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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.