Product & Company

Improved tagging, bulk editing, tag merging, and performance

3 minute read17 December 2019
Illustrated screenshot of the new highlighter menu in Dovetail.

A focus for us is improving Dovetail to gracefully handle large volumes of projects and research data at scale. We want Dovetail to be delightful to use for teams of two to right up to teams of over 10,000, and to support volumes of data from just a handful of customer interviews, to an entire organization’s user feedback like NPS responses.

As part of this effort, we’ve been working on a number of updates to improve usability and performance across Dovetail, and made critical workflows like tag selection, tag merging, and bulk editing as smooth as butter. We hope these improvements make Dovetail even more enjoyable to use and help you get your work done faster!

Improved tag selection and menus

We’ve overhauled the tag selection interaction, which is one of the most important features in Dovetail. Now, when you make a selection, you can easily transverse your entire tag hierarchy through extensions, boards, groups, and tags.

Screenshot of the new highlighter from the highlights view in Dovetail.
Screenshot of the new highlighter from the highlights view in Dovetail.

We’ve also improved our product-wide menu system. Menus now fly-out on hover without needing to click through each item. This makes the experience consistent with what users expect in desktop operating systems like Windows and macOS, and helps to maintain context without needing to close and reopen menus.

Merge tags with drag and drop

We’ve heard your feedback about an easier way to merge tags together, and we know that refactoring and reorganizing tags is an important part of the analysis process.

Merging tags used to be a cumbersome interaction where you had to select all highlights on one tag, and then choose another tag to move them to. Now, you can merge tags by simply dragging one tag onto another, directly on the board.

Animated GIF of merging tags on a board in Dovetail.
Animated GIF of merging tags on a board in Dovetail.

Bulk edit usability improvements

Actions for performing bulk edit operations on notes, tags, highlights, and insights are now front and center. Our new purple bulk edit toolbar makes it effortless to perform tasks like copy, move, delete, add tag, remove tag, add to insight, and more without needless scrolling or cumbersome interactions.

Screenshot of the new bulk operations menu in Dovetail.
Screenshot of the new bulk operations menu in Dovetail.

You can also bulk select and drag notes and tags from one group to another. Just select a few notes or tags, and drag them where you want them to go.

Animated GIF of bulk dragging in Dovetail.
Animated GIF of bulk dragging in Dovetail.

Pro tip: Across Dovetail, any time you see checkboxes, try holding down the Shift key to select a range of items, like in Windows Explorer or Finder.

Boards are now over 300% faster

We’ve changed how we display notes and tags on boards to improve their performance, reliability, and speed. For boards with large datasets, the result is over 300% faster dragging and over 85% less memory usage.

Instead of showing all of the notes and tags that exist on your board, we now dynamically show only the notes and tags that are visible in your browser’s viewport. This technique is called virtualization. The result is boards that now scale to thousands of notes or tags without slowing your browser down.

Try it today

We care deeply about making Dovetail delightful and a pleasure to use – these updates are a direct result of the feedback that you’ve all sent us, so thank you!

These updates are out now for everyone. Give them a try and keep sending us feedback on your experience using Dovetail.

About the contributors
Picture of contributor to Method in Madness, Kai Forsyth.
Kai Forsyth
Product Marketer, Dovetail
Playlist curator and hydration enthusiast.
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Picture of contributor to Method in Madness, Brad Ayers.
Bradley Ayers
CTO and co-founder, Dovetail
Tech obsessed Queenslander.
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Picture of contributor to Method in Madness, Christopher Manouvrier.
Christopher Manouvrier
Principal Developer, Dovetail
Product centered engineer.
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Picture of contributor to Method in Madness, David Richard.
David Richard
Lead Developer, Dovetail
Engineering whizz and surfer.
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