Upcoming rework of the tado° community forum; what would you like to see changed?

At tado° we are planning to rework the community forum. We plan on being more involved, giving more feedback to you. In return we are also very interested in your feedback about our products, recent updates/releases and upcoming updates/releases. We plan on doing more than just spend more hours in the forum; we want it to be more interactive. We want you to feel heard and we want to get useful information from you on how we can improve tado° for you. It should be a win-win situation that way.

This is merely the theory. We are still in the planning phase. Hence my question;

What would you like to see changed in the Suggestions, Ideas and Improvements forum?

I'm curious about every answer. We have some ideas ourselves, but there might be some great suggestions here as well.

One small disclaimer: I realize that some people are upset we have not developed specific features that the forum has asked for, for a long time. This will not suddenly change. As you can imagine, the capacity of our developers is not unlimited and not every requested feature is realistically implementable with the current hardware (like the offline schedule). However, this is something we strive to be more transparent about. The more votes a topic gets, the more visible it becomes on our radar.

Comments

  • rafm5
    rafm5 ✭✭
    edited September 9

    @Rob , adding @GrayDav4276

    - new section: software & firmware change-log.

    - bit off-topic: please re-work current forum categories (current 5 categories aren't simple to use)

  • neilalexander
    edited September 10
    An *actual* bug reporting area, where people will a) respond to you and b) status is tracked properly.

    Tado needs to do better than “the most upvoted threads get fixed”.
  • GrayDav4276
    GrayDav4276 ✭✭✭
    edited September 11
    Agreed @rafm5 a Firmware and App Update section......where Tado give a "heads up" about impending "updates" with a little bit of an explanation of what the user can expect to see from the "update"

    And a section for users to 'report' suspected faults with their system which a tado support team member should respond to......(because "Care & Protect" does not seem to pick up REAL faults)
  • Identifying those that actually know what there talking about more easily.
    Tado addressing those that confuse boiler issues and blame the tado system this allowing direction to those that can educate them and resolve there issues rather than others adding to the frustration some have.

    E.g specialist although why we chorale to help others for something you sell does amaze me.
  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    At all four, thank you for your feedback. We will take this into account.

    • Change log. Sounds like a feasible idea to me. There is something internal that is way too techy to share, but we could introduce something that is understandable by regular tado° users (as in: you). This will not be done retrospectively, but should be feasible from roughly October on.
    • Rework of categories: Is already on our list.
    • Bug reporting area: Sounds like a good idea to me. The faster we are aware of a bug, the sooner we can solve it. Additionally, when you experience a bug it is helpful to know we are/are not working on solving this bug. How such an area will be implemented is something we should think about (see previous point), but I do plan on adding something like this.
    • "where Tado give a "heads up" about impending "updates" with a little bit of an explanation of what the user can expect to see from the "update"". This was one of my main goals when starting this project.
    • "Identifying those that actually know what there talking about more easily." This is beyond my scope, but you make a fair point. I believe that the forum allows for this, but it can only be applied after a moderator verifies that a user is indeed knowledgeable enough. The question is then; how do we determine this? Do we as tado° actively look for these people, should they be nominated by you guys, something else? I will forward this idea to the appropriate person.


  • DeveloperRob
    edited September 16
    I don't know what your software plans are here, so where it is not feasible within your software, feel free to scale back accordingly. Ideally the 'Suggestions, Ideas and Improvements' forum wouldn't be a forum, but some kind of issue tracker (with labels, statuses, the ability to link suggestion #34 to suggestion #45 as a duplicate / related idea / etc)

    * Improved layout for customer / staff comments on suggestions
    By this, at the point some threads can have several pages, but when reviewing (especially if lurking); the most important points are usually posts by Tado staff, as these have updates / limitations /etc. It would be good if you could briefly see the points made by staff members prior to reading the full thread (or if checking on any progress over a period of time)

    * Information on idea ranking / status
    At the moment, it seems an idea can have three 'statuses': Suggested, Feedback Requested & Implemented. This could be expanded quite easily already (say with 'Not Currently Feasible', 'Short Term Goal', 'Long Term Goal', 'Working On', etc).

    * Better way to de-duplicate ideas
    Not much to say here, but often it seems the same idea is split across multiple threads (if nothing else, making it harder to gauge support for an idea)

    "There is something internal that is way too techy to share, but we could introduce something that is understandable by regular tado° users (as in: you)."

