Customer Experience Program

on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 in development

And now something that I expect to cause controversy… The Customer Experience Program. Users of many programs, including WinZIP, MS Office, and Solid Works, have probably seen the installers ask for permission to share your usage data with the company. Until the last few weeks I considered this an imposition and generally didn’t participate.

Now that I’ve seen evidence that my development efforts are not exactly aligned with the day-to-day behavior of my users, I see the point of these feedback programs. Very few users give feedback so it’s difficult to get a information about what they want. In retrospect I see lots of wasted development time that could have gone into more desirable features.

Moving forward, MeshCAM will give you the option of participating in a program to send usage data back up to my server so I can see what functions and commands are used most often. Development on V4 development should be much quicker if I can focus my efforts only on what people actually use- and maybe phase out the features that are not.

The data sent back is a list of commands used and some file data like the number of triangles an STL when it’s loaded- there is NO personal data and nothing that can be mapped back to a particular user. There is nothing sent that contains any part of your name or registration code. Further, all data is held in an “analytics” directory in plain text so it can be reviewed. It is transmitted as plain text so someone could confirm that the transmitted data matches the recorded data. Transmission takes about 1-2 seconds on shutdown.

You will be able to opt out of the program but I would hope that everyone would choose not to- this is the best way to collect the data that I need to make the program more relevant to it’s users.

So my question for you all, does the brief text in the installer pane below give enough information to encourage someone to opt it? If you are the type that would generally not participate in these, would the text below sway you? If not, what would?


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