HumbleChief

Sneak Peak Into Chief X7 - Posted On Facebook

Recommended Posts

Johnny,

"process starts again when they design working drawings based on the concepts."

My cabinets are ordered based on my design. We use semi-custom cabinets, not custom made

by a cabinet company.

"you can make some of the people happy all of the time, all the people happy some of the time, but not all the people all the time."

I am not against an improved GUI but please don't try to talk for all CA users cause you will be wrong with a lot of them. State your point and who agrees agrees and who doesn't doesn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A. My "dumping" on CA is my passion to see them improve an otherwise could-be spectacular program.

 

B.  Autodesk is the industry leader by focusing on GUI first....you nearly prove my point.

 

I honestly believe my critique of CA is what is truly holding this app back.  Like it or not, CA is an app selling to persons of STRONG DESIGN background who want their tools to be designed well - look and function.  The last thing you should be doing as a company selling to such design professionals is making them work in an antiquated environment.  I even want to "feel" cool when I am designing a home or building..... (maybe too far, but still)  Why do you think people spend more money on an Apple phone/tablet/computer?  Design and function...

I soooo agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that a modeless interface is better. It isn't particularly easy to retrofit in Chief, although it is easier to do now than it was before we released X6. The importance of this is a question to ask. Is it more important than fixing stairs or live updates to layouts or making framing work better? It is a question we have to answer and so far the answer seems to be that other things are more important. But I could be wrong.

 

Modeless first in one update (if possible), then make other changes/improvements to the software.  The productivity increase from modeless is worth a year investment and my SSA.  The added benefit: it would be a huge marketing sell and bump for Chief for new and for retaining customers.

 

Thanks Johnny for bringing this up, and in a very professional way.  Very good insight with experience in competing software.  My vote is to put Johnny on the Alpha team.  We would all benefit.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

......  My vote is to put Johnny on the Alpha team.  We would all benefit.

That is a  great idea.  I think JPC would be a wonderful asset to the team.   No ego with JPC,  he calls it like he sees it.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If stairs and auto/updated elevations have been fixed and or improved on X7 why is CA quiet about it? I wonder how many of CAs engineers and programmers are or have been architects/designers/drafters themselves......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"process starts again when they design working drawings based on the concepts."

My cabinets are ordered based on my design. We use semi-custom cabinets, not custom made

by a cabinet company.

 

I use both semi and full custom but both by a manufacturer. Both rely on written order, with drawings for clarity.

All the competing cabinet software does pretty pictures. I would not have dumped a $6k investment , with 15 years familiarity, in program pricing and a decent cabinet list with mods for pretty pictures.

I think cabinet and interior people are just a market of opportunity for CA, hardly a priority.  I've run into more kitchen folks who dumped CA than use it.

 

 

Looks like x7 is the year of the kitchen designer.

 

Really, I don't see any other features listed anywhere, cabinet or otherwise? Where is the list?

This feature was heavily requested by "building" folks on the forum (of course there are many more of them here) it would not be one of my priorities. I'd agree it may play well to the bleachers. Give me control over cabinet sides, fix clipped corners, show side panels in plan, snap dimensions to cabinet parts, put "guts" into "Interiors", ...I might see things otherwise, but I'm not about to make book on any of them.

 

A general fix to schedules would be a benefit for me and I suspect many users.

 

As to the GUI- I'm for anything that improves productivity or accuracy. That along with stability are why I use it.

 

Cost?

If a competing software (or an upgraded ver$ion of Chief) was suddenly a major improvement for my work I'd be on it as soon as I could afford it, Tools and materials are almost always cheaper than labor.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B.  Autodesk is the industry leader by focusing on GUI first....you nearly prove my point.

I think their ubiquity has more to do with being at the party early  than their GIU.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we were having this discussion last year (or the year before, or before, before), at some point, if I recall correctly (it may have been a Nitrostat induced fugue state), the reasoning from the gang at the Deathstar re: not moving forward with UI redesign, was concerns from 1/2/3/etc. large customers (Installed license base, not physically large).  I believe re-training $$ was the core issue raised.

