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5 Best Dovetail Alternatives & Competitors for User Research in 2024

By 
Max Gayler
 on 
December 22, 2023
Remote Works

User research stands as a cornerstone for driving business growth. And it’s impossible to complete this task without the right tools. Dovetail stands out as one of the highest quality user research analysis tools on the market, and yet, that market has so many other exciting options.

While selecting the right tool for this purpose, it's essential to look beyond conventional options like Dovetail. A more holistic product, one that offers seamless recording, transcribing, analyzing, and organizing of user research data, can truly elevate your business strategy.

Choose more holistic products that can record, transcribe, analyze, and organize user research data.

What is Dovetail?

Dovetail serves as a hub for customer insights. It's designed to uncover valuable information from various sources including user feedback, customer interviews, support tickets, and sales calls. By centralizing and organizing this data, Dovetail enables teams to collaborate effectively and derive actionable insights from user research.

Pros of Dovetail

To start, let’s talk about the key points that make Dovetail a great option for your team:

  • Powerful Data Analysis Tools: Dovetail is equipped with robust data analysis capabilities. It allows users to sift through large volumes of data from various sources, like interviews, surveys, and customer feedback, and extract meaningful insights. The platform's advanced analytics tools enable users to identify trends, patterns, and themes, making it easier to understand customer needs and preferences.
  • Collaborative Workspace: One of the key advantages of Dovetail is its highly collaborative environment. Teams can share insights, work together on data analysis, and build a shared understanding of the user research.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Dovetail offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of organizing and analyzing user research data. This ease of use makes it accessible not just to data scientists or analysts but also to less technical team members, facilitating broader team engagement in the user research process.
  • Integration with Other Tools: The ability to integrate seamlessly with a variety of other tools and platforms is a significant advantage. Dovetail can connect with CRM systems, communication tools, and other data sources too.
  • Rich Data Visualization: Dovetail provides comprehensive data visualization tools that help in presenting insights in a clear, understandable, and visually appealing manner. These visualizations aid in communicating complex data to stakeholders and team members who may not have a deep background in data analysis.

Cons of Dovetail

Now let’s look at at where Dovetail might be lacking in certain areas:

  • Steep Learning Curve: This is a high-level product and requires numerous training sessions in order to grasp. It’s not a plug in and play piece of technology.
  • No Meeting Recording: Dovetail actually requires you to bring in your own meeting recordings from Zoom, Google Meet, or anywhere else. This means Dovetail alternatives might be a better option for a more holistic tool.
  • No Screen Recording: Dovetail is not designed to bring asynchronous workers together as well as other competitors. It does allow you to organize video clips, but not record them yourself.
  • No Speaker Recognition: This must be done manually instead. When you import recordings it doesn’t automatically assign different speakers.
  • Very Expensive: Dovetail is a premium Enterprise level product and this is reflected in the price. It’s easy to finish your year with a five-figure bill.

Pricing

Dovetail does not offer a free version of their solution. Instead there’s a minimum spend of $30 per month for their Starter plan which does include a free trial.

Starter

Kickstart your insights hub with the Starter plan at just $30 per month or $300 per year. It includes 10 transcript hours per month, 50 GB of storage, and essential automation features.

Team

For centralized data analysis, the Team plan offers 25 transcript hours monthly, 100 GB of storage, and more for $375 per month or $3,600 per year. It includes folders, workspace tags, and private projects.

Business

Standardize insights across your organization with the Business plan at $1,800 per month, billed annually at $21,600. Get 100 transcript hours per month, 500 GB storage, and advanced features like single sign-on, user groups, and workspace analytics.

Enterprise

Contact their sales team for custom pricing on the Enterprise plan, offering all Business plan features plus unlimited transcription, storage, SCIM user provisioning, custom data retention, priority support, and a dedicated Customer Success Manager. Optional HIPAA compliance add-ons available.

