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Articles on research, design, startups, engineering, and more.



Stay in the loop with project notifications

We’ve made it easier for you and your stakeholders to say up to date with your research findings. Easily subscribe to projects to receive emails about new notes, insights, tags, comments, and highlights.

Atomic research: From reports to consumable insights

Explore atomic research and nuggets with the help of Tomer Sharon. Create meaningful insights from research that are continually useful and relevant to stakeholders.

Research collection and analysis when everyone’s remote

Remote research helps you get the valuable insights you need to create better customer experiences – especially if you’ve got a tight budget, time constraints, or need to effectively bridge distances.


Q&A with Matt Duignan from Microsoft's Human Insight System

Microsoft's Principal User Research Manager of the The Human Insight System, Matt Duignan talks about his experience in the space of atomized insights or insight repositories in a Q&A session.

Introducing a new way to tell stories – with video and transcription

Transform your interviews and usability testing recordings into accurate transcripts, and create engaging video highlights of key moments to share with your team.

Collaborative analysis: A better way of involving stakeholders in research

At Rosenfeld Media’s Advancing Research conference, Dovetail’s UX Designer Lucy Denton presented a talk on collaborative analysis and how to involve stakeholders in your research.

Why we raised $4M and what we’re planning for 2020

Since 2017, Dovetail has grown to an 11 person team with hundreds of customers, all with no external investment, and no sales or paid marketing. Now we’ve raised $4m to accelerate.

Research repository: solving your organization’s research problems

A look at the problems facing research organizations and how they’re turning to research repositories to help.

Create global tags that span projects with extensions

Create, maintain, and contribute to a set of ‘global’ tags across projects and build a shared knowledge base by contributing to broader themes. Great for tracking personas, key tasks, core features, and more across projects.


Creating WeWork’s Polaris research repository in Dovetail

A look into WeWork’s in-house research repository and how you can get started building a similar repository within Dovetail.

Curious Minds – Interview with Matter’s research and design team

Matter is a professional feedback platform based out of San Francisco. We spoke with them to learn about how they approach research and design.

Cool, calm and collated: Getting organized with your qualitative research data analysis project

Like cleaning your own house before the hired cleaner comes, getting your design research project organized will save embarrassment and help you see and action the real work beyond the surface. Here are some tips and examples shared by people in the UX community.

Research repositories in 10 minutes

A lightly edited transcript of a talk Dovetail’s CEO presented, covering what a research repository is, what problems they are trying to solve, and some principles to guide decision-making for people who are planning to set one up for their own organization.

Analysis of design research data begins before we think it does

When should data analysis happen in a research process? Surely it’s after we’ve collected the data, isn’t it? This is true, but not necessarily in the way we usually think it is. There are some good reasons why launching into analysis concurrently with our collection of data gives our teams and our organizations the best advantage for balancing both depth and flexibility.

Maintain context: minimize notes, tags, and insights

Minimize notes, tags, and insights to keep them at hand as you move across Dovetail.

Get excited for Advancing Research 2020

Rosenfeld Media is presenting Advancing Research, a conference for people who do research, taking place in New York at the end of March 2020. The conference is specifically designed to meet the needs and demands of the new generation of researchers.

The role of synthesis in creating order from research chaos

How research professionals navigate raw qualitative data and use the power of synthesis to identify truly valuable insights that motivate action.

The way the cookie crumbled: How GDPR has changed the rules for design researchers

What does the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation mean for design researchers? Our handy guide explains the key principles and gives you step-by-step advice for everything you need to consider.

Copy and move notes, tags, and insights between projects

Now you can copy and move your research data between projects to help reorganize your work.

Categorize research insights with fields

Fields are now available on your insights. Easily categorize and retrieve research findings by filtering with fields.

Our first hackathon

We ran our first 30-hour hackathon just before Christmas, and it was a huge success, with nine projects across the company.

7 awesome books to read when starting out in user research

We’ve surveyed our community for books to read when you are entering the wonderful world of user research. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Renaming Discover to Home and making it more relevant

Our product homepage now has quick links to get to projects you’re working on, and a way to filter the feed to things that are relevant to you.

What is Research Ops?

