Use the appropriate status for feature requests

Comments

8 comments

  • Ian Wilson

    it seems to me that there would be another useful category - something like "under consideration". In other words, suggested features that have been suggested and have now been sent to the project managers for consideration. 

    Ian

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SFA

    The problem is that if anyone attempts to offer a status update type of status people will think it is indeed a managed Change Request system. Which it isn't.

    Worse, since people seem to miss the pinned threads more often than they find them, one would end up trying to manage potentially hundreds of individual posts. That is a nonsense in practical management terms of course but, for the individuals who created the posts, not to deal with them individually can easily be taken as a personal insult. So one gains nothing by putting in the time and effort and carrying the cost of attempting to deal with a "wish list".

    Much as the long standing Capture One policy of making no comment is frustrating  - probably as much for the C1 Support Team as much as the users  -  I fully understand why it makes things much simpler to operate without having to explain everything time after time year after year.

    I could see a case for dealing with that differently on a business to business basis  - for the major users perhaps. Maybe something like that already happens. I have no idea but it would seem sensible when offering a premium service to an organisation with which one has a significant fiscal and support provision arrangement.

    Of course that would only work if one could be fairly sure that confidential discussions would remain confidential.

    Maybe the solution is to involve the users by using simple numeric status values rather than words and allowing people to set up their own words/meanings to go with the status.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Jürg Rast

    Quote from SFA:
    "Worse, since people seem to miss the pinned threads more often than they find them, one would end up trying to manage potentially hundreds of individual posts. That is a nonsense in practical management terms of course but, for the individuals who created the posts, not to deal with them individually can easily be taken as a personal insult. So one gains nothing by putting in the time and effort and carrying the cost of attempting to deal with a "wish list"."

    So you are saying marking all requests as "completed" is more satisfying for the user than getting a response like "This request is already covered here: <link>. See there for updates." and marking the request as a duplicate? Currently what I do if I see something marked as "completed" I will read trough the request and replies, and if the current Capture One Version does not include the requested feature I will either ask why this is not implemented or open a new feature request. But maybe I'm biased from all the open source projects which work exactly like that.

    Quote from SFA:
    "Much as the long standing Capture One policy of making no comment is frustrating  - probably as much for the C1 Support Team as much as the users  -  I fully understand why it makes things much simpler to operate without having to explain everything time after time year after year."

    I totally understand that managing the project this way and keep as much a secret as possible until the release date is a lot easier from the company's view. <sarcasm>In this way you only have to cope with a shitstorm once a year when you release a new version which, again, does not include the features requested by so many users.<sarcasm>

    Quote from SFA:
    "Of course that would only work if one could be fairly sure that confidential discussions would remain confidential."

    Keeping information confidental on a business to business relation is a lot easier than the current model where everyone can just download the beta before the release date to check if a upgrade would make sense. Actually I'm quite surprised that I was not able to find any information about the C1 21 release online and had to download the beta to find out more.

    I don't have a clue what you mean with your last section. This would just more confusion or what? 
    Maybe it would be best if the whole "feature requsts" section would be removed and nobody would have to hope that his desired functions will be included in the next release. If all requests are only answered with a standard response and set to "completed" and then never implemented, this only annoys the customers.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thomas Kyhn

    This is a very good suggestion! Apart from being misleading, the current label is so obviously useless for users of the forum.

    2
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SFA

    @Jürg Rast

     

    "Maybe it would be best if the whole "feature requsts" section would be removed and nobody would have to hope that his desired functions will be included in the next release."

    I tend to agree.

    Sadly the sections were added because many users demanded such a facility. It seemed to be the right thing to do at the time.

    Maybe it still is as far as the Capture One management team is concerned. It would not be my preferred approach. One would spend far too much time dealing with contentious conflicting demands and assumptions about timescales and availability.

    The problem is that whilst some people will discover the facility and use it with reasonable expectations, many will not. This seems to be especially true in public areas. The situation is more manageable in membership restricted Business to Business support forums but can still be difficult and time consuming.

