Originally published 1/13/2014
I’ve been away for a while again. Working hard on CAD drawings and Vault cleanup. As some of you know I spend a lot of time in the Autodesk ® Discussion Forums, either asking for advice or offering it when and wherever I can. I quite often see people posting, as questions, thoughts on what they perceive as features that are missing from their CAD software. It occurred to me this morning while answering one such question, that many people are not aware of the Autodesk ® Idea Stations.
While not every forum currently has one of these, there is one for both Autodesk ® Inventor and Autodesk ® Vault…. which are the two areas I tend to spend the most time in.
So, what is the idea station? This is the place to go to post ideas that you have about functions or features you believe should be added to your Autodesk ® software in order to improve useability or to address some specific problem you are having. This is NOT the place to go to complain about what you don’t like or what the product can’t do. This would simply be unproductive, and certainly wouldn’t advance your cause. The way they work, is that you post your idea or suggestion in as much detail as possible, including pictures or screen shots or anything else that would help to illustrate what you are looking for. For example, if your idea is posted to address a specific problem, you may post a screen shot of the problem as an example.
Idea stations are routinely looked at by Autodesk’s ® development people, and they do take these suggestions seriously. Ideas are ranked based on reader’s votes, or “kudos”. Ideas that get more kudos, get more attention. So the thing to do is post your idea and then sell it! Post in the regular product forums and let people know you have just posted a new idea, and invite them to check it out and vote for it if they like it. Jump on Facebook or Twitter or wherever you interface with your CAD colleagues, and post a link to the idea. The more you sell it the better the chance it will be looked at.
Here is the catch. There are thousands of ideas out there, and only so many hours in a day. Some ideas may be accepted by the developers, but (believe me!) might not make it into a new product release or update for quite some time. We have to try to remember that these people are as buried with piles of work as all the rest of us, and they are only human. Easy to forget that since we are the customer, and expect satisfaction. In my experience, Autodeskers ® are very receptive to productive ideas that get a lot of votes…. but it just takes time to implement these.
So go ahead and share those ideas, and if you haven’t spent much time in the Autodesk ® Community forums… join up! Lots of great folks in there willing to help you out and even a “Break Room” forum for non CAD related discussions. It’s a great online community experience. You might even “see” me in there.
“Autodesk® screen shots reprinted with the permission of Autodesk, Inc. Autodesk ® , AutoCAD ® , DWG, the DWG logo, Vault ®, Autocad Electrical ® and Inventor ® are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and other countries.” Programs and programmers’ information used with permission. Thanks guys!