42 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2019 2:20 PM by Joffrey Leigh

    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

          Dennis,

           

          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
                  Rick Becker

                  I truly appreciate your extremely well thought out comments.

                   

                  Like you I will be emphatically voting for my personal Top Ten with my single vote each.

                   

                  There may be well over 1000 ideas submitted. I will read and consider each of them and, as a personal choice, I will limit my voting to my personal top 20. I think it would be a good idea to limit the total number of votes per person because, as you said, "...I really want to call SolidWorks' attention to the ideas that would be a big benefit to us."

                   

                  I will just say that I personally believe that the idea of unlimited undo/redo is the one idea that has the potential to help me (and everyone) the most. I will fervently support getting this Idea and hope it gets the top spot with twice the votes of the second place idea.

                    • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                      Steve Calvert

                      Just don't demand a recount if your top ten doesn't pan out like you wanted...

                       

                      Steve C

                      • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                        Dwight Livingston

                        Rick

                         

                        I don't think anyone should limit the number of yes votes they use. Limitiing your votes may be a way to game the contest, but I doubt it matters. It assumes you know what a no-brainer is, and it assumes you know what is difficult. I don't think we do. If no one votes for a good idea because we all think it too small, in SW's eyes that will push it down to the blue area and it may not get done. If no one votes for a good idea because we think it too difficult, then SW may not include it with a bunch of other new and difficult ideas, which together end up making perfect sense, maybe a no-brainer.

                         

                        I am going to vote for every idea that want to see implemented. If to me it seems easy to do, I'll only have to want it a little. If to me it seems difficult, I'll need to want it a lot. I will, though, vote for as many ideas as make sense to me. I don't plan to game my vote. I don't think any votes are wasted.

                         

                        I really don't care what ends up in the top ten. Every year the top ten ideas disappoint me completely. SW has, though, made some big improvements.

                         

                        Dwight

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

                            Dwight Livingston wrote:

                            ...I don't think anyone should limit the number of yes votes they use. Limitiing your votes may be a way to game the contest, but I doubt it matters. It assumes you know what a no-brainer is, and it assumes you know what is difficult. I don't think we do. If no one votes for a good idea because we all think it too small, in SW's eyes that will push it down to the blue area and it may not get done. If no one votes for a good idea because we think it too difficult, then SW may not include it with a bunch of other new and difficult ideas, which together end up making perfect sense, maybe a no-brainer.

                             

                            I am going to vote for every idea that want to see implemented. If to me it seems easy to do, I'll only have to want it a little. If to me it seems difficult, I'll need to want it a lot. I will, though, vote for as many ideas as make sense to me. I don't plan to game my vote. I don't think any votes are wasted.

                             

                            Dwight, a lot has transpired in the 2 years since I wrote my reply. You make some formidable arguments in favor of as many votes as one sees fit to cast.

                             

                            I agree and change my stance on limiting votes under the existing rules.

                            as an aside, I would support limiting total votes per person if it was implemented for all. At this point in time my total number of votes allowed would be 50

                             

                            Dwight Livingston wrote:

                            ...I really don't care what ends up in the top ten. Every year the top ten ideas disappoint me completely.

                             

                            Here I must disagree with you.

                            Starting with ONE and TWO.

                            I have learned just how many Dassault/SolidWorks eyes are watching the Top Ten. I have personally seen that what we do here does help to steer the ship and helps to set the course.

                            For good or for bad, the actual Top Ten of the SOLIDWORKS World 2019 Top Ten List , I believe, carries more weight.

                            I say this knowing there is a session at SWW specifically to openly discuss the Top Ten. And. The CEO, along with all strategic managers, are in attendance and joining in the discussion. Believe me when I say it, this is a very impressive session.    

                             

                            Dwight Livingston wrote:

                            ... SW has, though, made some big improvements.

                             

                            I do totally agree with you on this sentiment. +1

                      • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                        Dan Golthing

                        "landing a man on the moon" = "implementing the ability to manage ZTG"

                         

                        apparently its easier to land a man on the moon using vacuum tube electronics than for a mid-range CAD to implement ZTG.

                         

                        OR, did we actually land on the moon after all!!???

                      • 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.

                         

                        Dave.

                        • 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.

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

                                          This post is two years old and it is still on the mark.

                                          • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                            S. Casale

                                            ....WHEN THE VOTING WORKS FOR EVERYONE...

                                            • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                              ömür tokman

                                              I've seen this topic now.

                                              I wish I had seen it before.

                                              Dennis Dohogne

                                              I wish you would have updated this topic 15 days ago.

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

                                                The Top Ten List is somewhat of a popularity contest.  I think that is unfortunate if it influences people to vote just for ideas to get them into the top ten of vote totals.  Some folks even look to see what is winning and vote for those because they want to vote for a winner.  (What losers those folks are, IMHO!).

                                                 

                                                Let's take a broader view of the what the Top Ten List is really about.

