AutoCAD is a platform used by architects to draw their plans. Their main need is the ability to input exact values to geometries in their drawings.
The transition from mouse and keyboard to touch-controlled interface created the following problems:
As a product designer, my goal was to further define the touch experience in terms of performance and also make it efficient and useful.
Even though we added a keyboard to the product, users continue to complain about its absence and only ~35% of the users evoked it at least once.
After competitor analysis and brainstorming, we came up with several optional concepts which were prioritized according to the estimation of effort and impact.
The concepts we explored:
Onboard with coach marks
We decided to test the version with an icon to increase affordance and hint users because it had the lowest effort estimation. To test it we conducted a/b testing between one version with the keypad and without it.
The concepts we explored
Due to a technical limitation, the keypad allowed entering values for the NEXT segment and not for the CURRENT one as AutoCAD users are used. This resulted in high error rate and in observations we saw that users failed to accomplish the most basic tasks
We designed an interaction model that imitates the mice interaction.
Observations surfaced a low learning curve and some reoccurring errors.
Users used the gestures with some expectations about the result was either different than expected, in other cases nothing happened after users' actions
In order to inform users about the current system state and what can be done, we added feedback to the crosshair to inform the user when a tap is acceptable when a tap is invalid and instructions to recover in case of a mistake
The next goal was to improve performance and create a delightful experience while entering exact values
Usability evaluation - by usability sessions and heuristic analysis - we found the following usability issues
A custom inline keypad to appear next to the geometry and prevent hand gazing.
It will have all the special characters to each unit type and allow live preview so the user will be able to predict the outcome of their actions in order to feel in control and avoid errors
The layout adjusts itself according to the file drawing units
The overall results of the above showed improvement to some important metrics
In A/B testing, the new icon version showed an increase of ~30% to the proportion of users that uses the keypad in comparison to users that didn't have the icon.
In percentage of new users that opened at least 4 drawing in their first month after adopting the new interaction model
After adding the cursor state feedback alongside with the new interaction model the percentage of acquired points without mistake by all app users increased from 91% to 96%
Of the users that made a mistake in the first acquired point managed to acquire the second point without any mistake within 8 seconds