Every year, we survey our customers to get feedback on how you’re using our software and ideas you’d like to pass along. We’ve already written in this space about the former, and now it’s time for your suggestions on how we can improve our software and services.
Here are some of the key questions and responses from our annual survey — and our thoughts on your responses.
What features would you like to see implemented in future Windward products?
Our customers’ software apps and reporting requirements run the gamut, and the range of answers to this question reflects this. There was only one suggestion made by more than one customer: truer PDF output for images and graphs.
The good news here is that Windward recently had its development team review how we generate PDF output and made the decision to improve it. Previously we relied on an open source library that was both stable and popular called iText. Windward had contributed a lot of code back to the iText group over the years of refining PDF layout. Going forward, though, Windward decided that instead of purchasing the latest version of iText and passing those charges along to our customer base, our development team would create its own internal code to do even more.
This decision also means that Windward will be able to add new features and fix existing ones much faster as we will not need to wait to make repairs if there are errors in a 3rd party’s code. In the near future, what this means is that all PDF output generation code is Windward only. We have also refined our support for bi-directional text languages (Arabic, Hebrew, etc.) in our PDF output as well.
Windward is also reviewing adding support for vectored images to PDF output in future versions on its product roadmap.
Here are some of the other responses:
- Better OData support, like supporting function imports, complex types, open types.
- Data IN data OUT feature
- XPATH 2.0 or 3.0 support
- drill-down tags
- the ability to see tags that return blank data
- ability to delete entire table row or paragraph under certain conditions
- native iOS engine for disconnect operation
- retrieve tag tree via API
- track owners and changes
- coupling of headers, footers and bodies so that variables in one section can be used in another section
- classroom training
While not all of these will be addressed in the near future, a couple to point out are that Windward is working on XPATH 2.0 and beyond in its product roadmap, and Windward does offer free online training classes called Basic AutoTag Training, which can be found here.
NOTE: You don’t have to wait to be asked for your ideas. You can always submit them on the Ideas for Windward Studios page.
What could we be doing better?
The number one theme was to offer more in the way of helpful support materials (videos, written documentation, online trainings and the like). But while about half of you responded that the materials were too simple and didn’t provide enough advanced info, the other half said that the materials weren’t basic enough.
Coincidentally, we had also included this question in the survey:
What types of new support materials or documentation could we provide that would help you with your work?
You’ve given us a lot to think about! Some of the items we’re working on are new videos, both tutorials and overviews, more descriptive Wiki pages, more frequent online training, more case studies, and a better overall UI experience in the product.
How likely are you to recommend our software to others?
The picture says it all. Keep in mind that this was a completely voluntary survey, and we did not pick and choose which customers got to participate. With that said, 93% of those polled gave us a rating of 5 or higher in whether they would recommend us to some one else.
Anything else you’d like to add?
We asked that in the survey — thanks for all the nice words — but we also are posing that question here. I invite you to shoot me an email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you feel the need to give us any more feedback on our product. We are always striving to give you the best possible experience.
Haven’t tried our product before? No need to worry, you can try it for free by visiting this link!
Author: Patrick Bates
A marketing and analysis leader with years of professional experience in the software and technology industry, Patrick has a natural ability for updating and improving processes ranging from small email campaigns to transcontinental advertising projects. When not at the office, Patrick can be found hiking and enjoying the beautiful mountain ranges of Colorado.
Other posts by Patrick Bates