Enhanced Security Features

With a long history of building enterprise-grade software, we’ve drawn on our experience to extend Recollective functionality to protect the integrity of all user accounts.

As part of the Recollective Release: August 2014, you can now visit Site Administration > Site Setup > Account Settings to…

  • Enable and configure an automated password expiry policy
  • Block the re-use of past passwords for a customized duration
  • Block too many failed attempts to login with a temporary account lockout
  • Limit session duration and use or duration of the “Remember Me” function
  • Optionally use non-reversible password encryption

These new features add to the already extensive suite of security-related software features. For more information, or to learn about an Enhanced Security infrastructure package, please contact us. Continue reading

Real-Time Web-Based Notifications

Our last major release of Recollective included many great features like Gamification and support for Simplified Chinese. This meant that a couple secondary additions probably went unnoticed.


One of those important additions was an update to Notifications that included:

  • Centralized area for new and past notifications
  • Real-time notifications while online
  • Email digest for unread notifications with flexible scheduling options
  • Improved highlighting of items “Awaiting Reply”

Continue reading

Chinese Language Arrives!

Chinese Blog ImageSo many of our customers are using Recollective in global projects, that we get requests for new languages every week. Chinese has been perhaps the most requested language recently. So, as part of the ongoing effort to localize Recollective into popular languages, we’re really delighted to confirm that the platform now fully supports Simplified Chinese.

This upgrade is immediately available on all Recollective sites and includes support for both content being created in Chinese by researchers and participants, plus switching the whole user interface into Simplified Chinese.

It extends to all features, including the Word Cloud summary view which looks astonishingly cool in Chinese!

If you have a Recollective site already, enable the language in the Site Administration area under “Site Setup > Basic Settings”. As for all other languages, Recollective will auto-select the language if it’s available and new participants arrive from the associated locale.

Gamification comes to Recollective with new Incentives feature

incentives logo

Today we’re releasing an incredible series of upgrades to the core Recollective platform. These upgrades are available to all customers and include:

  • Incentives (points and levels)
  • Action Log
  • Web-Based Notifications
  • Email Notification Digests
  • Anonymous Access


We’ve attended several marketing research conferences over the past few years and one consistent topic of conversation at all of them as been “gamification”. We’ve been thinking about how to bring that element into Recollective for quite some time. Gamification, in the general opinion of researchers we spoke with, is a way to stimulate more interactions and quality of response by making the research fun and competitive.

As we considered that, it was clear that gamification had two dimensions:

  • The reward of accumulating points, and having effort recognized in the community, is in itself an incentive to stimulate the desired behaviour.
  • Points and levels can be used to determine who has earned a traditional monetary incentive in a research community.

To address these elements, we’ve built the following new features: Continue reading

Inflows: recruiting, screening and balancing in Recollective

As some of our customers and partners might be aware, the vision for Recollective has always been to satisfy the entire end-to-end experience of building and running an online insight community. Our goal is to deliver everything you need – from recruiting to launch, moderation to incentive management – within the application.

A huge part of that vision was completed and released this month: Recollective Inflows.

What is Inflows?

The idea behind Inflows is to provide the tools you need to openly invite people to any study, have them screened, balanced to quotas and for those that qualify, automatically added to the study.
The initial step, the ability to open registration into a study by sharing a URL or sending out bulk emails, has existed since 2013 (in addition to the convenient Bulk Upload tool). In this release, we’ve extended the “inflow” process to include screening, balancing with quotas and automated communications.

Participant Screening

Recruiting specific types of individual for a study is often essential but can be very expensive (both in terms of time and money) when done through a third-party recruiting agency or panel provider.

With the introduction of Inflows, anyone can screen directly inside Recollective. That makes it feasible to post an open invitation to join a study anywhere online (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, a blog or website, bulk email to customer lists, etc) and ensure only people who meet your criteria are allowed into the study.

