Saturday, April 09, 2011

AEC Media Day Wrap up and final thoughts

Still waiting for David to post the pic of Phil's slide, but we'll get there....

In any case I wanted to start this post by sending out a big thank you to Autodesk for hosting everyone for 2 days and particularly to my direct contact there and his efforts. Secondly as other bloggers have alluded to Wednesday afternoon we went into the bowels of the factory and met with various folks from the development teams and I want to send out a thank you to them too!

To that end, I think some of my fellow bloggers have alluded to the fact that we don't get to blog about what we talk about with development. With that said, what I can say is never under-estimate the complexity of a problem. As one developer said, let me sit down with one person for a day, to discuss a problem, and we'll have solution to the problem by the end of the day. The problem is, that it will be "Steve's solution to the problem" not Robert's or David's or David's (strangely we had an overwhelming number of Davids around), etc. The point being that particularly as Revit continues to expand its market presence internationally the Factory has to develop tools and features that are flexible enough to meet a variety of needs both in terms of "conveying information, be it 3D or 2D" and ease and intuitiveness of use. Its interesting to hear about the user research that has been done, and to see some of the differences that exist between the United States, Great Britain and Germany, all "western" countries in terms of how we build buildings, how we use tools and how we document the buildings to be built. Things like addressing multiple audiences gets even worse when you consider that contractors are using the tools more and they have their own set of desires, needs and goals.

We all saw what happened with the Ribbon on its first go around, and that was strictly UI development, and in an earlier post I observed that it was great that tagging between links had more functionality, but that 3D tagging suffers the same "almost but not quite" as we saw with link tagging in 2011. Thus I would posit that quite honestly, some of the places where "we" really would like to see increased functionality are quite complex problems and not even from a code development perspective, but from a user's needs, desires and results perspective. Certainly one can make the argument that in some cases some "small" changes would go a long way to satisfying user's needs, but the Factory has most definitely shifted towards taking a longer view (and the executives seem to support this) on feature development, and there is an interest in fully understanding the whole problem and developing solutions that not only meet immediate needs but are building blocks for further development down the road. On top of that, we still have to remember that there are only 24 hours in a day, and Autodesk is a company that needs to make a profit and only has some much money to invest, lastly at least in my experience working on Building Design projects simply throwing more money and more staff at a problem will not necessarily solve that problem any more quickly.

1 comment:

Spencer said...

Maybe that's where the API steps up allowing development of all the bits that people want, but Autodesk can't possibly provide.