Skip to content

What We Heard From Our Users (and What We Did About it) In 2019

We learned a lot, listened a lot, built a lot, and fixed a lot in 2019. Here's an overview of what we heard from you, and how we improved. 

Words by Jonathan Fairman, Julia Hickey, Tessa Lathrop, and Sanjeet Das; Visuals by Emi Tolibas

The State of dscout in 2019 

By Jonathan Fairman, VP of Product

We try to practice what we preach.

At dscout we talk a lot—to you, and amongst ourselves—about the power and value of user feedback.

So this year, we went out and got some feedback. A lot of feedback. And the amount of research we did to make our product better is something we’re deeply proud of.

We matured our own product team's research ops, we added more people to the team that were researchers in previous roles, and we spoke with hundreds of users—researchers and scouts!—as inputs into a full array of foundational, generative, and evaluative research.

Two examples of this research ethos stand out:

First is the work we did to create and iterate our Media View. It went through two major generations before it was released. Intense evaluative research, done with our own Diary and Live products, allowed us to build and iterate with confidence.

Second, our gender-identity inclusivity updates, which were far bigger than the product team—it was across dscout. This allowed us to go deeper into foundational work to uncover the nuances of a very personal subject and learn how it related to product experiences, ultimately shaping our research and scout-facing products.

We’re grateful for the generosity of feedback we get from our users. Thanks for making 2019 a great year. Here are highlights from our PM team on the tools that make contextual research more valuable than ever:


By Julia Hickey, Product Manager - dscout Diary

Generally, dscout has been pretty good at getting lots of data into our platform, but we haven’t always been great at helping you get your insights out of it, and in front of the people at your organization who need that information to make smarter decisions. In 2019, Diary focused on making it easier to share your research by building better in-platform tools for communication, collaboration and storytelling.

  • To share a great story, the first thing you need is high-quality data. We added support for text formatting in research design and scout messages to make clear communication easier between you and your participants. We also made some UI improvements to our scout management page, so it's easier for you to quickly identify and respond to important scout messages.
  • Once your data is streaming in, you need ways to call attention to the insightful moments and quotes that are share-worthy. We added the abilities to mention project collaborators in notes and to create share links for dscout media, so your stakeholders can get their eyes on the data. We also added a Slack integration for pushing share links and dscout project updates to a public channel.
  • Our biggest investment was building Media View — a simple, streamlined video editor that allows you to create playlists of your favorite scout videos, right in dscout. You can select the videos you're interested in, trim and arrange them to craft a narrative arc, then download or share directly from the platform. Whether you want to stitch together a rough cut of early observations or craft a polished highlight reel for stakeholders, it's easier than ever to make videos your storytelling superpower.


By Sanjeet Das, Product Manager - dscout Recruit

Eye-opening insights start with user stories. Users, and the quality of the ones recruited, are therefore imperative to meaningful user research. dscout Recruit has always sourced real users for your research, and we're excited to have worked on updates to the screener creation and application review stages. With these, we've supercharged your targeting powers and streamlined how you consume applications. Together, these improvements should reduce your time to fieldwork (and insights!).

  • Better filtering, easier grouping, and Media View enable your application analysis to be much quicker and more detailed.
  • A new "Audience" tab comes with a "Scout Activity Filter," which can be used to eliminate scouts who have previously participated in projects for your account. The time frame of "past-par" (as our market research colleagues call it) is set to 90 days to keep your sample fresh.
  • We have powered-up your ability to reach our scouts as well as your own users. Web screeners are connected to screener splash pages, allowing your users and scouts to apply directly on the web. Downloading the dscout app is no longer a barrier to application. Moreover, turn on the “Restrict Screener” option in the Details tab of Recruit to restrict your screener from our Scout Pool and target only your own users. You can send out the screener splash page link in an email, forum, or social media post—and only the users from those channels will be able to apply to your screener.


By Tessa Lathrop, Product Manager - dscout Live

dscout Live started with a simple goal of helping researchers go beyond diary studies and “follow up” with scouts using moderated interviews. After launching our MVP, we returned to our users to learn from their Live adoption journey. Using that feedback, we renovated weak areas of the tool and completed missing gaps of Live’s workflow where we weren’t meeting users’ expectations. Now, with your help, we are kicking off 2020 with improved “works-as-expected” features encompassed in a more inclusive product experience.

  • With the new Pre-Test, you'll surface scouts' unmet technical requirements before they're scheduled—ensuring their ability to participate and saving you time.
  • Our enhanced Sessions Page affords quick scannability of the important details of interviews, and management of the vast quantities of post-session data using our new search bar.
  • Updated Scout Manage Page with improved table filters based on the scout’s status in a Live mission.
  • All-New Scheduling and Calendar View:
    • Increased flexibility to create, change, and delete time slots as your availability changes throughout your project.
    • View all your sessions and message scouts all on the new Calendar View.
    • Easily schedule scouts for interviews, and quickly reschedule their sessions by dragging their time slots on the calendar.

Subscribe To People Nerds

A weekly roundup of interviews, pro tips and original research designed for people who are interested in people

The Latest