The dscout platform and its suite of tools supports a host of research needs. Whether that's digging into a slew of concept tests, building a user journey, or grabbing some in-aisle feedback, we handle a diverse and ever-growing use case set.
With each project, different features present themselves to save the day by reducing time, speeding up analysis, or scaling up socialization. However, some of these superheroes can be overlooked.
We polled our in-house research team to create a round-up of their favorites, and how each has improved their workflow. By spotlighting these features—both big and small—we hope to make your project more efficient, whether that's in recruitment, fieldwork, or analysis and share out.
1. The heart, aka the “favorite button”
By Ben Wiedmaier, Content Producer
We used to call this feature the "bookmark," but one Valentine's Day decided to change it—rightfully—to a heart and rename it the "favorite."
Often, when I'm reviewing screener applications or in a mission's early entries, I notice something that I want to revisit. It's not always big enough for a note or a comment, just a subtle, "Go back to this."
The heart is a perfect, small way to keep track of the data. I use it to jump start my analysis (i.e. where to tag first) or more administrative tasks like following up with a scout. The best part is that I can un-heart things once I've taken an action, and the scout is never the wiser, keeping them focused on their mission.
If you need a placeholder, bookmark, or just a light-touch way to remember to go back to something, I suggest trying out the heart/favorite feature; it's the perfect example of small, but mighty.
Where to find it: The favorite heart is at the upper-right of any application in Recruit or Express and in any entry within Diary.
2. Scout groups
By Elyse Tuennerman, Lead Research Advisor
Making use of scout groups is one of the easiest ways to ‘power-up’ your dscout study and streamline analysis. I utilize scout groups in every stage of research, from recruitment to creating final deliverables.
Scout groups are an easy way to notate, visualize, and compare your data across segments.
By creating and filtering by scout groups, you can quickly start to identify patterns: how do dog owners vs. pet-free scouts describe their daily routines? How do Gen Z scouts’ first reactions to a product differ from their Millennial counterparts?
Scout groups help me to be intentional and efficient when reviewing and analyzing entries.
I also utilize scout groups when managing fieldwork. Instead of manually selecting participants on the manage tab, a set of “status” scout groups makes it simple to send reminder messages and open new parts to scouts.
I’ve even seen clients utilize scout groups to split out management tasks between teammates, by giving each researcher ownership of a subset of participants.
If you want to try out scout groups in your next study, here’s a quick tip: scout group filters are automatically organized in alphabetical order, so use a consistent naming convention!
For example, I use “status_on track” and “status_behind” to keep track of which scouts I need to send follow-up messages to.
Where to find it: Create scout groups from either the manage tab of your Diary mission or the applications view of your Recruit screener or Express mission.
3. Page search bar in Live
By Lauren Duquette, Research Advisor
The search bar at the top-left corner of the sessions page in Live is truly a hidden gem. It’s a feature that I go out of my way to point out to my clients every chance I get.
If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to remember which interviewee said that really interesting tidbit after spending hours or even weeks interviewing participants, the search bar’s got you covered.
By typing in a keyword or phrase, our platform will scan every auto-generated transcript, name of clip, name/location of scout, or other text in the mission to pull out instances where that word/phrase is mentioned.
If that word/phrase appears in a transcript, you’ll even have the option to jump to that exact moment in the recording of your interview. It makes finding key moments to create bite-sized, shareable interview clips for stakeholders a breeze.
Thinking out-of-the-box, this search bar can also be used to quantify some of your qual data. The feature will display how many times a word or phrase has been mentioned per interview.
If you’re interested in how many times the interviewees organically brought up a specific feature while testing a prototype, search it’s name and watch the platform add up those mentions for you along with links to each instance.
The tiny but mighty search bar on the Live sessions page is a great way to power up your in-depth interview analysis process.
Where to find it: The search bar is at the top-left corner of the sessions page of any Live mission. You’re able to access the sessions page as soon as you launch your mission. We have a similar search feature in the top-right corner of any "grid view" within Recruit, Express, and Diary, as well. Simply type into the box to begin searching.
By Emily Quandt, Research Advisor
The dscout playlists feature is a game changer for sharing research findings whether you’re using it for UX, UI, or something totally different like arguing a thesis.
It’s the ultimate way to capture what folks have to say along with all the nuances (e.g. tone, facial expressions, and even scrolling tendencies if using screen recordings).
Of course there are other ways to capture video, but being able to easily string the most important pieces of data together in a quick, efficient way is what makes this feature sublime.
No need for editing software (or any other software for that matter); instead, you get to pick which parts of which videos you want to share in a super-simple, user-friendly format.
My favorite part about Playlists is that I can piece together insights from each of my scouts across multiple parts of a single mission.
Sometimes, a part asks for multiple entries, or maybe a scout says something that really drives the point another participant made. I can easily select the videos I want to use, highlight the parts of the transcripts that have the juicy quotes, toss the fluff, and voila—I’ve created a cohesive story that captures insights from multiple entries across the mission.
