Simcenter Amesim 16 - deep dive into user experience!
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Simcenter Amesim 16 is full of new features that will appeal to all of our users – for instance, we have exciting new features for FMI and CAD Import, which our expert users will be sure to appreciate.
There is one feature which impacts all of our users, however, regardless of their expertise, workflows or familiarity with Simcenter Amesim: user experience. It is central to the way people utilize Simcenter Amesim, and shapes the way they interact with it, and sometimes what they are able to achieve with it.
Well before developments started on Simcenter Amesim 16, we sat with a number of our users and had a close look at their habits, workflows and usage patterns in the tool. This gave us invaluable insights into the things we could do in order to make your everyday life in Simcenter Amesim simpler, easier and more enjoyable.
Based on the feedback we received, we decided to advance Simcenter Amesim along a number of several axes:
Usability – affording all users more intuitive workflows for increased efficiency on frequently-performed tasks, while helping advanced users become experts more quickly.
Discoverability – making features and actions easier to find, thus decreasing the time between the beginning and end of one workflow.
Learnability – ensuring that Simcenter Amesim is an approachable tool for beginners who are unfamiliar with the world of model-based systems engineering.
These all sound like worthy goals, but what was done, concretely, you may wonder?
Users don’t want an intimidating mass of hard-to-comprehend buttons everywhere, with no clear indication of a usage pattern. Simcenter Amesim 16 has dispensed with that.
When you open Simcenter Amesim 16, you will be greeted by an interface which has been laid out to optimize the amount of information that you have to deal with at any point during your modeling work: not so much as to overload you with information, but enough to take full advantage of the context you’re currently working within.
The new layout of the Simcenter Amesim main window
The 4 modes dominate the workflow in Simcenter Amesim, so they take center stage, now displayed as tabs at the top of the interface. Each mode is accompanied by a mode-contextual toolbar, which displays the most relevant features and actions for the mode in question. For the features which are needed in all modes, we’ve introduced the global toolbar. Additionally, we’ve grouped all text-related actions (annotations, alignment, and view controls) into the sketch toolbar.
The window is much simpler as a result of all of this, which means you will spend less time in “target confusion” mode, looking for a feature among a sea of buttons and actions.
The workflows: simplified
Simcenter Amesim 16 has taken a step forward in terms of workflow simplification as well. The aim was as few workflow interruptions as possible, and where possible rethinking some fundamental features.
An example of a feature we’ve rethought is the library tree. It is a powerful feature, and has worked well in past versions, but users interact with it on such a regular basis that we decided to take it to a new level in Simcenter Amesim 16.
The new library tree is designed to maximize the available space for displaying components, all the while vastly reducing the number of clicks necessary in order to navigate into a given library and find the component of interest.
The evolution of the library tree
Improved navigation through libraries and better search result display mean that your sketch-building efficiency is sure to increase in Simcenter Amesim 16.
The structure: revamped
Simcenter Amesim is rich with functionality, which expert users are sure to be familiar with, but beginners might take time to find. Part of the objectives in Simcenter Amesim 16 was to bring coherence through structure.
Our menus, which are full of information, have been rearranged and simplified so that they present features to users in a way that makes it easier to remember where to find things.
Menu structure has been rethought for Simcenter Amesim 16
A strong resemblance between modeling modes and menu structure means that you will be able to find features where you expect them to be. This has the added bonus of guiding you towards features, depending on where in the simulation process you currently are.
The sketch: overhauled
It makes sense to take a look at the place where everything happens – the sketch is where users of Simcenter Amesim spend most of their time.
A big advancement in Simcenter Amesim 16 has been the addition of support for vector graphics in the sketch – indeed, all of our libraries now come as standard in vector graphics format.
Vector graphics contributes to a crystal clear model-viewing experience
This means that your sketches will look crisp and clear, whether you’re zoomed all the way out in a big model, or zooming in on a small part of it to work on a few components in detail.
This also contributes to the already improved look and feel of the user interface itself, which has been refreshed thanks to an up-to-date, flat-style design.
All this, and much, much more awaits you in Simcenter Amesim 16!
About the author
Karim Nassar is Product Manager for the Simcenter Amesim platform, working within the infrastructure product management team. His activities center around improving the user experience in Simcenter Amesim. He also has an interest in software interfaces with CFD software, namely co-simulation with STAR-CCM+. He has been a part of the product management team for the Simcenter Amesim platform for 3 years, and has contributed to initiatives aimed at simplifying users’ lives ever since he joined in 2015.