21 Replies Latest reply on Jan 9, 2018 8:29 AM by Dennis Dohogne

    Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means

    Dennis Dohogne

      After seeing the good discussions here (to list only a few):  Will the Top Ten List be handled differently this year? , https://forum.solidworks.com/message/689652#comment-689652 , Simplify the Enhancement Request System and Tie it Into the Forums I wanted to summarize how I think the ideas are viewed before and after voting.


      The submitted ideas are typically all over the map or chart in this case.  Some ideas are easy to implement, but only have a small benefit to the user while others would be a tremendous benefit, but would be very difficult to implement.  All are looked at by the good folks at SolidWorks, thank you.


      So the ideas will fall into four general groups:

      1. (Blue zone) Very easy to implement, but small benefit.  SolidWorks might put it on the to-do list, but on the back burner so it might not get done since its benefit is so small.

      2. (Green zone) Very easy to implement with a big benefit.  These are probably already on the list at SolidWorks and in-work.

      3. (Red zone) Very difficult to implement with a very small benefit.  Don't hold your breath for these as they are likely to just be filed and never worked on.

      4. (Yellow zone) The big question zone.  There is both appreciable difficulty and benefit to these ideas so SolidWorks needs us to tell them just how important they are.


      But a picture is worth 1k words:


      So, what happens with the voting?  Looking only at the yellow zone we might get something along these lines:

      Of course the developers at SolidWorks have to apply a subjective assessment of both Ease of Implementation and Benefit, but our votes will determine the size of these data points.  Perhaps that can be interpreted as a third axis, Importance to the Customer.


      So what?  What does this all mean?  For me it means I'm not going to worry about voting for anything in the first three categories as their destiny is more or less predetermined.  The good folks at SolidWorks said that all ideas are considered by the development teams so all ideas are by default considered as an informal enhancement request.  Thank you, SolidWorks!!


      I have always enjoyed looking at the submitted ideas.  A lot of times they are things that make me go "Yes!  I would like to have that too."  Other times I learn something about the software I didn't know so it is a good education for me.


      I hope this gives you some food for thought.  Voting opens in a couple of weeks.

        • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
          Rick Becker



          Thanks for taking the time to write this up. I see you don't work for Dassault, but you sound like you do.


          The benefit side of the equation is very subjective.

          I have submitted an Idea that I believe (based on personal experience with other software) has the most benefit over all other ideas. I suspect not all users or viewers of this forum will agree.


          The idea gets Immediately shot down because of the difficulty of implementation. I suspect that several people don't vote for the idea because of the belief that it will never get implemented, sort of throwing away a vote.


          I disagree with this thinking. I believe that if it garnered the most votes, and ended up at the top of the list in a landslide, the idea may get the proper mandate to implement.


          If I may paraphrase from President John F. Kennedy's speech, delivered in person before a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961


          "I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshaled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment...


          I therefore ask the Congress (Dassault), above and beyond the increases I have earlier requested for space activities (SolidWorks Improvement), to provide the funds (time and programmers) which are needed to meet the following national (user base) goals:

          First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out (the next major release), of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."  (Implimenting  Undo/Redo - Un-Limited/Un-Restricted )

            • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
              Dennis Dohogne

              Rick, I agree with you about pushing the envelope and asking for things that we might be told are not going to happen.  However, I'll bet you aren't going to vote for everything, and not everything in the far reaches either.  I too have been pushing SolidWorks for stuff that will be a huge effort for them.


              I was merely looking at this from my experience with product development and got to thinking of how the good folks at SolidWorks will be looking at these ideas.  If everyone that votes were to plot each idea based on our own assessment of Ease of Implementation and Benefit we would all have something pretty different.  So when looking at an idea I am looking first from my own perspective, mostly how it would benefit me, and secondly how it would benefit others.  Frankly, I really don't care too much about ease (or difficulty) of implementation since I'm not the one that would have to do it.


              SolidWorks developers are going to make some assessment similar to the chart above where the red zone won't be worked, the green zone will be implemented at some point, and the blue zone might be implemented depending on available resources.  But they really need our help sorting out the stuff in their yellow zone.


