Visual Version Control
The generation and development of 3-dimensional models using computer-aided design software (CAD) are essential to the contemporary practice of Industrial Design. However, the version control and file management practices used by designers are regarded as extremely manual and outdated when compared with tools used in other industries such as software development.
How can better version control tools improve the CAD development process for designers?
To answer this question, user research was conducted with the methods of interviews and contextual observation to understand how designers typically manage the CAD development process and what problems they typically face. The qualitative and quantitative data gathered from research participants strongly suggests there is significant potential to improve the CAD development process by improving version control and file management tools designers use.
Using the frameworks of lean development and design sprints, successive software prototypes were developed towards the final design outcome. At the end of each design iteration, the prototype was evaluated and validated using small-scale user testing to ensure design development continues positively while staying closely aligned to the needs of users.
The final design outcome is a version control and file management web application that improves the process of designing 3-dimensional CAD models and improves the ease of communication and collaboration between designers and other project stakeholders.