We Design for Our Users

At last, the software industry gives increasing attention to the design of products, and for good reason. Corel has long been using user-centric design processes to ideate, evolve, and develop products that put the needs and wants of our users first. Put simply, this way of designing products ensures that every release addresses the most pressing needs of our use base. Given the global reach of our products in the hands of millions of users, this is surely no easy task, especially in light of the exciting and rapid changes occurring in the industry.

How We Learn From You
Some of you may be more familiar with the research methods that we use than do others, so it is worthwhile to share some of the many ways that our team gets to know you, your work, and how you use the products that Corel makes.

Site Visits
Our design team regularly visits the offices and homes of our users, and this is one of the most exciting parts of what we do. By immersing ourselves in the native habitat of people in action, as it were, we get to witness first-hand how people use our products, what they do with them, and how they integrate into their lives.

Most visits will last an entire day as we sit and observe someone go about their work or hobby as they normally would, and this provides a very deep and rich understanding that would otherwise be impossible to get from a survey or direct questioning. Sometimes the things we learn are subtle nuances, but other times they can be quite significant. We can even see our user doing things that they do not notice themselves (for example, struggling through a tedious series of mouse clicks), and can address these items in our future releases.

Focus Groups and Interviews
Directed discussions with users allow our teams to engage users on a very specific matter in detail, where we rely on participants to consider and reflect upon the questions or problems that we pose to them. Sometimes we use these methods to learn about changes to an industry, other times we use it to assess expectations for a new feature or product.

Surveys
If you have ever received communication from Corel at some point to participate in some of our research activities, it was likely a request to participate in a survey. We use these tools to gain insight into general user conditions and trends, like the types of hardware you use, how much time you spend working, and with which sorts of digital assets you interact.

Advisory Councils
Corel stays close in contact with a number of users that are extremely knowledgeable, both in their fields and with the product. Some of these individuals act as representatives for the broader user base. Their insights and assistance is crucial for us during the formative stages of a release, and they assist us in making decisions as we design and develop the product.

Beta Groups
Our beta group helps us churn through the developed product before release. They are a dedicated group that adopts the pre-release software into the workflows to exercise it and push it to its limits, helping us iron out all the quirks before it goes to market.

Community Sites
Our communities are full of users sharing a wealth of information including images of their work, technique suggestions and explanations, and digital assets. Many members of our team also frequent these communities to learn from users, identify issues, and assist with problems.

If you haven’t visited them yet, I encourage you to explore some of our communities, including:

Why We Listen
We conduct all of these research activities around the globe, because there are subtle differences between the way different cultures work and think. It is crucial for us to know our users, and Corel always critically focuses on your needs – be it for your business, passion, or both – when we design our products.

Nobody knows your work better than you do, and we rely on working with you through these research activities. They are essential in our continued commitment to develop outstanding products that work just as they should, just as you want them to. Nothing brings us more joy than to see the amazing things that people around the world make with our software.

What to Expect
As mentioned before, the industry is obviously undergoing some rapid and significant transformation. We know that our users are seeing changes in the way they work and play, both at home and at the office, and want to assure you that we are actively working to adapting to this new world. Whether we consider the rapid adoption of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the new standards of touch interfaces, the proliferation of social media and behaviour, or the new world of cloud computing; I find these to be very exciting times, and look forward to the new opportunities for all of our creative endeavours.

Furthermore, you may have seen that Corel now offers new licensing and payment models for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6, providing more options and greater flexibility when purchasing the software. Software Subscription provide payment flexibility to lessen upfront acquisition costs, while Membership provides members access to the latest incremental version of the software, packed with new features and offerings, the instant that it becomes available.

We Want to Hear from You
If you have an interest in taking part in any of these research activities, contact us through the communities listed above, or join the Corel Your Way research panel. After taking short survey, you will be able to take part in quick polls, discussions, and online research activities.

About Paul Legomski

I have 11 years of background designing experience in a large variety of media, including architecture, print, and new media. I have a long history of working with Corel, and currently act as Principal Designer and Strategist in Graphics and Productivity Software. Making great things that delight others is what I love to do.
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6 Responses to We Design for Our Users

  1. Michael says:

    How do I become a BETA Tester for CorelDRAW????

    • Corel posts applications to beta programs on Corel.com. Although there are not any programs that are currently open, be sure to check back often to apply to one when it is. As for CorelDRAW Graphics Suite specifically, the next round of applications will be for X7.

  2. Markku Lumme says:

    Hi,
    Are still dealing Corel Paradox Software? Which is the latest version now?

    • Peter Hanschke says:

      Corel constantly examines market conditions and user needs to drive our product development and we continue to assess opportunities for Paradox – particularly out of feedback from the user community. I encourage customers with serious feedback, specific customization or feature requests for Paradox to email wpofeedback@corel.com.

      We know that some customers require a full-featured database application as part of their office suite. To address these customers, we have included an updated version of Paradox 11 in the Professional and Academic editions of WordPerfect Office X6. In addition, we continue to provide technical support to our Paradox customers as well as professional services to those who require custom configurations.

      Corel did update Paradox for Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you need to upgrade to WordPerfect Office X6, please visit our eStore or call 888-267-3548 x1121 to get the latest version.

      Thanks,
      Peter

  3. Brian says:

    Greetings! I have been using Corel WordPerfect and CorelDraw/Painter from their first editions and have loved it. However, since I have had to move to Mac products, I have seen how you have chosen to leave Mac users behind… for years …and, for years we have been hoping you would listen. We would like to know “Why you don’t listen?” I would think there is a great NEW market for you. All of your strategies above for “How we learn from you” are based on established users and will never include a new market. Don’t you want new clients?

    Now, we of the Mac are stuck using a translation app from some legal firm to see our old WordPerfect Documents as we are forced by you to abandon such a stellar product by converting the documents to other word processing programs. Please consider the customer who needs to have seamless use of phone, computer, tablets (IPad) which is a “change” which may be dictated by the company.

    For all of us who come by this site every so often hoping there will be a version for Mac, is there any hope?

    • Hi Brian,

      I am pleased that you enjoy our products, and it is great to hear that you have so many years of use with them. Your question about support for other platforms is one that we receive often, so I think that it is important to take a moment to explain why some of our products are not available on some platforms.

      We strive to address the needs of as many customers as possible, both existing and new, and across many devices and platforms. Ideally, we would like to offer all of our products on all popular platforms, but, as I am sure you are aware, this is not as easy as we would like it to be. Given how different the devices and the platforms are, supporting multiple platforms is not a cheap or easy endeavour, and, as with any business, we must be sure to allocate our resources as effectively as possible. We constantly assess the changing needs of the market, and we give priority to projects with the greatest potential to provide value to our customers. These decisions are difficult to make, and unfortunately result in having to forego some projects that we would otherwise be delighted to do.

      With all of that said, there is definitely a shift occurring in the industry, and we certainly do not want any of our loyal customers to have to abandon Corel products because of their choice in platform. We are actively working to resolve this issue, so that our customers can have access to their favourite products across the platforms and devices that they choose.

      Paul

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