PADT 1.001 - Blast from the Past – Revit Wishlist from 2011
See if you know how many were implemented.
Revit Wishlist from 2011
Linestyles containing text
End text entry with Ctrl/Enter
Plan / Ceiling Visibility options should be separate
Orbit about the center of the screen
Scale and Rotation Instance Parameters for Filled Regions
Door numbers reference Room Number
Insertion point, rotation, and alignment of Text controlled parametrically.
Visibility parameters based on Family Angle
True "dots" in Line Patterns
Filled regions in all Families
Hiding of edge lines of 3D objects
Use of correct Unicode characters for feet/inches
Arrays of 1
Line style options for end cap and join types
Font based fractions (up to 1/8) when available in the font
Ordering Family Parameters
Separator for inches and fractions for one-handed enter (e.g. 3-6.1/2)
Smoothing groups for 3D objects
Tab-based Project Browser
Conditionals using Text
Visibility Parameters for Voids
View Title Families with Components that Stretch (e.g. graphics on the right can move to the right)
Parameter for the length of a text box
Duplicate View and Dependents
Verification for View Delete
Fill Pattern Rotation matches Family Rotation
Hotkeys for selections on the "Options Bar"
Grouping Family Parameters as "Radio Buttons"
"Grayed Out" Instance Parameters should not display in the Properties Browser
Opening Linked DWGs in AutoCAD from within Revit
OK - OK, I’m pretty “stupid” about maintaining WishLists. One of the reasons is to get a feel for what an application is really missing, mostly trying to key into the development “focus.” Going through that old list I know that by Revit 2022 there were a couple of them added. But for me looking back on it showed that what I mainly focused on were 2D features and productivity.
What I’ve Noticed Over the Years
It’s almost become a cliche, but when an application tries to be too “intelligent,” there always comes a time when you try to accomplish a task that would have taken minutes in an older system, but you spend hours getting the newer system to work right. My focus as an application consultant has been to show how to get the fundamentals right and then and only then to build from there.
But We are Now in a Connected World
I used to wonder where some developers got their feature lists. Many would add features that they got from some user surveys that were often even voted on. But what would happen is that when a new feature was released it was often implemented in a way which made it all but worthless. There didn’t seem to be a direct connection between the end-user AS the feature was being developed. This fortunately is changing very quickly. I mentioned in the last issue about a new 3D application called “Plasticity.” What I found so interesting about their approach is that they have a Discord channel set up for the Alpha/Beta testers. They will post “suggested features” and ask for input not only if a feature should be added, but HOW it should be added and if there are ways to make the feature better or easier to use. That was amazingly refreshing. Most of the time when you beta test software you are just there to test features that have been added and you have ZERO input into how the feature should have been added or even if it should have been.
This is the Future
I’m seeing this more and more from smaller developers. They are using Social Media as a platform for development, not just marketing. Here’s the funny part, because they have taken the step of including users in the development process, they are way ahead when it comes to marketing. Here’s a company that has listened to users from day one and will reap the buzz from taking that position. Buzz is what you’re after and I see no better way to generate it.
But What about “Vision”?
But doesn’t this go against a developer’s vision of how they want to implement their software? Doesn’t this just become software developed “by committee”? That’s another thing that is great about this approach. When a feature is added, the developer has the opportunity right then and there to explain the “whys” and their “vision” for why they think it should be done a certain way. It also prevents “navel-gazing.” Developers can become so focused on their “baby” that they often can’t see the bigger picture of how things could be done better or that their implementation may be hurting themselves. Having this direct connection during development opens the door to hear voices of dissent or simply voices that can reshape issues in a different light. Developers often have to still go their own way, but at least they have the means and opportunity to make their case.
I’m being asked to participate in more and more of these exchanges, in a wide variety of applications and I’m seeing how interesting this has become. This old geek is made young by some of the advancements he’s seeing.
Let me know what you think.
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Dave Edwards has been in the CAD/BIM industry as a manager, developer, consultant, speaker, and author for almost 40 years. He has had 80 magazine articles published, written 3 international newsletters, reviewed over 300 CAD/BIM applications, and 3D modeled 2 Billion dollars worth of architectural projects. He is available for professional alpha/beta testing, application feature consulting, technical documentation support, seminar presentations, and voiceovers.
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