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Design Can Be Fun

Posted by GarretF Feb 15, 2012

This post is part of a series on what's new in Circuit Design Suite 12.0


The Circuit Design Suite (Multisim and Ultiboard) applications are serious applications. For students, they provide a means to understand electronics; for professionals, they provide means to design electronics and create products. When we develop these products, we recognize that customers are using them to do work. But can work also be fun?


One of my personal goals is for our customers to smile when they use our products. I mean that quite literally, to actually smile. The idea is from Microsoft, but it really applies for our products too. There are a number of factors that influence whether we can elicit a smile, and they can be hard to quantify. Sometimes you just know when you see it. While I was testing out a small product improvement, I found that smile.


The 3D view in Ultiboard now shows a magnifying glass when zooming. But the developer who gave zooming an icon went a little further. The colour inside the magnifying glass changes depending on what is underneath the cursor. When I first noticed it, I found myself compelled to move the cursor around to see what colour would show up for different parts, traces, etc on the board. It was fun.


To see this effect, open an Ultiboard design. Click Tools > View 3D to show the 3D view (below). Then right click and move your cursor around.




Go ahead and try it for yourself.