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

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Categorize research insights with fields

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

January 23, 20202m read


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.

15m read

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?

November 22, 20194m read

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.

November 6, 20194m read

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.

August 21, 20195m read

Inside Research – 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.

June 28, 20198m read

Inside Research – 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.

April 10, 20198m read


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.

January 13, 20205m read

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.

January 10, 20204m read

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.

January 6, 20201m read

What is Research Ops?

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

7m read

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.

December 18, 20193m read

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.

December 17, 201910m read

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.

6m read

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.

September 4, 20192m read

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.

August 31, 20192m read

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.

July 17, 20192m read

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.

July 16, 20191m read

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.

June 27, 20191m read

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.

June 21, 20191m read

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.

June 14, 20192m read

Inside Research – 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.

June 12, 20197m read

Inside Research – 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.

May 18, 20197m read

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.

May 8, 20191m read

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.

April 24, 20191m read

Inside Research – 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.

April 24, 20197m read

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.

April 16, 20198m read

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.

April 9, 20193m read

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.

April 5, 20191m read

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!.

March 29, 20192m read

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.

March 13, 20194m read

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.

March 11, 20193m read

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.

January 21, 20195m read

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.

January 11, 20194m read

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.

January 10, 20197m read

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.

November 15, 20182m read

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.

5m read

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.

July 17, 20185m read

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.

3m read

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.

June 4, 20184m read

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.

10m read

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.

6m read

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!.

6m read

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.

March 12, 20182m read

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.

February 26, 20184m read

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.

4m read

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.

8m read

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.

November 21, 20172m read

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.

November 14, 20171m read

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.

October 5, 20173m read

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.

September 27, 20175m read

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.

July 20, 20175m read

Taking the plunge on your startup

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

July 2, 20176m read

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.).

July 1, 20175m read

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.

June 20, 20177m read

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!.

May 19, 20177m read



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