designing manufacturing tools at Intel

Company Intel

Role Research, Interaction design

Summary This Design for Manufacturing (DFM) tool helps Intel engineers create files needed to validate microprocessors in less time and with higher quality. Throughout the process I worked closely with the product owner and developers along with internal partners spanning hardware, system engineering, product, and design. The tool is currently released in beta across 20 users in four geographies.

"This tool is great. Thank you for working on it."-system validation engineer   "I was able to create the file and the process was much faster and smoother."-product development engineer

50% reduction in task completion time 52% increase in tool's ease of use 38% more users felt that the tool meets their needs

Understanding the Users' Workflows and the Business Domain Through fly-on-the-wall observations and contextual inquiries, I found that two engineering roles had to collaborate to easily create high quality files for validating microprocessors as they move from pre-silicon design to factory lines. Intel engineers were aggravated with the old tool which created inaccurate output files, included unnecessary features and navigation issues, and had long task completion times. Notes and comments were collected and used in diagrams to sort, label, integrate, and prioritize user needs, pain points, and constraints posed by the engineering process.


Flowcharts created to understand the tool's process. Images blurred due to confidential information.

Sketching and Wireframing After understanding the users, goals, and domain, I whiteboarded and wireframed with the product owner. The wireframes were refined and the paper prototypes were tested iteratively on the primary users. Interactive prototypes and mockups were made with Adobe XD, Illustrator, and Sketch.

sticky noting and preliminary wireframes

Sticky noting and preliminary wireframes. Images blurred due to confidential information.

Outcome and Next Steps We have just released a beta version of our tool to about 20 users spanning four geographies. We are looking forward to getting more feedback from our users as we prepare for production. I am unable to show mockups and user flows because the manufacturing data is confidential information.