Transcription Software: Benefits & Examples

Using transcription software can be beneficial for conducting user research.

While conducting user interviews or stakeholder meetings, it is essential to ensure the way to gather data. The most obvious and straightforward way is to make notes during an interview. Taking notes during an interview can be challenging, especially if researchers focus on the interviewee or other person in the meeting. This is why recording the sessions, if possible, is a good strategy. However, that is only half of the solution. The recording needs to be transcribed to make the information usable. Otherwise, finding themes or creating insights based on them can be challenging.

Audio or video recordings can be transcribed manually, which is tedious and time-consuming. You can hire professional transcription services to perform that task, but it can be pretty expensive. There is also a third option: using transcription software.

What is a transcription software?

Transcription software is a program or application designed to convert spoken language or audio recordings into written text. Transcribing audio or video content is automated, saving time and effort compared to manual transcription.

This type of software typically employs speech recognition technology, which analyzes the audio input and attempts to convert it into text. It uses algorithms and linguistic models to identify words and phrases based on the audio patterns it recognizes. Some modern transcription software uses AI and machine learning techniques to improve accuracy and adapt to different speakers, accents, and languages.

Transcription software can significantly speed up the transcription process, but results may not always be accurate. Human review and editing are often necessary to ensure the final transcript’s quality and accuracy.

Benefits of Transcription Software

According to the 2021 State of User Research Report’, 65% of UX researchers utilize transcripts for their sessions. Transcripts of audio or video recordings coming from user interviews, usability tests, focus groups, or user feedback sessions are often transcribed to facilitate gathering insights about user behavior, preferences, and perceptions. 

There are several arguments for using transcription software in UX research:

  • More cost and time-efficient than human transcription – transcribing recorded conversation by oneself can be extremely time-consuming. The alternative is paying a human transcriber to do it for you, but that option can be expensive. Transcription software will take care of both of those drawbacks.
  • It allows the interviewer to focus entirely on the study participant – pausing to take notes during the interview may break the connection between the researcher and the study participant, decreasing the data quality. Recording and transcribing the meeting can help to avoid this problem.
  • More accurate than notes – taking notes during an interview may be an excellent way to identify themes in the research results quickly. However, notes taken at the moment of an interview may be based on gut reactions and assumptions that can lead to bias. Transcription allows for gathering participants’ responses verbatim and analyzing them later.
  • Transcripts will enable you to pull quotes from the study – especially while presenting your research results to the stakeholders, it can be beneficial to use quotes that specifically illustrate your insights and allow other team members to better empathize with your users. With notes, the exact quotes may be inaccurate. Having transcripts lets the researchers work directly on what the interviewee said during the conversation.

Examples of Transcription Software

Adobe Premiere Pro

Screen of Adobe Premiere Pro

Subscribers of Creative Cloud already have access to at least one transcription software. Adobe Premiere Pro is a professional video editing software developed by Adobe Inc. It offers a comprehensive set of tools and features that enable manipulating and refining footage, applying visual effects, and adding audio. Since 2021, users can utilize built-in transcription features to create video footage captions.

However, Premiere is not a program primarily focused on creating transcriptions. It offers many completely different features that can easily overwhelm inexperienced users.

Screen of transcription software

Few transcription software were explicitly designed to transcribe online meetings. An example of such software is

It works with online meeting platforms, like Zoom. The user invites a Fireflies bot that records the meeting and converts audio to text. 

This AI-powered software has other features too. For example, it can create meeting summaries or clips, segments of the meetings that you can easily send to your colleagues.

Screen of transcription software

Similarly, is designed for online meetings.

It can also transcribe meeting recordings into text and create text summaries of the meeting.

Besides transcription, this software can create video clips summarizing long meetings in a few minutes, highlighting the most relevant moments. Read app also provides captions to the highlights, allowing you to skim descriptions and find needed information. 


Screen of Descript

Descript is a transcription service designed specifically for content creators.

It combines audio and video editing with transcription capabilities. It allows users to edit audio and video files by manipulating the corresponding transcriptions in its text editor. Removing a word from the transcript text removes it from the audio file.

Its other features make it a unique tool for content creators, podcasters, and video editors. Descript offers robust transcription capabilities that allow users to transcribe audio and video files, manipulate the transcriptions, and use them for editing.

Transcription for user research, an interactive UX research framework, provides a transcription service designed specifically for the needs of UX research. Its newly launched transcription feature facilitates synthesizing research results. It allows you to transcribe audio or video recordings and generate a summary. Researchers can then work on the transcript by highlighting quotes, adding them to the insights library, and quickly generating reports based on those findings.

Click here to learn more about Talebook and its transcription capabilities.

Further reading

Why transcripts are key to better research sessions by Charlie Czechowski

5 Facilitation Mistakes to Avoid During User Interviews by Therese Fessenden

The State of User Research 2021 Report by Katryna Balboni

How Transcription Can Power Up Your Research Wrokflow by Carrie Boyd