Proposal for Formalizing User Input for Feature/Enhancement Request

Given the above, I’d like to suggest a way that we (eM/C general users & paid clients) can express explicit, trackable, measurable support for feature and enhancement requests within this forum framework. It is not intended to address bugs and break/fix issues.

I think Discourse allows for “categories” (e.g. “Mail”, “Feature Request”, etc. items in that dropdown box up there on the right when you create a new thread) that only approved users (in this case I have the forum moderator group in mind) can actually create threads or post. It also allows for polls, although that ability does not appear enabled yet on eM/C forums. (see meta[dot]discourse[dot]org/t/how-to-create-polls/77548)

So…we already have the “Feature Request” category, but as anyone registered on this site can post in them, those threads can take a bit of a random walk, as well as extend over long periods of time. So I am proposing a new category in which only moderators/curators (of requests) can create threads or post in. The spirit of the category would be along the line of "requests for features/enhancements made and discussed in the ‘Features Request’ category that eM/C developers and/or product managers accept as reasonable and feasible"

A request that is not feasible might be something like: “I am tired of keyboarding and mousing around in eM/C…please provide a telepathic interface!” It may spawn interesting discussion, but not worth adding to the curated category since it is not really doable (at least with current technology).

A request that is not reasonable might be something like: “I like being able to have formatting in my messages, but I don’t like composing/editing in wonky HTML editors…please provide a choice to use RTF.” The eM/C team might respond with “while we get that not everyone like HTML for editing, we have made a specific design/implementation choice to go with HTML and proving a second or third approach would require re-working/re-design of some fundamental aspects of eM/C. We choose not to direct our limited resources in that direction”.

Requests that are then deemed both feasible and reasonable can have a thread opened in the new curated category by a product manager or moderator. This post should have a clear description of the feature/enhancement request, I assume gleaned from the original post and following discussion in the “Feature Request” category, plus a standard poll with however many choices are settled on by eM/C product managers/request curators…something like" 1) Would be very useful to me; 2) Would be somewhat useful to me; 3) would not be that useful to me. But, crucially, the request+poll post would not be open for general discussion, just voting, and closed after a reasonable amount of time (or does it need to be…not sure?).

At whatever point a certain user interest/support threshold was met inside of whatever time constraint may apply, the request would then be officially added to an internal eM/C queue where it would be fully assessed for final priority (Low | Medium | High) and Level-of-Effort (programming resources) required, and then submitted to the developer team, and then etc.

What do you think?

1 Like

In reading over I realize it was a bit of a lengthy post. I wasn’t trying fully engineer a solution but felt enough detail was needed to make clear what I was going after/suggesting. I definitely don’t have all the answers for this, and there is plenty of room, IMO, for discussion of better or best ways to go about something this.

Really this post is for eM/C folks. Either this general approach is something that better helps them to understand and manage user/customer wants and needs or it doesn’t. Or it doesn’t matter. Whatever…end-of-day, it’s up to them.

I often comment about requests that are either unreasonable or unfeasible, but we always consider all requests anyway.


Yep…as you should. Within the framework of my proposal, the value of letting a community know that a request posed by user/client in Feature Request is either unreasonable or unfeasible is to set expectations appropriately that request will not make it further in the process, e.g. submitted for internal analysis and discussion and posting in a work/project queue.

Just to be clear…I think it is but want to be sure…I used your quote above more as a springboard for my proposal; the proposal was not in direct answer to the quote, i.e. a “rebuttal” or whatever.

Over time I had seen many references in threads to “votes” and “voting” with regard to feature requests and so I had been thinking for a little while now of how best to make tracking support for requests clearer. I was not aware there was no longer even a simple system in place until now, though. Hence my proposal…

I don’t know of “any other company feature request free forums” threads where they will ever tell you which feature requests they will be doing or not doing etc.

I do know eM Client as a company “does look at issues, problems and feature requests” in this free forum. Many user feature requests have actually been done over the years which has been great.

I’ve seen many times posts and replies in eM Client threads from users for feature requests and good ideas where “Management, Support Staff & Moderators” like @Gary have advised they will look at implementing “some of them” and have done so which had been great. Alot of these are in V9 coming soon :slightly_smiling_face:

Obviously some feature requests may not be done due to eg: maybe not enough peeps want it to warrant programming it, or technically not possible at the present time or other reasons. There would also be priority on what would be best for the company in th big picture moving forward.

eM Client also does have a really good [blog] if you haven’t seen it as well (The Official Blog | eM Client) with useful feature updates that come up and update new stuff from time to time on that as well.