                                                 

                                                As I reread the original post I realize that my votes (*) would encompass a widely scattered area.  Here is how I think my votes land compared to my assessment of the the Benefit to User vs. Ease of Implementation regions:

                                                Now let's overlay the regions I suspect are closer to the SWX developer's view of what is too much work and what is already in the queue:

                                                So, some of the ideas I vote for are never going to happen, even though I think they could or should (SWX' red triangle larger than my red triangle) and some of the ideas are already in the works, but not as many as I would hope (SWX' blue triangle smaller than my green triangle and blue teardrop).

                                                 

                                                BUT, here is the great news, SWX pays serious attention to the Top Ten List, not just to all the ideas, but to the voting - ALL the voting, and to the comments for each idea.

                                                 

                                                The Top Ten List is not just about the ideas that get the ten highest vote counts!

                                                Let me say that again, the Top Ten List is not just about the ideas that get the ten highest vote counts!  ALL ideas are considered as Enhancement Requests, even though we will not get an SPR for them.  But the more votes an idea gets, ANY IDEA, the more attention it will get from the developers.  We can shape these regions to the point of making SWX rethink their own assessment of the boundaries.  In other words, an idea that is in their red "Ain't gonna happen" region, perhaps on the edge, just might get pushed out of that region into the "Region of possibilities" (the areas that aren't red) if it gets enough votes.

                                                 

                                                Votes matter!  So vote for ANY idea that you think would benefit you, even if there is no chance it will make it into the top ten of vote totals.

                                                  • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                                    ömür tokman

                                                    Yes, absolutely agree.

                                                    When I vote, I vote for what I think is right, not for the possibility. (in my opinion)

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

                                                      I am still on an older version of SWX so I don't know many of the new enhancements that have been added since then and I don't have the ability to work with the new version to see what I would like different or doesn't work as I would prefer.

                                                      This means that I have limited ability to make a good recommendation if a suggestion relates to changing or enhancing a feature that was added since SWX 2015, or for features that exist that I don't use.  I also don't use PDM, Electrical or other related programs or features.

                                                      For these reasons I didn't make any suggestions for enhancements this year (or last)(but did in previous years - closer to my version).

                                                      I will not vote based on popularity - that defeats the purpose.  I will only vote on things that describe a feature/change enough that I would like to see in the software and see a reasonable justification for it (and I make the assumption that if it is a suggestion, it means that it doesn't work or doesn't exist as the OP has suggested).

                                                      I will not have many votes this year but when i do vote it is for something that I feel I could use and would use and benefit from when I get a new version of SWX to use. 

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

                                                          Rick McDonald wrote:

                                                          I am still on an older version of SWX so I don't know many of the new enhancements that have been added since then and I don't have the ability to work with the new version to see what I would like different or doesn't work as I would prefer.       

                                                           

                                                          This means that I have limited ability to make a good recommendation if a suggestion relates to changing or enhancing a feature that was added since SWX 2015, or for features that exist that I don't use. I also don't use PDM, Electrical or other related programs or features.

                                                          For these reasons I didn't make any suggestions for enhancements this year (or last)(but did in previous years - closer to my version).

                                                          I will not vote based on popularity - that defeats the purpose. I will only vote on things that describe a feature/change enough that I would like to see in the software and see a reasonable justification for it (and I make the assumption that if it is a suggestion, it means that it doesn't work or doesn't exist as the OP has suggested).       

                                                           

                                                          I will not have many votes this year but when i do vote it is for something that I feel I could use and would use and benefit from when I get a new version of SWX to use.

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          Rick gets it!!  Voting for the ideas that will bring a benefit, not based on popularity.

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

                                                        I have spent a lot of time going through this year's ideas.  The ideas themselves are very good, but the supporting comments are what makes the TTL something really fantastic.  These comments not only help to shape and define the idea they also give more insight into the users' needs.  A programmer that never thought of this idea or that is assigned to implement it, but has never really encountered the situation where the idea would be beneficial cannot really understand it without these insights.

                                                         

                                                        These comments are one of the reasons why I think the TTL is superior to the current Enhancement Request system.  The ER system is so darn cumbersome to search and comment on that people just don't use it very much.  Sure, the ER system is more formal than the TTL, but that formality cripples it.

                                                         

                                                        I have been told the ER/TTL systems are being completely overhauled by the folks at SWX rather than use a third-party system.  (They looked for third-party systems and were not satisfied with what they saw so they decided to do it themselves).  I just hope they run all these systems through a sieve in order to identify things that are good and things that are bad.  I'll help by running my own coarse sieve:

                                                        Things that are bad:

                                                        The current ER system is bad (except for the fact we get an SPR, that is good).

                                                         

                                                        Things that are good:

                                                        The TTL openness and ease of use.  The constructive comments in the TTL.  (It would be better if the TTL ideas, once accepted by SWX, get an SPR assigned to them and we have a box we could check to be notified when the SPR is fixed).

