As the cold of January creeps in, I am settling into my role as Revit Community Manager. As a response to the “Open Letter”, my goal as Community Manager is to bridge the gap and continue to nurture discussions related to Revit that benefit both groups and continue to improve Revit. As a long-time Revit user, I am very excited and honored to be in a role where I can make an impact in the Revit community. I see this role as being a sort of liaison between our Revit users and our product teams (The Factory).
I have used the software practically for real-world projects (most of which are still standing!). My fascination with Revit started 14 years ago with Revit 2007 in architectural design. That fascination grew as I dove deeper into the power of the software. While loving the possibilities, I also experienced the frustrations with some of the limitations of the software.
Revit Ideas was created as a way for users to communicate some of those frustrations – what they wish the software could do, or how current features could be improved. Kudos give other users a way to vote on what they feel is an important Idea. The more Kudos an Idea gets, the more likely it is to get the attention of The Factory. The Factory will then triage the most critical Ideas. They must then decide if they can in fact implement the Idea or decide if an Idea is even possible to do. Unfortunately, not all Ideas are capable of being implemented in Revit. There. I said it. But we (The Factory) want to make sure that we communicate this clearly to our users in a way that makes sense and does not minimize the value of the request.
One of my first projects is to organize the Revit Ideas and create a more streamlined path of communication between our users and the product teams (The Factory). If you have perused the Revit Ideas lately, you know that this is a monumental task (currently near 9000 ideas gathering support!). I go back to the famous quote (there is debate over its origins) – “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” The first thing we have completed is eliminating the use of “Under Review” and “Future Consideration” for Revit Ideas (however these categories may still be used for other Autodesk products).
The reason for this change is that all Revit Ideas are always under review. Honest. If I could show you behind the curtain, you would see a complex system of algorithms and analysis that would make the Wizard’s head spin! Our goal for this project is to consolidate similar Ideas and allow The Factory to triage the most important issues to our users.
There are a few things I have noticed as I dive head-first into this monumental task. I hope that by sharing my own “ideas” it will help both users and product teams alike. First, before making a new Idea thread, do a quick search in the current Ideas for the topic you have in mind. You can then add Kudos and comments to existing thread. Making multiple threads on the same topic dilutes the kudos and creates a larger pile of threads. This makes it challenging to sort and see what is truly important to our users. The higher the Kudos, the more likely the post will rise toward the top of the Idea pile. There is strength in consolidated numbers.
Second, it is very easy to get caught up in discussions which make us think “oh, what about this, too?” This new idea is then added to the original thread. The Kudos on the new comment Idea, however, count toward the original post. Rather than add a new Idea to an existing thread, it is best to first search the new Idea and then add an Idea in a new separate thread.
Third, vague titles such as “Railings” just are not helpful to either users or product teams looking for Ideas. Be specific in your Idea titles. ”Modifying Baluster and Railing Joints” is more likely to capture attention than just “Railings”. Likewise, keep your descriptions concise and to the point. Avoid using abbreviations that are unclear or uncommon.
Fourth, take a moment to consider whether your Idea is really an “idea”, or if it is an issue you are having with the software. If it is an issue, submitting a support ticket will not only result in more immediate help, but it will also bring the issue to the appropriate team for further investigation. Rather than using the Revit Ideas page as a complaint department, try to focus the Ideas on more innovative features or improvements.
Finally, use Tags to categorize the thread and make it more visible to the appropriate audiences in both users and product teams. Tags can also be used to find similar threads or topics.
As a first point of contact for many of our fabulous users, Revit Ideas is a valuable resource for the product teams. Your feedback is essential to the continued development and improvement of Revit, and believe me, your voices are being heard. Head on over to the Revit Ideas forum and make your Ideas known. We are listening!