Project Felix: Customer Input
Does Your Feedback Matter? It Does to Project Felix.
To date, in our Project Felix editorial series, we’ve showcased designers who have experimented with the beta version of Adobe’s new 3D compositing tool. Today, we show you another side of the story by exploring the ways in which Project Felix’s creators use customer feedback to improve the app.
Here Are Three Ways Project Felix’s Product Team Solicits (and Applies) User Feedback.
“Not including users and their feedback throughout this journey is like navigating without a North Star,” says Kerensa Hogan, senior product marketing manager for Project Felix.
The product team gathers user feedback in three ways — through one-on-one user research, a closed pre-release, and an online forum.
1. One-on-One User Research
The team recruits users for one-on-one interviews and usability testing. This research helps team members learn more about vernacular and terminology and understand very specific problems users have with existing tools and workflows when compositing images.
In some cases, these conversations echoed the ethnographic interviews that Adobe Design’s research team conducted early on. In the interviews, researchers examined the tools graphic designers used and how they worked as well as designers’ workspaces, long-term goals, and more — all in effort to understand how Project Felix would fit into users’ existing workflows and meet their needs.
“We do interviews because it helps us to really understand how users are going to approach these tools,” says Rebecca Gordon, senior experience researcher on the Adobe Design team. “We learn about their goals so we can continually adapt what we’re creating to what’s going to help them reach those goals.
The Project Felix pre-release group is made up of a variety of designers with different levels of experience using 3D software. The goal is to obtain broad feedback from users that creators can use to assess what feels good and what can be improved.
“No matter how confident we are in our product, we aren’t the user,” says Chantel Benson, a Project Felix product manager. “Through a pre-release, we get insights only a designer who’s been using Adobe products for years might know.”
For instance, pre-release users asked the team why Project Felix shortcuts were set up differently from shortcuts in other Adobe products. The team responded by changing the shortcuts to make them more familiar. This led to changing the visual language of the entire app to be more in line with the applications that designers already knew, resulting in a more designer-centric user experience overall. Check out the release notes for the latest update.
After applying feedback from the pre-release, the team understood more about a lot of things: what’s important to graphic designers, why many graphic designers don’t use 3D software in their work, and how to start building something to address that friction.
“This is not a 3D tool as much as it’s a tool graphic designers use to design in a 3D space,” Kerensa adds. “Think of it as being able to move around inside of a scene, not just layering on top of it.”
The first beta release went public in December 2016 with the focus on graphic designers who have little or no experience using 3D software and the primary goal of improving Project Felix with user feedback. Users were quick to post designs made with Project Felix on social media and share their thoughts about the product.
To manage conversations, the team hosts a public forum and created a widget in the Project Felix app that feeds directly to the forum page on UserVoice. With these tools, beta users can report issues, send screenshots, and vote on other feedback. All of this helps the product team prioritize and plan the product’s roadmap.
“In fact, five out of the top 10 most requested features in UserVoice were either already on our roadmap or added to it for the final product,” says Jeanette Mathews, who works in customer experience and project management for Project Felix.
“Our roadmap is flexible,” Jeanette adds. “Even the negative feedback is helpful because we know we’re satisfying a greater user need by listening to our users rather than assuming that we know what they want.”
For example, a render progress bar has been the top-voted feature since December and is now available in the app.
The Project Felix team is grateful to the users in the beta community. Without customer feedback, Project Felix wouldn’t be the product it is today.
Want to Become Involved?
Learn more about how you can get creative with Project Felix by downloading the beta app, and then visit the UserVoice forum to share your feedback. Stay tuned for more stories from designers who are discovering the possibilities that exist with photorealistic digital imaging.