Why organizations are operationalizing research with Research Ops, and what it means for researchers and the rest of the organization.

Improved tagging, bulk editing, tag merging, and performance

We’ve made a number of updates to improve usability and performance, and made workflows like bulk editing and merging tags with drag and drop easier.

The best design and user research tools for startups

Validating your idea and finding product-market fit are often the hardest parts of the startup journey. Thankfully there are plenty of tools to help you brainstorm, test your ideas, talk to customers, and learn what they want.

The difference between generative and evaluative research

Research approaches are often described as being “generative” or “evaluative” – but what are they, and how do they differ?

Capture structured data on notes with fields

Have a field day with fields – a new way to capture structured attributes on your notes in Dovetail and segment your highlights by their values.

What is Net Promoter Score (NPS)? – a guide for UX practitioners

This article explains Net Promoter Score (NPS) in simple terms, and how UX practitioners can use NPS to drive positive changes for customers.

Collaborate on user research and insights with @mentions and comments

Now you can @mention admins, users, and viewers to tag them in your data and insights, and post comments to start a discussion.

See all of your highlights in a spreadsheet-like view

Refactor, organize, and interpret highlights and tags across interviews, participants, survey answers, and any other unstructured data set.

We’ve overhauled search and now it’s better than ever

Dovetail’s global search is now easier and faster to use than ever before, empowering you and your colleagues to rapidly search through all the customer research you’ve ever done.

Stay on top of new insights across the org with Discover

Discover is the first step in a set of features to improve discovery and collaboration of user research across organizations.

Curious Minds – Interview with Mila Kuznetsova, Director of User Research at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Founded over 180 years ago, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a learning company with deep roots in the education and literary spaces.

Better navigation and layout options in Dovetail

Our new modal dialogs, horizontal formatting toolbar, resizable tag gutter, full width mode, and more make navigating Dovetail even faster.

Add more hierarchy in a project with multiple boards

Multiple boards introduces another level of hierarchy in projects and gives you a new way to organize your data. Kinda like sheets in a spreadsheet.

Visualize your user research with our new pie chart, treemap, and radar chart!

We’ve overhauled charts inside a project with three beautiful new visualizations, new metrics, hover tooltips, shiny animations, and improved legend usability.

Curious Minds – Interview with Pascal Wicht, Founder of Whispers & Giants

Pascal Wicht is the founder of Whispers & Giants, a Swiss design studio evolving at the intersection of ethnography, futures and strategy.

Curious Minds – Interview with Alastair Simpson, Head of Design at Atlassian

The second chapter in our new interview series where we talk with our customers to learn how they approach research and design within their organization.

Set global user access roles to control permissions

You can now set people as Admins, Users, or Viewers at the workspace level. Admins can manage the workspace and edit content, Users can edit content, and Viewers only have ‘read-only’ access to all projects.

Curious Minds– Interview with Mary Mikhail, UX Researcher at Kira Systems

Mary walks us through how user research is growing at this Canadian startup and shares her strategy for deciding on career opportunities.

Describe your project with our new project readme

Projects now have a place for you to provide an overview for newcomers. Add your goals, hypotheses, research plan, or any other information.

10 effective, simple ways to get great product feedback from early customers

Working on a new product? I have one word of advice: talk to your users. Building a new product from scratch is hard, but early adopters are often super willing to give you feedback.

Curious Minds – Interview with Erik Goyette, User Researcher at Shopify

We’re kicking off a new interview series with some of our users to learn more about how research and design works at organizations around the world.

5 ways to make user research part of your team’s daily life

In this article we’ll cover some simple techniques to get more stakeholders and team members participating in user research.

Share published insights with people who don’t have a Dovetail account

Insights public access is here! Share published insights with people who don’t have a Dovetail login, for example clients or stakeholders. All you need to do is just share a link.

Switch between multiple workspaces using a single user account

You can now belong to multiple workspaces at once without needing a separate user account. This new feature is great for agencies / consultants who work with lots of clients!.

Summarize and share research findings with your team using our new insights feature

Summarize user research insights with embeddable references, present insights on the big screen with presentation mode, and share findings with stakeholders and clients.