Screening Questions - Drinks Study

Specifically, Recollective Inflows now enables any researcher to:

  • Ask study applicants a series of customized open or closed-ended questions prior to entering a study
    • Closed ended questions can have choices that place applicants into one or more segments or cause automatic disqualification
    • Open-ended questions can be given minimum or maximum limits (word or character limit)
  • Automatically or manually approve recruits
  • Screening can take place in advance of the study being open
  • Ability to re-screen applicants which forces participants to redo a screener (ideal for testing or important changes to disqualifying criteria or quotas)
  • Option to add more screening questions mid-study and have new questions appear to existing participants


Set as many quotas as you need to make sure that different types of participant are ideally balanced in your study. Recollective automatically keeps track of qualifying participants and when quotas are met, prevents further people from joining the study.

Quota Limits - Drinks Study

  • A total limit of study participants exists to cap overall participant registrations
  • Quotas can be defined to balance the population of applicants automatically via segments
  • Quotas can specify multiple segments (e.g. a 50% gender-split across two geographic regions is possible)
  • Manual approval of qualified applicants can be enabled while still making use of quotas

Communication and Management

Of course, Recollective Inflows includes all the tools you need as a moderator to manage the recruiting process and to communicate with applicants.


  • Automated messages with full customization of all text related to screening, qualifying, rejecting and pending approval.
  • Applicant management permits filtering by both status and specific screening responses
  • Includes ability to bulk-approve and reject pending applicants (including forced acceptance to ignore quotas)

Recollective Inflows is an optional add-on module. Pricing is available on request. It is included at no cost on all annual sites licensed for 50 participants or more.

So Many More Improvements!

As if Inflows wasn’t enough for a single release, we’ve completed some major improvements to existing Recollective features.


The first feature enhancement is to the Messages tool, which has now been split into two distinct lists: “Inbox” and “Sent”. This should simplify browsing of new/unread messages while still being able to confirm email broadcasts were properly dispatched.

  • “Inbox” will show all inbound messages from participants and show a preview of the last message received
  • “Sent” will show all outbound messages to participants (including email broadcasts) and show a preview of the last message sent.
  • The message list interface has been updated to match the appearance of the individual message threads (and thus the stream). The Sent area now includes the profile photo of the administrator that initiated the most recent outbound message.

Improved Visibility of Moderator Probes


  • Comments on task responses by administrators are typically probing following-up questions that require a participant’s response. These probing comments can now be marked as “Awaiting Reply” (similar to what has existed in Messages).
  • Comments awaiting a reply now attract more attention by their inclusion above all private messages and an additional red indicator on the right-hand Control Panel as seen by participants.
  • Comments that are awaiting reply remain highlighted to participants until a follow-up comment is posted.
  • Administrators can use the new “Sent” section of Messages to locate all task response comments awaiting a reply.

Discussion Topic Word Clouds


  • A new dedicated “Word Cloud” option appears above all discussion topic replies and provides an interactive and searchable interface for the topic.
  • Provides all the same features and benefits as other word clouds such as interactive word selection (e.g. drill-down to related words), multi-keyword search, contextual sentence fragment with thumbnails, instant excerpting and more.
  • Topic sorting options have improved to make room from this new option and for consistency with other sorting controls in Recollective.

Improved Transcripts

We’re always interested in ways to improve the transcripts and reports in Recollective. Something several partners have asked for is a simplification of the transcript output as a formatted document (HTML).


So, in this release we have:

  • Updated formatting of metadata, headers, breadcrumbs and response content maximize legibility and ease of scanning.
  • Increased use of profile photos provides a better visual break between responses.
  • A new top-left option appears to “Simplify Transcript” which allows instant toggling of the table of contents, all grey metadata sections, profile photos and the participant appendix.
  • Improved layout of content for activity transcripts sorted by “Activity / Task / Participant”.

Usability Improvements

The release included a host of smaller improvements and ongoing tweaks to optimize the user experience of Recollective that are too numerous to fully document. In particular, we have:

  • Removed the “Paste URL” option from the Video Task since it was almost universally misused.
  • Prompts/Poll – External destinations no longer mark the entire activity as completed by default (it can be re-enabled)
  • Words Overview – Dedicated “Reset” button now appears to simplify the clearing of an existing keyword search
  • Site Appearance – New ability to target custom CSS to specific studies (in addition to specific roles, languages and devices) which means you can further differentiate separate studies (and end-clients) in the same Recollective site.
  • And many more…

This was one of our most ambitious releases to date and we hope you’re as thrilled as we are with the new tools available in Recollective.


