We hope that you are enjoying the new AutoCAD 360 application (Android version coming soon, see below). We thought we might share with you some of our user testing efforts that went into creating this app.
Several months ago, after long hours of sketching, paper prototyping, designing, discussing, re-designing, user testing, arguing and vice versa, a functional raw AutoCAD 360 app was ready for internal user testing.
Back at the time, we invited local professionals to participate in a series of usability sessions executed in the Tel Aviv Office. The usability sessions included a thirty minute interview, some paper prototypes, and a hands-on usability task.
During the interviews, we gained valuable knowledge about the interviewees. This included his / her background, work environments, interpretations of the application, and the concerns about the cloud system and Design Feed.
Some of the major features of AutoCAD 360 were tested by our users before being implemented into the app using paper prototypes. Paper prototyping is a technique that allows you to create and test user interfaces efficiently using pieces of user interface printed on papers. One example is the Info sidebar section of the File Manager. We provided the users with the different sections of the Info Sidebar and asked them to explain them and position them according to their convenience. Another example of paper prototyping involved the Layers Palette. We asked users which actions they would like to perform on the layers and how they would expect to execute these. Following the users’ comments, we were able to build features that better fit the users’ expectations.
Continuing on about usability sessions, some interesting discoveries happened in the hands-on part of the usability sessions.
Fun testing began when the users were supplied with an original plan of our actual office and were requested to draw an expansion to incorporate more workspace using the mobile application. Later on, they performed a site visit walking around our office while using AutoCAD 360 on the iPad. They marked up inaccuracies they found in the drawing, measured a few spaces using the measurement tools, and documented some parts of the office using the Attach image feature.
Users reported very positively and commented that using the iPad during a site visit made them feel young and modern.
Observing users’ reactions and recognition of editing tools, icons, and layout formats were taken into account when finalizing our product. For example, users were having difficulties recognizing icons on the toolbar; therefore, text labels were added under the icons on iPad devices for clarity.
The AutoCAD 360 team has designed and built this application to comply to the users. We want you to be happy!
Soon we’ll start preparing for the android beta program. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here. It will be interesting and fun!
And we would always love to hear your comments or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.