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Wishlist of features for various software, websites and even hardware
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Many websites and software packages have a forum where users can add suggestions. But when the website or software is popular, these forums quickly become tangled and useless.

What is needed is a categorized and keyword controlled website for all software, and websites. There can be official feature wishlists and user initiated ones.

For example, the halfbakery feature wishlist from users, would be handled by this standard site, letting you understand what the status of the features are (also you would be able to quickly see a feature tree along with screen shots, of the existing site, so you can quickly confirm if your request is new or similar to someone else's.

There can be voting, and moving wishes to correct categories, and merge requests. There would be version history, and there would be an archive of old and finished or discarded requests. There would be "Featured wishes". There would be a company status, and a discussion (Google Wave style) on each wish.

There would be screen mocking capability, and screenshots (only if the company gives permission).

There should be a way to customize the look, and an API so that the website can integrate with client software and with twitter/facebook/kickit etc.

The site will offer various popular "policies" for handling feature requests, and managing them.

pashute, Nov 02 2009


       The company, or just volunteer users, could make a list of components and screens, so that when adding a request you would know where to put it, and quickly find if there are duplicate requests. This would also help the search engines like google find them.   

       Also a drawing or prototyping tool would be available on site, so that users could show what they mean.   

       Finally, a developer section would be available for company (paying clients) use, allowing the developers and managers to work on internal requirements, and follow the status of implementation - in conjunction with the public wishlist.
pashute, Nov 04 2009

       Bah bah and thrice bah!   

       Proper software is built from the ground up - all the features should emerge as spontaneous products of the initial design.   

       Having features and wish lists etc is useful, but only really at the initial design stage - software that bolts on separate requests at a later date quickly goes all nasty and weird.
zen_tom, Nov 04 2009

       [zen] - not to question your development skills, however one of the key aspects of really good design is the ability to change and upgrade.   

       If you take the example of computer game design, you could hard-code everything or you could have a core with elements that stick on. This would allow you to make new maps, characters, enemies etc.   

       I would however say that any development should have a wish list, however in the words of Henry Ford:
"If I gave people want they wanted I would have made a faster horse"
miasere, Nov 04 2009

       Yes [miasere] you are agreeing with me - you need to build that kind of open stuff in to your initial design (for example allowing 3rd party plug-ins or a development/parametrisation environment that allows the userbase a degree of customisation) Trying to tag something decent like that onto a hard-coded thing normally means starting from scratch - which is why it's best to get your features-list up front before you start, rather than at the end when your product already has a certain amount of "design inertia".   

       Like what [bigsleep] is saying - a roadmap or architecture (not necessarily built, but where build happens, it is *towards* this ideal) - but for that roadmap to exist you have to either know where people might want to go, or have a features list up front.
zen_tom, Nov 04 2009

       I kinda agree with pashute - people buy software based on thier needs - what they want. If you develop a website or some software, it may be fantastic, but it might not what anyone actually needs or wants. Asking people what they want, rather than telling them what they can have is always a good thing.   

       Agreed though that it should be considered at the initial design phases only, rather than trying to wing it. Any new wishes could be considered during product updates (new versions).
eitsop, Nov 05 2009

       Developers know best. They see the big picture and know what they want to create. This nonsense of customer-driven design causes things like Vista. "Ah yes! Our customers say they want more bells and more whistles, and it should be twice as shiny Mac OS X". If the marketing department had listened to the programmers saying "make it small, stable, familiar, fast, compatible and better performing than XP on the same hardware" then instead of a disaster they would have had a triumph and the likes of Redhat and Apple would be quaking in their boots.
vincevincevince, Nov 05 2009


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