Dear Visual Components Customers,
In March, we conducted a survey to get feedback on your experience with our new product family, Visual Components 4.0. This survey asked for your feedback on a number of topics, and the candid feedback you provided was incredibly helpful for us to better understand what we’re doing well and what we can do to improve. We’d like to briefly share what you reported as the most important areas for improvement, and what we’re doing to get better.
Documentation and educational content
It was very clear from your feedback that you need more documentation and educational content. This was the most mentioned area for improvement in the survey, and we took your feedback to heart. We take pride in developing products that are easy to use. However, in order for software to be easy to use, it must first be easy to learn.
We’ve published a lot of educational content on the Visual Components Academy to help our users learn Visual Components 4.0 products, but it’s clear we need to do more. We want you to get the most out of our products, and understand that we need to provide you with more and better resources for this to happen. We’ve already taken steps to improve.
We recently launched a new version of our Visual Components Academy website. We’ve made a number of improvements in this new version of Academy, including improved search and discovery of content, a reconfigured courses module, and a much better mobile experience. We’ve also added a table of contents feature to video lessons, which allows you to quickly jump to topics of interest in most of our videos. We’re also working to add more content–you may have noticed some additional courses and lessons when we launched the new Academy.
We’re also publishing more documentation. We recently released an in-depth guide for our Works library on the Visual Components Forum, which you can find here. We’re working hard to improve our documentation, and will publish more guides in the Forum as they’re finished.
Another major action we’ve taken is the creation of the Simulation Experts team. All of our "sim experts” (i.e. application engineers) are now involved in contributing to our customer support mission, including creation of documentation, educational content, and new models for the public eCatalog. We’ve also hired a number of new sim experts in recent months, all motivated to help us improve the learning experience for our users.
The feedback we received from you about the eCatalog was pretty consistent: you want more components and improved search/discoverability of components.
One thing that sets our products apart from other simulation software products is our public eCatalog, which includes more than 2,200 intelligent components. We regularly publish new components in the public eCat, and our simulation experts have been busy this summer adding new content (66 components added during Q3 this year). With more simulation experts now onboard, we’re increasing our efforts to add more content to the eCat.
Another step we’ve taken is to improve the discoverability of components in the eCat. Over the Spring/Summer, we made some updates to the organization of the public eCat, to make discovery of components easier. As we continue to add more content to the eCat, we’ll make sure to keep discovery simple and intuitive.
Software performance and usability
At the time this survey was conducted, Visual Components 4.0 had been on the market for about 17 months. Over the course of those 17 months, we released 5 versions to the Visual Components 4.0 product family, with v4.0.5 released in November 2017. The first 2 releases were focused on completing the migration of major features from our previous product family to Visual Components 4.0 products. The next 3 releases included a mix of performance improvements and fixes, usability improvements, and new features.
This transition from our old product family to the new product family was certainly a challenging period for us, but we also realize it was challenging for our customers. Following the first two releases, we quickly realized that we needed to focus more on the performance, stability, and usability of the products we were releasing. We made improving the quality of our software a company commitment, and dedicated more time and resources to this effort. Releases 4.0.3 and 4.0.5 were almost entirely dedicated to performance and usability improvements. Our most recent release (v4.1.1) also included a number optimizations and improvements.
We work continuously to improve the capabilities and performance of our products, and we’ll continue to improve with every release.
We greatly appreciate all of you who took the time to complete this survey. The feedback you provided has influenced key decisions we’ve taken to improve product development and customer support, and we’re better for it. We’re always trying to improve, so if you have any additional feedback you’d like to share, please contact our support team at email@example.com.
The Visual Components Team