Survey resultsSeptember 8, 2021

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. Understanding how more people feel about Envoy than just us is absolutely critical to improvement, and without your time we’d probably be working on the wrong thing right now which would absolutely suck for everyone involved!

With that, here’s where we’re at.

Survey analysis

THe survey went out to existing Envoy users (via the release notes and the Discord channel) as well as using Atlas' advertisements channel. We kept it small because we were after initial feedback; we may end up casting the net again in different pools (eg Facebook groups) later to see what shows up there too.

The key question in the survey was “when you think about a tool to manage 3D models, what are your expectations?”. We had 20 responses, and the results showed a very strong desire for a “pure” organisation tool, focused around files, models, collections, thumbnails. Functionality like backup assistants, batch operations, library sharing and online integration was very much a secondary concern.

Looking at the comments in the survey, the overwhelming sentiment was that Envoy is a good concept, but the implementation is lacking the necessary configurability to move it from a nice-to-have tool to a must-have tool. The top three areas that people talked about were searching/filtering, tagging and the model viewer.

Figure A: Customer priorities for 'a tool to manage 3D models'

Y’all are about 50/50 split between those who do not want to rearrange their filesystem and those who are willing and happy to if they know it’s worth it. This was played out in some great conversations that were had in suggestions and thewhiteboard, where even with the low number of people involved, the proportions still held.

Figure B: Customer willingness to change filesystem layout to improve 3D model management

What’s next for Envoy?

Our initial thoughts pre-survey were that the features we had already implemented were good enough (searching, tagging, folder rearranging, etc), and that we needed to add more variety of features for it to become a better tool. What the survey told us was that we haven’t got those very core organisational features right yet, and adding anything extra in it’s current state wouldn’t be right for you.

With that in mind, the rest of this quarter is just about honing the core parts of an organiser: library, visualisation, searchability.

We don’t want Envoy to be a tool that forces people to rearrange their library, but we also don’t want it to offer so many choices that you have to take a Udemy course (other online learning platforms are available) to learn how to use it.

Currently Envoy is so tied to the idea of doing something useful with a folder structure, that it doesn’t provide any advanced features for those who would like to spend more time on configuration without rearranging their filesystem, so this is our first priority. Our opening gambit here is to provide ways to interact with the underlying library data that is created by the scanner. This turns the library scanner into more of an import tool, and allows those people who want to then change the library data either after scanning, or build it manually, to start doing that. It also opens the door to having different scanners, or configurable scanners, but we’re not there yet.

The outcome we’re going for is where Envoy isn’t worse than it is now for those who are happy with the scanner, but is considerably better for those who want more granular control.

Thanks again for all the engagement, and I hope this info was both informative and helpful!

  • Piete & Steve.

Originally posted in the Hyperrational Discord server. The words have been lightly edited for better readability as a news post.