A NEED FOR INNOVATION
Few can fathom the love-hate relationship an architect has with AutoCAD. This dichotomy is persistent throughout one’s journey while learning and using the software., to unwittingly realizing that the simplest of functionalities take the longest of time to execute. In recent years, with the rise of Sketch and other user-friendly, intuitive softwares; Autodesk has realized the burgeoning need to innovate- not just in terms of functionality but usability.
However, one must consider the friction when redesigning to fit the needs of old users and new learners (AutoCAD has existed since the 1980’s), all while integrating the complex functionalities into a palatable experience for the user.
As an architect, and an avid lover of all things software and tech, AutoCAD’s capabilities are shockingly limited in comparison to what’s out there on the market; let’s explore the idea further…
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
AutoCAD’S interface is heavily reliant on drop down menus, hiding a massive portion of the functionalities from user view.
AutoCAD has an ill integrated 3D and 2D interface. Architects typically prefer switching between the two when designing, which is an unfortunate usability impediment.
AutoCAD is visually difficult for users to process, lacking the ability to swiftly switch between a printable view and a drafting view. Architects are very visual people.
AutoCAD has a visibly disorganized interface, that lacks the ability to personalize tools in a simple, gestural way. This added complexity makes the software look clunky and unnecessarily busy.
I decided to design an intervention that would address the much needed user interface overhaul AutoCAD loyalists deserve. My research began with assessing the core functionality needs of the user and creating user stories that were specific to each function.
EXISTING USER INTERFACE ANALYSIS
AS A USER I WANT TO QUICKLY ACCESS AND NAVIGATE THE DRAFTING TOOLSET TO CREATE DRAWINGS
DOCUMENT LAYOUT PROPERTIES
AS A USER I WANT MY SPACE TO BE ORGANIZED BASED ON MY FUNCTIONAL NEEDS SO THAT I CAN OPTIMIZE MY EFFICIENCY
TOOLBAR RIBBON EXPANDED