Feature requests via email? Why?


#1

Why would a company that cares about customer needs require you to send an email to omnifocus@omnigroup.com in order to make a feature request. Why would the product team not also scour these forums for improvements. This seems like a weird burden to put on customers.


#2

I would turn that question around: why would a company create and maintain a forum?
Because they care about their users.

Having feature requests emailed in means there is also an opportunity to measure the need for it (amount of emails)


#3

Would you prefer Omni to spend time parsing a mass of unstructured text, or work to improve their products?


#4

The Discourse forum is provided free of charge to allow users of Omni Group products to interact and learn from each other. The Omni Support Humans do come in from time to time to answer questions but do not actively visit. They are busy enough with support requests sent via email. Sometimes feature requests are brought up in the forums and it would be difficult to log each +1 that comes in to a thread or discussion. If you send in an e-mail with a specific feature request, that shows true intention and it will be easier to log the +1 to the feature request database.

The official welcome message is found here.


#5

What makes you conclude they don’t?

Well, I can’t speak on your behalf of course, but personally I don’t consider sending an e-mail a burden. Even if you posted a message here, it’s a simple copy and paste.


#6

scour these forums for improvements

Perhaps what you mean by ‘improvements’ is requests and suggestions ?

The simplest answers to your questions may be:

  • Supply and demand
  • Resource allocation

Developer time is in short supply – but there is a perennial glut of suggestions and requests.

Rational and streamlined collection of statistics about the the latter is just part of keeping the license prices low enough for the market to afford.

‘Gleaning’ is a labour-intensive strategy, appropriate for resources that are undersupplied.

Not the case here.


#7

The problem with building a moderately popular application is too many feature requests, not too few.

I seem to remember 37Signals (creators of the web application Basecamp) saying openly that they usually deleted basic incoming feature requests if they hadn’t seen them before. They only put requests on a list for consideration once they notice requests repeating themselves from multiple users.


#8

WHAT? An OmniGroup SLACK workspace? Getouttahere!


#9

Would you prefer Omni to spend time parsing a mass of unstructured text, or work to improve their products?

Those are not mutually exclusive. How is a thousand random emails better than a thoughtful discussion. I’ve been a product manager; you need to collect data from your customers from every source.

I am a fan of OmniFocus and, like everybody else here, a paying customer. I want them to succeed, and I want them to build more features. These forums are a goldmine. That’s all.


#10

What makes you conclude they don’t?

  1. They claim they don’t.

Well, I can’t speak on your behalf of course, but personally I don’t consider sending an e-mail a burden. Even if you posted a message here, it’s a simple copy and paste.

  1. I like to see if others have the same feature request, or maybe have a good workaround, or maybe I’m just using the tool incorrectly. A discussion helps this greatly. Yes, I can cut/paste into an email. I could even write a macro to do it automatically…

What would really, I think, be better than both methods is something like this https://www.integromat.com/en/requests/feature-requests


#11

Possibly.

Omni does maintain a database of requests. Far too large (and growing) to do much with, except in terms of a broad statistical picture.

(More like a mid-Pacific salt-mine)

Dearth of suggestions is not the constraining factor.


#12

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