Just a Note Related to Snag-It Admisitration

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I have used this program extensively since the first version.   The improvements they have made through the years have been great and most welcomed,  however, this latest 2018 release has some shortfalls which I understand can happen however is the managements smugness and attitude towards constructive comments and opinions of features that have been modified or removed that concerns me as a customer.  They rely on the votes in this forum to make executive final decisions, however, fail to recognize that only a small percentage of users are aware of the forums and could care less about them as they like me want to work and not debate issues however I have taken the time to voice this opinion as the program is important to me.  I use the program to communicate graphically through screen captures modifications changes and other information in the planning, design and the construction process.   I will continue to use it personally as I am hopeful they (Tech-Smith)  will see the light, however, I  have stopped glorious reviews to  colleagues due to the reasons cited above systemic to the attitude of the management team at Snag-It as I am concerned they are losing the edge on  what I have touted as superior customer support at all levels and willingness to work with you.   I see that fading away.

I have found a replacement program that replaced snag it notes.  "Notezilla"   and understand they may be working on a program similar to Snag-It we'll see.

I do want to note that the phone support team is very good at Snag-it and these comments are related the management team with regard to what is and is not included and more transparent and friendly reaction to the numerous customers making inquiries.
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bill

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Posted 2 years ago

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jwhitrick

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Thanks Bill, it's good to know there may be an alternative as I'm not going to purchase this anymore unless they get back on track.
As for Users not being interested or aware of the Forums, I was one of those... That was until I purchased the upgrade and thought that this can't be Snagit, let me see what the heck they're doing !!!
(Edited)
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Timbre4, Champion

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Thanks for sharing your opinion. I moderate here and other forums including the one that our company provides for our 30,000 customers (for my software product). We have received thousands of feature requests over the years asking for new features; some of these are logical and would benefit the masses, some are not logical at all and would subtract from ease-of-use or just a pet issue for the individual.

My forum (not unlike this one) provides us with a window into our customer's experience. On a daily basis we get feedback from 6,000 registered users; we know that other users are not forum material and will and not have the benefit of reading and commenting on current functionality discussions that help us prioritize development. My point is that everything in life is 80/20; we have 20% of active users who are passionate about their software experience who want to have a voice about it. It's too late when you already changed something they use everyday and there's no way to go back.

Case in point; for 20 years (some years before we started our forum in 2004) we heard how weak our work scheduler function was. We knew it was a huge task to change this; we investigated third party platforms we could modify and still work with our program's dependancies and still be easy to use. Because we'd heard nothing but complaints for all those years, we figured we had license to make a major change and that it would be heralded as a miracle. Unfortunately,  many of our users disagreed. People came out of the woodwork to complain that they didn't understand how we could have come up with this bewildering design. It was the hottest topic for the next 16 months. We added improvements as fast as we could and we're not done yet!

Our mistake was not bringing it to the forum for validation sooner. There were fundamental decisions that could not be reversed; constructive input from actual users has been helping us recover from this misstep on our part for some two years now. There is nothing as powerful as customers who live in the software all day to validate our decisions. When we change documents and features, we often run preliminary previews or conduct polls to make sure we're on track and going in the right direction. To not take advantage of at least SOME qualified input is to make a mistake. I could write a book on it.

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rdrines

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Notezilla would make a great plug-in for SnagIt.  I've been using it for three-years and its features allow project specific notes that reduce the need for a perfect memory.  This little note program can also attach itself to website and .txt/.rtf files.  I use Notezilla to keep image development notes that can then be copied into a collective note file kept in the project documentation folder when the project version ends.

Your statement about how project changes decisions are made is right on point.  Their decision to use partial information is no different than making decisions on unfounded assumptions.  This type of decision process is one of the major reasons why revenues drop, customer dissatisfaction grows, companies fail.

I'm hoping those controlling how decisions are made at TechSmith will consider the folly allowing illusions to steer product lines.  Unfounded assumptions are the most often reasons at the heart of missed revenues goals and layoffs.
(Edited)
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Mal Reynolds

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> They rely on the votes in this forum to make executive final decisions, however, fail to recognize that only a small percentage of users are aware of the forums and could care less about them as they like me want to work and not debate issues

That's the theory, but I'm not sure that it's the practice. But to be fair about this, I did notice that there have been notifications popping up inside the program (I don't know whether it's been for all users or just those who are logged in) encouraging them to view "roundup" posts to vote on proposals, so I think Techsmith has to be given some kudos for attempting to encourage more user participation.

