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Autodesk Activity Spotlight

Autodesk, a 3D design, engineering, and construction software company, came to us with some unique business challenges. They wanted to understand the overall experience of using Autodesk products from the perspective of their customers. We suggested using an online insights community, enabling them to run ongoing, interactive research activities in a secure and managed platform. They were able to test marketing, evaluate pricing models, and develop the next generation of Autodesk products.

CLIENT

audience

Design Professionals

community overview

The Autodesk community is comprised of 585 customers of Autodesk, referred to as “Autodesk Advisors.” The community includes engineers, architects, construction personas, building design personas, and contractors, and has been active since 2016.

activity spotlight

For this particular activity, Autodesk wanted to understand how their Autodesk Advisors were adapting to working from home at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having a standing research community allowed them to react with research to a disrupted market, and gather actionable insights in real time.

ideation session

Navigating Work from Home

When COVID put a halt to in-office work, Autodesk recognized it was more important than ever to gather feedback from their customers and to understand how they were adapting to the new reality. They were most interested in specific changes to their customers’ work life. The ideation session was the ideal activity type, because it allowed Autodesk Advisors to communicate with each other, fostering a sense of community and encouraging open and honest discussions.

VERY HAPPY
Designer
"Been wanting to work from home for 30 years, finally! I draw at night and on the weekends; why not during the day. :)"
VERY HAPPY
happy
CAD/BIM Manager
"We are all starting to get set up remotely and have started two competitions via MS teams. 1. Best Looking/Trendiest Home Office Environment and 2. Beard-growing Contest, every Wednesday for the foreseeable future we are submitting our unshaven faces via Teams. However, I don't think we've thought about giving prizes remotely."
happy
Neutral
Architect
"So far it has worked really well working from home and I've saved money in traveling and lunch costs. I do, however, miss the social side of working in an office."
Neutral
unhappy
Architect
“For those of us with kids at home, this is not traditional work from home. We are trying to do our jobs while also being teachers and childcare providers and it has been very difficult. I actually have less time now than I did before and it's difficult to get 8 hours of working done during the day. I find myself having to work most evenings, too, which is definitely not healthy as what suffers is personal time and the separation of work and home is completely gone.”
unhappy
very unhappy
IT/IS Manager
“On the last day of work at the office, it was very strange and sad. There was almost no one and I realized how much I miss my colleagues.”
very unhappy

unique challenge

Communicate with Non-English Speakers

The platform’s built-in translation tools allows community managers to easily engage with a diverse group of respondents, regardless of the languages they speak.

Portuguese

"Minha vida inteira trabalhei em escritórios de projetos e a noite fazia trabalhos para outros escritórios como free-lancer. Mas a dinâmica para grandes projetos em um processo 100% remoto só nos trouxe problemas até agora."

Conclusion

The 71 Autodesk Advisors who participated in the activity were generally split on their feelings about working from home. Those who preferred working from home cited time savings and flexibility. The Advisors who preferred going into the office said they missed the face-to-face interactions with co-workers. Many discussed the challenges of balancing family and work responsibilities. Advisors posted work-from-home tips, shared pictures of their home office setups, and vented about IT issues and VPN struggles.

Connecting with their customers and showing empathy during a challenging time allowed Autodesk to go beyond research and have conversations that matter. Creating authentic dialogues builds trust and brings brands and consumers into collaborative partnerships where business decisions are supported by market insights.

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