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FileMaker Inc. recently introduced the FileMaker Product Ideas space on FileMaker Community, a place to view, post, vote and comment on feature requests for the FileMaker product line. While not a replacement for the longstanding FileMaker Feature Request webpage, the reddit-like Product Ideas space enhances and modernizes the feature request process, giving the developer community a public forum to express their crowdsourced opinions on the future of the product line.
Watch on YouTube FileMaker Embraces Crowdsourcing – New Product Ideas Space
Getting to the Good Stuff
Because feature requests can be upvoted and downvoted, the most interesting content in the Product Ideas space are the ideas with the highest score. To get to these, click on the Show All link at the bottom of the Product Ideas overview page.
Alternatively, you could:
- Click on Content in the navigation bar at the top.
- Click on the Ideas tab.
- Change the sort to “Sort by score”
The Power of Crowdsourcing
There’s a reason websites like Reddit and Kickstarter have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years: crowdsourcing works. And when it comes to the FileMaker Community, the Product Ideas space allows FileMaker to leverage the wisdom of the crowd.
Not only that, but because of the low overhead involved in voting, more information is communicated to FileMaker’s product management team than traditional feature requesting as the space captures the opinions of those developers who don’t mind voting but would otherwise not dedicate the time to submit an entire request request.
Plus with the new space, you have a quick way to find out if anyone else has had an idea similar to yours. All it takes is a search.
Keeping the List Fresh
As with all v1 releases, there are things FileMaker could do to improve the experience of consuming and posting on the Product Ideas space. Let’s take the top score list as an example:
If I were a bettin’ man, I would put good money on these same 6 ideas being at the top of the list in a year (unless, of course, FMI builds one of these ideas into the product line, at which point it should drop off).
To keep the list fresh, there should be a way to slice it up so you see top score/most votes/most comments based on a time period, such as last week, last month, last year, etc., just like you can with Reddit.
Voting on Comments
I’m big on efficiency in regards to consuming content. Life is short, and time is precious. I would love love love if we could vote on comments in not only the Product Ideas space, but anywhere on FileMaker Community. You can like comments currently, but that doesn’t change the sorting: comments are sorted in chronological order, with the oldest at the top. Seeing the highest voted comments (aka the most relevant/useful/interesting comments) at the top would save everyone the hassle of wading through all the comments looking for gold.
A Step in the Right Direction
I was pumped when I first heard about the Product Ideas space, so much so that I dropped everything I was doing and spent a good hour browsing all the interesting and creative ideas. And I’m still pumped – finally, an official place to exchange ideas about the future of the product line, with upvoting to boot. Kudos to Vin Addala, the product management team, and the customer experience team at FileMaker for putting it together!
If you have a feature you’d like added to the product line, I recommend both submitting an official FileMaker feature request and posting on the FileMaker Product Ideas space. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil (that’s true for FileMaker systems as well: if yours is a hootin’ and hollerin’ at you, feel free to reach out and inquire about our FileMaker Support and FileMaker Development services).