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Generative Design:

Project Dreamcatcher

Project  : Collaborative
Role : UX Design, Front end web application development, Design Research 
Summary

Autodesk is an engineering major software development company focussing on mechanical engineering, civil engineering and architecture/construction related software.

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I worked on a breakthrough innovative product in the upcoming field of generative design.  Dreamcatcher is a generative design system that enables designers to craft their designs by specifying goals and constraints. My role was to define innovative ways to design the software user experience, establish workflows, output mechanical designs and test their structural integrity. 

Project Dreamcatcher 

Generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. It starts with your design goals and then explores all of the possible permutations of a solution to find the best option. It is gaining popularity in context of  Art, Product Design and Architecture. Project ‘Dreamcatcher’ is the generative design based software platform Autodesk. 

I worked on the Product Innovation and Visualization Designs during the course of my internship. User research, Wireframe generation, UX design, Workflow design, Solid modelling consisted a major part of my internship. I also developed a user interface using javascript, HTML and CSS for the explore environment in the software.

Design Research

The innovation process in the team was quite unique as most of the design was user centered. We conducted new user research sessions every week which gave us significant insights into what features the users are looking at, what expectations do they have from such a tool. We conducted experiments and activities to make the user research immersive and interactive. I collected various insights about important variables and workflow patterns of the personas obtained from personal interviews, phone interviews and specially designed user research surveys. We used LUMA user centered methods to discuss new features to be added, improving the current features and ranking the performance of the product.

UX Design
Mechanical Solid Modelling

We approached the design of objects using the software from a iterative perspective. For every new problem definition (set up by varying load case or spacial positioning of the body), we developed prototypes and tested them, compared them on the basis of mechanical prowess, aesthetic design, manufacturability to get to more viable designs. Some of the projects I worked on were Bracket design and chair design. I also worked on understanding the aesthetic properties of the bow and motorcycle swingarm depicted here designed with Dreamcatcher.

We considered 4 major personas which would be interacting with the dreamcatcher tool for their design process.

The personas were: Mechanical Engineer, Aerospace Engineer, Industrial designer and Technical Lead. Each of these personas have a different approach to design and adopt different workflows to reach their final design. My user research helped me to blend user generated feedback into our product design. Our final product user experience reflects the specific workflows our user follows to design and aligns with their modus operandi to make it easier for them to get acquainted with the software and seamlessly integrate it in their projects.

UI Wireframes
All images and diagrams used to create this project page belong to Autodesk Inc.