    In a Business to Business scenario one can put a price on the development to sort out the important must have facilities from the "nice to have just in case we might ever use it" option.". People will pay for the "must have" but not the "nice to have. How might one use the same checking method in order to deliver what the majority of users really want? (Or at least really say they want? Not necessarily the same thing. Also not necessarily the best way to get the result they claim to be achieving - but that's a different discussion.)

    It used to be said that at least 80% software developed was never used or never used as intended.

    If that has changed I would suggest that the number is now closer to 90% if counting lines of code. Maybe one could make a case for all of the code being used if the entire user base was considered to be a single user but some of the code would be used very rarely.

    The V21 release offers several facilities that could be of significant benefit to users across the user base. Some are embedded - like the speed enhancement work that so many have been clamouring for. Whether that is really successful only time  and some reasonably well controlled real world tests will confirm.  It will be interesting to see how many people bother to take the time to assess if they obtain any benefit from the changes. Perhaps it is just easier to dismiss that work and say that "it should always have been like that". We will, no doubt, be able to make some sort of assessment of responses in the next few weeks.

    Or rather, in so far as the forum is concerned, we will see how any C1 users who also use the forum (an unknown percentage of license holders unless one is part of the Capture One management team) view the update. The wider user base - assuming there is one - may have opinions that are unknown to us.

     

    Now, the vast majority of "requests" seem to be about camera support and lens support. So dealing with the sources of the greatest volume of requests should not be impossible if one wished to set logical expectations.

    I feel it would be reasonable to establish and make public the criteria by which Camera support becomes available and the likely timeliness of such support  - i.e. how long it may take and what factors influence the process.

    One might hope the same could be done for lenses but that is somewhat more difficult to cover in general terms and also cope with mass produced standards and third party offerings. Or at least I would imagine it would be.

    Maybe there needs to be 2 streams of "Lens Correction".

    Mass market lenses with some sort of standards that are deemed "good enough" to improve the worst anomalies of an uncorrected lens or a poor correction proved by the "Manufacturer" profile. Something that makes allowances for any manufacturing tolerances batch to batch of production runs.

    Expensive and Specialised lens profiles with highly refined profiles but again only if there seems to be some gain compared with the results provided by Manufacturer profiles.

    If Profiles could be added independently of any release schedule would that be appealing to users?

    If the profiles were available for a small charge on the basis of "choose the ones you want"  - would that be appealing to users?

    That might allow the option to provide third parties with the information required to create lens profiles that could be used by Capture One. Is that sort of option something that users would find attractive? (I'll leave aside the question about whether Capture One would find that an attractive proposition - that is an entirely different matter.)

     

    My overall point is that I think it is extremely challenging to go public asking to suggestions (there will undoubtedly be many suggestions and not all can be realistically considered in the sort of timescales that we can see people expect) but then keep the decision making process entirely private.

    It may be possible to work like that for a short time. Not in the long term. Or at least not unless people can see that the requests important to them (even if only to an individual or two) are indeed being rolled out in a timely fashion. In many cases that may not be possible or even technically feasible. It's unlikely to be a win/win situation - at least not in a budget constrained and mass market aimed business.

     

    A generic Support portal, like the product provided by ZenDesk and used by the Capture One Community, is unlikely to offer the appropriate functionality for Product Management in a Public environment.

    To get hung up on terminology is simply distracting.

     

    Maybe the best approach would be to simply hide the internal status field. If that is possible.

    At least that would avoid confusion in the forum.

    For personal problem management there is still the Support Case option using the "Submit a request" feature.

    Smart use could be made of that - or at least one would hope so.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Jürg Rast

    @SFA

    "Maybe it still is as far as the Capture One management team is concerned. It would not be my preferred approach. One would spend far too much time dealing with contentious conflicting demands and assumptions about timescales and availability."

    More open communication from Capture One would help here. Users would then have a clear idea of how to proceed. However, in the case of conflicting requests you mentioned, a concrete response like "Unfortunately, this request conflicts with the following request: <link>" would help much more. I think also an answer like "Currently this feature is not requested enough, therefore the implementation is not planned in the foreseeable future" would probably be better received by many users than a prefabricated standard sentence which is inserted into every request.