I can also keep my stakeholders informed and get them on board in less than five minutes with playlists.
The playlist feature is available for subscription clients. See the basics of the playlist builder here, and how to edit your playlist here.
Where to find the builder: The playlist builder can be accessed clicking the ▶ icon in the upper-left of the viewer in Recruit, Express, and Diary. In Live, the builder can be accessed via the clips & playlists tab on the sessions page.
Where to find the editor: From the builder, click the name of your playlist to access the editor.
5. Filter by attributes
By Sarah Brewster, Research Advisor
Filter by attributes is the unsung hero of my research workflow. While other features are donning their capes and tights, the always dependable filter by attributes is stoically and quietly making it all possible from recruitment to analysis.
The gleeful moment of realizing you have 300 applications for your mission can quickly turn into dread at the idea of reviewing 300 applications. Filter by attributes alleviates some of the hassle and helps you quickly and efficiently narrow in on your ideal scouts.
As a researcher, you’re able to use any combination of filters including; question responses, demographics, tags, scout groups, viewed status, and favorites. Don’t be afraid to cast the net wide and then filter away.
While reviewing your mission entries you can also apply multiple filters at once to isolate parts of your data and see only a specific subset of entries. Plus, if you want to export a particular subset of data, just select those entries using filters before exporting.
Filter by attributes will quickly become your steadfast sidekick from recruitment to analysis.
Where to find it: The filter by attributes model is on the left-side of the screen when viewing Recruit or Express applications, and Diary Entries.
6. Manage Page Filters
By Nathan Reiff, Research Advisor
When fielding a mission, it can be hard to focus your energy on reviewing incoming data and starting your analysis. The manage page filters in Diary missions make the boring stuff (tracking scouts’ progress and sending messages) easier and faster so that you can dedicate your brain-space to the exciting stuff (qualitatively assessing incoming entries, tagging responses, asking follow-up questions, etc).
Let’s say you’re running a Diary mission and the due date for Part 2 is tonight. With Manage Page Filters, you can message a reminder to everyone who’s still working on Part 2 in a matter of minutes, no matter how many participants you have in your mission.
From the manage page, click on Part 2 under “filter by progress” on the left column. From there, select “Unstarted” and “In Progress”. Now, you should be seeing everyone who’s still working on Part 2 and the hard part’s over.
From here, just select all scouts using the top-most checkbox and click “message” to send a mass reminder to everyone to finish up Part 2.
On top of progress filters on the manage page, I often filter by scout groups (if I make them), part due dates (did you know a single part can have multiple due dates?), and payment status to really power up my management experience.
You can also click on “unread messages” on the top bar to pull all of your unread messages to the top of the page to quickly read through and respond.
It’s best to get to know the manage page when you have a mission that’s currently in the field (closed mission manage pages don’t quite illustrate everything you’ll need to know). So, next time you have a Diary mission in the field, click around on the manage page and familiarize yourself with the filters.
I promise that becoming a manage page whiz will pay dividends when you suddenly have the free time for the exciting stuff without sacrificing the boring stuff! For more information on managing a Diary mission, check out our article here.
Where to find it: Along the left-side of any manage page in Diary missions.
By Lewis White, Research Advisor
If you’ve ever finished the fieldwork for a study and felt unsure how best to handle all that wonderful data...you’re certainly not alone.
Thankfully, our tagging feature can help make tackling analysis seem a little less daunting.. Available across our entire suite of tools (Recruit, Diary, Live, Express), tagging can be utilized in a multitude of ways to help make the analysis process easier and faster.
It offers you the ability to quantify and categorize the rich open-end responses you receive from your mission.
At the end of last year, dscout fielded an Express mission to 1,000 scouts aiming to learn what aspects of the experience were successful and which we should focus on improving.
The team divided and conquered the tagging process by using scout groups, and ended up with a few thousand tags that helped quantify what areas scouts felt most strongly about. You can take this further by using the filter by attributes feature to see the results for specific subgroups of scouts.
Additionally, tagging makes finding specific responses and quotes extremely easy. From the tag management page, you can click on a specific tag to see all of the responses, or highlighted sections of a transcript, that have the tag applied. This can be incredibly useful when you’re looking to hone in on a specific theme.
So if you’re in the throes of analysis and can’t tell if a quote will be useful, but want to circle back later, you can highlight the response and tag it as “Quote.”
Then, once you’ve looked through all the data, you’ll have a list of potential quotes to pull from all in one place.
For more information about how tagging works in the platform, definitely explore this article.
Where to find it: Highlight any open-ended text, like a video transcript or text response, to see the tagging modal. Click the tag icon in the upper-right of any entries of applications view to see all the tags you’ve created.
Ben is the product evangelist at dscout, where he spreads the “good news” of contextual research, helps customers understand how to get the most from dscout, and impersonates everyone in the office. He has a doctorate in communication studies from Arizona State University, studying “nonverbal courtship signals”, a.k.a. flirting. No, he doesn’t have dating advice for you.