While a valid concern for those customers, failure to innovate or even maintain a "keep up with the Joneses" pace of change, hurts the customer perception of CA as an advanced software provider.

Companies that fear their customers' response to innovation and change just don't know how to sell their product.  You mitigate fear with solid training and education programs to re-invigorate, re-inspire. and re-focus tired employees who just go through the motions.  "Yes it's new you dou... customer, you.  It's new and wonderful and we have an onsite, cost-conscious training evolution tailored just for your firm.  Now sign the contract before your competitors do, or you'll be..."  Etc., etc.

Yawn.  It is what it is.

jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin and Jon, to your collective comments, and others as well, there are many, many examples of industry leaders left in the dust when they refused to innovate and adapt.

 

Just a few: IBM when they were the only people making computers, but have managed to do well in other markets, and Blackberry (formerly BIM) down to less than 4% of the market share. Yes, they are all still around, but with far lower market share in what their core was.

 

The real story is Xerox pretty much was the only game in town for copy machines, as most of us know. But also Xerox, the people who invented GUI, PC, mouse, laser printers and several other real innovations. They owned it, and failed to do anything with it. Where would they be today had they gone forward with what they invented and owned? Look where Apple is, primarily by adopting and perfecting the GUI. PC? That will go nowhere and who would ever need a mouse? Laser printer? No, ink is just fine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder about some of the analogies. Remember the buggy whip? Well cars got rid of buggies and the whip didn't evolve fast enough... :P

 

Chief occupies a very unique niche market within the architectural and design world. Are they really risking going away because their GUI is outdated? It's irritating and old fashioned but I don't think they are at risk of disappearing like the above companies did?

 

Who is their real competition? It's not really ACAD, or Revit or Archicad. SoftPlan for sure but their price point ensures survival until another player comes along - into a very crowded marketplace. Wouldn't mind that myself but don't really see it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder about some of the analogies. Remember the buggy whip? Well cars got rid of buggies and the whip didn't evolve fast enough... :P

 

Chief occupies a very unique niche market within the architectural and design world. Are they really risking going away because their GUI is outdated? It's irritating and old fashioned but I don't think they are at risk of disappearing like the above companies did?

 

Who is their real competition? It's not really ACAD, or Revit or Archicad. SoftPlan for sure but their price point ensures survival until another player comes along - into a very crowded marketplace. Wouldn't mind that myself but don't really see it.

 

Larry, wow, I really could see some of the CEO's of these very companies saying the very things you wrote above. Who would have argued, at the time, that anyone would be competition for IBM in computers? Xerox for copiers or Blackberry when they were the only game in town for business smart (ish) phones? That type complacency sinks companies. I don't think any company can or should ever utter those words. History has a way of repeating and it's not gentle.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith, wow - no real need to be so dramatic, it's just a different opinion. I think it's apples and oranges, you think it's apples and apples. Absolutely respect your look at the issue and it's only an opinion, and in my opinion I don't think the analogies hold but I'm all ears and eyes and will learn from every post you make and very much appreciate your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even Doug agrees modeless is the way to go. We aren't looking for "fancy".. All we want is to cut down dbx's and endless clicking.. I don't care how it's achieved. Maybe Chief shocks the world and finds and even better way.. fine. Just do "something"... 3D mouse still no support..<gg>..

 

Short-Term pain avoidance is at the very core of a lot of what ails us.. even as a country.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Larry, no intent to be dramatic, just recall all my business classes and recall those case studies. No ill will intended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder about some of the analogies. Remember the buggy whip? Well cars got rid of buggies and the whip didn't evolve fast enough... :P

 

Chief occupies a very unique niche market within the architectural and design world. Are they really risking going away because their GUI is outdated? It's irritating and old fashioned but I don't think they are at risk of disappearing like the above companies did?

