First, be sure that you've created your project and added your teammates as collaborators. Next, there are four major steps to follow:

  1. Create your mission
  2. Define your mission specs and details
  3. Write your question script
  4. Test your mission

1. Create your Mission

Create your Diary mission by selecting the "+" icon next to the Diary on the right-hand menu of your project page.

Choose from:

  • Create Your Own: a blank mission
  • Copy From Previous: copy a previous mission you have access to
  • Or, use one of our five templates to help you get started.

2. Define Mission Specs and Details

You'll define your mission specs on the Details tab of the Setup page.

  • Select one of our Hero Images to show off the topic of your research.
  • Scout profile: Choose whether or not scouts will be required to fill out their profile (age, gender, home city/country, pronouns, and profile picture) prior to participating in your mission.
  • Days per Scout: Estimate how many days your mission will take scouts to complete. Base this on your mission design!
  • Internal Name: If it's helpful for your business purposes, give this mission an internal name. This field is hidden from scouts.
  • Language: This is where you can specify the language the mission will be in for scouts. Read more about international missions.
  • Company branding: If you want to brand your mission, toggle this on! Otherwise, your research will be blinded to scouts.
  • Don't forget to fill out the incentive field, as well!


Write an overview of your mission that explains what scouts should expect from your mission. Be sure to include:

  • A brief overview of the overall topic of the mission
  • The number of activities in the mission
  • The deadline for each activity, if running a manual mission (see below for more on this!)
  • The overall mission deadline
  • Any other information scouts will need to complete the mission

Activity Availability

Decide if you will release your mission activities automatically or manually

If you choose automatic, subsequent activities are opened for the scout as soon as they submit the required number of entries for the previous activity. 

If you choose manual, you control when activities are published and opened to scouts via the Manage page. 

Either way, Activity 1 will always be ready for scouts to begin when you launch and scouts accept your mission invitation.


3. Write your question script

Here's where you'll write the questions scouts will answer. Here are a few key things to remember:

  • A mission can have up to 10 activities. Most activities have 5-20 questions. 
  • In each entry, a scout can submit up to 5 photos and 3 videos.
  • Review the kinds of questions you can ask scouts.
  • Use skip logic to jump scouts to different questions within that particular activity based on their answers to a specific closed ended question.
  • You can assign one question in each activity to serve as the entry headline. Scouts responses to your headline question will be surfaced in the entry preview alongside a media thumbnail.
  • Having trouble? Read about best practices for mission design, and see an example mission here.

Write each activity's specs

For each activity, you'll need to write instructions and specify a few parameters.

  • Number of entries: how many entries are scouts required to submit to this activity? 
  • Number of days: how many days do you expect (or are you requiring) scouts to spend working on this activity?
  • Set a Due Date: When does this activity need to be completed by? 
  • Number of questions will be filled automatically.

4. Test your Diary mission

Once you've finished building your mission, take it for a test drive.

  • Click "Test Mission" in the bottom right corner of the Setup page
  • Add yourself and up to 4 other testers' names and email addresses. You each will receive a system email inviting you to test the mission
  • Follow the email's instructions to download the dscout app and log in
  • Test your mission!
  • Once you have tested your mission, click "End Test" in the bottom right corner to end the test. 
  • Read more about Test mode here.

Next, it's time to invite your scouts and launch!

  • If you screened using dscout Recruit and need to import scouts from a screener, click here.
  • If you are bringing your own participants, click here.

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