Latest post Sun, Nov 1 2009 3:33 PM by Jeroen van Eekeres. 6 replies.
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  • Sat, Oct 31 2009 10:25 AM

    When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    It was mentioned in the May 2009 Chat with Avid response that Avid is evaluating different options for getting input from customers on the priority of features requests.


    While I can appreciate that voting can introduce problems like ballot box "stuffing," in its current state Product Feature Requests remains poorly implemented. (I've expressed this sentiment in the following thread, which includes well thought out dissenting points of view.


    The problem with the current layout is that it is one forum with no subforums. This is problematic because new product features frequently take years to implement. One flat forum coupled with the long lag time between requests and implementation causes even very useful/important suggestions to sift towards the back and become difficult to locate. This results in the following:


    1. Duplicated request. It is very frustrating to see posts like "MC Needs Secondary Color Correction" to be recycled. The new poster has wasted their time b/c the request has already been made. And more experienced users usually stop posting useful suggestions or workarounds because they are well aware that the request has been made before and don't feel like repeating themselves.


    2. "Lost" requests. For example, I've posted requesting improvements to vectorscopes and waveform monitors. I have no idea what's going on with these suggestions. I'd have to do a forum search and I doubt there is any feedback from Avid. A few weeks ago I was at an Avid MC 4.0 presentation and asked an Avid presenter about disabling individual effects and some other features. He very reasonably suggested "Why not make a product feature request?" I didn't have to heart to tell him that I've already made a product feature requests about other issues and have grown to find the whole experience rather demoralizing (except in a few cases) because of the lack of feedback and the insane hoops that have to be jumped through to illustrate that workarounds, while very helpful and much appreciated, are almost never equal to the functionality that would be provided if the request were actually implemented. (He had worked long and hard all night tirelessly explaining the benefits of 4.0 and MC to a full house and didn't need to hear me complain.)


    3. The forum is hard to sift through. As it stands now, product feature requests are listed first-in first-out. FIFO is very poor way to organize data. It winds up resembling someone else's cluttered desk. This does not help users who want to check to see if a request has already been made or who are searching for workarounds. But just as important, it doesn't help Avid. Let's say Avid wants to improve color correction in MC. There is no "Color Correction" section of Product Feature Requests, so a forum search has to be performed. Forum searches are tedious, often times miss posts and include false positives. Now you can say that Avid knows what needs to be added to MC's color correction capabilities and has its own internal list. But isn't Avid supposed to be listening to its customers more now and not assuming it knows exactly what we want? Isn't there information, ideas and nuances that Avid could find useful in Product Feature Requests threads? If so, then having the forum better organized only helps Avid.


    4. Communication is stifled. The best communication takes place over time. This allows for a legitimate dialog. Currently, product feature requests often arises out of moments of inspiration or frustration, they gain traction for a few days and then lose steam. There is no continuity of discussion so ideas rarely become fully developed or vetted among the user community.


    5. Symphony, DS and Mac platforms are neglected. Because the majority of Avid users run MC on PC platforms, suggestions related specifically to other setups are especially hard to find.


    6. Disillusionment. Users stop posting requests because it's a frustrating process for the reasons noted above.


    New Thinking was explained to us as Avid listening to customers, taking them seriously and communicating with them when appropriate. One would think that Product Feature Requests would play a key role in such an effort. But the forum's current incarnation makes this just about impossible.



    I would like to suggest a Product Feature Requests forum something along the lines of the following:


    1. A separate sub-section for DS. There is no reason to have DS and MC/Symphony share the same section when they share almost no code base and have significantly different interfaces.


    2. Subforums within the MC/Symphony section, such as:



    Color Correction

    DVD Creation


    External Hardware (Avid and 3rd Party)


    Formats, Codecs and Camera Support


    Marquee and Title Tool

    Media Management, Capture and AMA

    Rendering, Performance and Installation


    Everything Else


    3. Have separate sections for Symphony-only and Mac-only suggestions.


    A layout of this type would help alleviate the problems noted above. As for voting and more feedback from Avid, those would be welcome additions but have more complexity.


    Thank you very much for reading this post and I look forward to Avid's reply.