 

Who is their real competition? It's not really ACAD, or Revit or Archicad. SoftPlan for sure but their price point ensures survival until another player comes along - into a very crowded marketplace. Wouldn't mind that myself but don't really see it.

 

I think you hit the head on the nail here. And to be honest I'm not even sure the Chief guys thinks there is a problem. A big portion of current users have no experience from tools that have eliminated modal windows, and have a very pragmatic view on that tools needs to work before starting to 'work on the paint of the car', and I would assume that also represents the mentality of Chief as a company or it would already behave different in some ways. Sketchup was created by a small team of visionaries who felt design should be a more elegant and natural process, and I'm sure those guys were as flabber gasted when some users started to demand layout tools and other condoc features.

 

At the end of the day Chief Architect is one company's vision, and it will follow their targeted user demographics needs, but it will still be interpreted by how Chief management see the world.

 

As for me, if we could get rid of the modal windows and spice up some of the 2D/3D modeling tools I think we're in great shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cicadas are bugs

 

I've thought about sautéing them in a garlic butter

but in the end couldn't do it

 

some have covered them in fancy chocolate to make them more appealing

 

but in the end - they are still bugs !!!

 

get rid of the bugs first - then go fancy

 

Lew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All we want is to cut down dbx's and endless clicking.. I don't care how it's achieved. 

My thoughts as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cicadas are bugs

 

I've thought about sautéing them in a garlic butter

but in the end couldn't do it

 

some have covered them in fancy chocolate to make them more appealing

 

but in the end - they are still bugs !!!

 

get rid of the bugs first - then go fancy

 

Lew

 

There will always be bugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All we want is to cut down dbx's and endless clicking.. I don't care how it's achieved. 

 

 

My thoughts as well.

 

Yup! For me this isn't at the very top of the list, but it's not far down. Fix stairs and auto-updating elevations first... oh and polyline labels, then work on that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Johnny,

"process starts again when they design working drawings based on the concepts."

My cabinets are ordered based on my design. We use semi-custom cabinets, not custom made

by a cabinet company.

"you can make some of the people happy all of the time, all the people happy some of the time, but not all the people all the time."

I am not against an improved GUI but please don't try to talk for all CA users cause you will be wrong with a lot of them. State your point and who agrees agrees and who doesn't doesn't.

 

I find that even the semi-custom cabinet companies end up producing their own drawings based upon concepts we provide.  Those drawings are actually the drawings sent for field installation etc.  Are you saying your cabinet drawings produced in Chief are the last and final drawings for the entire cabinet production/installation?  If so, id say that is very unique and not something i've experienced.

 

I honestly didn't intend to speak for everyone...that would be foolish.  As with most guys and gals here we know how the industry works backwards and forwards - but its not to say we know how everyone works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think their ubiquity has more to do with being at the party early  than their GIU.

 

Im sure it was a major help, but I do say in the software/hardware business if you dont adapt quick you won't keep your lead long.  Its really a combination of all sorts of things really....I was just capitalizing on the comment dealing with GUI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Johnny for bringing this up, and in a very professional way.  Very good insight with experience in competing software.  My vote is to put Johnny on the Alpha team.  We would all benefit.

 

Thanks for the vote of confidence.  As a side point, I led a team of 4 GUI designers in 2002 (as a side project to my architectural business - long story how that happened but its related to the fact I designed some of the top execs homes) to redesign archaic software that existed in the pharmaceutical world.  Ominicell was a publicly traded company that controlled a large portion of the market, and we took their first system and re-designed the entire process.  Here is a link to the software, and them showing the extreme difference in how the software looked in a dos window verses what we created:

 

http://www.omnicell.com/Products/Central_Pharmacy_Automation/OmniLinkRx_Medication_Order_Management_System.aspx

 

(FYI - we actually created that graphic for them before the app even ran so they could pre-market - on the left is what the app looked like before we remade it)

OmniLinkRx%20Medication%20Order%20Manage

 

Omnicell went on to change all their software to match our efficient and new GUI, and other companies in the business even licensed the visual and currently 10+ products use a version of what we did for them.  The new GUI was the principle cause for massive market-share grabs from other competing companies - since clients saved money with less "data entry" times (they note "St. Vincent Healthcare achieved at least a 57% reduction in order entry time.").