February and March update – new insights, starred highlights, editor enhancements, and more

We have been busy (as usual!) releasing a lot of new features, improvements, and fixes to Dovetail like new insights, starred highlights, new editor shortcuts, and more.

Introducing the new Dovetail — updated navigation, new features, and a new logo

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the newer, faster, and more intuitive Dovetail, available to all customers right now.

Looking forward to 2019—our goals and our plan to get there

2019 is all about nailing our core and scaling to become the obvious user research platform for businesses. Read on to learn about what we’re focusing on to make that a reality.

Reflecting on 2018 — what we achieved, learned, and struggled with while starting our startup

12 months ago, Dovetail was a brand new product with a handful of features and users. Now we have hundreds of happy customers and thousands of active users. Here’s our year in review.

New access controls help you manage who can view and edit research projects

This week we released our new project access controls to give users more control over who can view and edit projects. This feature is available now for customers on all plans except our Starter plan.

A beginner’s guide to natural language sentiment analysis

Learn how sentiment analysis works in basic terms and discover a few practical examples of when sentiment analysis is useful or not in this practical guide for beginners.

Announcing full-text global search with querying

Search all of your notes, tags, insights, and highlights. Refine your results with our powerful new query language, released today.

The difference between qualitative and quantitative research

It’s important to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative research, especially if you’re new to the field. This article covers the key differences in simple terms.

Dovetail now supports images and files with drag and drop

Drag and drop images, audio, video, and other file types into notes, tags, and insights in Dovetail.

Our list of qualitative research methods and techniques

This article lists a range of qualitative research methods. Each method is linked to an article with more information if you’d like to learn more about a particular qualitative research method.

How to analyze open-ended survey questions

This guide contains a basic overview of how to analyze unstructured qualitative data along with a few suggestions on how to get better insights from open-ended survey questions.

Tips for recruiting participants for user research

Finding, incentivizing, and managing research participants is one of the most involved aspects of qualitative research, and is often under-estimated. This guide gives you some pointers to make recruitment a breeze!.

Announcing automatic sentiment analysis at the sentence level

In Dovetail, we analyze the sentiment of sentences, rather than a roll-up of the whole document. This allows for much more granularity, and highlights core pain points or compliments hidden in the document.

Our new charts help you measure your tagging over time

This week we launched our brand new charts which help designers, product managers, and researchers combine the power of Dovetail’s qualitative tagging with a quantitative visualization over time.

How to run a user research diary study with participants

A diary study is a qualitative research method used to learn about people’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings over a period of time.

How to attract visitors to your startup’s website

This guide introduces common marketing channels that help to drive traffic to your website, like social media, content marketing, SEO, paid advertising, referrals, and more.

Use our Zapier integration to import data from over 750 apps

We’ve collaborated with Zapier to provide a great embedded experience to connect hundreds of apps to Dovetail.

Dovetail awarded Jobs for NSW startup grant to fund automated analysis features

Dovetail has been awarded a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from Jobs for NSW in Sydney, Australia. We’re putting this funding towards a product development investment in automated analysis features.

Applying Intel’s Tick-Tock model to software development

The ‘tick-tock model’ was an approach used by Intel to alternate between improvement and innovation every 12–18 months.

Interview with Siftery

Kevin William David from interviewed me to talk about Dovetail, how we’re different, and some of our challenges. This post originally appeared on and is re-published here with their permission.

Lessons from the trenches of pricing

If everything’s going well and your startup is still alive, at some point you will need to monetise. This article covers some of the lessons we’ve learned trying to monetise our MVP.

Taking the plunge on your startup

A write-up of my experience finding a co-founder, going full time, and ‘pivoting’ the product.

Outsourcing your startup’s MVP

Compromising is part of product design, and often the compromise is cutting scope. Cutting scope is better than compromising on quality. (Quality being defined as design, usability, stability, and performance.).

Thoughts on discovering a startup idea and validating it

If you are building a startup then you have an idea. Ideas are usually formed by observing a problem, whether it’s one that you have, or a problem someone else has.

Optimizing website performance on Ruby on Rails

Speeding up your marketing website has a positive impact on customer experience and search ranking. That’s exactly what I did this week and in this post I’ll show you how!.

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