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Markvl

We need a wishlist campaign.

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One thing I find when going thru the wishlists and just the forum in general is that we just see the usual faces and there are certainly lots of new ones (great) but considering there are technically over 24,000 members we don't see big numbers on the wishlist items.  By taking a cursory glance at the items in the wishlist

 Stair Tool Rehab for 2020 

has garnered the most votes at 20.  Just 20.  That's 0.08% of the total forum population.  How can we get more people who are on the forum to "get out and vote"?  Maybe some kind of blinking banner that says "Go to the wishlist and vote today"? or send out a general email to all members encouraging them to engage the forum more?
 
Any thoughts fellow forum members?  @JimWand company?  Surely there are many others out there that have wishes for VW.
Edited by Markvl

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This is a very good point.

 

Maybe every month a "guest editor" from within the forum users could provide an overview of what has been said with regard to the Troubleshooting, Wishlist and other lists - What's been most useful - What's bugging everyone - Issues resolved - Great ideas, etc.etc.... This could be sent to the new message box that's now included in V2018. Links to items within forum lists could be included as well as all sorts of "housekeeping" for users.

 

I am aware that there is a Planet Vectorworks email that goes out weekly, but this seems to have been taken over by the Vectorworks marketing department and is now of very little use at all!

 

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I get lost in the wish list requests (too much information!) and what gets fixed and when! I certainly agree the stair tool needs a good fix.  I know priorities are dependent on needs and the forum users priorities are going to be markedly different.  I think whats needed is a sense of timing/ What VW are going to do with the info and when.  If we knew eg things were going to get reviewed and fixed in a given timeframe then there would be more incentive to vote? I have put in several large and small requests and bug fixes but I'm never quite sure what happened to them. They certainly haven't been fixed and are preventing us from progressing with the technology. If I've not read something about how the wish list process works I apologise in advance. I agree with Double-D a summary/progress update might help. D  

 

 

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A feature like this stairs would be really interesting. Current tool is too rigid that I prefer to build my stairs in 3D without ever using it.

In general, I have noticed that some local versions already have much more complex functionality.
So, often, the programming work has already been done. Just integrate functionalities in other local editions. Maybe in the later ones ..

For example, I appreciated the "window" function of this local edition of VW 2014 (video from minute 2:58).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm4Xydxiqyw

However, in my last Italian version  (VW 2017), this was not there yet.

I have not yet updated to 2018 version, so I ask you if this feature is now integrated in VW 2018 (my local edition provides a cost of € 150 for trial...).

Edited by egidoro

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2 hours ago, Markvl said:

How can we get more people who are on the forum to "get out and vote"?

 

One way would be to add a list of some of the latest wishlist items to marketing material such as VSS emails.

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On 9 December 2017 at 2:41 AM, Markvl said:

One thing I find when going thru the wishlists and just the forum in general is that we just see the usual faces and there are certainly lots of new ones (great) but considering there are technically over 24,000 members we don't see big numbers on the wishlist items.  By taking a cursory glance at the items in the wishlist

 Stair Tool Rehab for 2020 

has garnered the most votes at 20.  Just 20.  That's 0.08% of the total forum population.  How can we get more people who are on the forum to "get out and vote"?  Maybe some kind of blinking banner that says "Go to the wishlist and vote today"? or send out a general email to all members encouraging them to engage the forum more?
 
Any thoughts fellow forum members?  @JimWand company?  Surely there are many others out there that have wishes for VW.

 

I'd guess that the majority of people who use the forum are wanting quick answers to questions and are not going to want to spend time looking at a Wishlist.

also the Wishlist is not that easy to find.

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This thread is not about the stair wish but about getting more to vote on wishes; any and all wishes.  24,000 (0.04%) is a drop in the bucket compared to 600,000+ licenses out there in the world.  Maybe this should also be a become a forum member campaign.

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On 12/8/2017 at 8:41 AM, Markvl said:

Stair Tool Rehab for 2020 has garnered the most votes at 20.  Just 20.  That's 0.08% of the total forum population.  How can we get more people who are on the forum to "get out and vote"?  Maybe some kind of blinking banner that says "Go to the wishlist and vote today"? or send out a general email to all members encouraging them to engage the forum more?


