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The Top 10 Ways we Made dscout Better, Faster and Easier to Use in 2018

With platform improvements big and small: here are 10 of the upgrades we're proud to deliver from 2018.

Words by Ben Wiedmaier, Visuals by Delaney Gibbons

When we do our own product research with dscout users, we like to hear what they love of about our products, but what we really want to learn about are the not-so-good things; the things that slow them down, make no sense and drive them crazy.

While we have a pretty good list of things to tackle, that list is definitely smaller after 2018. With platform improvements big and small, we strived to make your work less arduous, your research stronger and your impact bigger than ever.

Here are 10 of the upgrades we're proud to deliver from 2018:

1. dscout Live

Recruit, Diary, and now Live—dscout is your one-stop remote qual platform. From quick debriefs to fully-structured interviews, we built Live from the ground up to handle all of your moderated video research needs. Live is jam-packed with all the features researchers demand: Observers, desktop screen and stimulus sharing, automatic transcription of speakers, note-taking, and easy exports. It’s perfect for following up with scouts from Diary studies, or for whenever your research needs to be face-to-face.

2. Parts

Early in 2018, we rolled out Parts, which supercharges your Diary missions and streamlines your research, no matter its complexity.

Parts allows researchers to add multiple question sets or research activities to a single mission. Create survey, interview, AND diary-style parts in the same mission, all with centralized tagging and messaging. Multi-method designs and triangulation just got a lot easier!

3. Filters

Through Parts, scouts now can capture more and different kinds of moments within a single mission. With this, filtering becomes more useful and specific. Now, you can filter by demographics, tags, a scout’s group, or by a scout’s progression through your mission’s parts—in addition to their answers to multiple closed-ended questions, across parts! Whatever moment you need to see, filters make it a snap to find.

4. Manage Dashboard

Any remote research project requires careful participant coordination and communication. The Manage Dashboard ensures your remote contextual research finishes on-time and with the best data. The brain of your Diary mission, you can message, sort, filter, group, pay and rate your scouts from a single view.

5. Scout Groups

With personas, segments, waves, and demographics, managing your research (and its types of participants) can be complex. Now, scouts can be added to multiple groups, created and customized by you, to keep everyone straight. Filter, sort, and message with finer granularity than ever before. Bonus: Scout groups are present in all dscout exports, so you’ll always know whose data you’re digging through.

6. Analysis View

Context is rich, thick, and very often, open-ended, which can elongate analysis timelines. So we focused on how researchers can get from collected information to insight. With our Analysis tab in Diary, create customizable word clouds from your open-ended and rich media questions. Filter by type of word, question, or even demographic. Surface meaningful trends, and dive deeper into the data from each moment in a matter of minutes.

7. Summary View

For quick quant wins in an easy-to-digest format, we revamped Diary's Summary View. With one click, the view shows summary frequencies for all closed-ended and demographic questions across your mission. Sort by amount and drop into decks or emails with a one-click export button. The Summary charts respond to demographic, tag, and question filters, allowing for streamlined comparative analysis.

8. One-Click Exports

An insight is only useful as its portability. Share, promote, and communicate the value of your contextual work with one-click exporting for our summary, analysis, and entry views. Go from analyzing to sharing your results in minutes, delivering high-level insights from the dscout platform.

9. PDF Update

For a physical relationship with your contextual data, we’ve updated the PDF export. Perfect for foam board arrangement, synthesis piling, or collage creation. Scout information, a clearer distinction between question and answer, and more granular customizability. All the information you need, expertly arranged — enough said.

10. Account Management + Project Homepages

Your dscout account received a proper homepage in 2018, with easier access to vital, company-wide information like all of your projects (and their status — draft, live, or complete), account members, billing details, and privacy settings. Good research starts with good organization, and our account and project homepages do just that.

Now, colleagues can see and hear for themselves the value your work brings to making business decisions. Or, use collaborators to flatten your research practice, looping in your product and design teams—nothing builds empathy quite like seeing real people show and share their experiences.

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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