How does Bild transform design reviews?

January 31, 2022

For hardware teams, design reviews are an unavoidable part of the engineering process. While the value of design reviews is high, the practice can be tedious and time-consuming for those involved. Participating in design reviews means attending frequent meetings, creating detailed slide decks, or typing out long explanations over email chains. In the past, running design reviews has been a necessary evil—there just wasn't an alternative workflow that provided the benefits without the hassle. Enter Bild.

By providing engineers and their collaborators with a centralized workspace and features tailored to hardware design, Bild delivers a faster and simpler alternative to how design reviews are currently run.

Without Bild

Let’s take a look at the day-to-day operations of a hardware company. Every week engineers are pulled into low level design reviews where they update project leads and other engineering teams about their designs. However, the conversations in these meetings are rarely efficient; they usually end by scheduling another time later that day or week to meet. This is because it’s difficult to package up all of the information about a design at a single time. For example, an engineer working on a product’s antenna may need to work on their subsystem for a few more hours before being able to answer the battery engineer’s question.

Cue: another meeting. And the cycle continues with questions coming up that aren’t able to be answered and more meetings being scheduled. Since hardware development depends on cross-functional collaboration, engineers’ schedules are often littered with design review meet-ups between different teams and stakeholders.

With Bild

Bild’s mission is to enable better collaboration within hardware development, which allows teams to reclaim lost productivity and launch products faster. This is done by moving to a workflow that allows these less formal design reviews to occur asynchronously.

Rather than attending meeting after meeting, engineers and their collaborators can log on to Bild and ask questions, give feedback, and update stakeholders on their own time. By pairing an interactive design viewer that supports both MCAD and ECAD files with an easy-to-use annotation tool, Bild allows engineers to upload their designs, add internal or external stakeholders, and flag important details for them to see.

The design review process can now occur asynchronously with stakeholders asking questions and providing feedback right on top of designs. Once the engineer has an answer or updated information, they can reply back in Bild. No in-person meetings necessary! Bild enables everyone’s work streams to happen in parallel, allowing engineers to move ahead on projects with more consistency.

Why does this matter?

The constant cycle of meetings is a problem that plagues engineers across the board. Despite facing tight project deadlines, engineers are repeatedly pulled away from their core design work to attend and participate in informal design reviews.

When engineers are forced to juggle the core work with endless meetings, their performances inevitably suffer.

By not running design reviews asynchronously, engineers are forced into non-ideal situations where they must context switch or rush their work or other meetings. This introduces more room for error and mistakes in the design process, making engineers less confident in their work. This then leads to more design review meetings, because engineers need more attention to catch potential issues in their designs. But, the problem remains the same: these meetings leave engineers with less time to focus on design work.

The iterative nature of hardware development means that each hour lost of engineering bandwidth is amplified tenfold across different stakeholders, builds, and projects. Each hour lost is not a one-time thing, it can snowball into devastating delays for a project.

With Bild, the design review process becomes asynchronous and frees up engineering bandwidth, providing more confidence in designs.