That said... there are quite a few instances of them just ignoring the forums and doing what they want anyway. The most egregious example is the ongoing saga of the Camtasia 9 interface and its ghost on ghost colour scheme. At first they flat out refused to do anything because apparently some unnamed expert had told them that it was the greatest thing since the combination of sliced bread AND cheese, and that therefore the users who were complaining about it must all be wrong. Then the users kept complaining. And voting. And voting. And since then there has been more foot dragging than you would see in a Labrador being taken into the bathroom for a bath. The votes forced them to say that they were doing something, but there has been precious little evidence that it has created tangible change.

There are other examples where relatively highly voted items "have not formed part of the roadmap" as well.

So while I wouldn't suggest that the forum and its votes have no influence on final decisions, I doubt that they're definitive either.
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Timbre4, Champion

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It’s not a perfect situation; live on both sides depending on the product. I’m baffled why no input is deemed better by some than some input to the decision process. If I were to poll members on another forum about 5 color schemes (skin) for the forum, I would gain a good idea which was going to be popular. Not all software decisions are so simple.

60FPS is a top request and is likely to happen because there seems to be strong demand. The development effort for 60FPS must be steep or we’d have it by now. We can’t know much about this unless they share it with us. They “want” us to have 60FPS (if only to end the endless requests for it) but it is difficult to provide thus far.

Companies can get defensive about what they are not able to provide. Here’s where I switch roles. As the training manager for years, I maintain an enhancement requests list. Some ideas were pulled in from that list, but not at the velocity one might assume. Now I’m product market manager and it’s now clear to me how many factors impact intentions and that list I maintained is just one of them.

GOAL: in 2018 I will reconcile the enhancement requests to more realistically portray what we are actually working on for the product roadmap.

I have something top of mind that we’ve promised at my company for over 10 years. It would be a rather involved restructuring of the database that would touch so many areas it was deemed too risky based on what we knew much of that time. We may get close to the desired effect soon by a new means not available previously. Now find the development time to get it done (after it is documented so that it can be estimated and then approved) All the while, new demands tie up these resources and your functionality project gets pushed back or even pulled out of the timeline. Ad nauseum

Pardon the ramble, just trying to share that it can get complicated.
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Rick Stone

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If I'm reading this right, it exemplifies the need for Source Control systems. Because one small change in an application can cascade to other areas the development team never dreamed would be affected, let alone be able to predict.

In other words, what may seem a simple task...

The corollary to this is: When you are up to your kazoo in alligators, it's difficult to remember you casually waded in to fetch the small piece of trash floating in the pond!

Cheers... Rick :)
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bill

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I agree in part, however when it came to Snag it note i was told the decision-making was made based on the low number of votes. This was in a post by a snag it admistrator.
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wendy.hamilton, TechSmith CEO

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Official Response

Hi, I’d like to confirm or deny some of the comments in this thread.

It’s correct that the forum is important to us.   We are putting more time now into actioning and formally responding to requests in the forum than we have previously.  I do read the forum myself and follow many specific threads of interest, and even vote on a few items as a personal end-user.  We also, as someone noted, have been spending time and money to drive more users to the forum.   The more users using the forum, the more impactful to decision making the forum will become.  I’m sad to say that these activities have also resulted in new customers complaining about the tone on the forum, or customers who have told me they have stopped using the forum, because they found the communication styles unprofessional or felt attacked.  So we are still trying to understand what has to happen to increase representation on the forum. 

It’s also correct that the forum will never be the only source of features that need to be prioritized (or deprecated).   Examples of voice of customer we have to pay close attention to but not well represented on this this forum include large corporations/institutions with large seat holdings, customers outside of English speaking countries, as well as user segments that are small now but we’ve chosen to make a strategic bet on.   Deprecating a feature is often the right thing to do for a product line but not something we should do often or easily – and that decision would never just be made with forum commentary but also with usage data, input from customer-facing employees, and increasingly with in-product surveys.   Forum voting is one way to get the feature back.  If you think the forum is underrepresenting a need, you should keep articulating who is the user segment that needs it, why they aren’t on the forum, and what other tools we could use to reach that segment.

