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Dovetail glossary

Last updated11 May 2023
Read time7 min

Table of contents

This glossary defines common terms that you might see on Dovetail, or throughout our Help Center.

A / B / C


Anyone in a managercontributor or viewer role can be granted admin access. With admin access, users can:

  • Manage billing

  • Manage users

  • Manage workspace branding

  • Manage authentication options

  • Delete the workspace

Those granted with admin access do not have to occupy a paid seat in the workspace. View more about workspace roles and granting admin access here.

Block editor

You can use blocks to organize content inside your workspace homepage and insights. The block editor is a feature that can allow you to add references to Dovetail objects, insert images and illustrations, organize content into multi-column layouts, add sticky notes and structure your Insights with headers. See more here.


Charts is a feature that lets you visualize your tags and tag groups as a bar chart, pie chart, treemap, or radar chart. See more about charts here.

D / E / F


Data can be imported into notes in the form of text, image, audio, video etc.


A feature that enables you to add structured data on your notes, insights and people. With fields, you can define attributes like your customer’s name, age, segment, and company.

G / H / I

Google Drive

Cloud-based storage solution that allows you to save files online and access them anywhere from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can import files from Google Drive by connecting your account to your Dovetail account. See more information about this here.


The power of Dovetail lies in inline tagging, which we call highlighting. A highlight is added to the text content and transcripts (Transcribe video and audio) inside notes. A single highlight can have one or many tags associated with it.

Highlight reel

A highlight reel is a combination of a tag's audio and video highlights in a single video, giving you a compelling way to present your data. You can create and watch highlight reels with instructions found here.


Insights help you summarize your research findings. They’re kind of like lightweight blog posts. You can embed references to notes, tags, and highlights, share insights with people who don’t have a Dovetail account with public access, and present them in a fullscreen presentation mode. To summarize and present insights, see here.

J / K / L


Labs is our beta program to release new features to a group of users in order to gather feedback and validate assumptions. Workspace admins can opt into testing features available on Dovetail Labs through the admin account settings.

M / N / O


Research data is stored in a note. Notes can contain text, images, audio, video, tables, a transcript from an audio or video file, and more. Notes are intentionally flexible to support a wide variety of research methodologies and data formats.

Note views

A project can have multiple note views with data on each board. Views are separate containers to organize your data.

Note group

Note groups help you organize and categorize your notes with a simple drag and drop interface. If you’ve used Trello, Asana, or Jira, then you’ll find it familiar. Name your groups by clicking on the title and change their color by clicking the Actions (···) menu.

P / Q / R / S

People database

People database is a feature that allows workspace admins and users to track and manage interview participants in a workspace. People can be attached to notes and insights, providing traceability of your interactions with each research participant. For more information on managing participants with people, view here.


A project is the main ‘container’ in Dovetail. They contain a readme, data (like notes, images, videos, and files), and tags, highlights, and insights. There’s no limit on how many projects you can have in Dovetail.

Project access

Individual projects in Dovetail can be configured to restrict access to specific user roles or individual users. Project owners can enable project access controls using information found here.

Project settings

Project settings include General, Access, Data fields, Insight fields, Workspace tags, and Workspace fields associated with that project.

Project templates

Templates help you standardize user research across your organization by giving other people a starting set of data, tags, and project configuration to begin new projects from. To create a project template, see here.

Project trash

You can access project trash through project settings to restore deleted groups, notes, tags, fields, and insights.


An overview of your project. This is the first page in a project and new visitors land here.


A seat is a billing spot for an "Admin" or a "User" role. A seat is not for a specific user, and can be filled by any specific admin or user at any time. You can swap out who ‘sits’ in a seat as much as you like with no change to your bill. Seats are paid for in advance.

T / U / V


A tag is attached to a highlight in a note. A single highlight can have one or many tags associated with it.

Tag board

Board with groups of tags.


User is one of the 3 workspace roles. Users can’t manage the workspace, however they can view, contribute, and analyze data within projects. Users are often researchers, product managers, or designers.


Viewers have read only access to projects and cannot edit anything. They can still subscribe to project notifications and add comments. Viewers are often stakeholders, managers, clients, or other teams.

W / X / Y / Z


The framework for each plan is that you will have access to a single workspace that people can access and contribute research to. A workspace includes all projects, workspace tags, and workspace fields and is managed predominantly by workspace admins.

Workspace fields

A feature that enables you to create global / universal fields that span projects. See more about organzing your data and tags here.

Workspace roles

There are three workspace-level roles that a person can have in Dovetail. They can be an admin, a user, or a viewer. What they can do in Dovetail will depend on their role. View permissions for each role here.

Workspace settings

Workspace settings are predominantly managed by workspace admins. This includes - General, Projects, Person fields, Templates, Workspace tags, Workspace fields, Users, Security, Billing, Labs & Workspace Trash.

Workspace tags

A feature that enables you to create global / universal tags that span projects. With workspace tags, your Dovetail workspace can scale to thousands of tags across projects and teams, without requiring all users to search through tags that might be irrelevant to them. See more about organzing your data and tags across your workspace here.

Workspace trash

Admins and users can access workspace trash through workspace settings to restore deleted folders, projects, workspace tags, and workspace fields, and templates.


Zapier is a tool that helps you automate repetitive tasks between two or more apps—no code necessary. When an event happens in one app, Zapier can tell another app to perform (or do) a particular action. Dovetail has first-party integration with Zapier that allows other apps to connect to Dovetail.


Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others. We have first-party integration with Zoom to enable you to import cloud recordings directly into a note in Dovetail.

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