Tips for a successful Live session
dscout Live is our remote interview tool, built specifically with research in mind. In order to make sure that your Live sessions go as smoothly as possible, there are some best practices that you should follow before, during, and after your live session.
Before your Live session
Deciding on scheduling
Setting up a Live mission is quick and easy, but there are a few things you need to consider:
Most of the time, it will save you time to set up your schedule by building and assigning availability time slots before launch. This allows your participants to sign up for any available session time slots you’ve created.
You can always edit your availability schedule later by returning to the Schedule tab after launch:
- When using the bulk generator on the Schedule tab in Setup, the daily start and end times can be changed after mission launch to generate new time slots as needed. You can also bulk assign time slots to yourself and/or another moderator by choosing moderator(s) from the filter schedule view.
- The end date can be extended, or you can individually move an unscheduled time slot. Unscheduled time slots can be deleted or moved as needed.
- When running collaborative research, you can assign time slots to up to two moderators using the filter schedule view, or when editing a specific time slot.
- After launch, you can publish your updated schedule availability, once you’re ready to share it with participants.
- We recommend offering enough time slots per participant being invited to your study.
If you have a smaller sample size or would like additional flexibility for timing, manual scheduling might be a good option for your Live session. With this option, just click “skip” on the Schedule Tab during your mission set up.
- Once your participants pass the Live Pre-Test (linked in their mission invite) they will appear in the Manage Calendar sidebar, in the “Unscheduled” section.
- You can message the participant to confirm their availability and then click, “Schedule Now” on either the Manage Calendar or Manage participant Table.
Whether you choose to create availability time slots for automatic scheduling, or you choose to skip it to manually schedule your participants later, and you can always reschedule your sessions manually. See reschedule page for more info.
Writing instructions for participants
Regardless of which scheduling option you choose, it is important that participants receive our Live system set-up information. The default Invite message to participants includes the following to-do list and troubleshooting steps, but you can always personalize the message:
“Here are a couple of things you must do to prepare before our Live session:
1. Below is a link to your To-Do List. Please complete your To-Do list before our Live session so you have time to reach out with any problems or questions.
Your Live To-Do List [For desktop missions]
Live Mobile Participation Guidelines [For mobile missions]
2. And in case you're experiencing trouble connecting, please take a look at our troubleshooting guide for helpful tips:
Thanks, and see you online!”
When participants are scheduled, they’ll receive a confirmation notification with details on the session — including date, time, and the name(s) of the moderators they’ll meet.
On-boarding participants + testing set-up
To prevent technical problems during your Live call, it is critical that both you, other moderators, and participants test your Live set-ups and ensure Chrome has permission to screen record. As soon as a session has been scheduled, send the participants a note that looks something like this:
"Thanks for agreeing to chat with us face-to-face using dscout Live! We’re excited to connect with you soon. Before your scheduled interview, you MUST complete the Live To-Do List below. (Please do this RIGHT NOW so we know that we can count on you!): Your Live To-Do List
If you have trouble connecting to your Live session, this guide is your best bet for solving any issues: Troubleshooting firewall issues"
If any of the tests result in failure, or if participants have any questions or concerns, direct them to email@example.com for additional support.
The vast majority of technical problems with Live sessions are the result of a poor internet connection or firewall configurations. This is why testing your Live set-up ahead of time is important! If possible, plan to connect your computer to the internet via Ethernet during your call.
Be sure to bookmark this article on Troubleshooting Your Live Call in case you run into any problems in-session. While your research advisor will do their best to respond promptly to any concerns, following that guide will be the best way to get your Live call back up and running quickly. This is particularly important if your Live call is taking place outside of dscout’s regular business hours (9:00am - 5:00pm Central Time).
Setting up stimuli
dscout Live’s built-in Stimuli feature allows you to engage your participants and capture their responses to images, videos, and links. Once you have added stimuli, you and/or your co-moderator can easily bring up that media during the session.
Make sure that you give yourself time to set up your stimuli prior to your Live sessions.
During your Live session
Starting your Live session
It’s a good idea to join your Live session a few minutes early. This will give you and any collaborators time to make sure that your computer setup is working, and to get ready for your participant!
You should also send a message to the participant about 5 minutes before the session starts. Let them know that you are joining the session, and that they can message you in-app with any questions or problems that may arise.
Re-joining a dropped session
Most of the time, Live sessions run successfully without interruption. Most technical problems are related to a poor internet connection; you can keep tabs on your connection by looking at the bandwidth Indicator next to your name.
If you do encounter a dropped call, don’t panic! Stay in the Live session – simply refresh the page, and the participant will be able to re-join.
If you exit out of the Live session when a call drops, you and the participant may be unable to re-join. In this case, you’ll need to add a new session. Go to the Manage page > scroll to the participant’s name > click on the dropdown arrow next to the scheduled time slot > click “Add Session.”
Making the most of your Live session
During your Live session, there are many tools that you can use to improve the experience.
Markers and notes can help you keep track of key moments and make analysis easier. Pressing the green “Mark time” button in the center of the screen, or simply hitting “ctrl + m,” will create a marker at the exact time you create it. Then you can give this marker a title to help stay organized. There are a couple of key use cases for markers. First, they are a great organizational tool - you can create a marker to indicate a change in conversation topic. Second, markers can make finding a quote much easier - just create a marker every time the participants says something quotable, give it a quick title, and you will be able to quickly locate the quote. In the Notes tab on the right-hand side of the screen, you can write time-stamped notes. You can also create markers and notes after the Live session is over.
If you would like to see participants interact with stimuli, such as media or prototypes, you can utilize participants’ ability to screen share during a Live session. Just ask your participant to press the screenshare icon at the bottom right of their screen.
After your Live session
Viewing Your Completed Live Session
If your Live session isn’t accessible to view right away, don’t panic! The system will need a few minutes to package everything up for you. Once they are ready, you’ll be able to view your completed sessions on the “Sessions” page.
Once your live session has uploaded to the platform, you will be able to create clips (snippets from the full session) by either clicking “Create Clip” in the upper right of the video image, or by highlighting part of the transcript and clicking “Create Clip” there. Clips are easy to review, download, and share with others.
At any time after launch, you can filter your session data to focus on specific interviews you’ve moderated.
Take advantage of the Live session analysis tools that you have at your disposal, including transcripts, clips, notes, and the session timeline! You can read more about viewing your completed live session in this article.