    While it is important to ensure information is readable by all users, some of us, myself included 'are' techy and would enjoy more 'internals' information. (Of course, only what can be shared that isn't commercially sensitive)
  • samd
    samd ✭✭✭

    For me I would like to see absolute assurance that any changes to the Forum or how Tado staff support it, would in no way be detrimental in cost or time to product development. I suspect that assurance could not be given. I suspect I might be sola vox.

  • GrayDav4276
    GrayDav4276 ✭✭✭
    edited September 21
    Hey @samd
    I don't think you will be a lone voice in your expectation of Tado's potential to "inadvertently" brush many of the users "long standing" requests for upgrades to Tado's system inadequacies under the metaphorical carpet.....most/many of which are extremely well voiced by absolutely many Tado users.
    Unfortunately I suspect that a "purging" of these "annoying" requests is the most likely outcome.
  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    Thank you for your replies. I have a few points I want to make.


    1. We have received the criticism that we have not done enough to support the forum. This is criticism I can understand. We cannot support the forum in a better way without spending more time on the forum though.
    2. I can assure you that the people answering here tend to be customer support personnel, or like myself and Jurian, experienced former tado° support agents who moved to a different role and who have better connections, access to more information and more lobbying power. In this section of the forum we try to quantify issues, so the voice from the forum is better heard in the company.
    3. We do not want to spend valuable development time to changes in the app that our customers do not care about. So, we need feedback. We have multiple sources of customer feedback, and the forum is one of these sources. Focussing our efforts on the topics our customers care about is the opposite to being "detrimental in cost or time to product development"
    4. It is our goal to improve our interaction with you, because this would be a win-win situation for both tado° and its customers. There is no benefit to us if we annoy our users by silencing them by 'a "purging" of these "annoying" request' type of action. We have a feature request section for a reason. A purge would not remove your wishes, it would only decrease your happiness. To put it mildly. We might merge duplicates like we've done in the past, but that's about it. As long as criticism is constructive, it is welcome.

    I wrote this in my disclaimer in the opening post:

    I realize that some people are upset we have not developed specific features that the forum has asked for, for a long time. This will not suddenly change. As you can imagine, the capacity of our developers is not unlimited and not every requested feature is realistically implementable with the current hardware (like the offline schedule). However, this is something we strive to be more transparent about.

    So let me try to be more transparent right here. The top 10 of most voted for topics that have not been solved at the moment I write this are:

    1. Develop a "basic backup schedule" mode for when Tado outage or loss of internet
    2. Copy and Paste schedules
    3. Launch a range extender or upgrade to mesh network
    4. show battery charge level as a percentage
    5. Multi Home Support
    6. Support multiple schedule configurations such as spring etc
    7. Make the Smart Radiator Valves quieter
    8. show heating history in browser on tado.com
    9. Notification when device looses connectivity
    10. show humidity on room tile

    Number 2 and 6 are being worked on as we speak. We have working concepts ready already. Expect changes to the app soon.

    Number 1 is not realistically feasible with the current hardware, and the reason why is mentioned by my colleague in that specific topic. We are very vocal in showing the customer demand for this feature for upcoming generations of our hardware.

    Number 3 is being worked on in two ways. We improved the range of the existing hardware with better firmware this summer. This is promising, but the potential improvement is not huge. Secondly, we are working on future generations of hardware where we intent to take a huge leap forward.

    Number 4, 8, 9 and 10 are mostly popular in the English language forum, but not as much in the other languages. Which is why they do not have top priority. We have a community forum for all our supported languages; Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish. We still intent on making these topics more visible to our designers though, especially because some of these require only relatively minor investments.

    Number 5: Complex issue. High on our radar. I cannot make any promises though.

    Number 7: Nothing we can do for the current hardware. The motor makes the noise it makes. We are working on a next-gen valve for 2022 though, which will be a new design. Making them more quiet is a priority, but not the first priority. We primarily focus on battery life, reliability, wireless range, haptics and the screen.

  • rafm5
    rafm5 ✭✭
    edited September 22

    Hi @Rob

    Finally some movement here!

    Now, something a bit different from me.

    Please don’t base solely on this forum and feedback only from here. Why?

    How many users in total around the world do you have? What’s the percentage of them proactively involved here? This could be a simple survivor bias - is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to some false conclusions in several different ways.

    Listening to a specific group of users is not always the best when it comes to progressing or moving out of a comfort zone. Example: Apple’s decision to remove headphone jack / charging adapters widely criticised, but finally described as innovate. You shouldn't rely on your users to make your business plan!

