Recollective Update: Live Group Chat (October 2019)

Written by Philippe Dame • Posted on October 9, 2019
2019 10 Recollective 1 5 23

In our latest update to Recollective, we're launching an improved version of Real-Time activities under a new name while also making this premium feature freely available to all customers. Live Group Chat, as it's now called, provides a new experience for Clients observers via a segregated backroom.

Beyond this work, we have extended our advanced Chart Customization features to be available within all remaining tasks types.

To learn more about the release, please download (and share) our Recollective Product Update: October 2019 (PDF) or keep reading.

Live Group Chat

Live Group Chat was given this new name to help differentiate it from our upcoming Live Video Interview activity type (stay tuned for more on that).

This activity type was sold as a premium feature but all Recollective sites can now make use of Live Group Chat at no additional charge. If you do not see the activity type enabled in your site, please contact us.

Live Chat Basics

Recollective's chat activity is a way to schedule and host a live text-based chat style meeting with participants. During the chat, everyone is part of a shared real-time conversation while also allowing for private exchanges with administrators. Furthermore, administrators can collaborate via backroom posts that are hidden from participants.

To streamline the flow of the chat, the hosts can prepare discussion points and stimuli in advance. These prepared items can consist of text, photos, videos and files. Hosts can also prepare interactive poll questions that permit live voting and live result sharing to stimulate discussion.

The entire chat event is automatically transcribed and open to Recollective's standard analysis tools such as text highlighting and coding.

Segregated Backroom

As part of this release, Client administrators can now join live group chats while remaining in a segregated backroom. That means they can be observers of the chat (seeing both standard and private messages), while having their participation limited to the admin-only backroom discussion.

By default, Clients are not permitted to join a Live Group Chat but are only provided access to the transcript of the event. You must enable "Allow clients to participate" during the setup of the activity to grant chat room access to Clients. Once enabled, a message appears to summarize what the Client experience will be.

Note that clients are only permitted to actively chat with participants if the "Interact with participants" permission is enabled in Study Settings > Client Permissions.

Live Group Chat Setup

Updated Chat Appearance

We also improved the overall appearance of the live chat room. Conversations are now cleaner and less cluttered. You may also notice that during a chat that all of "your" posts will appear on the right-side of the window so they stand out clearly from the rest of the posted messages. Chat transcripts also benefit from the styling improvement.

Live Group Chat Backroom shadow

Chart Customization (extended)

Advanced chart customization options were first introduced in the Recollective August release and have now been extended to include the following specialized task charts:

  • Image Reviews
  • Video Reviews
  • Live Group Chat: Polls

As a reminder, chart customization includes the following capabilities:

  • Title and sub-title editing
  • Chart type and orientation settings
  • Label mode settings (values or percentages)
  • Item renaming, re-coloring or hiding
  • Grouping of related items
  • Manual or dynamic sorting of items

Image Review Example

The Image Review task type is one of the specialized tasks whose charts can now be customized. An Image Review task allows multiple markers to be defined so they can be placed onto an image by participants (e.g. during a concept review).

In this example we have three markers defined:

Marker Frequency Ungrouped shadow

Administrators can, for example, combine the two markers that represent a negative sentiment into a single item. Note how emojis characters are fully supported in the label input. Typing a colon ":" allows an emoji to be selected from a menu.

Marker Frequency Grouped Shadow

Once marker items are grouped or updated, the related chart will instantly reflect those changes.

Image Review Chart Customized

Please read the Recollective Product Update: August 2019 for more information and examples.

Additional Improvements

As usual, this release also includes many other small improvements to Recollective’s usability and performance:

  • Study-Level Time Zones: The ability to override the site's default time zone can now be found in Study Settings > Configuration. Once set, it becomes the default for all new activities and discussions in that study. The setting simplifies the programming of multi-region studies within in a single site.
  • Agreements: When users join a Recollective site for the first time, they can be presented statements for review and acceptance (e.g. consent agreements). There is now the ability to limit an agreement to one or more user roles (i.e. participants, clients, moderators and analysts). Learn more about Agreements.
  • Discussions: When setting up scheduled discussion topics, you now have control over the time zone in use by that topic.


Relative to quantitive research, qualitative research is ultimately rooted in going deeper with fewer participants. There's nothing better than small group conversations and live interviews for this.

Our work to make Live Group Chat a great experience and to make it free for all customers is a recognition of this need. We're also working on a Live Video Interview activity type to power in-depth conversations.

I again hope you’ve been enjoying these product updates. Please send us your feedback or contact for a personalized demonstration.

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