A lot of users don't know how we product managers go about making new products or features so I'd like to spend a few minutes describing our strategy for success. In essence we have a very easy job: we talk to our end users, listen to their feedback and then make changes or additions based on their comments. It really is that simple. Except that making the right changes in the right release on the right platform at the right time can be extremely challenging and time consuming, but that's a story for some other time.
So how do we learn from you about your issues and concerns? There are many different avenues for us at Avid Audio to hear from our users: personal visits, meeting users at trade shows or other events, the DUC (Digidesign User Conference) and other user forums, our crew of hundreds of external beta sites, and so on. In short: we never run out of feedback!
My personal favorite is a personal visit, which I have done dozens of times in the past couple of years. I just love traveling to end users and sitting down with them in front of their system. Sometimes the user comes prepared with a long list of comments; sometimes I bring a formal survey and ask specific questions. No matter how we go about it, those sessions are always fun and enlightening. By interacting on a very personal level I learn a tremendous amount about how our industry is evolving and how it is affecting everyone’s workflows and requirements.
Make no mistake though: this feedback is not always easy to hear. I have been in many situations where the general tone was positive but certain aspects of our system were literally ripped to pieces. You might laugh about me saying this, but that’s actually a good thing that I appreciate very much. We get to openly talk about what’s working, what isn’t, and how we should improve our products. Think about it: would you appreciate it more if we enhanced a feature that’s working well or one that isn’t? Taking in this kind of direct and honest feedback is tremendously important for us to grow, and I am very grateful for every single visit to date.
Hopefully I get a chance to be on the road more often this year. And who knows – I might be in your studio sooner than you’d think! ;-)
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