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Handrail Release Notes 🎉

Check here anytime to see the latest Handrail features and product enhancements.

September 2, 2023

Make connections between insights with Collections

Your Handrail repository just got a lot more powerful! Now, you can create a collection to…
  • Connect insights across studies
  • Present emerging themes
  • Tell the stories of your users
Learn More about using Collections in Handrail.


July 20, 2023

Enhanced file storage integration for SharePoint and OneDrive

For teams using Microsoft 365 with Handrail, you can now do a whole lot more with files. Now, you can select from existing files on OneDrive or SharePoint to attach to studies as well as open and delete files—all from within Handrail. Same goes for selecting images to use on insights and cards.

Usability improvements

We recently added the ability to include cover images on insights and research cards. In this release, we polished those features to enhance usability.


July 6, 2023

Include images on insights and during analysis

Need to reference photos, sketches, diagrams, or other images while you’re analyzing data? You can now add images to research cards on the Analysis Board. Also, while you’re crafting those insights, you can now include a cover image to provide additional context and make your insights more visually engaging.

June 19, 2023

Analysis Board 2.0

We completely overhauled the Analysis Board! With the following features, you can better focus on your data and create higher quality insights faster.
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Silky smooth drag and drop for both cards and groups
  • Inline group creation
  • Immediate response filters
  • Sticky group titles so you can always tell groups apart
  • Pan mode so you can drag to scroll on a big board
  • Improved card layout, with a focus on the data

Check out the blog post >>


May 5, 2023

Enhanced Google Drive integration

For teams using Google Drive with Handrail, you can now do a whole lot more with files. Now, you can select from existing files on Google Drive to attach to studies, open files in Google Drive, and delete files—all from within Handrail. Stay tuned as we roll out similar enhancements for other storage providers.

April 25, 2023

Added support for “Shared Drives” in Google Drive

Teams can now use Shared Drives in Google Drive with Handrail.

Enhanced file storage setup

After connecting Handrail to any file storage provider, others in the organization are also prompted to authorize the connection. This process is now smoother and easier for everyone.

Better real-time communication

Collaboration in Handrail is getting even better as we roll out enhancements to real-time communication. We’ve started with improved session status, being able to see right away when session status has changed. Stay tuned as we continue to roll out these enhancements across other areas of the app.


April 7, 2023

Create and edit card details inline, wherever you highlight data

The process for analyzing data in Handrail is now easier and faster. When you highlight a snippet of data, you can add tags and notes in a convenient popup. For power users (power analyzers?) looking for a speedier workflow, simply highlight some text and use the keyboard shortcut CMD/CTRL + S to immediately save the card.

Expanded support for special characters
(technically, it’s all of UTF-8 🤓)

Yes, that includes emojis. 🎉 But also diacritics, symbols, and alphabets others than the Latin alphabet. Wanna know how to say “user experience design" in Mandarin? Now, we can tell you: 用户体验设计. Now, our teams all over the world can take notes together and communicate much more easily.

Usability improvements

In addition to releasing useful new features, the Handrail team is always working to continuously improve existing features. We’ve included several minor enhancements in this release to make the research process smoother and more efficient.


March 4, 2023

Enterprise sharing is here!

This one is a big leap forward for democratizing access to research for our Enterprise customers. Is your org on the Enterprise edition of Handrail? Are you signing in with SSO? Then, you now have access to all the research and insights for your org in Handrail!

Easy creation of new groups and insights on the Analysis Board

If you have a lot of groups on the Analysis Board, you used to have to scroll all the way to the right to create a new group. Now, there’s a convenient dropdown that’s always on screen where you can create a new group or insight at any time.

More enhancements to the rich text editor

Writing content in Handrail is continuing to get better as we refine the interactions around our rich text editor.

Studies are on the move

It used to be that the Admin was the only one that could move studies. We’ve heard from users that we needed to open that up. Now any Collaborator can move studies as needed!


February 25, 2023

Enhanced rich text editor

The experience of composing research plans, interview guides, and summary reports in Handrail just got an upgrade. We added support for headings, keyboard shortcuts (e.g. for bold, italic, and underline), nested lists, and highlighting text. We’ll be continuing to improve the experience of composing documents in Handrail, so if you have a request, hit us up!

Additional UI enhancements

  • Usability improvements to tag entry
  • Autofocus on search field after using search button in header


February 4, 2023

New "Study Details” panel in research plans

View and update metadata about a study (study type, status, dates, etc.) in the new Study Details panel.

Session dates are now editable

If you create a study in Handrail to enter data that was collected in the past, you can now accurately reflect when those sessions took place. Same goes for scheduling sessions to take place in the future. Just create a session and edit the date.


January 22, 2023

Edit insights directly from the Analysis Board!

Now, when you create an insight on the Analysis Board, it is fully editable, including adding tags.

Improved search results

It is now easier to identify the relevance of search results. There are also handy links to access the full insight or study that you are viewing in search results.

Write richer insight descriptions

Now, insight descriptions can have line breaks. Soon, we’ll also be adding rich text formatting!

Improved usability of tag entry

The dropdown containing suggested tags used to get in the way of saving changes to a research card. No more! We also improved the selection of tag categories when tagging Participants and Insights.