Best Overall Alternative: Claap

When considering superior alternatives to Dovetail for user research, Claap emerges as a front-runner. It's more than just a note-taking tool; Claap is a revolution in capturing and analyzing user research data. It offers a dynamic mix of asynchronous video capabilities, detailed meeting recordings, and insightful AI-driven summaries, all within a user-friendly interface tailored for user research efficiency.

What is Claap?

Claap goes beyond the realm of basic note-taking apps, positioning itself as an advanced video wiki specifically designed for user research. Imagine a platform where detailed notes and video recordings coexist, enhanced by accurate transcriptions and AI-powered summaries. This combination makes Claap an invaluable asset in transforming the way companies handle and utilize their user research data.

What sets Claap apart in the user research field is its comprehensive approach to collaboration and data alignment. It's more than just an addition to your software arsenal; it’s a tool that streamlines and amplifies your research capabilities.

This is supported by screen recording and intelligent meeting recording that make Claap a holistic tool designed to take care of the scalable needs of growingly visual companies that want to stay aligned.

Claap vs Dovetail: Which Does What Better?

Feature Dovetail Claap
Interactive templates ✅ Yes ❌ No
Screen recording ❌ No ✅ Yes
Meeting recording ❌ No ✅ Yes
Automated transcripts ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Automated AI summaries ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Video wiki ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Annotated comments ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Advanced collaboration ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
Video editing ❌ No ✅ Yes
Pricing for premium user research features $375/month $30/month
  • Screen & Meeting Recording: Claap's screen and meeting recording features are particularly useful for visual and interactive aspects of user research, a domain where Dovetail doesn't measure up.
  • Enhanced Collaboration Tools: In terms of collaboration, Claap offers advanced options such as speaker recognition and video annotation, making it superior for team-based user research projects.
  • Editing Capabilities: With video trimming and stitching, Claap excels over Dovetail, allowing researchers to create clear, focused summaries of their findings.

Pros

  • Integrated Video & Screen Recording: Combining video recordings with transcriptions, Claap provides a complete documentation solution for user research.
  • AI-Driven Summaries: AI summaries in Claap offer insightful recaps, highlighting key points from user research meetings.
  • Customizable Transcriptions: This feature enables the adaptation of meeting transcripts to fit specific user research needs.
  • Competitive Pricing: Claap’s pricing model is designed to be accessible for businesses of various sizes, offering substantial user research features at a reasonable cost.

Cons

  • Compatibility Issue: Currently, Claap's desktop application is available only for Mac users, with Windows compatibility in development.
  • Limited Advanced Enterprise Features: While Claap lacks some high-end features like sentiment analysis in user research, this is reflected in its more affordable pricing.

Claap pricing

Cost-effectiveness is a significant factor when considering Dovetail alternatives, and Claap doesn't disappoint. 

A Basic Recorder plan is as cheap as $8 per seat per month when you pay yearly. This level comes with unlimited video recordings, however they are capped at 30 minutes per video. 

If you want something more powerful, the Power Recorder option is as cheap as $24 per seat per month and comes with unlimited everything. An Enterprise plan is also available for businesses that need CRM integrations, advanced privacy, SSO, API, and more.

Claap’s free plan

  • 10 minutes per user
  • 10 minutes per video
  • Maximum 20 recorders per space
  • Chrome extension and Desktop app
  • Video annotations
  • Notion and Slack integrations

Best One-Person Team Alternative: Fathom

For solo user researchers, such as independent consultants or individual entrepreneurs, choosing the right tools for efficiency and productivity is crucial. Fathom stands out as a top Dovetail alternative, tailored specifically for the solo user researcher. It offers an easy-to-use platform with a budget-friendly approach, ensuring essential user research features are available without incurring high costs.

What is Fathom?

Fathom is the ideal Dovetail alternative for solo user researchers. It’s designed to provide a straightforward, economical solution, perfectly suited for those who don't need the complex features and expenses typical of larger teams or enterprise setups. It's a go-to for individual researchers who require a focused and efficient tool for their projects.

