Desktop parts for Diary missions [BETA]
With desktop parts (in beta), dscout Diary offers the ability to create unmoderated research activities for the desktop, extending your potential reach to multiple channels.
In desktop parts of Diary missions, scouts (research participants) will respond to a set of questions and capture videos, photos, or screen recordings from their computer, via a Chrome extension, instead of their mobile phone.
How can I include desktop parts in my Diary mission?
When creating a part in your Diary mission, you’ll see an option to designate how scouts will complete the part: on the dscout mobile app, or on desktop web, via a Chrome extension. Your choice for each part will be reflected in the part menu, with a mobile phone or computer icon.
You can build a Diary mission with all mobile parts, a mix of mobile and desktop parts, or all desktop parts, as relevant for your study.
The same set of features and question types are available for both mobile and desktop parts, so if you change your mind about how a part should be completed while designing your study, you can simply switch the setting before launching your mission.
It’s important to note that even for a Diary mission where all parts are set to be completed on desktop, scouts will still need to have the dscout mobile app for key actions like accepting a mission invite, and sending and receiving messages and comments.
How do scouts experience desktop parts?
When a scout is invited to a Diary mission with one or more desktop parts, the mission will appear in their invite queue on the mobile app, marked with a “desktop parts” flag. Before accepting the mission, they’ll go through a brief walkthrough that sets expectations for how to participate on desktop.
When a scout is ready to start a desktop part, to make the transition from their phone to their computer, the scout will use the dscout mobile app to send themself a “magic link” email.
Clicking on the magic link authenticates the scout and brings them into an onboarding flow for that desktop part. In the onboarding flow, the scout will install the dscout Diary Chrome extension, if they don’t already have it, and perform hardware checks for their camera, microphone, and screen recording capability.
Once all hardware checks are passed, the scout will see the instructions for the desktop part and begin answering questions for their entry on desktop. After the scout completes and submits their entry, they can navigate back to the mission details page to submit additional entries on desktop, or to see that subsequent parts need to be completed on mobile.
Watch the desktop parts video below for a full walkthrough of the scout experience.
How does screen recording work in desktop parts?
If your desktop part includes a screen recording question, scouts will either follow a link to your designated starting URL to begin recording, or if there’s no starting URL, will read the question prompt and then start recording.
While a scout is recording and navigating, the question prompt will appear in a small “widget” for easy reference. Scouts can minimize the widget if it’s taking up too much space, or re-expand it for a refresher on the prompt.
Any questions that follow a screen recording question will also appear in the widget, in case the scout needs to reference the web experience while responding.
The screen recording will capture the scout’s entire desktop, so they can freely switch between tabs while recording. You can also ask scouts to record activity in desktop applications outside of the Chrome browser, if that’s relevant to your study.
Keep in mind that the widget will only be visible on Chrome browser tabs, so it may be harder for scouts to reference your question prompt if they are recording activity outside of Chrome.
What do scouts need to participate in desktop parts?
To participate in a Diary mission with desktop parts, scouts will need:
- A laptop or desktop computer with a working camera and microphone
- Google Chrome browser version 80 or higher
- dscout Diary Chrome extension
Scouts will be guided through installing both the Google Chrome browser and the dscout Diary Chrome extension when they begin a desktop part, if they do not already have these installed on their computer.
We recommend including the following questions in your screener if you are recruiting scouts to participate in a dscout study that will involve a Diary mission with desktop parts, to make sure scouts have what they need to participate.
Q [multiple select]
Which of the following devices do you own and currently use at least once a week?
Desktop [may select]
Laptop [may select]
None of the above [terminate]
Q [single select]
Which of the following best describes your desktop or laptop computer?
My computer has microphone and camera capabilities that are fully functional. [must select]
My computer has microphone and camera capabilities, but one or both sometimes malfunction. [terminate]
My computer has microphone and camera capabilities, but one or both are not functional at all. [terminate]
My computer does not have microphone and/or camera capabilities. [terminate]