    Also, you definitely need to work close with other teams if your plan is to have this forum a reliable source of information. Without proper support from senior personnel, developers, technical team you won’t achieve this.

    Customer service is always underestimated as it doesn't really generate income as such, but usually costs a lot…

    Good luck!

  • samd
    samd ✭✭✭

    My oh my - someone missed the point there methinks! If you wish to quote me about 'detriment' then be sure you know what I was intending in making that statement. We, as users here, have little idea who the tado reps are who occasionally contribute to the forum nor indeed what role within tado those reps have. To improve your presence here whilst reducing time at the sharp end in whatever form could have a negative impact. As an aside but pertinent to that issue, there has been a long held belief among many forum members that the investment in development does not match the need by a long chalk and the staff time invested here might be better placed by recycling into other areas with greater impact. I think you are getting clear enough info from here now. Just a view from the shop floor!

  • @Rob There are also features that although not requested by a majority of customers should be considered essential in the current digital age such as Multi Factor Authentication of our Tado accounts given that the tado system has a realistic cost implication to customers if accessed remotely.

    I have tried debating this point with Jurian in the post requesting this but is another example of a feasible request falling on dead ears from tado.

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    @MrMase

    As with all features, it is not as simple as it may look.

    We have a long list of features that are seen as important or 'nice to have'.

    Simplified: we tend to develop approximately 2-3 of those at the same time. When a group of developers is done developing their current project, they are assigned a new project/feature. The new project/feature that is picked is the topic that makes the most sense according to our management, who obviously have a ton of different priorities and requirements to weigh. Which percentage customers care about the feature? How much does it cost to implement? Are there negative side effects? And so on.

    I guess the above is true for all companies.

    Additionally, there is the point that others tried to make here and what I also mentioned before. Forum users tend to be more advanced users than regular users. Forum wishes are important to us, and sometimes forum users see an issue before an 'average' user sees it. However, what is discussed here does not have to be (but can be) representative for our average users. Which is why we also contact users via different channels, to gauge interest.

    To be more concrete: Multi Factor Authentication specifically is a topic I have discussed with our product managers before, because of the forum. They understand the issue. However, it is an issue that is seen as unimportant by a large percentage of customers. And as very important by a small subsection of users. As such, it is on our list of things to implement, but it is not at the top. Currently a lot of effort is spent on the schedule, as that was a topic a relatively large amount of customers struggled with.


    My point being: The fact that a specific feature request is not implemented within a few months (or even years) is not a sign that your arguments fall on dead ears at tado°. We hear you, it's just that our development capacity is not unlimited, so we need to prioritize.

  • Hi Rob,

    I'm really happy with my purchase but the main reason that I bought the TADO is the modulation function over ebus/opentherm. I also find it great that I can see the modulation intensity in the grey scale, in the data history.

    I think a lot of people would appreciate to set some parameters, like the maximum heating circuit temperature. Like a slider for the boiler temperature but then for the heating.

    This way the boiler condensates more and TADO could even make a bigger difference between competitor thermostats.

    Thanks! Keep up the good work 😉

  • Hi @lenny72

    I think that you've posted this in the wrong place.......??🤔

    Rob is asking for suggestions about a revamp for the Community Forum, not for changes/suggestions to the Tado App.

  • @Rob I know you may not have all details at the moment. But is Tado considering for their next generation of hardware to make the Wall thermostats Mains connected and allow displaying constantly the temperature in the screen? Or even improving the Screen to be a bit less minimalist?

    Tado is pretty good in many fronts but in others I wish it had some of the Nest's User interface capabilities.

  • @Rob whilst I can see the point you are trying to make just because the majority of customers may not be screaming out for the feature does not mean that it should not be implemented as a high priority given global issues.

    For example does Tado want to be the next Twitch or insert any number of other companies breached?

    Just because the majority of customers do not understand doesn't mean that it is not correct and proper to implement.

    By that reasoning Microsoft / Google should not patch security vulnerabilities because the majority of users do not know they exist or understand the severity of the risk.

  • Herres
    Herres ✭✭✭
    @Rob A better interaction with the users is good news.

    In your top 10 seems to be missing some fundamental points.
    A) the early start function does not work propperly or not at all.
    B) the system does not or not enough adapt to room propperties and is not or not enough learning.
    C) because of B temperature fluctuates and overshoots.
    I think these are essential propperties for a good functioning heating system. At this moment normal room thermostats score better on these points.
  • @Herres
    Totally agree with you
  • This is amazing news that this is happening. But..

