Qual Research Guide for Observers

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Immerse yourself in Discuss's interactive meeting room, crafted to replicate the observation rooms or viewing facilities, but for Online Qualitative Research.

With a dedicated observer role ensuring smooth, unobtrusive observation, participants feel at ease expressing themselves while you seamlessly chat with moderators and other observers in a dedicated backroom chat.

Our user-friendly platform places a premium on security, privacy, and intuitive design, guaranteeing a seamless experience for all team members and key stakeholders. 


To observe a Live Qual Research

  • Grab your unique observer link, which looks like this: https://app.discuss.io/xxxxx/o
  • Review the platform system requirements
  • Join via computer or mobile using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge
  • Make your invaluable inputs heard by capturing specific conversation moments, tagging relevant topics, or effortlessly sharing key takeaways with the research team. Learn here


Joining the Meeting Room

For privacy and security, each discussion has a unique observer link. You'll receive a link for each interview you'll observe. Simply click the link, follow the instructions, and you'll be in a waiting room.

Don't worry, you'll join the meeting when the respondent and moderator are ready. While waiting, you can use the backroom chat for easy communication. If live support is included, our platform support agent assist in the discussion.


  1. Click on your Unique Observer Link
  2. Enter your First name & email address
  3. Agree to the Privacy Policy & Terms of Service
  4. Click on "Continue"
  5. Allow Camera & Microphone access
    • This is only for a system capability check. You won't be seen/heard in the meeting room
  6. Choose whether you want to listen to the session using web audio or dialing in by phone. We always recommend web audio for the highest-quality session
    • If the discussion includes simultaneous translation, you'll have the option to select your audio language
  7. Click on "Confirm"




Listening In via Your Phone

When clicking on your observer link & selecting your audio settings, you'll be able to select if you want to listen in via your phone. 


  1. Enter your phone number and click Call Me.

  2. Wait for an incoming call and listen to the intro message. It will prompt you to enter the 4-digit pin from the lower right of the audio settings modal.

  3. You will be placed on hold until the moderator is ready to start the meeting. You will only hear hold music until the moderator or support invites you into the session.

  4. You can close your web session if you need to and continue listening with audio only.

Alternatively, you can also select Show Dial-in instructions if you want to initiate the phone call from your handset. Select your country from the dropdown list and then call the number shown. You will be prompted to enter the PIN from the lower right corner of the audio settings modal.



To listen to a discussion via audio-only on your mobile device, you can dial in directly



Meeting Room Features for Observers


  1. Participant List
    • Once invited into the room, observers can use the participant list to see who is in the meeting room at any time by clicking on the "people" button in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  2. Right Panel
    • Observers can chat with moderators, support, and translators both before and during the live discussion. They can also start private chats if needed. If you require early access to monitor respondent tech checks, you can use the chat to inform the appropriate party.
    • If your moderator has uploaded a discussion guide to the project, you can view the topics and questions to follow along during the session.

    • If your project includes polling, you can watch real-time poll results after the moderator launches the poll. Once the moderator closes the poll, the results will no longer be visible.
  3. Help!
    • If you need technical assistance, feel free to use the Help! button. The Platform Support agent will initiate a private chat with you within 60 seconds, to troubleshoot.
    • The help button is only available after the recording is started, if you need help before the recording starts please write directly in the chat
  4. Save Moment
    • Once the recording begins, the "Save Moment" button will become active. Click it when you hear an interesting insight from the respondent to save a 30-second clip, capturing 15 seconds before and after the click. Learn more about Save Moment & Tagging
  5. Takeaways
    • If takeaways are enabled, you'll see a page at the end of the meeting. Here, you can share your thoughts by answering some questions. Your responses can be seen and downloaded by the project owner and project members. If you forget to answer, don't worry! We'll send you a friendly reminder email with a link to finish up.
  6. Translation Line
    • If you have a session with translation, you can use the toggle option located on the bottom left corner of the meeting room, to select your audio
    • If you need to join by phone, you will select your language in the web session and then be connected to that audio stream.


Waiting Page

Observers will land on a waiting page after connecting until the moderator is ready to begin. If you need to join to observe the setup, you can use the backroom chat to send a message to the moderator or support agent.



Discussion Layout

  • This example shows the meeting room from an observer perspective for a Focus Group of 8 respondents
  • The video feed of respondents connected via a mobile device will appear vertically if they didn't allow landscape mode on their mobile



If at any time you have audio, video, or connection issues, you can refresh your browser. If that doesn't resolve the issue, use the help button to ask support or the moderator to reset your connection using the refresh button in the participant list.

If you're having trouble viewing the video stream, you can change the Video Stream Quality by clicking on the settings button in the lower right corner and changing it under Room Settings.

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Observer Features - Video Overview




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