BlogProduct updates

Meet the new Dovetail: Markup, Playback, and Backstage

24 March 2022
Benjamin Humphrey
Bradley Ayers

Five years ago, we created Dovetail as an innovative product designed to help researchers analyze and make sense of unstructured data. We’ve grown in countless ways since and have been lucky enough to see Dovetail adopted by researchers across organizations large and small.

Throughout this journey, Dovetail has evolved to include powerful features like video transcription and highlightingvideo highlight reelscustomized project views, and more recently, visual affinity mapping and whiteboarding. The evolution of the product has made Dovetail the standard for how thousands of organizations and users—including researchers, designers, product managers, and more—analyze data.

We’ve spoken to many of you and our 4,000+ community members over the years and taken note of the challenges you all face. In particular, we hear our customers talk about how difficult it is to:

  • Centralize customer knowledge from across an organization

  • Measure the impact of research in your organization

  • Get stakeholders to engage and take action on research

  • Manage research participants in a compliant way

Just as our customers have adopted Dovetail, we too have used Dovetail to develop our understanding of the challenges you face. The deeper we dive, the more we become obsessed with solving these problems for you. As a result, we’ve been working to triple the size of our product team and recently raised $63m in funding to help us deliver solutions for you faster. That brings us to today: We’re excited to announce the next evolution of Dovetail designed to help you and your organization make better decisions through customer understanding!

The next evolution of Dovetail

Meet our three new products: Markup, Playback, and Backstage! Each product is a focused experience developed to solve our customers’ distinct challenges across data analysis, centralizing customer knowledge, and research participant management.

Markup: New name, same greatness

Markup helps you transform your raw data into insights in minutes, not hours. Whether you’re in research, design, product management, or marketing, we built Markup for people who do research. If you’re familiar with Dovetail, this is likely where you’ve spent most of your time tagging interviews, finding patterns in your research, and preparing insights for your team.

Learn more about Markup

Playback: Our brand new repository product

For the first time, you can build a customer knowledge repository separate from your analysis workspace. Researchers can do all of their analysis in Markup, and your stakeholders can read, engage, and discover with all of your findings in Playback.

Use Playback to build a searchable insights library and empower individuals from across your organization—from product, sales, marketing, or leadership—to make customer-driven decisions.

Learn more about Playback

Backstage: Our standalone participant management product

With more research, managing your participants across all of your data and insights in a safe and compliant way becomes challenging. Backstage enables you to create profiles for your research participants to track connections between your data.

With Backstage, you’ll now be able to control access to this private and personal participant data and restrict visibility to only the people who need to see it (like your ResearchOps team, for example). You can now manage your participants in a totally separate environment from Markup and Playback. All the work in ResearchOps or DesignOps can happen behind closed doors!

Learn more about Backstage

What next, you ask?

If you are an existing Dovetail customer, check your inbox for an email on how these changes will affect you. In summary, here’s what to expect:

Easily switch between products

Once your workspace is upgraded, your in-product experience will change for you and your team. You will have focused experiences within the Dovetail platform—Markup, Playback, and Backstage. You’ll easily switch between the separate products using the top navigation.

Decide which users should access which product

With these three new products, your team can now decide who should have access to which products. These new access controls are available for each product and allow you to map your workspace based on how you want to work. For example, you may want to restrict Markup to only those conducting or collaborating on live research projects and open Playback to any stakeholder that would benefit from accessing customer insights. Focus your team where it makes sense for you and your projects.

This is just the beginning of the evolution of Dovetail. As we continue to talk to our customers and hear your feedback, we will evolve Dovetail into new products to better serve the challenges you face in understanding your customers.

We have a bunch of new features planned across all three products in the coming months. See our public roadmap for more details.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think. Hop into our Slack community or give us a shout at

Get started today

Collaborate up to three users free, forever.

Start freeContact sales

Keep reading

See all
Get started, free forever

Start free
A few of our customers

See more customers →