Last week we met up with some of the Swiss Aligned Elements users at the Aligned Elements User Conference 2017. It was a very rewarding occasion for me and our team. For ten years, we have grown together with our customers and many of the best improvements we have done to Aligned Elements, are ideas from our customers.
It is not always about new features
It is easy to get locked into the thought process of adding new features as an ISV. However, this user gathering underlined how much unlocked potential lies in slightly tweaking existing features, features that might not look very impressive on the surface but still has an enormous impact on the usability due to its frequent use. For us it was a real eye opener to hear about the large impact of two small features called "Reset Format" and "Paste as Plain Text". The participants had some good suggestions for improvements that we certainly will implement for the next service pack.
Different Users have different needs
As the discussion went on, it became clear that the needs of the groups "Frequent Users", "Infrequent Users" and "Administrators" are quite different. Whereas the Administrator representatives requested better support for User Management and changes made over large Project sets, the Infrequent Users were in greater need of clearer work instructions and an interface adapted to their specific tasks. One user compared Aligned Elements with Photoshop, "if you are a power user, Aligned Elements is extremely powerful, but if you only log in every six months to tick of tasks assigned to you, the interface is intimidating and do not do much to guide this user." We have great ideas in this area that we hope to be able to include in our next version.
Follow that document
Several users pointed out that Document Management, Review, Release and Sign-off actions have potential for improvements, both in scope and implementation details. This is something we are aware about and the user feedback delivered during the conference was very helpful on these points.
We are grateful to the participants for having joined this year's User Conference and will do our best to incorporate the improvements and suggestions in future Aligned Elements releases.