I do love when I see people asking the kinds of questions that keep me up at night.

I have been thinking long and hard on this since the introduction of the voting system. I most recently favor the idea of having our various channels occasionally share popular wishes or other discussions in order to alert people to the existence of the forums AND talk about how the voting works. Its getting a lot of traction still with LOTS of new users (we get more new members in a month or even some weeks now now than we did in some 6 month periods prior to 2014, which is nuts) even once I clean the metrics and remove duplicate and bot registrations.

Gratuitous chart opportunity:
Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 9.57.27 AM.png

 

I feel there are 3 main problems causing a lack of votes:

1) Users do not know about it.

Many often mistook the Reputation system (the little up and down arrows that used to be at the bottom right of any post) for voting, which is why I plan to replace them with something more obvious soon. Many also didn't know about the wishlist thread at all, so I may push it to a more prominent location on the front page or perhaps give it its own navigation button, I can look more into that after another set of changes I'm working on currently go live.


2) Users are not easily able to find a wish that matches theirs. 
To address this, I think the best thing is for me to promptly try to merge threads requesting identical or even similar items into larger threads that would lead to more votes within a single topic. It is far more visible to have 25 votes on a 5 page thread rather than 5 votes each for 5 threads that all basically wish the same thing.

3) Users do not think it will affect the development of Vectorworks.
This is the big one, and one I am not sure how to address. I certainly do not expect that the entire community takes my word for it. I do try to shuffle wish list items into the Wishes Granted section when they have been implemented, but this happens with no fanfare or alerts to the original posters. Also, in a lot of cases, the wishes come a long time before the actual change, leading users to lose faith in the process.

I am avidly following this thread and taking feedback. I do have more thoughts on the topic but I'll come back to this when I can give them their due time and post.

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1 hour ago, JimW said:

I feel there are 3 main problems causing a lack of votes:

1) Users do not know about it.

Many often mistook the Reputation system (the little up and down arrows that used to be at the bottom right of any post) for voting, which is why I plan to replace them with something more obvious soon. Many also didn't know about the wishlist thread at all, so I may push it to a more prominent location on the front page or perhaps give it its own navigation button, I can look more into that after another set of changes I'm working on currently go live.


2) Users are not easily able to find a wish that matches theirs. 
To address this, I think the best thing is for me to promptly try to merge threads requesting identical or even similar items into larger threads that would lead to more votes within a single topic. It is far more visible to have 25 votes on a 5 page thread rather than 5 votes each for 5 threads that all basically wish the same thing.

3) Users do not think it will affect the development of Vectorworks.
This is the big one, and one I am not sure how to address. I certainly do not expect that the entire community takes my word for it. I do try to shuffle wish list items into the Wishes Granted section when they have been implemented, but this happens with no fanfare or alerts to the original posters. Also, in a lot of cases, the wishes come a long time before the actual change, leading users to lose faith in the process.

1.  Something Bold, Dramatic5a2ec52e66d4b_EdnaVW.thumb.jpg.e30105ec2752bc48c635f517c1cc7893.jpg

 

2.  Very good point.  Though there are many functions in VW, they can in someway be consolidated. No one wants to go thru 7148 post on 286 pages to find something similar to there wish.  Wishes go way back to the year 2000.  Surely since then many of these have been granted.  If so they should be moved to shorten the running list.

 

3.  Haha...hot button topic.  O.o  Even for many of us that continue to post/wish and vote we don't see much movement so this is very understandable.  Perhaps to show that wishes are taken serious and granted we get the STAIR tool fixed.  ¬¬

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I actually think that maybe NV should be proactive about this and present a long list of possible features/wishes for the next version out to the community for voting. So many of the wishes right now are linked to or waiting on other development tasks and if those tasks aren't scheduled the wish will likely need to wait unit they are. The development timeline is also a lot longer than most users think. Wishes placed now are likely not in consideration for VW2019 unless they are simple or linked to already planned development. The only way to know when things need to be asked for if there is NV involvement.

