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Scott Swanson - How do you come up with new features for Help in Visual Studio?

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Focus groups. Conferences. Blogs. Newsgroups. These are among the ways that Scott Swanson's team gathers feedback from customers. Hear him explain how the team took all that feedback and turned it into the help system that's in Visual Studio 2005, code-named Whidbey.

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  • CronanCronan Ivan the Terrible
    Presumably this forum is now added to the list of feedback sources! Smiley
  • The Channel 9 TeamThe Channel 9 Team 5 guys from Redmond
    Scott Swanson is on the crew, so that's a safe assumption!
  • One of the important reasons I want to work for Microsoft is because of the great user-empathy folks working there exhibit. How wonderfully you guys watch over the feedback you recieve from customers is truly amazing. It shows up everywhere in everything that comes out of Microsoft - products, articles, write-ups, blogs. There's a unique sensibility that these folks at Microsoft possess, and I believe I relate very easily to it. I am a good listener myself, and I enjoy reading your HCI columns (The Human Factor or something along those lines, done by Scott B.) in MSDN. I find it so fascinating to be able to see during a usability test how what you have just given life to is being recieved. But it's so sad there isn't a whole lot of places to work that allow you to invest your time in ruminating on user feedback. Microsoft has the luxury, and the benovelance, to gratify, like a mother-giver. Man, how badly I want to be there. It's like letting a child loose in Disney World.

  • It's an art all onto itself.

    Some Help systems have been poorly designed and some have been great.  If you want to sell software. . .  the end-user would love to know how to utilize the software's potential without going to a bookstore. 

    Also, realize not all of your intended audience has +years experience, majority is new users trying to learn.

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