 

Efficiency is very important.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im sure it was a major help, but I do say in the software/hardware business if you dont adapt quick you won't keep your lead long.  Its really a combination of all sorts of things really....I was just capitalizing on the comment dealing with GUI.

I agree it really is a combination of many things. In the early days WordPerfect was way better than Microsoft Word but Microsoft bullied its way into market dominance using its OS as the vehicle.

 

That same Wordperfect company had an Adobe type PDF creator and reader that ran circles around Adobe's offering but Adobe bullied its way to market dominance.

 

In the music business ProTools dominates the market - not because they make great software or have a great GUI but because they have enough market share to dictate the next direction of music software. They are adding features now that have been available in other software for years. People hate the fact they have to use ProTools and their terrible upgrade policies and feature less software but they remain the leader and show no sings of being toppled because their GUI might suck or they are slow to add features.

 

ACAD dominates Architectural software, not because they make great software but because that Lion's share allows them to charge incredible amounts of money and change the entire direction of Arch software when they choose. They continue to be successful because they run a god business and their market share allows them lots of leeway in features and GUI.

 

In the music software world there are many smaller labels that are becoming more popular but if you don't know ProTools you won't work at a large production house - ever. I imagine it's the same with ACAD.

 

So getting and keeping your lead is way more complicated than just having great software with a great GUI. The above examples prove you don't have to have either to succeed but you do need a very focused business plan and must be able to execute same.

 

Just thought of another - Quickbooks. They own financial software but certainly not because their GUI is world class. In some ways it's very very dated but their market share allows them to dump on even Microsoft's Money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the vote of confidence.  As a side point, I led a team of 4 GUI designers in 2002 (as a side project to my architectural business - long story how that happened but its related to the fact I designed some of the top execs homes) to redesign archaic software that existed in the pharmaceutical world.  Ominicell was a publicly traded company that controlled a large portion of the market, and we took their first system and re-designed the entire process.  Here is a link to the software, and them showing the extreme difference in how the software looked in a dos window verses what we created:

 

http://www.omnicell.com/Products/Central_Pharmacy_Automation/OmniLinkRx_Medication_Order_Management_System.aspx

 

(FYI - we actually created that graphic for them before the app even ran so they could pre-market - on the left is what the app looked like before we remade it)

OmniLinkRx%20Medication%20Order%20Manage

 

Omnicell went on to change all their software to match our efficient and new GUI, and other companies in the business even licensed the visual and currently 10+ products use a version of what we did for them.  The new GUI was the principle cause for massive market-share grabs from other competing companies - since clients saved money with less "data entry" times (they note "St. Vincent Healthcare achieved at least a 57% reduction in order entry time.").

 

Efficiency is very important.

VERY impressive Johnny. I would love it if your expertise could be applied to Chief's interface and I'm hoping their evolution includes some of the ideas in this thread - sooner (rather than) or later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new GUI was the principle cause for massive market-share grabs from other competing companies - since clients saved money with less "data entry" times (they note "St. Vincent Healthcare achieved at least a 57% reduction in order entry time.").

 

Efficiency is very important.

Do you think that a new GUI, for argument's sake let's say it's the best GUI in the world, would that be a vehicle by which Chief would/could grab massive market share from its competitors? I mean would an ACAD house switch to Chief because the interface was 'the best in the world? Would a Revit house do the same? Individual users, much better chance but massive share grab? What do think? Genuinely curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Member Statistics

    27831
    Total Members
    6254
    Most Online
    Talal1975
    Newest Member
    Talal1975
    Joined