Product & Company

Dovetail now supports images and files with drag and drop

4 minute read13 June 2018
Illustrated screenshot of images and files in Dovetail.

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

We talk with a lot of researchers and product managers, and one of the frequent pain points we hear is that their raw research notes and files are stored in a different place to the analysis, insights, and outcomes.

As an example:

Notes live in Word or Evernote. Photos, recordings, and videos are in Dropbox or on someone’s computer. Analysis is on sticky notes, in spreadsheets, or in something like Reframer. The research is presented with Powerpoint / Keynote, and insights are stored for later reference on Confluence.

Dovetail’s mission is to help teams build better products and services through customer feedback analysis and user research. While we’ve focused on textual data so far, we understand it isn’t just about text — research also includes rich assets like persona avatars, photos from workshops, screenshots of software, audio recordings of interviews, videos of user testing sessions, reports from other studies, presentations from different teams, and much, much more.

Starting today, you can now insert images, audio, video, and all other file types into your Dovetail notes, tag descriptions, and insights.

Animated GIF of uploading files to a note in Dovetail.
Animated GIF of uploading files to a note in Dovetail.

Context is important

Rather than create a simple ‘attachment’ feature, we thought it would be more powerful if you could insert images and files directly into the content of notes. This way, you can write around them to give them context, sync them in collaborative editing, reorder them on the page, tag them (coming soon) and copy / paste images and files between projects and notes.

Here are a few examples of how you could use images and files contextually to supplement your research in Dovetail:

Screenshot of links to files in Dovetail.
Screenshot of links to files in Dovetail.

Store recordings with your analysis and transcripts

Insert audio or video recordings of user testing sessions at the top of your transcript or notes from the session. Play them back while you’re analyzing the session to jog your memory or to get extra context.

Screenshot of recordings in a note in Dovetail.
Screenshot of recordings in a note in Dovetail.

Collect inspiration and other relevant studies

Upload relevant presentations, documents, spreadsheets, and diagrams to your research plans and briefs, design specs, or research insights.

Screenshot of uploading files in Dovetail.
Screenshot of uploading files in Dovetail.

Create personas with tags

Use Dovetail’s annotations and tags to create a set of personas based on evidence from your research. Add photos, tables, and formatting to the tag description and add detail to each persona.

Screenshot of uploading personas in Dovetail.
Screenshot of uploading personas in Dovetail.

Add photos from your customer visits

Drag and drop all of your photos and videos from customer visits, contextual inquiries, or interviews into your notes. Get them off your own phone and add them to your summary notes so others can see.

Screenshot of files from a design workshop in Dovetail.
Screenshot of files from a design workshop in Dovetail.

Keep photos from your workshops

Add photos of your sticky note walls and sketches from workshops. Keep your workshop assets in the same place as your notes, action items, and outcomes.

Feature overview

Files has a set of great features today with more planned for the future.

  • **Works with all file types. Upload any type of file — photos, screenshots, audio, videos, spreadsheets, documents, you name it.

  • Device-specific image previews. Dovetail generates inline previews for images so they’re fast to load and save your bandwidth.

  • Instant preview. When you upload an image, we read it off your local disk so you can see it instantly, and upload in the background.

  • Background uploading. Continue to use Dovetail and even navigate to other projects while files are uploading.

  • Native editor features baked in. Undo, redo, copy / paste, and syncing content during collaborative editing all works with images and files.

  • Multiple upload. Drop multiple files to upload them all in one go.

  • Support for @2x retina images. Upload images with an @2x suffix and we’ll display them at 50% size for retina screens. Happy designers.

  • Secure timed access. Unlike many other cloud products, file URLs are dynamically generated with a 15 minute access window for extra security.

  • Encrypted data at rest. Like all of your data in Dovetail, we encrypt uploaded files in our database and backups.

Try it out

Files is available now. Just drag and drop files from your computer into the editor area of notes, insights, and tag descriptions. Please send us your feedback by clicking on the Feedback button!

What’s next

We’re nowhere near finished with our vision for images and files in Dovetail. There’s a lot we had to cut from this initial release and a few known issues that we’ll address soon. In the future expect to see:

  • The ability to highlight files with tags and insights.

  • Inline previews and streaming for audio and video files.

  • Cover photos and file type icons on cards.

  • A bulk import experience for files including folder upload.

  • File names and properties included in search.

  • A project-level file management feature.

  • Support for animated Gif previews.

  • Improved drag and drop reordering in the editor.

  • Improved image loading performance.

About the contributors
Picture of contributor to Method in Madness, Brad Ayers.
Bradley Ayers
CTO and co-founder, Dovetail
Tech obsessed Queenslander.
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