I have a question to the term "valuable feedback".
I have posted several things and replied to all questions asked including the survey I received.
I understand you have to watch for people that just sign up, and don't really post anything relevant expecting to get a free product
but who deterimnes "valuable feedback"?
I feel like I have contributed and will continue to do so tell the trail ends or even after if asked about something. I've also been a Digi-Key customer for sometime albeit a small one and Digi-Key is listed as my preferred provider with anyone that ask's.
I was very happy when this product was announced because along with the layout tool it fits my needs perfectly as explained in your "use case" response
and the fact it's tied to Digi-Key's database makes it that much better. I actually spoke to a Mentor Graphics sales rep about 4 months ago if they were ever going to offer something similar, i.e. tied to vendors online database with any of their products.
Since I'm working on a very limited budget this also is that much more appealing. The other aspect is some designs I can only take so far than I need to have some portions contracted out. Again this goes back to the "use case" examples and not necessarily needing the full featured Mentor products.
Back to my main question, can "valuable feedback" be a little better defined?
I would / will do the beta testing for the chance to use the software and provide feedback (I also have a background in computer hardware and software) but would be disappointed if I did not meet the "valuable feedback" criteria for some reason. Not only for the offer of the upgrades but also because if I left something out that I could have provided to help the beta testing.
You will, no doubt, get the free upgrade!
We put "valueable feedback" for the reason you stated. The responses of "works great", "love it", "hate it", "didn't work for me" are not really going to help us improve the software. So I guess maybe that is the quick response here, does your feedback help us improve the software or share an aspect of our offering that we have not looked at. I guess there is other feedback that doesn't nesesarily have to do with the software itself, like this is my situation can you cover my needs, or have you thought about designers doing ______ and may need this option.
In the end we are looking to help our customers with a product that fills their needs. We don't know all those needs, so we need your help in defining the big ones and trying to cover all the small ones if we can. If we see that several people are stating similar ideas we will know that is a big one and likely to act on it with more speed.
Thanks for working with us Tom we really do appreciate all that you have shared with our team.
If you're hoping to get an "unlimited" license ... you might be dissapointed.
If Mentor can't be persuaded that they should "grandfather" us existing users to their promise of "unlimited" license, all you might get is a one year license to the "unlimited pin" version.
I would spend my time, help them with my feedback, if I could use it in the future but I can't afford it and the effort to learn it is not worth it for one year.
If you're in the same boat... let them know.
Now they changed the original page to state "one year" but I have the original saved and there was no "one year" in there.
I'm confused: "Existing Users"??
Designer is not a released product, the only exposure to users is through the beta program. So, are you stating "existing beta users"?
We at Mentor Graphics have no intention of alienating the beta testers who help us refine our product.
As Jeremy states: "Tastes great, less filling...." is not the kind of feedback we need.
At the same time I accept that our lack of defintion around "valuable feedback" is not helping...
The problem is simple: By defining "valuable feedback" we are afraid we will limit the scope of feedback.
Without solving the defintion challenge I'll present some ideas that will definately achieve the "valuable feedback" threshold:
If you create a YouTube (or similar) Video review => That's a winner (send us the link to the YouTube video)
If you create an external Blog post reviewing the Designer tools or working through your design that you created with Designer tools => That's a winner (send us the link)
I'm attempting to convey a simple concept through illustration but this boils down to "use the Beta tools" & "report your findings".
What if you just took an open source h/w design and either converted or re-created in Designer? => That's a winner
What if you taught your kids (or some kids) how to create PCB designs and you used Designer? => That's a winner (Take some video and send it in... does not need to be public but YouTube is preferred)
If you use the tools and write a Word / PDF document with your detailed feedback (the good, bad & ugly) => That's a winner.
I expect, as engineers, we all know what "valuable feedback" is... for EDA tools. Any good faith effort will be accepted.
I hope this clarifies this opportunity but I suspect I'll be answering questions for a few days... so, feel free to quiz me.
Again, we (Mentor Graphics and Digi-Key) value your time and effort helping us to refine the Designer products. We have no interest in upsetting anyone... If you start feeling frustrated or annoyed (etc..) then send me a note (Dave_Brady@mentor.com) and I will help with resolution.
Indeed, I meant existing beta users, testers, etc.
I am not disputing the difficulty of defining valuable feedback.
Just the reward that was supposed to be unlimited and it became very limited.
Tom, this is exactly what we are looking for, but if you don't have all of this, let us know your experience...
During the beta...
In the above reference design, I and my teammates, including our partners at DigiKey completed all of the above. I could download all schematic symbol from PartQuest, but I had to make 40% of the footprints. The BOM uplink worked well, and I created a kit and ordered the kit from DigiKey. In this case, the PCB was created by DigiKey using their PCB milling machine, and I soldered all the parts on the PCB.