 

I also think that result of wishes don't always turn out the way you expect in a closed development process. Title Block came up 126 times in a wish list search for items before August 31, 2017. There were another 22 instances since then....... many to fix problems with a recently granted "wish".

 

I can vouch for that fact that wishes do happen but there are a lot of background factors that figure into it.

 

Kevin

 

 

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I think my thread has put a bug in some peoples ears.  Stair Tool Rehab for 2020  has gained another 2 votes for a whopping total of 27...wait now make it 30 and hopefully more for other wishes as well.

Edited by Markvl

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On 12/11/2017 at 7:23 AM, JimW said:

2) Users are not easily able to find a wish that matches theirs. 
To address this, I think the best thing is for me to promptly try to merge threads requesting identical or even similar items into larger threads that would lead to more votes within a single topic. It is far more visible to have 25 votes on a 5 page thread rather than 5 votes each for 5 threads that all basically wish the same thing.

 

@JimW- (Edit - removed request to merge threads).

Question: When you merge threads together do the votes get added together (23 + 30 = 53)? Thanks.

Edited by rDesign

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1 minute ago, rDesign said:

Question: When you merge threads together do the votes get added together (23 + 30 = 53)? Thanks.


Not at the moment, it takes the vote count of the oldest thread. However this feature is heavily requested on the framework makers community and I've added my voice to it.

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1 minute ago, JimW said:

 


Not at the moment, it takes the vote count of the oldest thread. However this feature is heavily requested on the framework makers community and I've added my voice to it.

 

That’s a bummer. Until that feature is added, maybe merging threads is NOT the way to go - because in this Stair 2020 example, you’d be throwing away over half the current votes.

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5 minutes ago, rDesign said:

That’s a bummer. Until that feature is added, maybe merging threads is NOT the way to go - because in this Stair 2020 example, you’d be throwing away over half the current votes.


Exactly, thats why I tend to only grab the brand new ones and stick them into existing threads and not merge the megathreads unless they were pre-voting. Once I can merge them intelligently (meaning each vote only gets counted once and none get wiped) ill have no issue slamming the big ones together.

For the time being, I make sure to link all relevant vote-heavy threads into the wishlist tracking system we use internally so they get their due credit.

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What about a weekly tool focus? You pick a tool of the week, ie Stairs, and have a stickied thread where everyone can discuss how they need to use the tool and how it can be improved to meet their needs. At the end of the week, @JimW would compile the discussion and ship it off to the relevant engineer working on it. Even better if the engineers got involved in the discussion about how the tool is used etc. While discussing the current tool focus there could be a poll about what to discuss next.

 

If Jim didn't have time maybe it could be a community lead initiative?


*Spotlight and landscape have their own version of the weekly (or monthly focus) as they wouldn't care about some of the architectural stuff and vice versa.

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On 12/13/2017 at 4:48 AM, JimW said:

 


Not at the moment, it takes the vote count of the oldest thread. However this feature is heavily requested on the framework makers community and I've added my voice to it.

 

Should be sum +1 as neither original proposes get a vote on their own thread but are clearly supportive.

 

 

Also might be good if we get in the habit of treating the Original Post as a feature brief and bring in relevant summaries of the on going discussions so someone jumping in to the thread has a nice bullet point summary at the start. Also mean as this post is pinned to top of page you could jump to last page(s) and still be in the loop.

Edited by Matt Overton

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On 11/12/2017 at 3:23 PM, JimW said:

Users do not think it will affect the development of Vectorworks.

 

NV is too far removed from its user base. I appreciate all of the incredible work that Jim does and in all honesty its better than most companies but its not enough. A broken record statement: A clear development path explaining where things are going would help enormously. Too much time hiding behind "We cant inform our competitors" doesn't help. "We are currently working on the stair tool" does help.

 

I have no idea why everything is so secret and why there is so much stress on people finding out what is happening

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I know that there are Beta testers out there (tiny bit of envy here) but perhaps a similar idea of Wishers might be worth trying. Alternatively a Web based User forum for some of the "usual suspects"? Think of it as a Q & A Wishlist Webinar?

