44 Replies Latest reply on Oct 11, 2018 9:20 AM by Matt Peneguy

    Improving the SolidWorks forums

    Bill Taylor
      Hello Everyone, SolidWorks is looking at updating the forums and seeing that the intent of this would be to improve your experience we would like your feedback. Below are just some ideas that have been passed on to us. If there is something on the list you think is irrelevant let us know. If we are missing something also let us know. If you have ideas on how certain elements should be implemented we are interested. Basically it would be great to get some discussions going around each point as well as identify some additional items that should be considered.

      Bill




      Ideas

      1. Filter display by Category, My Posts, and My Watched Posts (category, keywords, or person). (set to all as default)
      2. Rate individual posts rather than entire topics or individuals (Is rating an individual something you like or dislike?
      3. When you post a question and it is not answered by the community how would you like it to be handled? (Maybe automatically create a support request for you? Other ideas?)
      4. A filter for New, Unread and Unanswered posts. (set to all as default)
      5. Better UI and workflow for posts and attachments.
      6. A Rich text editor
      7. Spell check
      8. The ability to view conversation threads (like old forums & newsreaders).
      9. Highly relevant search
      10. The ability for users to create forum categories
      11. Ability to subscribe to posts/people/topics/categories/unanswered posts and have it delivered via email/RSS/other...
      12. Improved points systems (get more recognition for answering questions, etc opposed to basing things on number of posts)
      13. Tagging support for all categories, posts, and groups.
      14. Linkage to Enhancement Requests and the Knowledge base. This is a high level idea. Would it be helpful to make accessing both of those areas easier while in the forums?
      15. Improved syndication
      Example: You can use Outlook 2007 to read forum posts by category like a newsreader. Maybe show all post and highlight the unread posts.
        • Improving the SolidWorks forums
          Kenneth Barrentine
          my top requests would be in order of importance,

          1. 15
          2. 8
          3. 5
          4. 11
          5. 7

          the rest is not important to me.
          • Improving the SolidWorks forums
            Joel Bickel
            Bill,

            For me, #5 is a good one. outlook functionality would be great- the ability to paste a picture into a post.

            #10: bad idea- there would be a category for every thread- so why have categories.

            #1 would be helpful.
            • Improving the SolidWorks forums
              Anne Yust
              Important to me:

              #3
              #8 - EngTips forum goes back many years; this one only 1 year

              Thanks!
                • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                  Charles Culp
                  1. I think the ability to rate posts instead of threads and people is a good idea.

                  2. This forum already has a "my threads" and "saved threads", as well as the ability to filter categories. Thus "adding" it is irrelevant; maybe make the settings more obvious (but I don't think they are that hidden, except for how to subscribe to a thread).

                  3. If there is simply a way to "forward post to support", I think that would be excellent.

                  4. This current forum already has it, it just doesn't work very well. Lots of people like this, I personally don't care.

                  5. Plenty of people also have problems with this.

                  6. I'm actually against this one. Then people will just load up their posts with incorporated photos. I honestly like the current setup.

                  7. Sounds great. Firefox has this built in, and I believe IE8 has it too...

                  8. The current system HAS THIS ALREADY! It's at the top of the page (Linear : Threading : Single : Branch). I don't care for it, though.

                  9. I think the most important enhancement would be a better way to search through old threads. I would really like a way to add "tags" to threads, so they get sorted properly. I'm not sure how you would regulate this, but that would be phenominal.

                  10. If the admins would just create 2-3 more categories, I think everything would be just fine...

                  11. You can already subscribe by email, but RSS would be fantastic. RSS would be my #2 important enhancement.

                  12. If I get 2000 "points" can I get Solidworks Professional for free? If not I'm not sure I really care... See my response to post #1

                  13. I already mentioned tagging would greatly enhance search, and I think this is the best thing that could happen to this forum

                  14. If you can figure it out, linking to KB/etc would bet outstanding...

                  15. RSS seems like a pretty good method of syndication to me. RSS is KISS!

                  Also, most forums have a thread that is "sticky" at the top, with answers to the most commonly asked questions. We need something like this. "Can you save SW2009 files so that SW2008 can read it" is the #1 example. This, and other similar questions, need to have answers that are posted at the top so people don't have to ask all the time. These threads also need to be maintained by an admin, so they can't just be edited by anyone. Consider a category called "answers to common questions" if you don't want to/can't create a "sticky thread" concept.
                  • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                    Steven Dinsdale
                    Anne,

