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Vote for your features

Today we released the ability for our community to vote as an input into future Xero business and personal features.

Deciding which features to work on next is at the core of my role, and our other Product Managers. As you can imagine there are lots of opinions and realities to deal with but the more information we have the better – and that’s exactly what feature voting gives us. It’s a great opportunity for you to add your voice to how Xero evolves and for me to take this on board when working on our roadmap.

I’ve spent this morning going through the most popular requests and updating their status – nice to be able to set some to “Completed” and “Started” and to know that we’re on the right track with lots of others.

Here’s how it works – you get 5 votes to apply to your most desired features. Simply log into Xero Business Community or Xero Personal Community and search through the discussions under the Feature Requests topic. If you can’t find what you are looking for you can start a new feature request. Once you’ve found the feature you want to support then cast your vote by clicking on the Vote button.

At anytime if you change your mind and want to remove your vote from a discussion you can do this by clicking the tick button. That vote is then able to be applied elsewhere. Note that if we release your feature we’ll update the status of the discussion to completed and your vote will automatically be released to you to re-use on the next feature you are looking for.

If you ever want to remind yourself where you have voted you can do this by looking at your community profile page.

So, if there’s something you want to see us work on, you know what to do – go on and cast your vote!

 

 

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17 comments

Anna
17 October 2012 #

Great feature with the ability to vote, but you should consider fixing United States advisors page http://www.xero.com/advisors which has been broken for over 1 week. When you click on List you can only see page 1.

This isn’t major error, but you have some doubled up listings for the same company on your advisor listings.

Glen Barnes
17 October 2012 #

Do you think you could go through the ones with a large number of comments and set the number of votes to the people who added +1 to the comments. My guess is most people won’t go back and vote and there are a few with > 20 votes.

https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/65521/ hint, hint ;-)

PS: I’m pretty sure the above is ‘being worked on’ since this blog post http://blog.xero.com/2012/10/online-invoicing-update/ says:

“As previously mentioned, we are also going to add flexible email templates to give you full control over presentation.”

and this – https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/52251/

Andrew Tokeley
17 October 2012 #

Hi @Glen – I’m going through setting the statuses now and have set https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/65521/ (controlling the From address) to “In Planning” – which essentially means we haven’t committed development resources yet but we have started the design/analysis/scheduling thinking.

https://community.xero.com/business/discussion/52251/ (Email Templates, Signatures…) is trickier to classify because we’ve made more progress on templates (would have a status of “Started”) than signatures (“In Planning”).

Features that contain multiple requests like this will be split so we can be clear what feature is being voted on and what the status should be.

Tina Kaye
17 October 2012 #

Awesome!! Now to decide…

Mike Block CPA
18 October 2012 #

Terrific! We needed this more than anything else because it will help guide future development. Thank you!

Chris
18 October 2012 #

I can’t help but feel this is a superfluous distraction – for years now people have been clearly indicating a handful fo features that Xero is conspicuously missing – quotes, remittances, email templates/signatures etc. There are discussions going back two or three years about these features in which Xero promises they’re being looked at. Sorry to be a cynic, but seeing the status change from “Planning” to “Started” doesn’t give me much hope.

Andrew Tokeley
18 October 2012 #

@Chris – I hear what you’re say. From my perspective though, moving something to “Started” is a significant step and does mean a feature is getting closer to being released. Still no guarantee of when, I agree, but definitely moving in the right direction.

Gayle Buchanan
18 October 2012 #

Please please … back arrow

Stephen
18 October 2012 #

Great work!

Ben
18 October 2012 #

how do we vote for individual requests within a multi-request thread? It seems you can only vote for the thread as a whole but some people have requested multiple features within a single thread.

Andrew Tokeley
19 October 2012 #

@Ben – yep, there are a few threads like that. Our plan is to go through the multi-request threads and split them up into individual requests…

Scott
25 October 2012 #

I can’t help but think this is more of a PR exercise than an actual mechanism to gather user feedback for development priorities. What is the point when you don’t disclose any release schedules or the priorities you have placed on any of these requests. Then questionable new features are sprung on users with no warning.

Issues like changing who the emails are sent from have been outstanding for more than a year and this is just listed as “In Planning”. I realise that this issue is more complicated than simply changing an email address but more than a year and no end in sight is pretty poor. So does that mean it is 1 month away, 6 months, 6 years….. might as well not be there at all as far as I am concerned because it tells me nothing.

Andrew Tokeley
25 October 2012 #

@Scott – thanks for the feedback. The purpose of the voting feature is not to provide a view into our roadmap. Even internally I don’t set expectations to far in advance for when a feature will be delivered – there are simply too many factors that can affect it. I’d rather surprise than fail to deliver on time.

What Voting does do, is feed into our discussions internally and impact the decisions we make as to which features get released and when. It’s not the only thing that determines what gets released though – we have to consider lots of competing things such as maintaining our platform, security, performance, bug fixes, breaking into new markets, leading the pack with innovative features that no-one’s even thought of doing before… none of which will appear in Feature Requests but are critical for our existing users and those still to discover Xero.

So, yes, there will be features that have been requested that take us a while to action but we are listening to you and I am driven to knocking off as many top feature requests as I can as quickly as possible.

As an aside – “In Planning” isn’t the best status name (am looking to update these). What it means is that we are actively working on it, it typically means it’s in design but is a sign that we’re committed to it and making some progress. “Started” is the real clue that it’s on the runway.

Scott
26 October 2012 #

I think you are missing the point. You can call the status whatever you like but it really makes no difference because regardless of the status, we as customers still have no idea when or if something will ever be addressed. It may be on the runway but how long until it gets clearance from the tower for takeoff?

You seem to imply that by not setting any targets then you can’t disappoint anyone but ultimately that just leads to one big disappointment when people realise they have no idea when or if something will ever be addressed.

For example, for the sending email address issue which dates back to well over a year old, one of your guys posted this comment about 5 months ago “Work has started on addressing this but there’s no firm date as to when it will be completes at this stage, sorry.”

So 5 months ago you had started working on it, and now the latest comment from only a couple of weeks ago was “..we know you’re still waiting for this and we’re getting to it”. which sounds like you have thought about it but nothing more. So if I am an existing customer, or a potential customer, I read that and immediately think they have no intention of fixing that anytime soon. Is that the message you are trying to send? If so then just say that instead of providing false hope.

It probably sounds like I am giving you guys a hard time but that is not my intention because I believe it is mostly a great product. I am just trying to point out that I believe you really need to provide some more transparency on target dates.

Dan
24 November 2012 #

How about listening to what your prospective customers have been shouting for for years now (on personal at least) like BANK FEEDS rather than inviting us to vote for new features. I recall voting or something similar for bank feeds a few years back and we all now how that panned out

Josie Berry
30 November 2012 #

When do votes refresh?
when this was first introduced I rationed 2 votes right away, then I wanted to wait (because you don’t know what good ideas might come up later) but today I had 5 votes again. SO now I want to maximize my vote usage (because obviously you only refresh to 5, you don’t accumulate 5 upon each refresh)

Catherine
30 November 2012 #

Hi Josie – this is a bit mysterious. Votes are returned to you when a feature you’ve voted on is changed to the ‘completed’ status or if you’d voted on 2 feature requests that turned out to be the same thing and we merged them together, 1 vote for the feature remains and the other is returned to you. From what I can see in the Community you still have 2 votes used so you should see that you have 3 remaining. Unless you found your way to the Xero Personal community and have not yet voted there? I’ll get the team to take a closer look at this.

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