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34 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 In this interview, Ben Jordan, director of product and persona marketing, discusses the latest iteration of Altium Designer, and the customer input that helped drive much of the update. He also explains the company's focus on user satisfaction, and why it's so important to get feedback directly from the PCB designer and design engineer. Andy Shaughnessy: Ben please give us a run- down on what's new in Altium Designer 18, and then we'll discuss how you all approach working with your customers. Ben Jordan: Sure. Altium Designer 18 is per- haps one of the biggest, if not the biggest release, in quite a while for Altium. We have to be very customer-focused in our industry. I've often said, in almost a complaining sort of way, that in the EDA industry, the people doing PCB design and PCB CAD software are like dogs fighting over the bread crumbs that fall of the table. If you consider the size of the electronics industry, and the electronics manufacturing industry, it's trillions of dollars globally. Engi- neers have to have tools to design all this stuff. So, you would think that the design tools are worth a lot because they're contributing to an industry that has a lot of money flowing into it and even more all the time, as more and more devices become intelligent and have to have electronics embedded within them. So it's kind of crazy that you look at the size of the market for PCB design tools, and it's absolutely minus- cule by comparison. That means customers are very hard won. I think one of the reasons why Altium Designer became a very popular tool is not just because it was lower in cost than perhaps its nearest competitors, functionality wise. But really, because it was more focused on what the user was experiencing—the user experi- ence and the user interface. We recognized that professional PCB designers and engineers Altium Loads the Bases, Customer Service Brings Them Home

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