February Recollective Release – Multimedia Tasks

Very soon after launching Recollective in late 2011, we made sure there was a suite of tools to enable researchers to capture photo, files and webcam or mobile video responses in addition to open-ended text. Those four task types have proven to be hugely popular, forming the core of almost every project done using Recollective.

MultiMedia Task IconWe’re always seeking new ways to make the platform more flexible for research and so this month we are really proud to release a new task type: Multimedia.

This task type combines all four primary ways to gather a response – text, photo, video and files. When shaping a question, the task type enables researchers to choose which media types can be used and optionally, set limits for how many of each must be shared by the participant. Continue reading

December Recollective Release – Interactive Word Clouds!

Christmas has come early to Recollective. Launched late on Friday 13th Dec, we’ve rolled out a huge release which introduces interactive word clouds, full text keyword searching and a brand new rich text editor.

Interactive Word Clouds

In the late September release we introduced the concept of summary views for the stream so you could see a photo and video wall or a dashboard of activity charts in addition to the standard newsfeed of responses and discussions.

Interactive word clouds complete the set by representing text-based responses and discussions in a summarized, highly visual format. I have to say, they’re pretty special.

Study Summary - What Drives You? Continue reading

Recollective Release – November 2013

After the early access pre-launch of Recollective On-Demand, a free simplified version of Recollective, we’ve had a very busy October. To keep the momentum up, the Ramius developers have been back at it with some great new improvements to the platform. Here’s what we released in November:

Study Preview

While it’s always been possible to perform a “Support Login” and experience a Study from the perspective of a specific participant, client or moderator, we wanted to make it easier to do this kind of check before a study was opened and participants uploaded.
Similarly, Recollective had the ability to preview a single activity or task but you could not remain in this preview state to test all screens or traverse through complex linkages between activities and discussions or even across studies.
Now, that’s all changed. Analysts can select “Preview As…” in the control panel to immediately experience their study as one of the various user roles supported (Participant, Client or Moderator). It’s a single click operation and the study can remain in a draft state.
  • While previewing as a participant, analysts can can assign themselves into one or more segments to see the impact that has on the visibility of segmented activities and topics.
  • Activities completed while previewing as a participant appear in the activity response table at the top with a yellow highlight (they are fast and easy to remove). They can only be seen by other analysts and are never summarized with participant data in task overviews, reports or transcripts.
  • Note that if an analyst posts comments or participates in discussions while in the preview mode, it will still appear to everyone as if they had posted it normally.

Continue reading

Recollective Release – September 2013

In the past few releases we’ve spent a lot of effort improving the functionality of the response streams in Recollective. This September release is the culmination of that work and we think it introduces some amazing new capabilities for researchers. Plus, in addition to the features described below, we have introduced support for Italian language to Recollective.

Excerpting in Stream

A unique feature that Recollective has always had is the ability to save any text submitted by a participant so you can store interesting quotes. We call these ‘verbatim excerpts’ and we also allow you to categorize them with codes such as “Positive”, “Negative”, “Great Quote” or any other custom code you like.

We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about the excerpting capability and how you’d like to see it combined into the response streams to make reviewing and marking up data even easier. In this major release, we’ve done just that. You can now highlight any participant-submitted text you see in the stream to access the “Save Excerpt” option as seen when excerpting activity responses, comments, discussion posts and private messages.

Mobility & Social Media-2

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Recollective Release – August 2013 (Incremental)

There were a number of small improvements that we weren’t able to squeeze into the main release this month, so instead they were all pushed live over the weekend. Here’s a quick summary of what’s changed.

Summary Stream
  • New stream filtering options to highlight comments and ratings by a profiled user

Betty Davis - August QA 2013-1Photo Task Type

After splitting the old Text / Photo task type a few releases ago, we’ve had feedback from some customers that they want to see it back. So, to help any die-hards out there, we’ve improved the new Photo Task Type.

Task Setup - August QA 2013-2

  • New option attached to Additional Commentary to “Place above photos” which enables text to be captured before photos are uploaded.
  • Text responses appear above photos on the response view and stream

Continue reading