Grow your influence
Following-up on our post on Graphisoft Insights, tell us your suggestions and ideas about the best way to move forward with our plans to involve you on various activities - such as beta testing, analysis, and exploring new product ideas.
Share your suggestions and ideas below!
I have a lot of ideas around how engagement and collaborative design between users and Graphisoft could occur.
Primarily I believe that a hierarchy method of collaboration and sharing of ideas should occur. I have stated on many occasions that I believe that the group of users in the Graphisoft Development Panel (Futures Forum) are the top users from across the world. The real world on the ground experience this group brings to the table is a good cross section of your full client base. They should be consulted first to test ideas before major development projects commence. Then once ideas are tested with that specific group, and a sound foundation is in place, then you test it in the broader community as a final check on the proposed development.
This needs to be done firstly at the road map level, to confirm that the suggested road map is in line with the current user needs. Then once the strategic road map is put in place, then the details can be worked through on each of the features/workflows.
That is the first level of ideas I have in making things better for Graphisoft and for the users. A win / win for everyone.
Also the approach needs to be workshop and group based. One on one conversations means that users only answer questions that are put forward from Graphisoft. Users are not able to bounce ideas off each other, or realise that another user is actually suggesting something better than they originally thought. It becomes collaborative design with the user community, rather than gathering individual thoughts that are not at the highest level of value that you get when people share ideas together.
It's quite simple. Have a very public Roadmap with real information about actual features as opposed to generalisms that the current road map has. Enable us to vote on the features we wish to see implented, as well as having write in suggestions that may garner votes as well.
And then... R&D needs to take the poll seriously, very seriously, and start implementing them. We are the users, we know what is wanted and needed. This will give Archicad back to the users, instead of further distancing itself from its core group, who have little to no need for structural or MEP solutions. This is why we hire consultants.
Make Archicad "Archi" CAD again!
I think one the first steps to take should be to be a lot less secretive about what is going on behind the scenes. Even in Graphisoft user group webinars we are strictly forbidden from comenting anything of what´s discused - this is not some kind of revolutionary invention anyone is going to copy (at least most of the time). Discussion should be not only allowed, but encouraged in this forum, and developers should be much more involved here. Let´s use what it´s already in place.
I fully agree with @Nathan Hildebrandt. GS needs advanced or top user community involvement in setting a roadmap for all levels of Archicad first, as this is of utter importance. I'd be happy to help out if needed.
Archicad 4.55 - 25 | HP Z840 | 2× E5-2643 v4 | 64 GB RAM | Nvidia Quadro M5000 @ Windows 10 Pro x64
As @Nathan Hildebrandt has mentioned the GDP have been offering assistance, but for years there has been very little engagement. You can't design a Widget for your users if you don't LISTEN to their needs and respect their feedback. Working in a vacuum only delivers failed and unwanted projects that help no one and waste precious development resources.
To a programmer three clicks of a mouse isn't seen as a problem; to the end user three clicks when you used to do two to do the same task multiple times a day is a fail, consolidating it to one click is a win. You need user feedback during development, not just at Beta when it is too late to change.
The new attributes interface is a case of initial feedback being ignored and then getting to Beta with a lot of frustration at the poor implementation leading to a major backlash.
I agree and think that issues related to the UI need to be addressed separately from issues of new functionalities/features. There is already so much debt and it just keep piling up - stomping out any prospect of a positive user experience and an effective workflow. There simply isn't any windfall in any coming release that could absolve the debt. The amortisation need to start today and it need to be done with frequent and small installments.
Setup a separate initiative for a immaculate UI where you commit to evaluate, amend and improve the UI of any existing or to be implemented functionality/feature based on input from users. As a user I don't care of the chronology of when something was implemented - I need the same operation (rename, drag/drop, copy, access dialogs etc.) to work in the same way regardless of where in the application it is. As a user I don't care if there actually is a path to a operator - I need the path to be as short as possible.
2- No more yearly version cycle.
3- Some evidence that you are listening as well as taking concrete steps to implement all that is being asked here in the community and through the one on one sessions.
Agree with #1 and 3... but I want a yearly update. I mean, we need something for our money... although, lately, it's as if there hasn't been an update for the core users (small firms doing pure architecture).
To be clear, I'm not saying no updates. I just think the current yearly cycle is not bringing the software forward. I would prefer 'continous development' - a mix of big and small features, that are released in irregular time intervals. Corona and Twinmotion are developed like this, and it results in 2 or so bigger updates and a bunch of smaller hotfixes per year. This would allow actual time spent on well polished features, and not just a bunch of ideas delivered and then forgotten.
Yes, that sounds like a good cycle. Adobe CC does the same thing for the suite of Adobe apps.
Totally agree with all three points.
The public roadmap is a must nowadays. Just get rid of the hungarian mystery and be open and bold about it, but start to LISTEN to your loyal users.
Yearly releases must be abolished. It just does not work, as the last three years have shown. If something's ready, give it to us, if not, well then please go on developing and don't annoy everybody here.
And please get the devs on here. Just look over at the guys of McNeel. Every engineer is on the forum and they contribute valuable and meaningful posts. You know, just some basic interaction and not talking against a wall would already be a welcomed change.
I would love to be a part of a collaborative approach to Archicad's development. Proof of GS's intentions will be in the implementation of this community engagement.
Public roadmaps aren't new and there are plenty of examples of good ones out there. GS needs to move away from the secretive development mindset and look to lead the pack. So what if a competitor knows what you are developing? In the case of AC, most of the key roadmap items will already have been implemented by their competitors anyway!
As a reference here is Vectorworks roadmap - https://www.vectorworks.net/en-US/public-roadmap pretty simple but effectively communicates development process. (on a side note, good to see USD export as scheduled.....take note GS!)
Please GS put this process in place asap to give us longtime users a glimmer of hope that AC will once again be the architects choice.
As You are developing a digital product you should be following digital product development rules 😉
These are my 2 suggestions:
1. TRANSPARENCY - Roadmap with KANBAN board that is fully transparent (all issues, bugs and improvements with their #ID shown. Everyday we (Archicad users) are working as BETA testers of software, but we are not able to see is our feedback is valuable for GS Team and community.
2. INTERACTION AND FEEDBACK - Voting and commenting mechanism in KANBAN board. Voting is important because its impossible to make all fixes/wishes/improvements so they must be prioritised.
The "roadmap" they keep showing looks Kanban board-ish, but is filled with general terms: Design, Document, Visualize, BIMx, IFC, etc., and nothing else. What do those even mean... I don't understand what they feel they are conveying with that. I'm not sure they understand just how much they've damaged their standing and reputation with their own user base with the release of 26, another in a string of mostly featureless upgrades (25 was actually their first good update since 22). You'd think their PR team would be doing an aggressive method of user/client interaction with an interactive road map (voting/write-ins) for damage control.
Have you ever seen a more generic roadmap from such a company with a 40 year history?