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Why does Digilent like to irritate their customers?

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I've been using Digilent designed stuff since before they started selling their own products.

Now, if I want to get the latest version of software, I have to fill out a form as if you have no idea who I am ( I have an account and user name ), check my email for a one-time download, and then download one file. In the case of Digilent Adept and the Adept SDK, I had to do the same ritual twice. This happens even while I am signed into the Digilent Forums, which by the way has no link to software downloads.

Does anyone at Digilent actually put themselves through the customer experience to see what message they conveying to them?

I find this change to be completely unacceptable.

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Hi @zygot,

I doubt this will make you feel any better, but like you (and other commenters on the very similar WaveForms download thread on the Forum) the customer facing Digilent staff have voiced our concern regarding both the perception and ease of access of Digilent made software available for customers, particularly customers such as yourself who are long time users/promoters, to the key stakeholders behind this new approach.

My best recommendation for this situation (or any situation within any company) to be changed is to have a large enough group of customers express their dissatisfaction.
At the time of writing, the current total amount of voiced complaints (and ratio of voiced complaints vs number of downloads with no complaints) is simply too small to be considered for change by Digilent higher ups who have to report metrics to their higher ups at NI who hold the budgeting power, especially for a "new approach" that has been implemented.

If anybody reading this thread wants to provide any flavor of feedback related to this or literally anything else Digilent related, you can comment on this thread, make a new post in Suggestions or Feedback, or if you want to comment anonymously there should be a yellow feedback tab on the side of the screen on the various Digilent.com pages, such as this one (the Forum doesn't have any of these feedback tabs as it is not hosted directly by Digilent).

Since Digilent can't follow up or reply to anonymous feedback, it is recommended to click on the feedback tab from the associated page you are providing feedback on, so that the human later reading the feedback has a better chance of understanding the feedback (and can tabulate it easier).


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It's truly sad to see how an engineer-first company is taken down by adding layers of soulless cruft in the management hierarchy after an acquisition. Must also suck for you guys who are trying to hang in there and make the best of a shitty situation.

From the outset it was pretty clear that NI gobbled up Digilent because your price/quality point was a small but annoying threat to their bottom line in the low-end instrumentation market. The question now is how long they will allow Digilent to persist before killing it off. I give it three more years, five tops.

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On 5/15/2023 at 2:36 PM, JColvin said:

I doubt this will make you feel any better,

It sure doesn't. In fact it makes me question why I'd want to contribute to such an enterprise by offering free user support. If NI doesn't care about how it treats its Digilent customers then why should anyone else? I do care about the needs of people wanting to learn how to do FPGA development. It would be nice if NI had a similar interest.

I do understand reasons for big companies buying small ones. It's pretty rare that prey gets cared for and nurtured for a long term positive relationship. The customers are usually the ones who suffer.

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35 minutes ago, reddish said:

The question now is how long they will allow Digilent to persist before killing it off. I give it three more years, five tops.

I'm guessing that in 5 years the only people doing FPGA development, outside of the market where cost is of no object and certain government agencies have some clout, will be AMD and Intel employees. The future is desktop PCs with CPUs having remotely controlled computing capabilities and metered pay per use ( or perhaps QOS depending on who the customer is ) models. Think HP inkjet printers but less customer friendly. is it too late to claw back the commodity programmable market? What interests AMD and Intel have in programmable logic isn't too hard to decipher.

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I'm having a similar issue. I recently purchased an ADP5250 scope and went to download the WaveForms software. Having to fill out a form did seem ridiculous, but so be it. But the link they sent uses a spyware/link tracking company click.pstmrk.it:


that my firewall won't even allow.

Why does Digilent want to install spyware/tracking software? How to I install this without the tracking spyware link? And I now have to wonder if the WaveForms software itself contains spyware.

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Recently, it's become impossible to post comments to the Digital Forums without having full on Java Script enable in the user's browser. This isn't even possible from some corporate PCs. For other users, it's an unnecessary security risk. Stop going down this path.

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I 100% agree.  As a customer with hardware in-hand I find it ridiculous that it is so difficult to download the latest software (even when already logged in to the web site!). On top of that, the spyware/tracking redirection is deplorable.

Here's the primary problem: AD devices are inherently mixed hardware/software solutions, so the software (WaveForms) is not a mere convenience but rather an essential part of the purchased product.  As a customer I feel like I already "bought" WaveForms by buying the hardware, so asking me for all my contact details (again), sending me spam email, wasting my time by making the process lengthy, and wrapping the final download with a spyware/tracking link is a terrible customer experience.

But here's the really important thing: how does that affect AD's bottom line?  Like many, I consider my AD2 as my entry into the AD ecosystem.  It was cheap enough to buy on a whim, and it does what I need well enough that I have been considering the ADP3450 and the ADP5250. All AD devices will become useless bricks the day that software support goes away, so any customer who is about to spend $1400 - $2500 on an expensive piece of AD hardware needs to ask themselves if they believe AD is committed to long term software support.  The current cumbersome user-hostile download process does not instill long-term confidence; nor does does the choice to remain closed-source.  I remain teetering on the edge of just buying something like the Rigol DHO1104 instead.  I know that twenty years from now I'd still be able to capture data from that scope over Ethernet with the open-source tools I already have in hand, but an ADP3450 could become useless 3 years from now if WaveForms support goes away and some future OS change breaks the current release.

Lest I do nothing but complain, here's what I do love:
1) WaveForms is good and generally keeps getting better.
2) atilla does an amazing job with support on the Forums.
3) The cross-tool integration (e.g. digital and analog capture correlated to a common trigger) is something I can't get out of a bench scope.

AD shouldn't need to wait for 1000 customers to complain before they decide that treating their customers poorly is a bad idea.  Anyone who tries to download the software for themselves can immediately see that it is a customer-hostile experience.  Please fix it.

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I found this post:

Cannot get download link for Waveform software...

where @attila gives a direct download link that seems to work:

Current Version

But my virus checker marks almost all Digilent links as "dangerous". So I'm still wary. I may just return the ADP5250 and use another vendors' product.

It is interesting to go to the spyware vendor Digilent is using:

What is pstmrk.it

Informed people nowadays know clicking on a link in an email can be very dangerous and that they should check the actual link, not just the name. Why is Digilent using it as standard operating procedure?









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