 

I know! I'll put it on the Wish List!

 

9_9

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I've never really understood the voting thing.  Usually, it's a topic without any context.  Since there are so many things that can be improved, the one in front of me usually seems like a good idea.

That doesn't help with prioritization very much.  How do I know if I want this thing more than that thing unless I see them side by side and have to make a choice?

 

In my opinion, the Wishlist Forum should:

  1. Collect a wide range of input
  2. Consolidate that input into categories
  3. Provide feedback to the product developers and the users as to where the areas of interest are most significant
  4. Solicit more detailed feedback and consolidate general wishes into actionable improvements
  5. Provide some record of improvements so that everyone involved has enough faith in the process to invest energy into it.

Currently, I think #1 works.  There's a wide range of input represented.  However, it breaks down from there.

 

#2:  A random search to see if someone else has already drawn attention to the item you are thinking of is pretty ineffective.  Perhaps they used different terms or spelled them incorrectly?  This can create a lot of redundancy and reduces the ability of users to build off of one another's experiences. 

 

Instead, the forum could offer a list of categories with nested options so that users could drill down to the issue(s) that interest them.  A graphical approach would likely be the most effective. Areas of significant activity could have color or emphasis added.

 

#3 As some areas become more significant, they could change status i.e. get bumped up from "Wish" to "Under Consideration". 

 

#4 Items that are "Under Consideration" would then receive more detailed feedback from the users - which could be augmented with input from the technical staff as to what is or is not possible.  Hopefully, contradictions in requests could get ironed out prior to inclusion in product development.

 

#5 In most competitions, there's a judging body and a "People's Choice" category.  VW should consider adding a "User's Choice" category to their development cycle.  For example, the company could develop a number of the top ten items selected by the users for improvement each year.  That would incentivize user input and engagement in the process / product.  Once the items were selected, the users could be notified ahead of time, so that while most of the product development honored corporate secrecy, we would be able to look forward to a few features of significance.

 

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Taproot, you make some good points, but I think a tool as important to an architectural program as the stair tool shouldn't have to get enough votes to be upgraded. It should be upgraded on a regular basis as stair parts and design elements evolve. Today we have cable rail systems, metal balustrades are becoming more popular now that cheaper parts are available, glass panels, and all we have now is a rail with no profile to it and straight, plain balusters that can not be replaced with anything that has any detail to it unless you model your own and place it manually. This tool is in desperate need of an overhaul. There is so much to be fixed, I hope it gets some attention sooner than later.

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16 hours ago, Taproot said:

That doesn't help with prioritization very much.  How do I know if I want this thing more than that thing unless I see them side by side and have to make a choice?

 


From the user end, you aren't voting for one vs another, its more about "Is this wish something I want?" and then an upvote for Yes, and moving on to the next item for No. This gives us an impression or weight to the TYPES of things users want overall and mixed with a number of other sources, gives us a clearer picture. 

Most of the concern I hear when I propose various open bug, wish or beta systems are related to the advantage that openness gives competitors that keep things closed. I personally feel we have far more to gain than to lose on this front however, but it is still a legitimate concern. 

There are a number of initiatives coming down the pipe relatively soon to address specifically:

 

16 hours ago, Taproot said:
  • Provide feedback to the product developers and the users as to where the areas of interest are most significant
  • Solicit more detailed feedback and consolidate general wishes into actionable improvements


But every time I give even a hint of a schedule before official announcement, the universe sees fit to add another 3-5 months to my timelines, so I wont even tempt it this time around.

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On 12/19/2017 at 6:37 AM, JimW said:


There are a number of initiatives coming down the pipe relatively soon to address specifically:

 

 

Jim - That's excellent news! 

 

Mac@Stairworks.  With your handle I can totally see your interest in the stair issue.

I think Markvl was drawing attention to the voting issue not working very well.  I find myself in agreement.

 

Not to diminish the legitimacy of fixing any one thing, I think systemically there is room for a big shift in how user input can be leveraged to improve the product.

 

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