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NextIndexPreviousTechnical Innovation Awards 1998

Excellence in usability

IntelliCAD 98

PC Mag Technical Innovation Awards 1998 Good usability helps to make difficult tasks simple. Visio IntelliCAD provides an excellent example of how even complex functions can be made approachable with a well-implemented interface. The reputation of CAD as a highly specialised field is reflected in the complexity of the software that supports designers in their work. This category of product has taken its time to move to the Windows platform and many of the current packages are little more than DOS command line products coupled with a handful of icons. High-end packages aren't cheap either--at over 3,000 (ex. VAT) for a product like AutoCAD 14, they're not a proposition to be taken lightly.

IntelliCAD 98 If you've got some basic understanding of CAD conventions and just want to create the occasional 2D or 3D drawing, high-end packages are an expensive and complex solution, requiring many weeks of use to understand even basic features. Visio's IntelliCAD has made CAD drawing almost immediately accessible by creating a product with an intelligently organised front end. Provided that you have a basic knowledge of the underlying techniques it's quick and easy to learn. A combination of standard Windows interface components and tools specifically created to assist designers, such as a series of 'pick boxes' to let you tailor commands, help to improve productivity and impressed usability testers in our October 1998 review of CAD packages.

Although IntelliCAD doesn't offer the range of functions available from products like AutoCAD 14 , making use of the features that it does have is straightforward and supported by intelligently written help materials. Simplicity and a high standard of interface design combine to make IntelliCAD a worthy winner in this category.

Visio International

(01372) 847800 Fax (01372) 847900

www.visio.com/products/intellicad/home.html

Price (ex. VAT) 249

This article appears in the January 1999 issue of PC Magazine UK
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