    "When I spent 60k on a discreet edit digisuite system 10 years ago someone came up to me to offer fcp 2, I said it was a scam too." -Ric

  • Sat, Oct 31 2009 11:06 AM In reply to

    Re: When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    While fully supporting BMF's point of view, as on the other thread on this subject, I disagree.  If I were in charge of keeping track of user feature requests, I would personally find multiple sub-forums cumbersome.  That said, if someone who is actually in charge of keeping track of feature requests thinks it would help them do their job more easily, I'd support multiple sub-forums with no reservation.

    In short, if Avid says it'll help them, I'm in favor of it.



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  • Sat, Oct 31 2009 11:52 AM In reply to

    Re: When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    Yes, whatever works for those monitoring the requests. But I do strongly support BMF's point that it would be better and more encouraging if there was a better oversight for users in the stuff being requested. More easy to support requests as well, which might help gain information on the importance or possible implementation of a feature.

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  • Sat, Oct 31 2009 1:04 PM In reply to

    • TCurren
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    Re: When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    Just a simple acknowledgement that your request has been received and will be looked at would go miles. Right now it is an unfinished communication. Sort of like talking to yourself. That can be very frustrating and lead to people feeling Avid ignores their feature requests. (Speaking from first hand experience)

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  • Sat, Oct 31 2009 3:41 PM In reply to

    • Marianna
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    Re: When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    Good points all.....   The original feature request forum was put in place because there was no where else online at to do it.  Calling in wasn't the solution as customers would have to own support to do that and my theory was... just because you dont have support doesn't mean you don't have good ideas.  With the merging of all 5 BU's into One avid, the web team has been consolidating a lot of the overall web site.  Community is part of that plan.  WE need a more uniform place to post and a voting or rating system so the idea's and request more frequently asked bubble to the top.  As we get closer to the community part of the consolidation, I will be reaching out to see what makes the most sense to those who want to suggest improvements.  Frank and Doug in our product management team who are designers for the editors etc....  will be involved.  Who knows.... it might end up being a new approach that ties into our internal systems.  We need to determine the best approach for those guys inside and the best approach for the community. 

    Please know that Doug and Frank do look at the site.... and when I see a rash of posts, I send them a gentle nudge to ask them to check it more frequently.

    I can say from my end... managing the forums and the administration aspects of it... subforums for so many topics would create a slower overall system and you would experience errors in other places due to the size of the database required to check each forum and post across the whole site.

    Until we upgrade.... not a good idea.   I am currently trying to figure out the best way to archive some of the MC PC threads as that forum is a beast and causes slowdowns and errors when too many people are posting in there......

    Promise you will be engaged as we move forward....

    Get antsy that you havent heard anything on the topic - email me and ask for a thread update.

    Terry  - your never shy on that front ;)  BMF - email me anytime....

    Have a good weekend all.



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  • Sat, Oct 31 2009 4:23 PM In reply to

    Re: When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    While I fully understand BMF's reasoning and point of view, it's clear that Avid is monitoring these requests and acting on them - witness the recent incorporation of three often requested features in the latest software versions:

    1) Outside transitional effects remaining in place during segment editing, with the additional benefit that extending a track into a dissolve is now complete, no longer requiring removal and replacement of the transition.

    2) The ability to edit across a spit transition.

    3) Attenuating audio levels on file imports.

    Each of those is a direct result of user feedback on the Features Request Forum. Let's hope we see a lot more of this response in the future.

    Newscutter Nitris DX * Media Composer (At Home on PC running XP Pro) * Symphony (At home on MacBook Pro3,1 running 10.7.2) * Interplay... [view my complete system specs]

    Larry Rubin

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  • Sun, Nov 1 2009 3:33 PM In reply to

    Re: When Will Product Feature Requests be Overhauled?

    Just a simple acknowledgment that your request has been received and will be looked at would go miles.

    I want to second that! When I try to communicate with anybody I find it important to know if I'm being heard and understood.


    From the old Apple Quadro 950 to HP Z8xx. My current own system: 1x Z420 E5 1650 16GB memory, 128GB SSD, 1x XW8600, 2x 3.0Ghz Quadcore, 12GB memory... [view my complete system specs]

    Jeroen van Eekeres 

    Technical director, Broadcast support engineer, Avid ACSR.


    Always have a backup of your projects....Always!!!! Yes Always!!!!

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