Internally we call them test fests, usability sessions, focus groups, customer research, or gunslingers. No matter what the term used to describe them, Autodesk is always looking for customers to provide feedback on our products. It is extremely important that we observe and listen to the feedback of customers trying new features in our upcoming products or possible design concepts. I can say for the AutoCAD and Viz teams, that no changes or features are implemented without customer input and feedback at many stages before a release. If we don't listen to what the users want or expect from a feature, then we will not keep our customers satisfied and selecting our products.
Autodesk is always looking for product Usability Participants; both for in the Bay Area and in other regions. We hold many sessions via LiveMeeting for users not located in the SF Bay Area as well as hold customer visits and focus groups all year long in all regions of the world.
If you are interested in participating for AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, or Autodesk Viz sessions, please contact: [email protected] Please include your Name, Contact details, and the products that you use.
Another critical part of the customer feedback equation is beta testing of future products. Beta testing is not only to find software bugs before the software is released but also is a perfect opportunity to listen to the customer feedback. The beta testing feedback is so very important so we can change or tune things or perhaps as in many cases add new items based on the customer feedback and requests. Of course beta testing is not without some amount of risk as unreleased software can have some downsides that must be considered as well. Ideally you want to have another machine separate from your production and daily use machine so that there are no conflicts to your existing versions of products. But if you want to be on the cutting edge and speak direct with the developers and designers of the products, have some time to test, want to provide your feedback, and help shape the future of products, then this is for you. You can sign up at htttp://myfeedback.autodesk.com. You will be invited to feedback or betas based on your profile you create when you sign up. I was a customer and beta site before coming to work for Autodesk and even was in the AutoCAD R14 satellite broadcast and demo CD ROM. I loved living on the edge but also participating the design feedback with the teams that developed the products I used daily. I got to participate and make the products more user friendly and productive for my use.
We also send out many surveys to users signed up on the http://myfeedback.autodesk.com looking for your feedback on potential features, design concepts, trends, and your usage of the products.
You can also submit feedback to the product teams. Many of us reply as I am on the AutoCAD product feedback alias that gets these user feedback items. We do try and answer all that we can. Most are fairly simple questions or requests. You can submit feedback direct to the team on the Autodesk web page by selecting the "contact us" located at the bottom of each web page. Now select "Feedback", and finally select the product from the pull-down menu. Or you can direct to the AutoCAD feedback form page. Now enter your feedback and be as specific as possible. Maybe mention you heard about this feedback method from Shaan's blog.
So if you want to provide feedback and be involved in shaping the future product releases, just let us know. Autodesk customer Lee Ambrosius's take on participating in the feedback process link to article.