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Christiaan

A better wishlist system

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This wishlist forum is great for getting ideas down in writing and discussing them, but it's extremely difficult to gauge which are the most popular items, and I imagine that this makes it of quite limited use to NNA in terms of prioritising development.

The current forum software does allow for rating but it's not very prominent (so people don't use it) and it doesn't do a good job of presenting the most popular items.

A good example of how such a forum should work is WordPress' recent implementation, which they call "Ideas":

http://wordpress.org/extend/ideas/

Maybe the NNA IT team could work some magic and give us the same level of functionality and usability? Hopefully it might just be a matter of upgrading to UBB.threads 7 and making a few little configuration changes?

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Except that there's no way for NNA or VectorWorks users to know which are the most popular ideas.

Clearly it's advantageous for NNA to know this, but there's also an advantage for users in that they can adjust their own expectations appropriately.

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Every wish is an important one to the development of VW - whether it's suggested by one or many.

In most cases, wish list items are fulfilled as quickly as possible. It's likely that a wish is made years ahead of delivery time due to programming needs, technology availability, and implementability. It is less likely that a wish is implemented any faster or slower based on number of requests over any other considering factor.

If you are in a country outside of the US, another tip is to ensure your distributor is aware of your feedback. In the US, we often lean on beta testers and user groups (which we frequent monthly) to get an eye for the BIG wants/needs/wishes. Outside of the US, your distributor is your key similar to the way User Group input is a key for US customers.

Trust me - posting here, emailing to bugsubmit@, and talking to your distributor will get your idea heard loud and clear - whether you are the only one or you are once voice representing many others. Even doing one of the above (email bugsubmit@) will get your idea heard loud and clear.

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Well, I, for one, certainly wouldn't every wish that every user happened to jot down and pop in an email.

I would have hoped NNA was in the business of prioritising design decisions based on desirability (one measure of which is popularity).

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Christian,

We get feedback from a number of sources and almost all wish list items considered for development go through a peer review process. It's not as if we read an email from customer number 76238 and say okay, let's do that - everything else stops. At the same time, all wish list items are considered. We have a large user base in the US that provides feedback, a beta list that spans the globe, and a lot of distributors that provide feedback almost weekly. We have a number of conferences held each year that are dedicated to feedback. Traditionally, wish lists are similar across the board. Every now and then we get something that no one else has suggested. It will go before a review board before even being considered for engineering. Only then is it decided if it can currently be engineered, not only limited by technology, but my manpower as well.

I get a feeling that no matter what I say here, you will find something to go against it. I don't know if you feel as though NNA hasn't done a good job at implementing wish list items or what it might be. I, personally, think NNA has done an excellent job at evaluating wish list items and implementing those into the application. For the last few releases, we've offered just as many new features as we have updated or enhanced past features - but many accounts, our "new and improved" list for .0 and .5 does not compare to other software applications. NNA is one of few that introduce new features TWICE within a version cycle - .0 and .5. Every time I give a "What's New" presentation, I get oohs and aahs. Some features are more relevant to others, but overall, people seem impressed. Even on the beta list we get comments about a feature that's been around for a while but someone only recently discovered it and provide positive feedback regarding it.

If you think NNA has not done a good job at implementing wish list features - perhaps even yours specifically, then we have a different discussion.

But the fact the fact that there are numerous ways to provide feedback and input into future developments (I also didn't even mention this forum and the many listservs - all for global users are reviewed by decision makers) makes this a non-issue. Internally, we have a way of organizing and adding population counts to wish list features. Everything within reason here is put into the wish list database. Everything sent to bugsubmit@ is put into the wish list database. Every time someone else votes for it, the count increases. This applies for all the other ways wish lists get submitted. (There are many more than what I've mentioned here)

I think the foundation to a good wish list system is how the information is stored, counted, observed, and considered by the company doing the development work. I think NNA does an excellent job of this internally.

Edited by Katie

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Katie, many of things I wanted implemented in VW have been, and many more, I have no complaints there. I didn't mean to get into a discussion about NNA's internal processes. All I'm asking for is a relatively minor improvement of the wishlist forum (and only if it's possible with the current software: UBB.threads).

I guess I'm just so impressed by WordPress' implementation, and its ability to inform a userbase and make them feel included in the development process.

When I talk about the advantages I guess I'm thinking more in terms of facilitating a better and more informed discussion on this forum than anything else. Thanks for the considered response anyway.

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What I can do is add an announcement to the top of this section that has a "READ ME" on voting and encouraging people to vote. Maybe that will help with the rating suggestion.

Edited by Katie

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The BEST way to submit wishes is to send them to bugsubmit@nemetschek.net with WISH as the first part of the subject line.

Katie, actually, I've posted many wishes here, and the answer to a number of them has been, "VW already does that!" So the feedback from you and users has been a great advantage one wouldn't get from just emailing bugsubmit.

