Dovetail merchandise.

Investment Notes: Dovetail

Date Published:
February 26, 2020

We’ve finally found a product just for UX researchers in Dovetail.

Blackbird loves founders obsessed with the user experience (UX). Think about what Canva does for designers, Safety Culture does for OH&S staff, and Culture Amp does for people leaders – there is a theme across these investments of building exceptional products for an underserved part of the workforce. There isn’t a dominant tool yet for UX researchers, but we think we’ve found one in Dovetail.

Dovetail was founded two years ago by CEO Benjamin Humphrey, and CTO Brad Ayers, who met working at Atlassian. Before Atlassian, Benjamin reported directly to the YouTube founders at their post-YouTube startup AVOS.

Benjamin and Brad are guided by a belief that deeply understanding your customers is the key ingredient to create a great product. Seeing a gap in the product development process, they set out to build something that better served UX professionals.

UX is exactly what it says on the label - the overall experience of a person using a product. While product managers, designers, and engineers are all tangentially responsible for UX, increasingly, the best product teams include dedicated UX expertise in the form of UX researchers and designers.

UX researchers have a problem of depth, and a problem of breadth. The depth problem is that every user interview they do generates hours (and GBs) of video, audio, images, and text files. The breadth problem is that product feedback comes in from all angles: NPS responses, Zendesk tickets, @replies on Twitter, direct emails, and app reviews. There's no single place to easily store, categorize, and search all of that content. Dovetail solves this elegantly and intuitively, creating a central place for researchers to share and collaborate on that data with the entire organisation.

In 2019, with just three employees and no sales team, Dovetail grew to support hundreds of customers including Square, VMware, Shopify, BCG, Esri, Harvard, Maersk, Teradata, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, with thousands of people within these organizations using Dovetail every month to analyze data and capture insights.

Benjamin and Brad are also natural community builders, growing a Dovetail Slack community of more than 700 UX leaders and Dovetail users from around the world.

We believe Dovetail has an opportunity to build an Atlassian-like, bottom-up, global, inbound, happy-customer-word-of-mouth SaaS business that can be the default choice for the world’s UX professionals, and we are thrilled to be joining them on the journey. And, if you know anyone that lives and loves user research, get them to trial Dovetail here.