Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Look Inside SolidWorks

SolidWorks World, the annual user convention for SolidWorks CAD users, is going on now in San Diego. I'm consulting with the company, and have been doing usability research out here. (Rather strangely, I appeared in a photo posted by one of our blogger users here. The gentleman I am talking too was just made extremely happy by a brief chat with the founder of SolidWorks, who remembers his name every time he sees him.)

SolidWorks' latest release featured some major changes to the UI, which caused a bit of a ruckus among the experienced users. Matt Lombard, author of the SolidWorks Bible, is one of the ruckusers. Along with posting pictures of me (hah), Matt also just posted a YouTube interview with one of the best guys at SolidWorks and one of my clients there, Jim Wilkinson. To see some inside scoop on how the company works, you can watch it on YouTube linked from Matt's blog.

A final note: It's a credit to SolidWorks that someone like Jim exists there and has authority. Not only is he a good manager, but he's universally well-respected AND well-liked by everyone who meets him, internally and externally; and he's active in the user forums answering customer questions on top of his ever-expanding day job. Jim saw a need for a usability team long before most CAD companies found out such a thing exists (for the rest of them, that was only 2.5 years ago). Kudos to SolidWorks for having such great employees and managers. It explains a lot about the product success.

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