              I'll vote for the substantive ideas.  I won't be voting for the trivial ones in my blue zone.  I'll vote for a bunch of the ideas in my green zone, but they seem so obvious and easy I really am not too worried about them garnering the votes for the Top Ten.  After all, SolidWorks is looking at all the ideas anyway so I'm good with that.  A lot of the ideas in my red zone I think are implausible due to their low benefit/effort ratio.  Those ideas are typically things I have, and can, live without anyway.  But I'll still be voting for some in my red zone.


              I guess my voting zone of consideration would be a larger oval than the yellow one I drew.  Even then I'll be selective about what to vote for because I really want to call SolidWorks' attention to the ideas that would be a big benefit to us.  I think the ideas that would fall in the yellow zone are really the main thrust of the Top Ten list.


              Remember, everyone would zone ideas differently.  Items in SolidWorks' yellow zone will be in other people's red, blue and green zones.  Our votes (or lack thereof) will effectively sort the ideas in their yellow zone into the other three.


              Last year's runaway #1 idea was Create a “Classic” mode GUI option in SolidWorks 2016 that emulates SolidWorks 2015.  I would have put this in the green category and indeed it was because by the time the Top Ten list was released this had been partially implemented. I emphatically voted for this with my single vote, but participated loudly in the forum to complain about the muted colors, as did many others.  This had almost twice the number of votes of the #2, Ability to Export BOM Table with Thumbnail Images of Components.


              Since we can only vote once for any given idea it is goofy to vote for everything.  I was just trying to add some perspective so we as a community can help SolidWorks better understand and prioritize what we want.

            • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
              Dave Bear

              Very well voiced Dennis and certainly gives one another way of looking at the process. It will be interesting to see how the whole thing pans out.



              • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                Rick Becker

                Dennis, how are you as in tune with the inner workings at SolidWorks?

                Did you (do you) work for them?

                  • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                    Dennis Dohogne

                    Rick Becker,

                    Worked for SolidWorks?  Never have, never will.


                    I did go to their offices a few years ago to be the first outsider to test what I think became Mechanical Conceptual.  I was extremely impressed with how they handled that.  I didn't pull any punches on what I told them either.  I also did everything I could then and at SWWorld2013 to bend their ear about fixing particular things and giving us all the potential capability of a new feature rather than just a teasing level of functionality.  At least one of those last things has just been implemented in 2017, four releases later.


                    I've just been in product development my whole career and have learned how to look at things both from a user and from a developer/designer's perspective.  It is good to walk in the other person's shoes (or as I've gotten to needing them - look through the other person's glasses).  Looking at a situation from multiple perspectives and trying to find the things that others have overlooked has served me well in my career.


                    SolidWorks couldn't afford me (well, maybe they could), but more importantly, they couldn't entice my wife to move away from our easy access to the Florida beaches we currently enjoy.  Now THAT would take a lot of money.

                  • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                    Dennis Dohogne

                    Just a reminder to think about how your votes will impact the results.  Not only is it important to highlight the ones you most want, it is also important to post any ideas you have for improving the software as SWX does look at the ideas as a simpler enhancement request.

                    SOLIDWORKS World 2017 Top Ten List

                    • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                      Dennis Dohogne

                      Vote!  But think about what you are voting for and what it is telling SolidWorks.

                      • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                        Shon Owl

                        Still I work in 2011 and works wonders and continues, but!!!! I consider that progress is necessary. If properties and the Rhino methods to add that to SW in general it is invincible! I allow even loss of a parametrization after use of methods in Rhino. But the product has to grant desires of users.

                        • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                          Dennis Dohogne

                          To everyone on this forum, please do vote emphatically with your single vote per idea.  Be aware of what you are telling the good folks at SWX.

                          • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                            Dennis Dohogne

                            When Rick Becker and I met with the development team at SWX on November 15th they showed us some information about how they researched and prioritized their efforts.  One chart was not too different from the one I posted above.  (Mine is a lot prettier PLUS my axes are labeled!).


                            With the Top Ten list open for idea submission I thought it would be good to bring this up again.  It is food for thought.

                            • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                              Dennis Dohogne

                              These posts evoked some healthy discussion and good ideas.  The good news is that the folks at SWX are listening and want to make some changes along these lines.  The bad news is that it is painfully slow to implement any of these changes.