                    I beleive you can select how far back the forum goes under My Forum Profile -> Personal Options

                    Bill,

                    I would like to see something similar to 8: an icon next to the topic that would be different for read/unread/new post/hot topics etc.
                  • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                    John Summers

                    Bill Taylor wrote:

                     

                    14. Linkage to Enhancement Requests and the Knowledge base. This is a high level idea. Would it be helpful to make accessing both of those areas easier while in the forums?

                    Although many of the ideas listed would be an improvement to the forum, this one seems to be the only one that could directly improve Solidworks. By improving the access to enhancement requests for forum users, it should help to increase feedback to the SW enhancements within the discussions. I would really like to see this one implemented!
                    • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                      Tom Nicholson
                      I don't see why they just don't use one of the already established forum systems out there, phpbb, or invision.. worst part would be trying to import the current database into it. but it could be done.
                        • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                          Mark Kaiser
                          My rankings.

                          1. 5
                          2. 9

                          Fix those and I'd be happy.
                            • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                              Daniel Eelman
                              In addition to "Latest Topics", I would like quick links for "Last 5 Days" and/or "Last 10 Day". I like to browse the newest topics, but if I am out, or too busy for a few days, I can't see what I missed.

                              An Advanced Search link on the Latest Topics page

                              I agree with Charles on the need for "Stickys" or an FAQ category in leiu thereof.

                              A graphic indication for Read/Unread threads.

                              At one point I thought it might be handy to have a "Recently Viewed" history, for the times I know I read something 4 days ago, and it is too generic for me to remember the category or title it was under. I don't know if anyone else thinks that would be helpful or not.
                          • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                            Brian Cayer
                            My preference for improvements would be

                            4 - After viewing mark topic as read until a new post is added and it moves to the top.

                            2- I like the way it is except when rating an individual, pick the score after selecting the Rate
                            button. The way it is leads to mistakes like giving a 1 automatically when rate is selected and score not selected first.

                            7- Firefox and Chrome have automatic spell check, IE8 does not so it should be added for the benefit of those locked into IE

                            9- Add a search that works period.

                            12- Keep # of posts but add # of answers. Make it easier to select a post as the answer.

                            Regards,

                              • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                2. I like the ability to rate a post but I also think you should still be able to rate the topic and individual.

                                3. A button to send it off to support If you can not get an answer would be great

                                7. Would love spell check. I always wondered why you did not have it already

                                10. Bad idea there would be hundreds of catigories before you knew it.

                                12. Unless you would win something I realy don't care. I like the user rateing the way it is now.

                                14. Yes. I think there are alot of peaple out there who don't know how to submit an ER

                                Also I agree with charles we need sticky posts for the most common questions. Almost every other forums have this. I think this is one the most needed things on the forums.
                              • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                Charles Culp
                                I agree with Brian on his last note. Plenty of times someone selects the "answer" as their own post because the interface is confusing. I really like the idea of posts having "answers", but another solution is needed.

                                If you are looking into a custom forum, please put a green checkmark with the words "this post is the answer" under the person's avatar that has the correct answer. Also, being able to select multiple posts as "the answer" would be good too, as there are often multiple answers, or multiple steps required to get to "the solution".
                                • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                  Charles Culp
                                  Steven,

                                  I have to say I've never seen that behavior before. When I edit posts multiple times, it always goes by the previous edit, as you suggest.
                                    • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                      Steven Dinsdale

                                      Charles Culp wrote:

                                       

                                      Steven,



                                      I have to say I've never seen that behavior before. When I edit posts multiple times, it always goes by the previous edit, as you suggest.

                                      Interesting, must just be my computer.
                                        • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                          Paul McGarr
                                          How about having a team of Solidworks employees dedicated to READING the forum and ANSWERING the questions here. An official answer to every question would be super. Even if the answer is "we don't know", or "we know and we're not going to fix it".

                                          That's what's missing from this forum, acountability. Stand behind your product and admit its faults. Take the information you read here and act on it. For example, slow down the release cycle. Everybody want's that. Take a couple of years solidifying the current code before introducing new things...

