How to Create and Share Test Annotations

Userlytics’ advanced testing platform allows you to create detailed comments, or Annotations, on specific timeline moments of your participants’ video sessions. By making annotations on specific session moments, you can easily highlight and share important data with your teammates and stakeholders.

Test annotations offer the following perks:

  • Allow you to create a shareable URL that directs to a specific timeline moment, titled with the name of your annotation for context
  • Allow you to create a shareable URL that directs to a compilation of video clips, grouped together by themes and tags
  • Allow you to share a list of videos that can be easily browsed through, with each video hyperlinked to a specific timeline moment

Below, we’ll go over how to create annotations, what annotation tags are used for, and how to share and sort through your annotations.

How do I Create a Test Annotation?

There are two ways in which you can create a test annotation: through the “Sessions” section of a completed test, or through the “Session Transcription” section of a completed test. First, we’ll go over the “Sessions” method.

Method 1: “Sessions” Section of a Completed Test

To create an annotation, first, select the “Completed Tests” section of your client dashboard. After you select “Completed Tests,” a dropdown menu will appear with all of the tests you have finished running. From this list, locate the test you wish to annotate.

After selecting the test you wish to annotate, another dropdown menu will appear with a list of options. Select the menu option that says “Sessions.”

Next, select the session you wish to annotate and click on the blue button that says “Create Annotation.”

After you’ve clicked on the “Create Annotation” button, new options will appear. Here, you can set the start and end time of your annotation, title your annotation, give it a description, and include a series of tags that describe the theme or focus of your annotation.

When playing the session video, typing in any of the Title, Description or Tag fields will automatically “lock” the annotation’s “Set Start” time. Clicking on the “Save Annotation” button will define the “Set End” time. This method of creating an annotation avoids the need for stopping and restarting the video every time you wish to create an annotation, and allows for a much faster means of creating annotations.

Alternatively, you can simply click on “Set Start” and “Set End” to mark the beginning and end of an annotation, and then fill out the relevant Title, Description and Tags for that annotation. Click on the “Save Annotation” button when you have filled out all the required fields for your annotation.

Method 2: “Session Transcription” Section of a Completed Test

An alternative way to annotate is within the “Session Transcription” section of your dashboard. This takes you to a screen where you can request a transcription, and also choose the language and accent of selected video sessions.

To create an annotation this way, first, select the “Completed Tests” section of your client dashboard. After you select “Completed Tests,” a dropdown menu will appear with all of the tests you have finished running. From this list, locate the test you wish to annotate.

After selecting the test you wish to annotate, another dropdown menu will appear with a list of options. Select the menu option that says “Session Transcription”

Here, locate the session you wish to annotate. Then, click the button that says “Access Transcription.”

The annotation process here works exactly the same as when you are in the video session area. You can learn more about transcriptions here.

What are Tags, and What are they Used for?

When creating annotations, you can assign descriptive tags to them. Below, we’ll go over what tags are, how to best name them, and what they are used for.

What is a Tag?

Tags are words used to describe the topic or theme of your annotations. They can be used to give context to your annotation, to sort them into groups, and to help you filter to key sections of your tests.

How Should I Name my Tags?

You should create tags that describe an issue or theme (“problems with login,” “unable to find search bar,” etc.), and/or as a means of identifying and sharing clips of participants completing a specific task (“Card Sorting,” “Open Ended Question 2,” etc.).

What are Tags Used for? (Highlight Reels and Sorting)

The use of tags, either single tags or multiple tags, automatically allow you to create compilations of clips grouped by the tags you use. The video compilations are called highlight reels, and can be accessed by selecting the “Highlight Reels” menu option under the completed test you are reviewing.

Here, you will find a list of highlight reels for your test, named and separated by the tags you assigned while creating your annotations. To create and download a highlight reel, select the blue button to the right of the specific tag you are interested in.

After clicking this button, a pop-up will appear giving you the option to request subtitles for your highlight reel. Select “Yes” or “No,” and then click the “Request” button. You will receive an email when your highlight reel is ready.

You will be notified as soon as the highlight reel has finished processing. Once the highlight reel has finished processing, the gray film icon will change to two icons that allow you to either download the highlight reel, or copy a URL to share the highlight reel on the cloud with your teammates and/or stakeholders.

Tags can also be used to help you sort through all your annotations in the “Annotations” menu option under the test you are reviewing. To sort through your annotations based on tags, click on the “Annotations” menu item under the completed test you are reviewing.

Then, type the name of the tag you would like to filter by in the left-hand field that says “Search by tags.” The page will then populate with any annotations that include the specific tag you’ve entered.

How do I Download and share my Annotations?

After saving an annotation in either the “Sessions” section or the “Session Transcription” section of the test you are reviewing, the associated clip can be generated through the gray film icon on the button right-hand corner of the annotation.

After selecting this button, a pop-up will appear asking if you would like the title of the annotation automatically superimposed on the clip as a caption, or not. Select ”Yes” or “No,” and then click the “Request” button.

You will be notified as soon as the annotation has finished processing. Once your annotation has finished processing, the gray film icon will change to two icons that allow you to either download the clip, or copy a URL to share the clip on the cloud with your teammates and/or stakeholders.

Where can I View and Sort Through my Annotations?

To view all of your annotations and sort through them, click on the “Annotations” menu item under the completed test you are reviewing.

Here, you can sort through the annotations you’ve created in a variety of ways. The first way you can sort through your annotations is by the tags you’ve created. Simply type the name of the tag you would like to filter by in the left-hand field that says “Search by tags.” 

The second way you can sort through your annotations is by your test participants. Click the dropdown menu titled “All Participants” to select the specific participant’s annotation videos you would like to review.

The third way you can sort through your annotations is by your test tasks. Click the dropdown menu titled “All Tasks” to filter your annotations by the specific test task they include.

In addition to filtering, the annotations section of your dashboard allows you to automatically view your annotation videos directly from that page, without returning back to the “Sessions” or “Session Transcription” sections of your dashboard.

In addition to filtering, the annotations section of your dashboard allows you to automatically view your annotation videos directly from that page, without returning back to the “Sessions” or “Session Transcription” sections of your dashboard.

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