January 2, 2023

New "Home" landing page is here!

  • Perform keyword searches across all insights and studies.
  • Quickly browse insights by tags.

New browsing experience for search results

  • View search results by insights or studies.
  • Filter search results by date created, created by, workspace, or tag.
  • Easily click any insight or study to view a preview panel.

Read our blog post >


November 21, 2022

Give specific team members the ability to manage tags

Admins can now decide who on their team should be able to create and edit tags in the Tags Taxonomy. Just go to Settings in the main menu. (Note: only Admins can access the Settings area.)

November 18, 2022

Speedier Results page

Now, the Results page loads faster than ever, even for studies with lots of data!

November 13, 2022

Filter the tags taxonomy by what each category applies to

Use the filter to get focused views of the categories that apply to different areas of the system: insights, research cards, data sources, and participants.

Are you at an agency? Use color to group personas by client.

Now, you can assign the same color to multiple personas to visually organize personas by client, workspace, or anything you’d like.

November 6, 2023

The tags taxonomy editor is here!

  • Create and edit tags and tag categories in one place. To access, go to the new "Tags" section in the menu.
  • Differentiate between “official” and “freeform” tags. Official tags let you create a meaningful, controlled vocabulary for organizing and finding research and insights. Freeform tags let new tags emerge from the research process without cluttering up your well-curated list of official tags.
  • Admin settings (Menu > Settings) provide the ability to control who can manage the taxonomy and where freeform tags can be created.

Read our blog post >

Tagging insights

You could always tag research cards. Now, you can tag an insight directly, making them easier to find.

October 14, 2023

Flexibility in creating insights

Before, you had to first create a group on the Analysis Board and turn the group into an insight. Now, you can create an insight directly, from either the Analysis Board or the Summary page.

Smarter cards in reference studies

Any card created on the Sources page of a reference study now knows which data source it is associated with. Whichever source is currently selected when the card is created will be included in the card’s source information.

October 8, 2023

A whole lot of participant management improvements 

  • You can now view a list of the studies that each participant has participated in.
  • Participants that have a status of “Unavailable" are now automatically restricted from being added to sessions on the Select Participants screen.
  • The experience around filtering participants has been improved.
  • In sessions, you can now see the participant’s name or ID, no matter what tab you are on.
  • Admins can now make it so that only Admins can create or import new participants.

More room to stretch out inside studies 

We modified the header inside studies to take up less screen real estate, giving you more room to do research.

September 30, 2023

We’ve integrated with Box

Handrail now supports a wide range of file storage systems—OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box. Whichever storage provider your team uses, we’ve got you covered.

Use studies to create your own templates

When you duplicate a study, now you can choose which workspace to put it in. Here’s a handy workflow tip: Create a workspace called “Templates” and add studies for your team to use as templates. To use one of the study templates, just duplicate it into your own workspace.

September 23, 2023

Enhanced collaboration in reference studies with team notes

Now, when team members take notes for a data source within a reference study, each team member’s notes are saved separately. Take your own notes and view notes from each member of your team.

Create multi-paragraph snippets

Previously, snippets were limited to single paragraphs. No more! Now, you can Highlight across multiple paragraphs and create a card.

September 10, 2023

Perform analysis on data collected outside of Handrail

With our new “reference” studies, you can add URLs to reference any online sources of data, take notes related to the data, and create research cards that stay tied to their source. We’ll be adding support for files, like PDFs, soon!

Log all your existing research

With support for external data sources in our new “reference” study, you can now log a much wider range of research in Handrail.


August 28, 2023

Discover insights across your organization

Don’t remember which study an insight was associated with? Not a problem. Insights are now in search results, making them easy to find.

View insights along with your summary of findings

You’ll now see any insights you create get automatically published to the Summary page of your study.

Share a link to your summary of findings

Send a link to anyone who is a member of your Handrail organization to point them directly to the summary of findings for your study.


August 19, 2023

Import participants

You can now bulk import participant data to take full advantage of participant management features in Handrail.

Export analysis data

All the information on the Analysis Board can now be exported to CSV.

Move studies between workspaces

Need to reorganize? Now you can move any study to any other workspace in your organization.

Use OneDrive to store files

Does your organization use OneDrive to store files in the cloud? Great! We now support Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Box is coming soon!

August 5, 2023

Filter studies in a workspace

Have lots of studies in a workspace? It’s now easier to find the study you’re looking for. You can filter studies by status or the person who created them.


July 21, 2023

Insights are here!

When conducting analysis, you can now turn any group into an insight to let your team and stakeholders know about key findings.

Organize research and keep your teams focused using workspaces

Each workspace in Handrail is a dedicated space for your team, product line, or business unit to conduct research. Resources, like personas and participants, are now shared across your entire organization.

Add context to groups of cards with descriptions

Groups on the analysis board now have an optional description where you can capture details that apply to all the cards in that group. 

Additional improvements we rolled out in this release

  • The Analysis Board now shows you the latest changes from your team members while working on analysis simultaneously.
  • Not using personas? No problem. Personas no longer show up on your Results page if you aren’t tagging participants with personas.
  • Improved the interaction for highlighting text to create research cards on the Results page
  • Improved the presentation of studies within a workspace