We truly want to make our products more effective for ALL of our users.  That is a difficult challenge when it comes to evaluating the priority of making a specific use case more effective - we’ve marketed the product pretty generically for more than 20 years so now our products are literally used for thousands of different use cases by millions of users.  For those in product management, I know you understand the implications of that for decision making, and how easy it is to upset a user of one use case unintentionally by prioritizing another.  So, we increasingly rely on this community for customers to debate (respectfully) with each other what is ultimately best for the MAJORITY of customers.  It is a huge benefit for us that you engage here to do that – and we thank you.   We remain committed to seriously evaluating the highly voted items that come out of that.  It’s absolutely fair to criticize us if we ever don’t pick a highly voted feature, particularly if our resources are not already committed to a more highly voted feature.  We certainly owe an explanation if we choose not to do that.  It’s less fair to criticize us when we don’t pick a lower ranked feature.

All of us, including the product managers, can get frustrated that a requested feature takes a long time to action.  But I promise that if we have marked something in process in the Camtasia and Snagit forums, that it truly is something in process.  We have committed to responding to highly voted requests with our intentions, and we have committed to being transparent if we decide not to pursue one.  Even though announcing that decision brings complaints, we would rather be honest than to delay complaints. 

No one needs to worry about the financial or investment future of Snagit, it’s overperforming at moment and recently had a record quarter in the history of the company.   We continue to see a lot of opportunity for growth in the market and will continue to invest.

Did anyone create a feature request on integrating with Notezilla?  Sounds interesting.


Wendy Hamilton
CEO, TechSmith
(Edited)
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Rick Stone

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I love this thread.

I've been participating in various forum manifestations of all kinds of different software for more than 20 years. This forum is the only one I've ever seen where the CEO herself actually chooses to engage and participate.

Kudos!
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bill

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Agreed!
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bill

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Wendy, good day, thank you for responding and weighing in. it assures me that you and your administration team is in fact listening. In regards to your comment "it's less fair to criticize us when we don't pick as lower ranked item" I totally agree with that when it comes to new feature requests, however removing an item that was once prominent in the previous versions and once  promoted  as part of the new  and improved  new release item  is what was concerning and reason I sought out the forum.

 Yes, interaction with Notezilla may very well be the solution to the removal of Snag-It Notes and I have passed that along to colleagues.  Great Idea on your part!

Please note the reason cited by  a Snag-It administrator in the company post for Snag-It Note being dead was communicated as the forum votes indicated it was not used hence the basis of my original dissatisfaction and the forum post was shut down by that person.  I equated that to get a door slammed in our face.

I understand I am a small user in your user pool of subscribers however with all due to disrespect never underestimate the impact that a one to two license user has.   As I have noted in the past I have been with you since the first version, as I have noted I love the program and have praised it for many years resulting in many of your licensed users big and small.  Perhaps a suggestion that may help is when one of the members of the management team decides a product feature is dead it can be presented using a  different tone.  After all, that was what my post was all about as noted above.

I am happy for your continued growth and trust it will continue as I use Snag-It and Camtasia and love the products and I am more optimistic than some of the other forum users that your finances are not in jeopardy.


Thank you for your efforts and have a great day.  

Bill
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Mal Reynolds

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Well, Wendy's post has finally convinced me. Convinced me to download OBS, that is. I already have Premiere Pro, which admittedly has a much steeper learning curve than Camtasia but hey, at least the designers had enough prescience to recognise the utility of shortcuts, keyboard and otherwise, that Camtasia does not have and probably never will. And the audio won’t sound like a pop-fest. I have a major backlog of videos to make so I won’t be dumping Camtasia to spite my own face, but if OBS works out I can certainly see myself moving away from Camtasia because for mine this post represents everything that TechSmith is doing wrong and it’s pretty clear that the “We Can Do No Wrong” attitude is filtering down from the top. There was not a single concession that maybe, possibly, the company occasionally gets it catastrophically wrong. No concession that they can be doing better. Just “Everything that we do is for the best, and if you don’t see that you’re all negative and unprofessional”.

 

> I’m sad to say that these activities have also resulted in new customers complaining about the tone on the forum, or customers who have told me they have stopped using the forum, because they found the communication styles unprofessional or felt attacked.

 

Aaaand here we go again. “Don’t you see that we’re the VICTIM of all this negativity?”

 

Has it occurred to you that Techsmith’s complete and utter refusal to acknowledge when and where it has screwed up, its total failure to accept responsibility for bad actions (an attitude that is just DRIPPING from this post) and to address them in a TIMELY manner, may have more than a little to do with this “tone”?

