Why aren't feature requests incorporated in the Forum

Am I correct that the YNAB Forum is to be used to discuss YNAB usage, but requests for changes in YNAB are to be submitted separately as Feature Requests?

Is there a place for users to review & comment on Feature Requests?  (It seems hugely important that there should be.  How else would you know what people really want?)

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  • YNAB has stated that they do the separate feature request form because the developers don't hang out on the forum and by using the form, they can see everything that comes in.

    As for commenting or voting or whatever on feature requests, I'm personally of two minds. On the one hand, of course I want them to incorporate the features that I think would be awesome. But on the other hand, it's their product they can do whatever they want with it and I can choose to pay for it or not. Because just because people want a feature doesn't mean that it's a good idea for anything other than making people happy, but that's not the goal. The goal is to provide a good set of tools to help people improve their financial well being and sometimes people may not be the best judge of what tools will actually get them to that goal.

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    • jenmas The developers have repeatedly proven they're not very good at figuring out what people want or implementing things in a way that works.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Forest Green Lightning I'm not saying I agree with YNAB's position. But at the end of the day, it's their product and they get to decide how they want to manage it. The customers get to decide if it is worth their money. But I'm also a curmudgeon that thinks that the customer is not always right and just because one wants something doesn't mean it's a good idea for one to have it.

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      • Patzer
      • Retired at age 60. Thank you, YNAB!
      • Patzer
      • 5 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      jenmas 

      jenmas said:
      NAB has stated that they do the separate feature request form because the developers don't hang out on the forum and by using the form, they can see everything that comes in.

       Perhaps it should be part of the developers' job to hang out on the forum to see how people want to use the program. 

      Oh, well.  I don't own the company, so I don't get to write the rules.

      Reply Like 3
  • Of course YNAB has - and should have - final say on the design of their product.  But they should also be looking for the best input they can get from the people who actually use the product.  And I believe  that a forum that includes discussion of YNAB features helps accomplish this.  We, the users, don't know everything, but neither do the developers.  Takes a village, folks...

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  • Software Engineer here -- but not YNAB employee.

    YNAB is a fairly small company working in a niche market. (How many people budget, anyway?)  That means they have a smaller software budget than say, Google or Facebook.  For the size of their market, they are doing an excellent job.  I imagine they would like a voting feature for feature requests, too. But they would have to choose which features not to develop to make that happen.

    I have found them to be quite responsive when I talk to them one-on-one through the chatting "email" built into the app.

     

    The instructions for submitting bug requests are to "chat" with customer support within the app:

    https://docs.youneedabudget.com/article/201-bugs-feedback-and-feature-requests

    Reply Like 3
    • Slate Blue Device Fellow software engineer here :).

      If you go to YNAB's About page you'll notice that there are a total of 12 developers  working on the product, including 3 mobile developers. Just a word of disclaimer before I continue the thought to anyone reading - I am not attempting to disparage the company and its developers, nor I have any inner knowledge about how the app works, how it's architected and what processes are in place. 

      And now my thought. Normally I'd say it's weird to see a company that has so many developers release new features so slowly (at least going by the comments I see on the forums, I haven't been YNAB user long enough to know it first hand).

      But then I go to the release notes and I see a steady flow of updates, at least a few every month which is much more than any other application I've ever used, especially one that is so stable and, so far, free of any bugs. Another aspect is that YNAB isn't as small as one could think (45 people in customer support related roles!) so the server architecture must be hefty. Someone has to manage that and there are no people explicitly marked as server administators, devops and whatnots. So if you take those 12 developers, remove the three who work on mobile, remove two who do the server work, remove another two who spend all their time working with customer support debugging customer's issues you're left with 5 folks. 

      Most likely not all of them are constantly assigned to working on new features, from what I gleamed from other posts YNAB does a lot of internal testing and designing so most of their time is likely spent on prototyping.

      Another thing is that YNAB seems to roll out features in phases and that means even more complex code and server and database architecture. You don't want someone's account to be broken or have to roll it back because they were unfortunate enough to be selected to test a new feature.

      So all-in-all it makes sense for big features to come out slowly. If there is anything I feel weird about is they have only a single QA, which either mens the programmers do their own QA (god please no), or that they have a good suite of tests of all kinds which means QA just doesn't have that much manual testing to do.

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      • MrsMacual
      • Orchid_Memory.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Agilist and tech PM here- my hunch is that the development team is working with a product owner of some type and the features that go into development are part of a bigger planning process. The developer's role is to provide guidance on the technical architecture and implementation. They typically are not the ones taking customer feedback and deciding what features should be brought to the development team to implement. This is the product owner's responsibility.

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    • MrsMacual There's a PTO in the staff list so I am sure you're correct with your assessment. 

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  • Hi Sea Green Sun (ccf0a561a083) !

    Users are welcome (and encouraged) to discuss changes or features they'd like to see in YNAB here in the Forum! 😀

    Since this community started, we've tried a few different methods of handling feature requests. Currently, we ask for them to be submitted via the Feature Request form.

    This allows us to keep track of requests from the forum, email, chat and other sources—all in one place. That way, no matter how a user contacts us, we can take it into consideration and make sure it's sent to the right people in our team.

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  • If you really encourage people to discuss changes or features they'd like to see in the forum, why are there no Forum categories that are appropriate for this?

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    • Sea Green Sun (ccf0a561a083) If you have questions about a feature, you can use the App Functions section in the forum. The best way to submit a feature request in the forum is via the Feature Request form, so there isn't a specific "Feature Request" section. Feature requests can still be discussed, but that form is the only way to get them to our development team from the forum. 

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