Friday, July 04, 2008

Revit 2009 - Video Performance or Other Performance Issues

There have been numerous reports in threads at AUGI about users suffering from degraded performance on the same equipment versus the previous release (2008). The product team has been responding to these threads at times. Unfortunately overall it remains a bit ambiguous whether Autodesk hasn't been successful tracking it down or if they are satisfied that their diagnosis of video driver's causing this is the true culprit.

There is a perception among users that Autodesk does a poor job communicating with its customers. I wrote this in response to such criticism at AUGI and decided to repeat it here.

Autodesk could do more to make it more obvious they are aware of or dealing with reported performance issues. They could always do a better job of reaching out to us. The point (in the THREAD) about (responses) being buried in a thread is too true. They (Autodesk staff) don't have the authority to make a thread (at AUGI's forums) sticky so that blame falls to me and other moderators, sorry.

We could do a better job of communicating directly to them too. I wish it were different but reporting things here does not allow them to track and resolve issues effectively. I had lunch with Scott Davis yesterday. I may be speaking out of turn a bit but he shared with me how frustrating it can be for him to see reports here and then when he tries to do some digging on his "side of the fence" he finds no corroboration in support requests or if there are, only a few that too often lack enough data to solve anything. I fully realize that not everyone has the time to submit support requests. It does take time. But to truly resolve the issue they need data.

Side story...my wife worked for a copier company as a dispatcher (yes...she hated it). She was required to ask if the copier was plugged in and on before being permitted to send a tech. She was verbally abused and harrassed repeatedly by various firm's staff for asking such inane and pointless questions, "of course it is plugged in and on, what do you think we are, morons?" In nearly every instance when the dreaded, "the copier is dead" call came in she went through the motions and the tech reported back, "it was unplugged or it was off, the cleaning crew did it again supposedly". Some users don't do good troubleshooting, some don't know how, some can't be bothered. Others do a grand job.

On the tech side of the fence it is unfortunately pretty easy to become complacent, even presumptuous about reports when very often the defining data points to user malaise, old drivers, outdated hardware, couldn't be bothered to learn the feature fully, etc etc. It is also too easy to blame Revit for the issue because nothing changed on my computer, I just installed the new version and now it is worse. Sure looks like it must be Revit, it is a reasonable reaction.

Let's keep challenging Autodesk to communicate with us better and let's lead by example. If it is tech support requests they need, inundate them. If it is data they need...bring it on... They will either find it and resolve it faster or some of you will be correct, they'll continue to obfuscate and frustrate users and undermine their own intentions.

The past should indicate their willingness to resolve issues they can track down, the area calculation issue...the y2k8 date issue... and more going further back. This community (AUGI's Revit community) helped make them aware of each of those two issues I just mentioned. So we do have some power or voice, they just need the formal support request process so they can keep track of these things better. As searching these forums can easily prove, regrettably even with the improved search capablities and opening up the forums to the google indexing "bots" it can be hard to find that post we vaguely remember reading about last week...last month...last year.


So how can they communicate better?
  • Respond in user communities like AUGI faster, consistently,
  • Be First to Report
  • Use their Communication Center consistently
  • Dedicated Web location for on-going troubleshooting for ornery as yet undiagnosed issues
  • Email contract administrators prompting for support data, again for particularly troubling and difficult to diagnose issues, not every issue
  • Their own product blogs

At the risk of sounding bureacratic, they ought to have a product community relations "point person" for each version that users can grow to trust and help keep both sides communicating effectively.

All these and more will ensure that even casual somewhat unaware Revit users have a chance to help track down such problems.

1 comment:

Robin Capper said...

Why don't the Revit Arch team blog?

Immediate,unstructured, direct communication...

Others do.