted into numbers.
You can try out Preely with a free plan. Limited advantages, but to get to know how it works, it’s a great option.
For a more advanced version with more benefits, a Pro version costs from 46$/month, a Team plan – from 99$/month and an Enterprise package for custom pricing. Check them out here.
Adee plugin is a comprehensive accessibility tool that was built taking into account designers that have color blindness. This plugin has features that help to create designs and test them in order to create an inclusive design without any barriers.
Adee key features:
ColorBlind Simulator – simulates 8 forms of color-blindness. It does black and white simulation, gives comments on contrast test results, compares different modes and more;
Alt text generator for different format images – automatically detects images and guides you through certain text edits;
Contrast Checker – lets users do live previews, easily adjusts and changes color contrasts, allows comments on the test results and more;
Touch Target Size Checker – tests the sizes of links, buttons, and other elements to ensure their accessibility. Also, provides suggestions and comments to meet standards and allows to share the results with the whole team.
Every feature has different functioning techniques and guidelines, therefore, if you are interested in using this plugin we invite you to dig deeper into them by checking their blog where it’s explained how to use Adee’s plugin and certain features.
Overall, we think it’s amazing plugging to create impactful designs. And the best of it – that it is totally free to download. So, check them out here.
Another great way to make the design more usable is to use Stark.
Stark is the suite of integrated accessibility tools for making the designs for the products. It is named as one of the best plugins for color contrast checking.
Stark key features:
Contrast checker – tests and shows results in 2-4 seconds whether the design is contrasting well;
Colorblind generator and 8 Colorblind Simulations – ensure maximum accessibility for everyone who uses the product;
Smart Color suggestions – help you to take the guessing part out of color selection process and speed up the work;
The Access to Stark Beta Community – helps to find inspiration, and valuable advice to create accessible, impactful designs.
Stark offers a free plan for starters, which includes basic features to get to know what this tool is about.
Once you feel comfortable using Stark or already are at an advanced level, there is a PRO plan from only $6/month that includes more features and tools.
Stark offers a Custom plan for teams of more than 10 people that need more control and support, which price is also customizable.
Check each plan here.
Attention Insight is a visual attention prediction algorithm that uses artificial intelligence and heatmaps to test product design usability.
This tool provides feedback with no need of direct user engagement and data collection.
Attention Insight plugin is based on simulating a human’s vision and this allows clients to see their products through potential user’s eyes with 94% accuracy.
Attention Insight key features:
Attention Heatmaps – show which parts of the design get more notice. This data is shown in warm-to-cold colors, warm colors indicate higher attention rate and cold colors – a lower one;
Percentage of Attention – allows you to define the area of interest that needs to be tested and provides the exact percentage of attention that the design element (e.g. call-to-action button) gets;
Automatic Percentage of Attention – automatically recognizes CTA buttons and provides an exact percentage of attention that this button gets;
Clarity score – allows you to measure the clarity of your design and compares it with other designs that are in the same category;
The deals start with a free plan for those, who want to learn and “warm-up” first.
For individual creators, Attention Insight offers a Solo plan from €48/month.
For teamwork, there is also a separate plan called Team for €320/month.
And as a standard, the most powerful plan is for Enterprises, which price is customizable.
Check the billing plans and get to know Attention Insight more by clicking here.
Sketch is one of the best software to use for designers, due to its functionality and ability to make it as powerful as you want by adding different plugins.
However, we believe that adding plugins for the user and usability testing to Sketch is a must when seeking your workflow to be less repetitive, and more efficient in a shorter amount of time.
We listed quite a few great plugin options for usability testing.
Now look into them again, choose the one that is most suitable for you, and supercharge your productivity!