All help articles/Miscellaneous

Migrating to the new insights

Last updated January 23, 20195 minute read

In February 2019 we will be releasing a brand new insights experience which will replace our existing insights feature. There will be changes to how insights are created and displayed in Dovetail.


Here’s a quick summary of what’s happening over the next two months:

  • We’re completely changing the insights feature. A new top-level item in the project sidebar will replace the Insights tab under Analysis. This feature is designed to help you summarize and share your findings.
  • The way you create insights will change. Instead of pushing to insights by highlighting notes, you’ll pull content into insights. We believe this is a more intuitive workflow for creating insights.
  • Insight highlights are going away. Highlighting will be tag-only. You won’t be able to create highlights with insights, and insights will no longer show up in the gutter to the right of notes.
  • You’ll be able to migrate your insights. You’ll get a choice to migrate existing insights (and their highlights). You can choose to migrate them to tags if you want to keep that behavior, or to the new insights feature.

Why insights are changing

We’ve heard from users that insights are too similar to tags and that the push rather than pull workflow doesn’t match how they typically work. We’ve also heard that Dovetail is missing a feature that helps researchers summarize findings / outcomes for a project, letting them set context without needing to show stakeholders raw data or “messy” analysis.

The similarity of insights and tags is particularly confusing for new users since it’s not clear to them which one they should use for analysis. Dovetail didn’t really have an opinion before, but with new insights, it does.

We believe it’s very important for a product’s conceptual model to match the user’s mental model as closely as possible. Our old insights feature didn’t do this, so now it’s time to fix it.

Our goals for the new feature

We went back to the drawing board and conducted research of our own including customer interviews and co-design sessions. We’ve created a replacement for insights which is designed to help you:

  • Summarize your project by pulling in references to relevant evidence like quotes, images, and videos from your analysis.
  • Standardize the format for how your organization stores, presents, and searches for research insights across projects.
  • Share your project’s insights with stakeholders in a beautiful, digestable format, including with people who don’t have a Dovetail account.
  • Save time by avoiding the need to copy and paste data from Dovetail into slideshows and reports that you need to design from scratch.

Sneak peek of the new insights

Read on for a walkthrough of the new insights.

insights empty

When you click on Insights for the first time in a project, you’ll see an empty state prompting you to create a new insight.

insight block picker

Insights are sort of like short blog posts. The focus is on inserting references to data in your workspace (some people call this “evidence”) like highlights, tags, notes, images, videos, charts, and other projects.

insight search highlight

Reference search is powered by our query language (DQL), so you can filter your results and find the right evidence to insert. Insights will launch with a few reference types and we’ll be adding more as time goes on.

insight insert cover

An integration with Unsplash gives you the ability to search thousands of images to make your insights a little more visual with cover photos.

insights index

Insights are presented in a newspaper-style layout with large images, excerpts, author avatars, and publish dates. You can rearrange each insight so the most important ones for the project are at the top of the page.

insights public access

Insights can be shared with people even if they don’t have a Dovetail account. They’ll be able to see insights in the project along with your workspace logo, the project icon, a description for the project, and who worked on it.

insight preso mode

Presentation mode is a bit like a slideshow. It’s a way to share your insights in a focused, fullscreen experience, with large font sizes and a horizontal carousel where you can move between insights with the arrow keys.

While insights belong to a project, they will be surfaced in search so you can see a list of insights across all projects. References are also cross-project which means you can insert references to data in other projects.

This is just the beginning! We’re excited about the potential for insights and we can’t wait to hear your feedback on this new feature.

The migration process

The migration from old insights to new insights will take place over several steps during February and March 2019:

Step 1: Early February

New insights released in beta. Old and new insights will co-exist with old insights under Analysis and new insights under Insights.

Note: If you enable beta features and then disable later, new insights will no longer be available until you enable beta again. You also won’t be able to add new highlights to old insights with beta features enabled.

Step 2: Late February

New insights in wide release. Old insights will still be available under Analysis however you’ll no longer be able to add new highlights to old insights.

You’ll be prompted to migrate your insights. In each project, there will be a choice to migrate old insights to new insights, or to tags:

  • If your existing insights summarize your analysis and don’t have many highlights, then you should migrate them to new insights. Each highlight will become a reference in the insight.
  • If your existing insights are the analysis itself and have lots of highlights, then you should migrate them to tags. Each highlight will remain as a highlight and the insight will become a tag.

Step 3: Late March

Old insights will be removed from Dovetail, and we’ll migrate all of the remaining insights to new insights. We’ll email everyone a week before we do this so you’ll have a chance to migrate your old insights to tags instead.

Contact us

Please get in touch via email if you have any questions!