 

YOU want to finger wag to US about professionalism? Try this on for size. You KNEW that you had an issue with the Camtasia 9 interface pretty much from the minute Camtasia 9 came out. Since then Techsmith has pulled every stalling tactic in the book to avoid having to actually FIX this. Not talk about it, not make soothing noises about it, FIX. IT. “Oh, it’s just one issue, however passionately it may have been expressed.” “Oh, there haven’t been THAT many votes and we are working for THE! MAJORITY!” as if there was one single person on earth who can make out a low contrast colour scheme well and easily. “But we had tests! Standardised tests!” Incidentally, anyone can sell snake oil and claim that it’s “scientifically proven” to be beneficial. “Oh, we’re gathering information in order to better understand the use cases within a framework of ongoing development to enhance the user environment”.

 

There hasn’t been a post in the Camtasia interface thread for ages. One interpretation is that “Hey, it wasn’t a big issue, see, We! Were! Right! Now we can put it on the back burner!” The other option is that people still see the low contrast abomination that is the C9 interface every time they fire up the program and just shrug and say “What’s the point of posting anything in the forum? They never listen anyway.” And incidentally, you WILL see some posts in there that express exactly that sentiment.

 

One year, four months. NO action to actually solve the problem. No... NO. Listen carefully. “Analysis” is not solving the problem. Brainstorming sessions around the conference table are NOT solving the problem. SOLVING the problem is when people open the screen and see an easy to work with interface. One year, four months to change a couple of values. If that’s your idea of “professionalism”, I’ll take a few acerbic words in a forum over it any day of the week.

 

Oh, but wait, we are assured that:

> All of us, including the product managers, can get frustrated that a requested feature takes a long time to action.  But I promise that if we have marked something in process in the Camtasia and Snagit forums, that it truly is something in process. 

 

It makes me truly sad that you can get frustrated. I wonder what could cure that? Oh, wait, I know! Fixing it might. Closing the issue might. Getting it done, and not years later, might.

 

You had an option to do that by adding the ability for users to set their own colour schemes. It would have been less than a day’s work, says someone who has written programs so don’t for a minute tell me otherwise. And you knocked the idea on the head. 5 months ago. Five. Months. And STILL no sign of a fix on the horizon.

 

>  So we are still trying to understand what has to happen to increase representation on the forum. 

 

Well, I’m thinking that making it feel less like an exercise in futility might possibly work, but hey, what would I know? I haven’t run it past a focus group run by an outside consultant. I’ll put that on the roadmap as a thing to do as part of my 5 year plan.

 

Maybe I’ll get around to it about the same time that Camtasia includes 60 fps, something that comparable programs saw as a need for many people half a decade ago. But no, Techsmith failing to anticipate this and stay WITH the technological curve (much less get ahead of it) is totally professional. Totally, totally professional. In the way that we aren’t, of course. Techsmith’s failure to see 60fps being a thing by the end of the second decade of the 21st century reminds me of someone who built livery stables for a living increasing their inventory of lumber around 1925 in anticipation of boom times ahead. Personally, I don’t need 60fps for most of the content that I produce. But even without a personal need for it, I do recognise a much wider more general need for it. You don’t have to look far. In some genres of YouTube content, you’ll barely find a video that ISN’T 60fps. And yet, Techsmith, whose future depends on being on top of these trends far more than mine does, either didn’t see it or ignored it. Either one is worth a mea culpa of the type that we never see.

 

You might also want to consider a fundamental weakness of a forum for this purpose. That is, that

(a) People will only see it if they know about it;

(b) Threads will tend to drift down over time. That means that someone proposing an idea may in fact be re-proposing something that was proposed in another thread from ages ago. (And considering how many YEARS things can go without being addressed...) Neither thread will accumulate many votes, but if they were in some way aggregated...

(c) Of course, sometimes they are. Threads get merged to oblivion and there is no way of knowing how many votes fall through the cracks during the spamvalanche of notifications that hit our inbox.

One solution? Have an actual page which has a summary of raised issues AND PROPOSED SOLUTIONS which people can vote on. Not, as we had recently, something like “Audio needs to be improved”. Well duh. Mind you, audio handling in Camtasia IS so woeful that throwing it out and starting again probably wouldn’t be a completely bad idea, but I think before we vote we do in fact need something a little more... how shall I put this... “concrete”?

 

On the subject of “professionalism” and negative replies, perhaps you were thinking of this thread? https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/survey-what-makes-for-high-quality-documentation

 

I didn’t reply to that but I agree with those who did. Maybe you think it’s “professional” to not point out when something is woeful, and to believe that everyone deserves a gold star just for turning up. I believe that posting that (and in the process of doing so wasting the time of your existing customers) was an appalling error of judgement. You never would, I expect, because apparently TechSmith never makes errors of judgements. Speaking of which...