    "In a Business to Business scenario one can put a price on the development to sort out the important must have facilities from the "nice to have just in case we might ever use it" option.""

    The business-to-business business, as mentioned in my previous post, is completely different and as you say you can just put a price tag on it and see if the customer is willing to pay that much for it. But to increase the customer base Capture One must sooner or later but also implement features which are desired by the "normal" user. Or do without them and rely on business users who are willing to pay for specific features.

    "The V21 release offers several facilities that could be of significant benefit to users across the user base."

    I'm not saying that the latest C1 version doesn't bring new features that benefit everyone. For me it's also undisputed that Capture One is mostly more powerful and more pleasant to use than other programs for image processing, but unfortunately there are simply some areas where C1 still has to catch up with the competition. And exactly these functions are very often in demand here. So if C1 wants to offer an equal alternative to the competition, sooner or later they will have to respond.

    I also see the issue of camera and lens support as very difficult. Apparently, other providers also offer a much larger selection (there is a request which makes a comparison). I am fortunately not affected because my camera system is completely supported.

    "My overall point is that I think it is extremely challenging to go public asking to suggestions (there will undoubtedly be many suggestions and not all can be realistically considered in the sort of timescales that we can see people expect) but then keep the decision making process entirely private."

    This section nicely illustrates the problem: you can't publicly ask for proposals and then keep the entire decision-making process secret. This unsettles the customers because they feel left alone. I don't think it's a bad idea to ask customers for their wishes, but you have to respond accordingly.

    Just out of interest: Are all the features you want implemented in C1? Or are you a Capture One employee? If neither is the case, I am very surprised that you are defending the current approach so vehemently.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thomas Kyhn

    "Just out of interest: Are all the features you want implemented in C1? Or are you a Capture One employee? If neither is the case, I am very surprised that you are defending the current approach so vehemently."

    Not even Capture One employees would defend Capture One in its current state to this extent.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • SFA

    @Jürg Rast

    "Just out of interest: Are all the features you want implemented in C1? Or are you a Capture One employee? If neither is the case, I am very surprised that you are defending the current approach so vehemently."

    You are not the first to mention this.

    If I wrote this as an employee without authorisation I suspect I would soon be an ex-employee.

    My position is simple.

    In my working career I have had roles that involved working with customers to understand developed customer support systems and how they could work for their specific needs, define alternative procedures, write specifications for additions and enhancements and project manage implementations. This with a broad range of customers but many in  relatively technical industries - computers, communications and similar. Many were country operations for large international organisations but some were smaller operations that come with their own problems - as do smaller operations wit large organisations.

    I have also managed technical support activities and help desks (for software) within a developer and worked on development and testing as an independent consultant.

    I also spent some time with a large multinational contracted to provide on site support to help run their helpdesk systems. There one could learn that despite being a very active customer facing culture and totally focused on user satisfaction (along with all of their direct competitors) no matter what they did and how they did it certain customers always wanted things done differently. The Customer people involved had their reasons - in that scenario it usually involved getting the supplier  support team to do work they should have been doing themselves as part of their job description.

    There was no approach that seemed able to keep all of the customers happy all of the time. How could there be? It is human nature to both dislike change yet desire it.

    A supplier cannot "fix" customer expectations for very long by dealing with each "issue" individually.  Get one under control and another will appear. Whack-a-mole style.

    I very much dislike the "we cannot say anything" approach but, in my experience, you have to be very sure of a customer's nature on a personal level to take them into your confidence. For a group of them you have to set up an environment that allows them to be informed as a group.

    When dealing with corporates, where team membership might change daily, things will get very repetitive and can easily become uncontrollable. One can waste a lot of time and energy in that situation causing delays all around.

    Nowadays we live in the era of social media disruption. Engage in that battle ground - and this forum is a form of social media influence so we all are engaged - and try to do so at a a level of interaction and involvement to which posters will feel "entitled" as part of the unofficial "ideas team" or "stakeholder" and there will be more time spent exchanging comments to "manage" the situation than there will be creating good products.