                                                         

                                                        In my long career in product development there are a few key tenets that are crucial to the success of something:

                                                        1. Look at it from the user/customer point of view.  ALWAYS!!

                                                        2. Make it simple and intuitive and people will use it.

                                                          • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                                            Joffrey Leigh

                                                            I appreciate how much everyone is asking for votes, and I appreciate how much the votes will affect things.  That is why I am not voting this year.  I have only been using SolidWorks for about a year now.  I am a quick study, and have learned so much about the program from the forum, but I cannot say that I can effectually see what the limits are yet.  There are some things that have bothered me, but I have found that they could be reduced or eliminated by one or several functions within the program.  I don't want to put my votes into something that may point things in a different direction.

                                                             

                                                            It would be like someone who just got their license then voting on changes to the road laws.  There is just not enough experience there yet to know for sure what needs to be changed.

                                                             

                                                            I would like to say that I have really appreciated the helpful spirit many have on this forum.  My hats off to you people personally, it is a great credit to you.

                                                              • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                                                Glenn Schroeder

                                                                Joffrey Leigh wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                I appreciate how much everyone is asking for votes, and I appreciate how much the votes will affect things. That is why I am not voting this year. I have only been using SolidWorks for about a year now. I am a quick study, and have learned so much about the program from the forum, but I cannot say that I can effectually see what the limits are yet. There are some things that have bothered me, but I have found that they could be reduced or eliminated by one or several functions within the program. I don't want to put my votes into something that may point things in a different direction.

                                                                 

                                                                It would be like someone who just got their license then voting on changes to the road laws. There is just not enough experience there yet to know for sure what needs to be changed.

                                                                 

                                                                I would like to say that I have really appreciated the helpful spirit many have on this forum. My hats off to you people personally, it is a great credit to you.

                                                                 

                                                                If you don't mind me saying so, you're overthinking this.  If you see an Idea and think "I'd like that new feature", then vote for it.  If you have a question about one, ask in a Reply.

                                                                  • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                                                    Joffrey Leigh

                                                                    Thank you for responding Glenn,

                                                                     

                                                                    For example, There should be an easy way to simplify weldment profiles or resulting structural members for performance reasons (Weldments).  This is something that I work with on a daily basis ( I am designing structural steel buildings ), but I am not sure what they are trying to make faster here.  I have found when changing weldment profiles that are similar, you have to be VERY careful to choose your mates correctly, but if you are careful it becomes almost intuitive with very few mistakes.  (When I began I avoided this and just manually reattached the mates, but now I can do this in just minutes rather than a couple of hours).  Would this not be something that could be viewed as already "fixed", just not the way he expected it to be?

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

                                                                        Joffrey,

                                                                        I agree with Glenn Schroeder "If you don't mind me saying so, you're overthinking this.  If you see an Idea and think "I'd like that new feature", then vote for it.  If you have a question about one, ask in a Reply"

                                                                        I understand and see your point as well, But you are in a position to make good voting choices or comments.

                                                                         

                                                                        For some Top Ten Suggestions that don't pertain to you or that you don't know enough about, I agree that you should not vote (that is also my case since I am on older version, don't know and can't use the new features or things that were fixed / improved in the newer versions).

                                                                        However, some suggestions show it is clear that something is lacking or doesn't work well in the current or previous versions.  Sometimes it is just for convenience and sometimes it is a critical lacking feature or problem.

                                                                        With a year under your belt you will have used many features and will see where some are not intuitive or don't work well.  If there is a TT suggestion to fix that and the comments support what problems you have also seen, it would be very reasonable for you to vote on it.

                                                                        I am voting on several items - but not on anything that I can not fully understand the problem or issue.  I don't use several features, so when I see a suggestion about them I skip over it, but things I do use or know about and have issues with - and that the comments support that fixes or upgrades are still lacking - I will (and should) vote (and would urge you to) as in this case my vote would be very reasonable..

                                                                        The day will come that I will finally be able to use a new version and I would want those things to be fixed or improved.

                                                                        If they were not, due to (in part) my not voting when I had the understanding and ability, I would have to realize that I didn't do my part to improve the software when I had the chance and will have to live with the problems.

                                                                          • Re: Top Ten Idea Submission and What the Voting Means
                                                                            Joffrey Leigh

                                                                            I really appreciate your feedback Rick,

                                                                             

                                                                            I guess I just have found in my time so far that whenever I run into a problem, or see something that could run better, I have later found that there was a work around, or a setting change, that fixed it for me.  When that was not the case, I have found that changing how I designed became imperative.  And when I do change, what I wanted to change no longer seems a problem.

                                                                             

                                                                            I  can appreciate that there are things that really bother other users, I just am not sure how to distinguish the real problems from the ones that just need a different approach to fix them.  I have seen many users say that they have "gotten used" to a problem.  If the problem was then fixed, would they then wish for how it was before?

                                                                             

                                                                            I will continue to look through the ideas, and if any really jump out at me I will vote, you have convinced me of that.  But I personally believe that the best vote is the one at the beginning, the allocation of R&D funding.  It could make much more difference in usability of SW.