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Sharing is Essential: Collaborating and Socializing Insights with dscout

Research insights mean nothing in a vacuum. Here are some tools for bringing stakeholders onboard early, often, and meaningfully.  

Words by Ben Wiedmaier, Visuals by Emi Tolibas

Collaborating with colleagues and socializing insights with stakeholders is imperative to a useful (and impactful) qualitative user-research practice. If your best research is unseen, it means next to nothing to your users. 

dscout has a bevy of helpful, built-in features to multiply your bandwidth and impact. Here are some features that will help you collaborate and socialize your work.

Make research a team sport

Collaboration and socialization start with visibility. dscout offers a few ways you can add folks to your project (or account) to give them access to your research.

Adding both colleagues and stakeholders up-front can engender a sense of shared mission and responsibility. It also elevates the visibility of your work to those who need and want it, and can serve to scale your resourcing.

There are two role types within dscout:

  • Viewers. This should be step one for any dscout project. Ask yourself who needs (or should have) visibility into the project and add them as a viewer. Viewer status should be reserved for folks who would benefit from checking out the data as it rolls in, but who don’t need to edit, modify, or create research. Viewer status is perfect for stakeholders because they can see how their key questions bear out within the platform, expectation setting for when they receive the final readout or report.
  • Members. For your collaborators, you'll want to opt for Member status. Members can create research activities and communicate with scouts. Choose this for your on-the-ground colleagues who will be running the research alongside you. Add Members or Viewers from your Account page.

Members and viewers can also test your mission before it's launched to get a lived sense of the question flow, wording, and amount of work expected. Does it make sense to ask this in that way? You'll know faster by adding folks to a test mission. Learn how to do that with Diary here or with Live here.

You'll know which of your colleagues and stakeholders are in the platform at any given time by the circular icons at the upper-right of your dashboard.

Collaborate on a rolling basis

Remote research can require a time commitment similar to traditional fieldwork: checking data for accuracy, responding to scout messages, and asking probing questions about specific moments. Having another set of eyes to flag, mark, question, and sort goes a long way toward on-time delivery of insights.

Here are a few features to help you make the most of the real-time nature of dscout's data.

  • Tags. Although tags are a powerful way to code and sort your data to surface trends, they also make for a snappy administrative tool. Create a tag group called "Great Videos" and have colleagues and stakeholders mark them as they go or "Follow-up w/ Live" for next research steps. However you use them, tags are powerful because of their ability to sort the data via filtering. After a few days, you can jump into the platform, sort by your colleagues' tags, and get a sense of what stands out to them and where your analysis might be headed.
  • Bookmarks. Just like tags, bookmarks are a filterable flag that can be applied to any individual scout moment. They're more lightweight than tags, however, and encourage in-the-moment marking, especially when a category isn't known or wanted. Bookmarks are filtered by author, which helps to see who thinks what is meaningful.
  • @Mentions. Notes, which can be created for individual scout moments, allow for notifying or @mentioning colleagues. If the person has been added to the project or account (remember step 1?), typing their name after an "@" symbol will allow you to direct a message to them. They'll receive an email notification with a link taking them directly to the moment in question. Use this for all sorts of things: Gut-checking frameworks (e.g., "Hey, does this fit with our goal tags?"), admin work ("Did we arrange the follow-up interview with Pat?"), or other collaboration (e.g., "This is exactly what we need to share with product!"). What better way to convey a message than with an actual participant moment?

Socialize early and often

Atomization of insights—taking your stakeholders to THE moment—is a rising trend among UX teams. Instead of complex slide decks, stakeholders are increasingly asking for the top-level findings and immediate impacts.

That's not always possible, especially with qualitative research, but we have a few features that should aid in getting them the bite-sized data nuggets stakeholders crave:

  • Share links. Say you have a developing trend that's not quite ready for a deck slide, but is still relevant to a team or stakeholder. With share links, a public or private custom URL is created and shared with the recipient you designate. Share videos, highlight reels, or specific moments. If the data are sensitive, create a password. This is perfect for teams and stakeholders not added to your dscout project or account. Anyone you choose, with or without platform access, can simply click the link to view.
  • Slack integration. If you use Slack to keep connected with colleagues, dscout has an integration that can serve as an insight socializer. Simply turn on the Slack integration from your account settings, select the designated channel, and you're ready to go. Once setup, anywhere you see a share link you'll also see a Slack icon, where you can drop videos, highlight reels, and moments right into channels. Up the visibility and awareness of your work by surfacing it in folks' workflows.

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.

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