                                          This forum is a giant support ticket. People shy away from enhancement requests because it's like a black hole. You submit something and simply wait forever to see if anything gets done. That's discouraging.

                                          Don't take this as a negative post please. I'm honestly a happy SolidWorks user. I'm offering this because sometimes the obvious is overlooked. This forum is for help, and nothing would help more than solid answers straight from the horses mouth. Also, as I've said before, this forum is the most valuable support tool available thanks to everybody that participates.
                                      • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                        Dale Dunn
                                        1. 8. The current threading options are currently broken and unuseable. Threading needs to be as robust as an NNTP new reader.

                                        2. 4. Tracking of new and unread posts is also currently broken and unuseable. This also needs to be as robust as an NNTP news reader.

                                        Other things that should be higher priority than the good ideas already listed (except 10):

                                        -Parity of support for mainstream browsers. IE and Firefox at the bare minimum. Opera and Safari would be good ideas too. I don't know if Chrome is on your radar yet, but I expect it to become significant as it becomes embedded in other platforms.

                                        -WYSIWYG Editor. What year is it?

                                        -Another mention for sticky threads, as Charles rightly mentioned. Might not be necessary if there was some kind of separate FAQ/wiki.

                                        Other ideas that might not be higher priority:

                                        -allow usefully large images

                                        -mobile device friendly mode? I'm not into these things yet, but I'm sure some around here are.
                                        • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                          Dwight Livingston
                                          I like to see all the latest posts when I open the forum. I don't want to get emails from the forum. I'd rather go right to the last post of a thread instead of the first. Filtering categories might be useful, but really I'm happy scanning topic titles from all the categories. I don't care about ratings.

                                          So, in my humble opinion . . .

                                          1. low need
                                          2. unneeded
                                          3. better they should go do a little research or clarify their question, rather than write "this sucks" for a title and say "I'm trying to model a nuclear reactor and it's not working out. What am I doing wrong?"
                                          4. filter for unread would be okay if worked right, low need
                                          5. upload could be clearer
                                          6. unneeded
                                          7. spell check would be nice
                                          8. isn't that what we have?
                                          9. a good, working search would be nice
                                          10. prefer that SolidWorks keep the forum tidy
                                          11. unneeded
                                          12. unneeded
                                          13. What is tagging support?
                                          14. I'd rather have an ER forum
                                          15. Unneeded

                                          Thanks

                                          • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                            Kelvin Lamport

                                             

                                            10. The ability for users to create forum categories

                                            Most definitely not! That usually ends up in a complete mess and nobody can find anything.


                                             

                                            3. When you post a question and it is not answered by the community how would you like it to be handled? (Maybe automatically create a support request for you? Other ideas?)

                                            No question should be left unanswered. If a question receives no replies it is often because no-one knows the answer, or it slipped by unnoticed in a busy period, or it's a stupid question. Someone from SW should be monitoring the questions and answers to make sure that an answer is given and that it is correct, and if not, give the correct answer themselves.


                                             

                                            14. Linkage to Enhancement Requests and the Knowledge base. This is a high level idea. Would it be helpful to make accessing both of those areas easier while in the forums?

                                            The ER and KB should definitely be linked or even be a part of the forums ... or the forums a part of them.


                                             

                                            5. Better UI and workflow for posts and attachments.

                                            Yes please! Creating attachments is unnecessarily complicated. Way too may clicks located all over the place.
                                            Create a Next button to enable selection of the next thread.


                                             

                                            9. Highly relevant search

                                            Did you really have to ask?


                                             

                                            2. Rate individual posts rather than entire topics or individuals (Is rating an individual something you like or dislike?
                                            12. Improved points systems (get more recognition for answering questions, etc opposed to basing things on number of posts)

                                            Forget any member rating system. Just offer the ability for a user to mark posts which he/she found helpful. The number of marks would count toward how useful the thread and its answers were. This would also indicate the posts which contain an answer. Sometimes there is more than just one post forming the complete answer.
                                            If necessary, a running count of such posts could be attributed to the authors.


