I propose a monthly contest called "Pick a Tool"

  • Let's say once a month (or could be once every 6 months) you hold a contest called "Pick a Tool".

    The purpose of this contest is that there would be a HUGE wheel with all the possible tools and features present in VS written on a small piece of paper slip. You spin the wheel (to mix the paper slips) and randomly select one. Of course all this could be automated nowadays on a computer 🙂

    So. Whatever tool or feature is selected, your job is that you have to break it. In other words, you have to find a glitch or a bug about that particular tool/feature.

    The first person who finds a bug related to that tool will win a free license to VS. Ok, let's not be so generous, let's call it "50% OFF".

    This will motivate users to hunt for bugs (which helps the app be more stable) and will also motivate the developer of not create any (cuz too many license giveaways or discounts is not a good business) 🙂

    Of course obviously there would be a time limit, say a few hours to do so.


    Many moons ago I worked for a company who had similar monthly events. It was an outsourcing (sorta) company where we worked on big name companies' products (eg Hallmark, Sierra Entertainment, ORA, just to name a few). Most of the time we just implemented new features and fixed bugs. One product had over 400 bugs logged in the bug database, out of which about 200 or so (if I recall correctly) were such that management said they will not be fixed since the product would need to be virtually rewritten from scratch. NICE! So, to motivate people to fix bugs, whoever fixed the most bugs in a given month were given gifts (eg movie tickets, gift cards/certificates, etc). Oh... the good times...

  • I really like the idea of picking a tool or feature of VS and asking the community to focus on testing that particular section of VS for a certain time period. It would help improve VS and also help users learn new areas of VS they may not spend much time in during their regular daily use. I know I'm guilty of this part.

    The main topic could be added in the bug section at the start and everyone posts inside that thread for that topic.

    Since users are located all over the world, a planned 24 hour period might be better. The "first one to post a bug" might be a little difficult since those contributors in Europe for example, would have at least a seven hour head start over those users in America.

    I'm not sure on the specifics of the reward because many forum contributors already own VS. I'd be open to it even without a specific reward. I'm a killjoy I know lol

  • The developer could create a list a top ten of features or tools he'd like the focus to be on and we could then start with one of those. the winner could choose something else from that list or choose their own topic for the next bug fix focus, etc.

  • administrators

    @pentool I'll think of a way to structure this.

  • An interesting idea 🙂 if it's both about catching bugs and too difficult a user interface. Both are show stoppers for many.

    It would be wise to prioritize according to the 80 - 20 rule, something like 20% of the functions account for 80% of the output. Another question is also how many functions account for 0% of the output...

    Anyway, the 20% MUST just work without glitches or regressions, and they must be usability enhanced to the utmost you can deliver.

    Otherwise, market forces simply apply:

    • If there are medium to big bugs in Pen tool, it becomes a lost customer tool.
    • If it's too difficult or opaque how to create and set up a new page, then it becomes a lost customer dialog.

    And so on.


  • administrators

    @Ingolf The biggest issue is when a user just does not report some problem. This is the wast majority of cases.

  • But that's another story. 🙂

    That's the conditions with a commercial program. Only a small percentage of customers are the type to join the forum and report, or do it via email.

  • @Ingolf Thanks for the Vimeo link in your signature!

    May I also propose a sticky topic by the admin that links to all relevant user content that showcase VS's features?

    And since veering off-topic to product promotion, I would keep in mind the possibility of detrimental negative reviews on App Stores from users who encounter bugs. There is currently one 5-start review on the Apple App Store, but some people can be very unfair in their reviews if they bump into a bug, and even go back and negate their initial 5-star rave review.

    Unfortunately, I can't leave a positive review on the App Store, as I decided to purchase directly from VS rather than donate 30% of the revenue to Apple.

    Some applications allow purchasing from the App Store, then optionally activating the same product downloaded directly from the Software vendor/developer, e.g., to bypass App Store sandbox restrictions. However, I don't think Apple allows the reverse (i.e., using a directly purchased license to activate something downloaded from the App Store without giving Apple their 30% tax).

  • @_NM_ I think Apple's cut is now 15% for most developers.