Imagine if within a day of requesting a new part in Onshape’s standard content library, the part just showed up, simplifying your design process forever.
Although it seems like an impossible feat, this is a true story. Onshape is known for making sure customers always receive a high level of technical support so they can focus entirely on their work. Onshape’s support team is also one of the big reasons why Onshape won the TrustRadius Top Rated Award in computer-aided design in 2022.
But what exactly makes the Onshape support team so special?
Most 3D CAD software requires you to contact your Value-Added Reseller (VAR) if you run into a problem. Once you get a hold of them, you have to explain everything that happened before the problem occurred in detail and what you think caused the problem.
Meanwhile, Onshape’s cloud-native platform offers a brand new solution to an old problem. Users can simply open the built-in feedback menu and submit a request or a link with your design, usage data, and all of its problems to the support team right away with no added charge.
Once the support team receives your technical service request, they will explore your document to see what issues are occurring, understand if this is a user problem or a software problem, then implement a solution where they see fit as fast as they can.
All that work for one team seems like a lot, but the Onshape support team is unique in unexpected ways that propel them towards their ultimate goal of making a great experience for you.
A Focus on Support to Achieve Success
The Onshape Support team is combined with the User Experience (UX) team, and is almost entirely made up of people with a background in mechanical engineering.
The multi-faceted team is able to prioritize IT tickets that can be resolved quickly and keep track of common themes that are limiting the user experience. As mechanical engineers, they can understand the problems users face as actual CAD users because of their personal experience.
Matt Lo is the Senior Product Manager of UX and Support at Onshape. He devotes his time to providing technical support to users and designing new features. When you submit a problem or a request in Onshape, Lo will receive it, analyze it, and design a solution with the help of the development team.
Lo comes from a background in biomedical engineering where he started his own venture Koi Prosthetics, which makes affordable prosthetic limbs for third-world countries. His experience as an engineer drives his desire to assist innovators like himself in creating new products.
Senior Product Manager of UX and Support Matt Lo testing a device for his company Koi Prosthetics. Courtesy: Matt Lo
“Support is the primary goal,” he said. “We want all of our users to be able to use our software successfully and having that understanding across our teams makes it very easy for us to see if there’s something that can be solved right away.”
Empathy and Efficiency in CAD Support
Among most teams of engineers, CAD support and user experience isn’t usually the goal. Most engineers work with inputs and outputs to solve problems instead of focusing on user feedback.
However, the time spent with users created an empathetic UX and Support team that really understands what the users want in a CAD platform.
According to the UX and Support team, empathy and compassion for the user create energy that feels contagious amongst the group, which inspires more improvements in the user experience.
Matt Lo and Onshape employees at a CAD conference. Courtesy: Matt Lo
“It is really cool to see users use stuff that we’ve helped design and develop and then get their feedback. We take everything they say to heart, so I think it’s really cool that we’re able to make the users have a say in how their product is going to be whenever the next release is,” Lo said.
Recently, the UX and Support team has had the opportunity to take on bigger projects to achieve overarching goals. One project that the team started working on was making sure that Onshape was a more accessible platform for color-blind users.
Any Idea is a Good Idea
Looking forward, Lo hopes to grow the UX and Support team while maintaining the collaborative environment that makes the team great by bringing more interns on to the team.
Maddy Sando started out as a UX and Support intern about a year ago, and now works as a UX Engineer for Onshape full-time. When she started working at Onshape, she was introduced to a work culture that was different from any of her previous jobs.
“People always say that titles don’t matter, everyone’s ideas are important. But Onshape is really the only place I’ve worked where that’s actually true,” she said. “When I was an intern, I felt like I could speak up in meetings and people actually listened to me or took my ideas seriously.”
Amongst the UX and Support team, the goal of helping the user create a great product runs through the team more than egos or pride. If something can help the user, that is the most important thing.
The Onshape Support team in a meeting (Summer 2022).
“Being here for a year, I’ve adopted that mentality, too, that anyone and everyone’s ideas are important. That’s just something that unconsciously happens to every person that joins our team,” she said.
Ultimately, the UX and Support team’s focus on collaboration, empathy, and success makes the successful and growing platform even more valuable.