Plus, I for one have been impressed by the refinement ideas go through in the course of discussion on this board. Whether or not NNA reads the give-and-take and considers it valuable, I don't know. But I would consider the input of working professionals, including comparitive comments regarding experience with other programs in a working environment, extremely valuable.

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Pete,

You make a good point. I should have clarified - the best way to ensure your wish list item makes it into the database is to send an email to bugsubmit@.

I personally prefer to read wish list items here because we get the discussion going from a variety of view points.

I personally think having a wide array of ways to make suggestions on the software gives everyone an opportunity to have a voice. It's also a good way for us to evaluate certain items that happen in certain areas of the world or hear different takes on the most frequently requested items.

Edited by Katie

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It's also a good way for us to evaluate certain items that happen in certain areas of the world or hear different takes on the most frequently requested items.

Yeah, right. How's your Hindi? Are you more fluent in Cantonese or Mandarin? Ohh, I get it! "Certain areas of the world" means that you think is is enough to listen to the VW users in South Carolina, US of A, or Napier, New Zealand, to know what are the Most Requested Items.

----

I think I already started a discussion about the relevance, if any, of this wish list. Let's do it again: this whole Tech Board represents a tiny minority of VW users - and I do not mean interest, activity or anything like that. This will be news for many, but people who do not speak English do not speak or write English. They never did. (My first encounter with an American was someone who asked whether it was difficult for a Finn to learn Finnish. He was a Visiting Professor at the Uni of my home town, so I gather he was more enlightened than the majority of the "English Speaking Nations". OK, this took place in 1965 or so. Now, convince me that the US of A has converted to Metric and Kiwis are civilized.)

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Petri,

Despite your assumed impression and knowledge, NNA gets input from all the distributors around the world on a weekly basis. Once a year all the distributors are invited here to provide feedback, see features being developed, and a ton of additional information. Your distributor specifically, has requested a number of the items you talk about on the message board. I don't know if you are talking to them or not, but your ideas are certainly being heard. And it has nothing to do with your excessive and rather hard tone or level on angry complaints made on this board.

A lot more features than you think are created solely for the international community outside of NNA. Not to mention the fact that a good portion of the distributors create their own add-ons for the software concurrent to our internal development. You don't, for example, see the product developed for Japan - something that has features unique to structures designed in that country. Likewise, there are add-ons in Germany that are unique to that region, and other areas around the world. Yes, I said world, not a state in the United States.

You are right - the board represents a small population. That's why we have an extensive choice of ways to provide input that I am not going to repeat, again.

Edited by Katie

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A lot more features than you think are created solely for the international community outside of NNA.

Could be. This "community" (what a nice phrase to use of your peasants!) also buys & pays for all the All American Content.

Now, if NNA gets paid for including Dormitory Widows and Marvel Comic Windows (or whatever) so that Robert's "content development" vice-department actually makes it cheaper for us to get Wall Styles, fine! Just convince me and the rest of the 95% of world's population that "bat dormers" and the 200 other "roof adornment" types just were found on Rich's kitchen floor one sunny morning, with no programmer input.

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Good points, Katie. I think we all know the context in which this bulletin board exists, and most of us appreciate it for what it is.

Despite Petri's occasional acerbic tone, I think his ideas merit serious discussion and that he contributes a great deal here. I happen to disagree with him, for example, about whether we should jump into a particular BIM standard just yet or perhaps ever, especially when it comes to interoperable file formats. But this is just the kind of discussion that this board facilitates, and it's important for users to give their perspectives. I'm personally inspired by Petri's advocacy to learn more about the current state of file format standardization - maybe I'll have to change my mind.

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My wish is that the USA (and UK, NZ, AU, etc.) bashing would cease on this forum. It only seems to be coming from one poster who apparently has misplaced a chip in his computer and put it on his shoulder.

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It's rather ironic, Petri, that you choose the bat dormer as an example of U.S. bias in VectorWorks. The origins of the bat dormer (and the other roof adornments) came from code Diehl Graphsoft purchased from a firm based in India...

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What I can do is add an announcement to the top of this section that has a "READ ME" on voting and encouraging people to vote. Maybe that will help with the rating suggestion.

I think this is the sort of thing that may be handy so users can look at and understand what others have wished for.

To be able to vote - interesting!!

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My wish is that the USA (and UK, NZ, AU, etc.) bashing would cease on this forum. It only seems to be coming from one poster who apparently has misplaced a chip in his computer and put it on his shoulder.

I happen to know all too well that countless users (and even many distributors) outside the USA are equally frustrated of the situation, they just don't write here.

Thus, any voting system here would not represent the user base, of which only some 30% is in the USA.

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Landscapes:

You can vote using the "Rate this Post" drop down in the lower left corner.

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Petri - which is why we have an extensive array of feedback options.

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OK. Well, which one made dormer windows a high priority the other year? I'd like to start to use that channel.

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