 

> .   Deprecating a feature is often the right thing to do for a product line but not something we should do often or easily – and that decision would never just be made with forum commentary but also with usage data, input from customer-facing employees, and increasingly with in-product surveys.   

 

Oh wow. Do you not get that “depreciating” a feature does NOT in fact benefit ANYONE? It annoys the people who use the feature (and I don’t believe for a minute that you have a good handle on how widely used a feature is, and neither should you), and does not benefit people who want other features. The ONLY reason for doing it is that the underlying O/S has changed in a way that makes the feature untenable or maybe, MAYBE that it bloats the thing too much.

 

The problem, though, is that I have NEVER seen a program that swings the “depreciation” axe as wildly as Snagit does. Camtasia is no slouch at it, but Snagit is just ridiculous. And with regard to underutilised features, has it occurred to you that part of the reason for this may be that you screw around with the user interface so much with each and every version? Nobody can find where half the things are until the following upgrade. It’s like learning a new program each and every version. But hey, it’s The. Right. Thing. To. Do, and we’re just negative and unprofessional for not being willingly and enthusiastically prepared to sink productivity into having to relearn everything. (Mind you, it does make it easier to remember that with each upgrade people need to change the shortcut keys. Since you habitually help yourself to the F9 key and thereby screw up Excel, I know exactly how to respond when someone asks me why Excel won’t recalculate. “Did you install Camtasia or Snagit?” “Yes.” “That will be the reason.”) Then there’s the way that the documentation can be ‘random”; try finding an explanation of Ripple Delete in the Camtasia documentation.

 

> So, we increasingly rely on this community for customers to debate (respectfully) with each other what is ultimately best for the MAJORITY of customers. 

 

You call us unprofessional, and you talk about debating respectfully.

 

Opinion noted.

 

> It’s less fair to criticize us when we don’t pick a lower ranked feature.

 

Not if it’s a feature that is so universal in other programs that people wouldn’t even THINK of needing to vote for it. Customisable keyboard shortcuts are so pervasive in other productivity programs that many people will think “What, I need to VOTE to have these added? Seriously?” So yes, things like that are probably going to be “low ranked” for that reason if no other.

 

> No one needs to worry about the financial or investment future of Snagit, it’s overperforming at moment and recently had a record quarter in the history of the company.   

 

Yes, I made a contribution to that as well. I’d been on Snagit 9 for years and had been boycotting upgrades because of the way you keep pulling features, some of which were important to me. But then you introduced Grab Text, which was enough to get my hand back in my pocket. Such a feature would have great value to me. If it worked. Which it SORT OF does. https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/identify-a-font Now while I note Rick’s very valid point about tables of information, I cannot help but note that when I:

- Dump the jpg into Adobe Acrobat; and

- Run the image to text conversion in there,

Then not only does it CORRECTLY recognise ALL of the characters, it actually lines them up on the correct lines as well. And this is Acrobat we’re talking about; hardly the gold standard in OCR. No, it doesn’t delimit them for the reasons that Rick alluded to but at least it knows what a line of text and values is. For mine Text Grab is like mail ordering a border collie to use as a cattle dog and getting a Shih Tzu instead. Yes, it’s a perfectly functional dog, but hardly has the performance that you might be hoping for.

 

So I for one am feeling a tad sucker-punched by my Snagit 2018 upgrade and it may be optimistic to rely on me being part of any “overperformance” in the foreseeable future. How many others may feel the same way for this or other reasons remains to be seen in the FY19 and onwards results.

 

I don’t want Camtasia to fail and I don’t want Techsmith to fail but frankly I’m not crazy about the way either of them are going. (In case I was too subtle about that.) Snagit will I think eventually blow itself up (regardless of the latest quarterly results) for the reasons that I stated above; you can’t keep jerking users around with ever changing interfaces and ever disappearing features. Camtasia on the other hand seems to still think that it’s 2005. It seems to be falling further and further behind what even free programs are offering, annotations are a disaster if you want professional looking text, the lower thirds in the library look like eye-searing relics from the worst of PowerPoint 97, and there’s the 60fps thing which puts it half a decade behind pretty much any competition out there and the audio... sigh, the audio... If saying that is unprofessional then so be it. I have my own idea of professional and {Gesturing to the Camtasia / Snagit roadmap} this is not it. THIS. IS. NOT. IT.

(Edited)