Pros of Enjoy HQ for User Research

  • Simplicity: Enjoy HQ is built with simplicity at its core, offering a user-friendly interface devoid of unnecessary complexities. This makes it an ideal tool for solo user researchers who need an efficient, no-frills solution.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: As a budget-friendly Dovetail alternative, Enjoy HQ is particularly appealing to individual researchers or small-scale projects, contrasting with the potentially higher costs of Dovetail.
  • Meeting Highlights: Enjoy HQ allows users to easily pinpoint and access the most important parts of their user research sessions, a critical feature for solo researchers who need quick access to key insights.
  • Full Transcripts with Speaker Identification: Enjoy HQ provides complete transcripts of user research sessions, including speaker identification, which is invaluable for reviewing and organizing research content effectively.
  • Strong Free Option: For individual user researchers, Enjoy HQ's free version, which offers comprehensive features, is a compelling choice, especially when budget constraints are a consideration.

Cons of Enjoy HQ for User Research

  • Limited Language Support: While Enjoy HQ supports multiple languages, its range might be restrictive for user researchers working in more diverse, international contexts.
  • No Screen Recording: Unlike some of its competitors, Enjoy HQ lacks screen recording capabilities, a limitation for user researchers who rely on asynchronous communication methods.
  • Embedding Limitations: Currently, Enjoy HQ faces challenges in seamlessly integrating into emails and other communication tools, which could lead to less efficient sharing and collaboration in user research contexts.

Fathom Pricing

Fathom's pricing is tailored to meet the specific needs of one-person teams and small businesses. 

Fathom also offers a Fathom Teams product that costs $32 per seat per month for a Standard Plan, and $39 per seat per month for a Pro plan which includes CRM sync, SSO and advanced access controls.

Fathom’s free plan

  • Unlimited minutes
  • Unlimited users
  • Salesforce, Hubspot, Notion and Slack integrations.

Best Just Transcription Alternative: Otter

For those focused primarily on audio transcription in user research, Otter presents itself as an outstanding Dovetail alternative. Otter specializes more in transcription than meeting recording, making it ideal for user research scenarios where detailed, accurate text records of interviews or discussions are paramount. It also boasts a range of integrations, seamlessly fitting into various user research workflows.

Otter is an AI-driven transcription tool that excels in converting spoken words into text with high accuracy. It’s not only feature-rich but also offers a generous free plan, appealing to budget-conscious user researchers.

What is Otter?

Otter is designed for a broad spectrum of users, from beginners in user research to those seeking a cost-effective transcription solution. Its standout feature for user researchers is its highly accurate transcription model, boasting over 99% accuracy, crucial for detailed and reliable user research data.

Pros of Otter for User Research

  • Free Plan: Otter's free offering is particularly attractive for new or budget-restricted user researchers, providing essential transcription features without the financial burden associated with some platforms like Dovetail.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Otter’s simplicity makes it an accessible choice for user researchers who may be overwhelmed by the more complex features of other tools.
  • Real-time Transcription: Offering real-time transcription, Otter ensures that discussions and interviews are captured accurately as they occur, vital for live user research sessions.
  • Slide Capture Feature: Otter’s ability to transcribe text from slides, in addition to voice, ensures no detail is missed in user research meetings.
  • Chat Capabilities: With the introduction of Otter AI Chat, user researchers gain deeper collaboration possibilities, allowing instant answers to queries through a comprehensive database of transcripts.

Cons of Otter for User Research

  • Limited Meeting Analytics: Otter falls short in providing advanced analytics for user research content, like sentiment analysis and trend identification, which are beyond its basic transcription services.
  • No Integrated Video Recording: Focusing primarily on audio, Otter may not offer integrated video recording or the ability to sync video content with notes, a drawback for more visually-oriented user research.
  • Automated Action Item Extraction: Some tools automatically identify and extract action items from meeting transcripts, a feature that Otter may lack.
  • Limited AI Summaries: Otter's transcription service might not offer as advanced AI-powered meeting summarization as some competitors, which can be more effective in highlighting key discussion points in user research.
  • Non-Customizable Transcripts: Otter might offer fewer options for transcript customization, such as annotations or custom tags, compared to other platforms.
  • Narrower Integration Range: While Otter integrates with popular platforms, it might lack the broad range of integrations, especially with specialized user research tools.
  • No Speaker Identification and Attribution: Advanced speaker identification, crucial in multi-speaker user research environments, may not be as developed in Otter.
  • Cost of Unlimited Access: Otter's enterprise service for high-demand accounts can become expensive, a consideration for extensive user research projects.
  • Privacy Concerns: Past incidents involving audio files being shared with third parties may raise privacy concerns for user researchers considering Otter.

