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April 20, 2009


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Needing a "Where's My Command" tool, or a better one, isn't the problem.
The root problem lies with the UI not being all that functional and user friendly to start with. As they say, "Prevention is better than cure".

The fact that there is a "Where's My Command" tool suggests that the Ribbon does NOT promote discoverabilty as the marketing guff states. It says it right here;
"...and discover new features more easily." Hmmm?

Even some of the more veteran of users are having to ask Autodesk where they can find some of their tools. The Revisions command is a corker, being tucked away behind the tiniest of arrows on a Panel, or the tools that were moved to the Steering Wheel and ViewCube, of which very few users use/like the Steering Wheel and ViewCube anyway.

As for the API, I hated the day that that was introduced. It's a license to make the host software lazy and featureless. There has been a marked decrease in features, particularly wishlist items, since the API was introduced and I'm guessing because Autodesk is hoping that 3rd party developers would fill in the holes.

It becomes a vicious cycle as Autodesk reduces new features in order to 'create' holes in the program so that 3rd party developers have a purpose, and so that Autodesk can justify the existence of an API. Should Autodesk fill in these holes, then there is little need for these developers.

I personally don't like using 3rd party products, as they become yet another dependency to rely on when it comes time to upgrade. This becomes more of an issue if you are collaborating with external companies who don't use 3rd party apps that can upgrade immediately.
3rd party developers are more susceptible to going bust too, which can impact your investment.

Oh, not to mention the handfull of tools which were shortcutkey'able in 2009, but are now not in 2010, as they have been assigned to the Steering Wheel or ViewCube.
Was this done on purpose in an attempt to 'add' a sense of need to these UI devices?

Go to AUGI. Read the Revit Wishlists for the past four years. Make some of them come true.

That would be a far more useful type of "crowd sourcing." The crowd provided input time and again. Autodesk ignored it. And this blog seems to celebrate that fact with every post.

It is sickening to pay $ 600 per seat for a product that is less than what we already owned.

BTW, we already know our commands are not where we want them to be. We don't need a tool flash-based or otherwise to tell us that.

There was a ton of angst and displeasure when Office 2007 was rolled out in my firm. I spent several weeks holding the hands of all of our users including our most advanced Office users. However, within a few weeks nearly all of the users in the office found the new ribbon to be far superior to the old toolbar system. Give it some time folks. Soon enough, you will see the benefits of the ribbon especially it's adaptability to what you are working on at the moment. Is it me or do CAD/Revit users seem to be the most resistant to change? In my opinion, the ribbon was tailor made for Revit. In time I think folks will see that.

JiminCT, some of us have already been using it for over 2 months now. I think we have already given it enough time.

I would say Revit users are more passionate about their product, and hate to see it go down the drain.

I would like the factory to fix things that have been infuriatingly missing from Revit since I started using version 7, please. This has a *slightly* higher priority for our firm than a new interface.

Putting schedules on multiple pages
Half-decent text editing (bullets, tabs)
"Two boundaries required for stairs" when there are quite plainly two boundaries in the sketch.

Hell, just read the AUGI wishlist like the fella said. There's your precious crowd source.

Crowdsourcing? I hope this isn't the factory's new philosophy. "Hey, we did a halfa$$ed job, can someone fix it?

Why don't you spend less time congratulating yourselves on an abysmal release and work on improving Revit 2010 so that all of us have a reason to upgrade.

How about implementing some of Revit Structure's tools into Revit Architecture for the first web update? Might make us users actually think you care!

Revit 2010. Worst. Release. Ever.

We created the UI help tool that you refer.
I think you are using the term 'crowd sourcing' very loosely. Are you going to pay the developers for their efforts (as indicated in the step 6 in the wikipedia article you had linked!???)
Crowd sourcing will work fine in an open source / free environment. But will NOT for developing addons for a $6000 priced software. I felt very bad about the article (even though you said a lot of nice things about the tool!) and I hope it does not reflect Autodesk policy!
Even though, the where is my command tool we created for RAC2010 is half complete, more than 1000 people used it last week. This shows that this tool was very much needed and should have been included in the box, especially when you make a lot of UI changes in the new release. (and not the half baked where is my command tool that was included.)
If Autodesk really wants to encourage users to create add-ons, then they should create an online store like the Apple store, where users can sell their tools for $1.99 (and ADSK gets 60 cents!)

Nicholas, you are correct, I use the term "crowdsourcing" loosely, and I should be clear: this does not reflect some kind of official Autodesk policy. Your work falls under the "kudos or intellectual satisfaction" line of the Wikipedia article. My intent in referring to your blog was just to highlight the types of work being done by our very passionate user community.

The Autodesk "Where is my command" tool leaves out commands and even when it does have the command does not do a good enough job of pointing to where the command is located. It is a total failure.
Try this: Say you are looking for the copy command so you can do a copy to clipboard and paste aligned. Open the "Where is" tool and type in "Copy". Oops ... not there. Okay Let's try paste. Oh good it's there. Click on it and what do you get? A list of commands with "Paste Aligned" listed with nothing telling you where the command is!
I am extremely irritated at the amount of time that this is costing me. If you are going to completely revamp the entire UI with no possibility of going back to the old UI then you have a responsibility to your customers to produce a decent set of documents to prevent your users from wasting hours and hours of their time searching for commands. You have not done this. It is an insult.

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