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Voting system for new funcions

Hi All,

I've just finished the first version of my shareware program, and am starting to work on the 1.1 version, mainly bug-fixes. I'd like to have a voting system on my site, where I (and everyone else) would suggest new functionalities for the program, and people would vote for which features get to be implemented first, given a limited resource (my time).

I'd like to also be able to comment on the suggestions, like, warning how much time would it take to implement.

Does anyone know about something that does this? It would be best if implemented in PHP/MySQL, although my site does support ASP also.


Mauricio Macedo
Friday, August 22, 2003

I vote for strongly encouraging ideas and suggestions from your users, but ultimately making your own decisions about where you want to take your software. I wouldn't recommend committing to a democratic process for new features.

Users don't know what they want. They'll vote for whatever feature sounds good, but that doesn't mean they'll use it or be willing to pay for it. You also risk ending up with a program that does too many things, but none of them really well.

You probably spend more time thinking about your software than anyone else. You cannot expect the casual user to understand your visions for the product.

Big B
Friday, August 22, 2003

Oh - and to answer your question, I'd suggest putting up a standard forum (or news server, if your users are technically inclined) and encourage open discussion, then drop in and check for good ideas every once in a while.

Big B
Friday, August 22, 2003

Or, you could roll your own.  This is not a particularly thorny programming problem.

Implement voting, then implement the ability to add functions, then implement commenting.  Voila.

I, for one, like the idea, and I disagree with Mauricio.  Your users will be using your program.  They'd *better* know what they want.

However, I would definitely explain up-front that *you're* the one who ultimately decides what to implement.  Just be clear that silly requests will be ignored.

The Pedant, Brent P. Newhall
Friday, August 22, 2003

What users know is where they are and where they want to be. They rarely know the best way to get there, even though many times they think they do.

Big B
Friday, August 22, 2003

"I, for one, like the idea, and I disagree with Mauricio.  Your users will be using your program.  They'd *better* know what they want."

Presumably, when you develop an app you have an idea of what you as its creator expects it to be, do, and what way it will grow.

Now you most certainly should pay attention to customers (unless you write the app for your own needs and make it available 'as is' as a courtesy to people who expressed an interest) but what do you do when the users and the app team have a fundemental disagreement over what should happen with the application?

If you allow users to vote on features and the like, could you deal with it if they all voted to do something you absolutely hated and couldn't raise an interest in programming?

After all this is a shareware project so maybe a paying hobby rather than a full time job?

Robert Moir
Monday, August 25, 2003

Allowing users to suggest/vote for new features is a can of worms in that it gives power without endowing any responsibility.

Add Voting, and add an "I'd pay $xxx" for this feature field to the system so your users can tell you how much they want each feature.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Do you think a 3 star restaurant would serve a better meal if it allowed all the customes to stand in the kitchen voting over the chefs next move?
Too many cooks spoil the broth. Get input, but be guided by a vision. Ever heard of the "design by committee" problem? This voting thing seems to take this to the extreme.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, August 25, 2003

"...and add an "I'd pay $xxx" for this feature field to the system so your users can tell you how much they want each feature. "

And what do you do if they bid mucho $xxx in theory and don't come through in practice.

Come on, all of us who wished CityDesk had an actual "save" icon/button on the tool bar as well as the "save & close" button, how many people would actually really put their hand in their pocket for that feature?

Yet there was enough impassioned debate about it that I could certainly imagine people *claiming* they would, and even meaning it too, until the actual time came to pay.

Robert Moir
Monday, August 25, 2003

You could go with bugzilla; it has voting.

Bill Tomlinson
Monday, August 25, 2003

Bugzilla however is just about unusable for a "raw" end user. Ugh. Its the best advert for Fogbugz Joel could ever have hoped for.

Robert Moir
Monday, August 25, 2003

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