UX Design Project

'My Machines' feature

Netfabb is Autodesk’s additive manufacturing and design software program. It combines tools for lattice creation, topology optimization, build preparation, metal process simulation, CNC machining workflow and machine export.

Timeline

4 months

Team 

Project Manager

Software Developers

Researchers

Design Team

Role 

Experience Design Intern

Context

The machine library feature is essential for allowing users to select machines specific to their factory, or to enter custom machines and settings without the hassle of scrolling through an extensive list of options, which was the original setup.

By allowing users to create a custom library of machines, it speeds up the user’s workflow and minimizes human error when choosing the machine and settings.

Problem

The machine library component of Netfabb was not well known. It was hidden away because it was not designed to be a significant factor in the user’s workflow. To stay competitive in the additive manufacturing market.

KEY PAIN POINTS

• Users are unaware of the feature, hard to find within the software
• The feature has limited functionality
• Feature does not benefit the user’s workflow

Goals

USABILITY

Increasing the usability of the machine library feature within Netfabb to make it enticing for customers.

USER REQUIREMENTS

Ensuring the machine library component of Netfabb met users’ requirements.

Research

Current Product Analysis

Coming into the internship I had no prior experience with Netfabb, which is what the team wanted, because I provided a fresh pair of eyes to analyze the software. I spent about a week exploring and identifying potential pain points within the software and then presented my findings to the team.

Competitive Analysis

A large part of making Netfabb competitive in the additive manufacturing market again was understanding what their competitors were doing. By conducting my own research and utilizing previously documented competitive analysis I understood what other products were doing, in order to help Netfabb stand out and enable larger customer appeal.

Qualitative Interviews

With the help of the design’s team researcher, I conducted remote interviews with current Netfabb customers. I created interactive prototypes that the user would walk through the process of completing tasks within the new ‘My Machines’ feature.

“I think it looks great. - I would love to be able to have software that would be capable of something like this.”
-Customer Quote

Insights from User Testing

  • Customers appreciate being asked for their opinions and be a part of testing sessions.

  • It was very insightful to speak with a variety of Netfabb customers and understand what they needed to make the feature beneficial to their work.

  • Universal icons and colors are not universal across all fields.

Ideation

Initial Ideation

I began by ideating on paper before using Sketch to develop low, medium, and high fidelity prototypes. In addition to creating interactive prototypes using InVision.

Concept Development

Below are a variety of iterations of possible placements of the 'My Machines' feature within Netfabb.

Workflow

I focused heavily on the workflow of the functionalities within 'My Machines' in order to make the experience as intuitive and beneficial to the customers.

Product Features

Preset Machines

Preset machines allows users to quickly select a machine and begin 3D printing without going through a hassle of entering custom details about the 3D printer.

Default Machines

Some users have one or two 3D printers they use on a consistent basis. Therefore, it would be tedious to have to open ‘My Machines’ every time they want to print a part. The user can select a machine to use as their default printer that will automatically load when Netfabb is opened.

Custom Machines

For specific prints, machines have to be set with specific settings to print a successful part. Users can enter custom settings for a 3D printer to have precise prints.

Grouping Machines

Machinists all have their own way to organize their 3D printers. The grouping feature allows machinists to group together 3D printers however seems fit for their factory. Whether they are grouped by material, manufacturer, or how often they are used.

Product Video

An interactive walkthrough of the updated 'My Machines' feature in Netfabb.

Projects

Copyright©2020 Allison Kachala

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