    Moreover if most people are in effect just saying "copy that company's IP"  - a suggestion I have seen proposed directly in recent days and less directly over recent years - there would have to be questions about using that approach legally and morally, whether that IP is indeed the best possible, whether it is feasible technically and why the requester is not simply using the other product.

    If the requester keeps saying that another product is "better"   - why are they not using it? What is the point of creating a totally "me too" product? Can one influence people, en masse, to change their perception by looking at things from a different angle but somehow do it by dealing with them one at a time?

    Frankly I doubt it. And I doubt it is worth even trying in a mass market business to consumer environment. It might work for soap and other consumables but the software market seems to operate differently as one would expect.

     

    "This section nicely illustrates the problem: you can't publicly ask for proposals and then keep the entire decision-making process secret. This unsettles the customers because they feel left alone. I don't think it's a bad idea to ask customers for their wishes, but you have to respond accordingly."

    I agree.

    The idea that users could make suggestions has always been around. Recently it has been promoted more publicly and this has led people to expect direct engagement which, as far as I can recall, has never been offered publicly (or privately?).

    Worse it gives people a sense of expectation and immediacy that is in most cases simply not deliverable and never will be.

    More resources, as often suggested, is not necessarily the way to go. In software development it's a great idea is you are maintaining an old product while creating a completely new one. In fact if speed of development and release of the new product is important there may be no option if you still need to support the existing product. But risk is there in the cost of the exercise - which is why the likes of Microsoft and the other big players with a lot of financial muscle will tend to buy existing businesses or start ups. And then, as often as not, kill the product.

    In effect I am not, as you suggest, "defending the current approach so vehemently".

    I'm just pointing out that the suggestions for an alternative approach are, in my experience and form observations of others, difficult to manage successfully and can therefore lead to a worse outcome.

     

    Unless one is big enough to take on that project directly (or at least appear to) it is probably best to avoid attempting it. Sadly.

    As the old saying goes (paraphrased) , give an inch and the receiver will try to take a mile. That's just human nature.

     

    "But to increase the customer base Capture One must sooner or later but also implement features which are desired by the "normal" user. Or do without them and rely on business users who are willing to pay for specific features."

    This is an interesting challenge for the times.

    Is the concept of increasing a customer base an absolute number target  - each new licensee adding to the revenue stream whether they use the software or not - or is it a number that relates to the percentage share of the perceived market?

    C1 comes from the concept of a RAW converter. How many people who are not Pro, semi-pro or dedicated hobbyists use a RAW converter or would consider doing so? I would interpret your "normal user" as being that target market. Right?

    So forgetting the older hobbyist generations who still remember darkrooms and chemicals, who are these targets and what do they use to create what we call "photographs" and they might think of as digital images?

    Here's some analysis from 2 or 3 years ago.

    https://www.statista.com/chart/10913/number-of-photos-taken-worldwide/ 

    I would doubt the numbers have recently swung back in favour of "proper" cameras but I may need to dig deeper to find out.

    Here is part of the reason for my doubts mentioned above.

    https://www.statista.com/chart/5782/digital-camera-shipments/ 

     

    I have yet to find any results that assess software purchase and use for Photo Editing but they will exist though perhaps not easily found in the public domain.

    When Apple dropped Aperture in favour of Photos some years ago one wonders whether they were responding to a trend or creating one. Maybe elements of both.

    In my immediate family I am aware of at least 2 dslr cameras one purchased about 8 years ago and one about 5 years ago that I am fairly certain have not been used for about 5 years. I very much doubt that any of the images shot were RAW files or, if they were, that that those files have been edited.  In that time thousands of phone mages have been shot and shared by the slr purchasers.

    I doubt this is unusual. Even back in the days of film most cameras spent the majority of their time saved away in cupboards and drawers.

    People will have their own take on what the numbers mean for specialist software developers. Niche markets can be difficult to interpret and navigate successfully. It would be extremely easy to overstretch all types of resources when attempting to satisfy a wide range  of requests that will not necessarily target new revenue sources with significant scale and financial numbers.

    I would be disappointed if these factors as not being considered by everyone.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.