Letter from the President - 2011 October

September 30th, 2011

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky”

....that is how it goes, I think! But in the Autodesk world we don't have diamonds. We have something better—features! And the new AUGI Wish List system! In the August 2011 Letter from the President, I mentioned briefly that the Wish List system was coming online. In fact, I even "leaked" the URL to the system. A good number of members read my letter and got the hint to go check it out. So what’s the feedback so far? Pretty good, fortunately! We have spent a considerable amount of time and money developing the new WLS, so it is good to finally see it coming into its own.

For those of you familiar with the former AUGI Wish List system, you’ll notice the biggest change from the old process is that there is very little time separating you from your wishes. Under the old system, you submitted a wish, which then went into a holding bin and sat there until a volunteer found the time to review the wish submission and let it into the list cycle. But even at that point it still wasn't very accessible.

Annually, the wish list submissions would be reviewed and collated into a big list for voting. This would give us a top ten, but it never lived up to the effort required. One big drawback is that very often the wishes in the top ten came from wishes that were posted in the top 30 percent of the “nominee wishes” list. That is because members just couldn't spend the time to go through dozens and dozens of ideas.

We had to have a better way, and the new WLS is just that—better! You submit a wish today and immediately your fellow members can see your idea and begin to rank how they feel about it. Also immediately the wish will get a forum post dedicated to it so that the members can discuss the concept.

It’s highly possible that this member discussion will expose additional insight into how the wish should be written. What then? Well, the wish owner can then edit the wish! That’s a brand new feature in the AUGI Wish List. Each AUGI member will own the wishes he or she submits until the end of “wish time.” And when is that? Simple! Wish time ends when Autodesk puts the idea into the software! We will no longer remove ideas from consideration, as we did under the former system. All wishes submitted for a given product will stay available for ranking and discussion and, hopefully, also stay on Autodesk’s radar.

And how do these wishes stay on Autodesk’s radar? Simple, we tell Autodesk about them. Not only can Autodesk staff go into the forums and read up on the wish idea refinements, but Autodesk staff can also get back-door access to the AUGI Wish List database to look at the data from a programming or managerial perspective. After all, our goal is for Autodesk to put these ideas into the software, so providing that access further reinforces the AUGI WLS as the best method to find, validate, and rank ideas.
Now once we have conducted ranking for a while on a given product and a set quantity of wish ideas have "bubbled" to the top end of the overall product list, we will conduct a vote. This process is very similar to the past voting process, except that only the best wish ideas (from all the ranking efforts) will be presented for voting. In most cases, this will be around 30 to 40 wishes, so the overall list won’t be too large to review completely.

Again, quantity of voting is important! And once that is done we will release a Top Ten list for the product, promote that, and hand it off to Autodesk.

Go to the New Wish List

But it doesn't end there!

Once we have a Top Ten in hand, we go into a period of "Buy a Wish." The issue is that the ideas defined by the top ten may all be great ideas, #1 will be the best, but #10 will be pretty good, too! But that doesn't really tell Autodesk too much in terms of value. So the top ten lists will go into a nearly year-long period where you can indicate how much cash you would be willing to lay down on those wishes.

Do you want #1 and none of the others? Or #10 for that matter? You can do that. Or if you want to tell Autodesk you love them all, you can do that. Or if you want to tell Autodesk you love two or three, like a few more, and the rest couldn't care less about, you can do that.

Bu that still isn't the end! We also have the new Hall of Fame! Anyone who has paid attention of the wish ideas presented in past Top Ten lists will know that a good number of these ideas have made it into the software. Sometimes accidently, sometimes by Autodesk knowing the obvious, and sometimes by Autodesk actually working on top ten items. Well once a wish is granted, it will not be removed from the list (that would prevent people from finding out that Autodesk already knows about the idea) but instead will be assigned to the Hall of Fame. From the Hall of Fame area, you can see the many wish ideas, previously submitted by members, that are now in the software.

So clearly, this is a big deal. This is for you, AUGI member! Now get out there and use it... :)

The new AUGI HotNews is coming in November and in that edition we will run down what is happening at Autodesk University and the AUGI Annual General Meeting. I do hope you can make it to our annual event, but if not we will do our very best to let you know what is happening and what will impact you in the future.

Don't forget to vote!

Take care,
David

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About the Authors

David Harrington

David Harrington

David first began using AutoCAD in 1987 in the Structural Engineering discipline. He later joined the Board of Directors for NAAUG, and later AUGI. He is an established technical editor and author, having worked on over eight books. He also teaches at Autodesk University and occasionally writes for magazines such as AUGIWorld.

 

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