Otter Pricing

While Otter's free plan is its standout feature, it also offers paid plans for users who require additional features and usage limits. 

A Pro account costs $17 per seat per month and comes with 1200 minutes of transcription. That includes a maximum session time of 90 minutes. You can also import up to 10 audio or video files per month. 

Their Business plan costs $40 per user per month and allows 6,000 monthly minutes and sessions of up to 4 hours. 

Otter’s free plan

  • Otter AI chat
  • Zoom, MS Teams and Google Meet integrations
  • 300 transcription minutes
  • 30 minutes per sessions
  • Up to 3 audio or video files

Best Free Alternative: EnjoyHQ

One of UserTesting’s most popular products, EnjoyHQ enables teams to align faster by sharing insights from customer research and applying it to their new best practices. It’s a powerful piece of kit, but what makes it stand out in this list as a great Dovetail alternative is its enticing Free plan.

What is EnjoyHQ

EnjoyHQ is specifically designed to tackle the complexities of customer feedback. In the world of user research and customer experience, feedback can often be scattered across various systems, making it a challenge to form a cohesive understanding. EnjoyHQ acts as a centralized customer knowledge base, consolidating all user research to provide clarity on customer sentiments. It streamlines the process of searching, organizing, and sharing customer feedback within teams.

Pros

  • Exceptional Customer Service: EnjoyHQ prides itself on offering top-tier customer support.
  • Powerful Search Engine with Flexible Filters: Its search capabilities allow user researchers to sift through feedback efficiently.
  • Centralized Research Data: All user research data is accessible in one unified location.

Cons of EnjoyHQ for User Research

  • Complexity in Learning: The platform's learning curve can render some features underutilized, posing challenges for stakeholders in accessing research findings.
  • High Cost for Cheapest Paid Plan: The entry-level paid plan starts at $1,000 per month.
  • Manual Processes for Recordings and Transcriptions: User interviews require manual uploading, and transcriptions take time to generate. Additionally, labeling insights from interviews is a manual process.

Pricing of EnjoyHQ for User Research

Despite the high starting price of $1,000 per month for its paid plan, EnjoyHQ does offer a comprehensive free plan that outperforms many competitors, including Dovetail.

EnjoyHQ Free Plan 

  • 2 Admin Seats: Manage and control user research with ease.
  • Unlimited Read-Only Users: Allow team members to view research without editing capabilities.
  • Unlimited Research Projects: No cap on the number of user research projects.
  • Unlimited Uploads: Supports text, images, attachments, and more.
  • Data Visualizations: Visual tools to interpret research data effectively.
  • Unlimited Transcriptions: Transcribe audio and video content without limitations.
  • Video Editing Features: Edit and refine video content within the platform.
  • Taxonomy Manager: Organize and categorize user research data efficiently.
  • Integrations: Seamlessly connect with tools like UserZoom, Slack, Zapier, Trello, Jira, and various cloud storage platforms.

Best Enterprise Alternative: Maze

In the realm of enterprise-level user research, Maze stands out as a top-tier alternative, especially for larger organizations seeking a comprehensive and scalable solution. With its advanced features and intuitive design, Maze addresses the intricate needs of extensive user research projects and teams, offering a level of depth and flexibility that matches the demands of large-scale operations.

What is Maze?

Maze is a sophisticated user research platform designed to cater to the needs of enterprise-level teams. It offers a suite of tools that facilitate rapid testing, actionable insights, and collaborative workflows. Maze excels in providing a seamless experience for conducting user research at scale, from gathering user feedback to analyzing complex data sets. It’s an all-encompassing tool that simplifies and streamlines the user research process for large organizations.