    As has been pointed out there are 10 or so key features that have been requested and it would be good to understand where these are and specifically time scales to implementation.

    What I feel is there is a culture of quick wins within tado and not actually tackling the more challenging topics such as multihome or being able to use 2 internet bridges/extenders to increase distance and capacity. Which I assume will probably take a complete rewrite on how the backend works as it at a guess was never designed with these use cases in mind.
  • To carry on.. what I would really like to see would be a full API for the product. At that point as an experienced programmer I would write my own backend for it
  • mperedim
    mperedim
    edited October 18

    Add a hardware roadmap. Tell us what to expect, at what price point and when. Doesn't need to be overly accurate. The sub-forum doesn't even need to be open for comments. But please put something out there and update it every three months.

    Counter-examples (now in my third year with Tado):

    • Range extender / multiple bridges: still up in the air with regards to if/when it will happen with no definite commitments
    • Next gen SRT: somewhat similar. A vague mention of 2022 is made above, can we at least know if it will be before Q4? Will it fix the temperature misreporting? Will there by a discount for people that are willing to return a bunch of SRTs thinking that they work based on temperature?
    • Wireless temperature sensor: rather than a cheap add-on that everyone expected we got an overpriced 85€ "we just gutted a thermostat and sold it as a sensor" that was widely criticized (and a vague promise that we may get the cheap add-on. eventually). Are you willing to address this via a partnership or on your own? Or are you content that people have stopped asking about it and no plans to do something?
    • Bridge that supports "offline" operation: basic backup schedule is not possible with current hardware. Is a future hardware revision planned to address this? If not that's OK, but people that have made an investment should know about this.
    • (there maybe others)
  • DamianT
    DamianT
    edited October 18
    Im new to Tado. Since one week of usage and after reading all the feedback posts in this forum my opinion is that you guys at Tado are taking always the easy way, implementing things that your hardware is anyway capable of, but you haven't thought it's necessary on the software side.
    Why care about customer satisfaction when you already got the money for very pricey hardware.

    Just listen to the community.
    For example you know that many people would benefit from SmartThings integration.

    What have you done to ease the usability in this direction?

    So why should anyone believe that this is not just a damage control action directed to soften the most vocal but still dissapointed part of your customers?
  • @DamianT

    Well said 👍
  • rafm5
    rafm5 ✭✭
    edited October 19

    The thing is that tado° has no obligation to disclose their product roadmap publicly.

    Transparency will definitely help building trust with each and every customer. And the benefits of using a public roadmap to help do this has countless benefits: building deeper customer relationships, increasing customer loyalty, sales or more opportunities for user feedback. Sharing the roadmap will also help users understand what is prioritized and why.

    They can, but don't have to.

  • @rafm5 as you rightly point out it's a matter of trust rather than obligation. The extra engagement of admins like Rob and Jurian has gone a long way to avoid further erosion of said trust, however restoring it is another issue. Frankly I'd very much prefer to be surprised by new hardware announced tomorrow (in time for winter season) vs. a roadmap for something in 2022Q3. Since the former is not going to happen, I'd settle for the alternative.

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin
    edited October 20

    The issue is that we are trying to balance transparency and strategy. We don't want to make promises we cannot keep. It's better to not promise something and then deliver regardless, then to promise something and not deliver. Additionally, for obvious reasons management doesn't want to disclose information on a public forum that might help the competition, so timing is important. We as admins have to be careful.

    I can say that I have a concept text ready for an implementation forum post about a feature request that has received hundreds of votes on the English forum, and many hundreds more in the other language forums. I'm merely waiting for some timing details.

    @mperedim You will not see new generation hardware releases in 2021 as far as I'm aware. Like other companies, we are dealing with the global chip shortage and are engineering the current hardware just slightly differently so it can handle slightly different chips that are available. Depending on the chip, it sometimes also requires firmware changes. This is something our customers do not notice (which is the point), but it takes a lot of manpower at tado°. In 2022 however, I suspect new hardware releases. I've seen multiple well advanced concepts. This however is something I can not make any promises about.

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    I can say that I have a concept text ready for an implementation forum post about a feature request that has received hundreds of votes on the English forum, and many hundreds more in the other language forums. I'm merely waiting for some timing details.

    And here it is: https://tado.vanillacommunities.com/en-gb/discussion/795/released-copy-and-paste-schedules/p1?new=1

  • Definitely release notes for firmware updates.
    Upcoming changes/roadmap.
    More interactivity with the Tado support would be great.