                                            Sticky posts and FAQs are good ideas, but they are largely ignored in most of the forums I frequent. It is handy to be able to point the OP to them as a quick reference though.
                                            • Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                              Jeff Rau
                                              I vote for overall improvement of searching. Number 9 in Bill's original post mentions "highly relevant searching", but many aspects of it could be improved:
                                              - No "advanced search" link on forums homepage. Have to click category for this to show up
                                              - "Search category" box (shown after selecting a category) returns results from all categories
                                              - Specifying category in "advanced search" window still returns results from all categories
                                              - "Search category" box and "advanced search" links disappear when search results are shown, so if I want to refine my search I have to go back to a page that shows these links

                                              Perhaps those examples are more detailed than what was originally asked for, but I find that the details are what get in my way while searching. Improving the details would decrease the amount of clicking and typing required to get where I'm trying to go.
                                              • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                John Stoltzfus

                                                A Blast From The Past

                                                 

                                                Where are we in comparison - 2018

                                                • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                  David Matula

                                                  to be able to search the individual post.  I was looking for an answer I asked in the kitty dump months ago and I got a quick answer to the simple where is this toggle located and then I forgot where to find it again.....

                                                  to be able to search by name and find every where someone posted something would be great.

                                                   

                                                  The unanswered questions...1 if there was lots of help there and they never came back to mark an answer right then moderator can pick the best correct answer or delete it.

                                                                   

                                                          2.  the question no one answers.  not a response....at all...  contact the person and ask them to post a solution that they came up with.

                                                   

                                                       Next I would maybe want to see an app, that makes looking at this on the (mini computer) phone easier.

                                                   

                                                  the spell check has to possibly do with browser settings why add another way to make us second guess ourselves.... if we can't let some fat fingering and bad gamer get by on the here should we be here...

                                                    • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                      Rick McDonald

                                                      David Matula wrote:

                                                       

                                                      to be able to search the individual post. I was looking for an answer I asked in the kitty dump months ago and I got a quick answer to the simple where is this toggle located and then I forgot where to find it again.....

                                                      to be able to search by name and find every where someone posted something would be great.

                                                      This would be a big one for me as well.  I will remember something I wrote in a post but not the details of it and want to go back and find the actual comment I made - very difficult and takes forever.  I was looking for something yesterday and tried several key words and still had to click on the arrows or numbers on the bottom of the post many many times to get what I was looking for. (maybe a slider bar that represented a "first to last range" and we could click on different areas to jump to an area (like ~half way through the posts - so if there were 100 posts I could click the center of the slider and go roughly to the center of the post

                                                      The "search function" will tell us some items it finds in a post or posts that match a word or phrase but you can get hundreds of possibilities.

                                                      If we could have filters like "my posts" "Posts from ____________"(insert poster name), or "Date range"...

                                                      and then options of within "All posts" or "Selected Posts _______________"

                                                      these selections could be check box options.

                                                    • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                      Habib Ghalamkari

                                                      It would be a great help for me to extend the lifespan of cookies to more than 24 hours. We have to login every day. Though it's not such a pain to login everyday, but I don't really find any benefit for making members login every day. (Security reasons?)


                                                      Normally other forums manage it this way. Every visit to the forum, over writes the cookie and extend the life span by 2 or 3 days. If a member doesn't access forum during this lifespan, it expires.

                                                      In this way active users don't need to login every day.

                                                      • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                        Rubén Rodolfo Balderrama

                                                        Maybe somebody will try to make a compilation for excellent ieas and solutions here....sometime better than mysolidworks solutions, better than support.

                                                        Here we share knowledge for all of Us....give a tool like Admin to some users to manage some useless thread, and something like that.

                                                        a-Move to one especific place for example the question and the solution

                                                        3-Send automatically create a support request.

                                                        4-Unread and Unanswered posts. (set to all as default) Will be a excellent idea.

                                                        10. The ability for users to create forum categories and User group "I'm from Argentina and I don't have a group for my country"

                                                         

                                                        I think will be useful to Us

                                                        • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                          Solid Air

                                                          Better reliability, the forum has been down several times this year for several  days a couple times.

                                                          • Re: Improving the SolidWorks forums
                                                            Igor Fomenko

                                                            There is "your content" page, I want to have the ability to sort all its posts by my own categories: weldments, drafting, sheet-metal, ideas, bugs, answered, very important and so on. Thanks in advance.