8 thoughts on “Revit Architecture 2010

  1. Unfortunately I think this review suffers the same fate as most where a casual, albeit knowledgeable reviewer misses fundamental things crucial to day-to-day users.

    As a counterpoint to this very positive assessment I suggest prospective buyers visit the AUGI Revit forums where the new UI has been thoroughly and consistently panned as a colossal failure, not because it’s “new” or because it’s a ribbon, but because it‘s poorly implemented and doesn’t fit well with Revit’s workflow. Meanwhile the new freeform modeling cannot be used for standard Revit family components and conspicuously lacks certain key iterative features of it’s predecessor, rendering the Building Maker tools almost useless.

    Since these two features comprise almost the entire year’s development effort this release is generating mostly negative responses from the Revit faithful, everything from a big yawn to outright anger. Understandable considering the cost of admission and essentially mandatory subscription.

    The 2011 release will be telling as to whether Autodesk can really advance this brilliant application that was conceived and largely developed outside of their corporate umbrella, and whether they can demonstrate true honesty and responsiveness toward a user base that is much more committed and particular than they are used to with Autocad.

    Geoff Briggs

  2. Many thanks to Geoff for providing an interesting counterpoint to my review. In response, I would like to make a couple of points.

    As I predicted in my review, many existing users of Revit are going to have trouble with the new interface, so the negative comments about it on the AUGI forums are hardly surprising. Many users of Microsoft Office 2007 had the same reaction when it was first introduced, and many hate it to this day. To a certain extent, UI design is a matter of personal preference – there is no magic formula that works for everyone. I don’t see how the new UI design of Revit “doesn’t fit well with Revit’s workflow” – that would imply that Autodesk’s Revit development team is totally clueless about their own application. Applications have to evolve with the times, which often means changing interface features that may be very dear to some users and risk drawing their ire. A great example of that is the command line in AutoCAD. In my review of AutoCAD 2002 (in the Dec 2001 issue of Cadence magazine), my suggestion that AutoCAD eventually get rid of the command line – which I saw as a hangover of the MS-DOS operating system days — sparked a deluge of reader responses aghast at my suggestion. Well, Autodesk finally made the command line optional in AutoCAD 2006 (http://www.aecbytes.com/review/2005/AutoCAD2006.html), by introducing new ways to interact with the program, and I doubt that new users who started with AutoCAD 2006 still find the command line indispensable. In the same way, users new to Revit will just get used to working with the updated interface and will find the old one archaic.

    With regard to the conceptual modeling environment, while it definitely has its share of limitations as I pointed out in my review, it is also extremely powerful compared to an application like SketchUp it is intended to compete with. This is where a broader and comparative view of an application – that a reviewer has as opposed to a power user — helps to put it in perspective. Many Revit power users may not be happy with the new release if it did not address their specific issues, but if they had a better understanding all the other BIM applications out there, they would have a much better appreciation of it.

    And while Autodesk could probably do a better job of listening to its users – particularly disgruntled ones – and developing features in response to their requests and feedback, I do think they have done a decent job so far in advancing Revit since acquiring it in 2002. Revit could not have come this far through the sheer brilliance of its original developers alone.

    In general, it’s very easy to criticize and disparage vendors – but let’s not forget that they are (most of the time) indeed trying to do their best by their users. They would be stupid to do otherwise. They may not be able to satisfy everyone with every release, and rather than just beat them down, it would be more productive for users to get feedback and feature requests across to them in a coordinated manner.


  3. Let’s be fair, Lachmi has done a remarkable job with this review.

    I have been following Lachmi’s reviews well before AECbytes was born. If you follow her reviews all over, you can easily tell how committed she is as far as AEC is concerned. Previously, I used to think she was pro-Graphisoft (early pioneers of BIM as far as I am concerned) when she bombarded Autodesk with the 2D Autocad. She helps a lot to show/ highlight the trend of using new technology as it is advancing.

    Mind you, for us power users, most of the time we are aware of the programs that we use daily…..hardly experimenting with new programs.

    To tell the truth, I have been influenced very much by her reviews, and I advise my University on what is best for our students…!

    I salute you….Lachmi. Keep it up. We read each of your words.

  4. I think you really missed the mark on your review of Revit 2010. The new ribbon is actually a real disaster. In a recent poll over 70% of Revit users felt they were losing productivity because of the new ribbon. The problem is not that the ribbon is new and users are too lazy to learn something new. Revit users hate the ribbon because it dramatically slows down their work process.

    Using the new ribbon requires several thousand more mouse clicks per day than the 2009 UI. Even with a bunch of tools on the quick action tool bar, one must still click between tabs to find the tool that you need. This is not the case in the 2009 UI.

    Because the ribbon icons are not cosistently in the same locations one must focus much more attention on the Ui and less on one’s work. For example the “finish sketch” icon can be in one of four different locations depending on the situation.

    The ribbon text is fuzzy and hard to read. (Autodesk has acknowledged this as a know issue). After a full day on the Ribbon my eyes hurt!

    The Ribbon users roughly 30% more memory that the 2009 UI and is the prime cause of numerous daily crashes.

    The majority of Revit users opted not to upgrade to Revit 2010. They have already paid their subscription fees but are not using Revit 2010. This is a milestone as prior to Revit 2010 most users would not even have considered passing on a Revit upgrae.

    As a casual user of the product these issues may not have been immediately apparent to you. As a full time user I can assure that the new ribbon UI equates to a serious downgrade in productivity.

  5. Hi folks,

    The Revit team at Autodesk understands the concerns that some have expressed with the change to the Revit 2010 interface. We are actively involved in the discussion about Revit with the user community through a number of channels:

    • We have a dedicated team that gathers customer feedback and shares it with Product Management, Quality Assurance, and Product Design teams.

    • The Revit Product Design team maintains a blog “Inside the factory” (http://insidethefactory.typepad.com/) where designers present ideas and encourage discussion and suggestions.

    • Revit product managers, quality assurance engineers, and many others on the Revit team regularly participate in independent user forums, including those maintained by the Autodesk User Group International (AUGI). (http://www.augi.com)

    We encourage AECbytes readers to refer to these channels to best inform our efforts, and catch up with the latest news from the Revit team.


    Anthony A. Hauck
    Autodesk BIM Design Product Line Manager

  6. Hi! Having to read all the positive and negative reactions on the new Revit 2010 interface surely challenges us Revit users to upgrade our skills to a different level. Surely the new interface is more helpful because it’s now more organized. For some, the command lines are hidden in those cute colorful buttons. The solution is simple, just familiarize yourself with the new locations. I bet it won’t take decades to find them. For someone like me who uses conceptual massing a lot, the new interface is very helpful. I prefer it than the Revit 2009 interface.

    Anyways, I also want to learn how to model the triangular curtain wall windows that display on the start-up of the program. Can somebody send me the drawing.rvt of that model, or a tutorial? I tried to model it but I could not apply the mullions on the triangular windows. Will there be some kind person to send me the practical know-how on this? Thank you.

  7. Hi mechroark,

    The project on the start-up screen is a design by Oosterhuis – the project is called CET Budapest. I doubt I can get that RFA, but you should check out Zach’s blog: http://buildz.blogspot.com/. He’s a software analyst on the Revit team and all around panel guru. He usually posts his RFA’s.

    Dave Mills
    Autodesk Marketing

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