Pros of Maze for Enterprise User Research

  • Comprehensive Testing Capabilities: Maze enables extensive user testing, including A/B testing, prototype testing, and usability testing, essential for in-depth enterprise research.
  • Actionable Insights and Analytics: The platform provides detailed analytics and insights, helping teams make data-driven decisions and understand user behavior effectively.
  • High Scalability: Maze is built to scale with the growing needs of enterprise teams, accommodating large volumes of data and users without compromising performance.
  • Collaborative Features: It promotes team collaboration, allowing multiple stakeholders to engage in the research process, share findings, and work together seamlessly.
  • Integration with Design and Development Tools: Maze integrates smoothly with popular design and prototyping tools, enhancing the workflow between designers, developers, and researchers.

Cons of Maze for Enterprise User Research

  • Complexity for New Users: The extensive features of Maze can be overwhelming for new users, requiring a learning curve to fully leverage its capabilities.
  • Higher Pricing for Advanced Features: The advanced functionalities of Maze come with a higher price tag, which might be a consideration for companies with strict budget constraints.
  • Limited Customization in Certain Areas: While Maze offers a range of features, some aspects of the platform might have limited customization options, which could be a drawback for teams with very specific research needs.
  • Resource Intensive for Smaller Teams: For smaller teams or projects, the robust nature of Maze could be more than what is needed, making it less suitable for less complex user research requirements.
  • Dependency on External Prototyping Tools: While Maze integrates well with other tools, it relies on these external resources for certain functionalities, which could be a limitation for teams looking for an all-in-one solution.

Pricing

Maze's Organization, Team, and Starter plans cater to varying levels of usability testing and product research needs.

The Organization plan offers custom pricing tailored for large organizations seeking to scale their product research with comprehensive support and security.

The Team plan, priced at $1,250 USD/month (paid yearly), is designed for teams focusing on democratizing research and building user-centric products.

The Starter plan, at $99 USD/month, is ideal for small teams starting in product research.

Maze Free plan

Lastly, the Free plan is perfect for individuals just beginning with usability testing, offering essential features at no cost:

  • 1 study per month
  • 5 seats
  • Pay-per-use panel credits
  • Up to 7 blocks

Which Dovetail Alternative is Right For You?

After examining various Dovetail alternatives, it's important to select the one that aligns best with your unique business needs, taking into account factors like budget, team size, and desired features.

Claap - The Best Overall Alternative

Ideal for: Businesses of all sizes seeking an efficient way to document and analyze meetings.

Why Choose Claap: With its blend of video capabilities, AI-powered summaries, and customizable transcripts, Claap stands out for its ability to comprehensively capture and distill meeting details. Its competitive pricing also makes it accessible for various business sizes.

Fathom - The Best One-Person Team Alternative

Ideal for: Individuals, freelancers, or small teams with fundamental transcription requirements.

Why Choose Fathom: Fathom is a great choice for budget-conscious users, offering a generous free plan and a user-friendly interface. Its AI summary capabilities make it a suitable choice for solo users or small teams.

Otter - The Best Just Transcription Alternative

Ideal for: Solo entrepreneurs and small teams prioritizing ease of use and affordability in transcription.

Why Choose Otter: Otter's simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and quick setup make it a go-to for small businesses or one-person teams needing a focused transcription tool.

EnjoyHQ - The Best Free Alternative

Ideal for: Teams and professionals across various sectors requiring comprehensive management of customer feedback.

Why Choose EnjoyHQ: EnjoyHQ excels in aggregating and organizing customer feedback, making it invaluable for teams in user research, marketing, and product development. It offers a free plan with extensive features, appealing to teams requiring a versatile and accessible tool.

Maze - The Best Enterprise Alternative

Ideal for: Large organizations needing a robust platform for extensive user research and testing.

Why Choose Maze: Maze is suited for enterprises looking for a comprehensive solution that offers advanced testing capabilities, detailed analytics, and scalability to accommodate extensive user research.

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