Autodesk Markups


PlanGrid/Autodesk are construction productivity tools that help workers in the field and office connect, collaborate, and become more efficient on construction projects of all sizes. In 2018 PlanGrid was acquired by Autodesk in order to help build out the new Construction Group.

The Project

Shortly after Autodesk aquired PlanGrid, the construction teams came together to unify platforms into a single offering. This included unifying a markups tool for construction documents.

The Problem

Unifying 2 different markup experiences into one as well as setting the foundation for future growth.

My Role & The Team

Lead designer working with 1 PM and 5 engineers from 2019 to 2020


Back in 2018 Autodesk acquired PlanGrid and a few other companies to help build out their construction unit. This unification also saw the unification of markup solutions from PlanGrid and BIM360.

Previous user experience

The two main markup solutions were from PlanGrid and BIM360 during the unification efforts.

Each platform had its own differences but also shared commonalities.

PlanGrid was much more mature on mobile, but BIM360 was more mature on web. The takeaway from this was that we needed to find a common ground across web and mobile while keeping the experience clean.

Markups in the field

Core problems needing to solve

- Unify 2 separate markup services into one unified offering
- Establish a new codebase for easier markup development
- Establish stronger design patterns for more scalable markup improvements


One of the first things we did was kickoff around of customer research to better understand how customers were using our markup features and what their expectations were. This so we can think beyond just unification and instead deliver a remarkable experience that lays the foundation for the future.

Customer interviews

We interviewed 8 different customers. Including sub contractors and general contractors to see how different type of users were using markups.

Key takeaways

1 ) Customers often use BlueBeam (third party markup tool) alongside PlanGrid/BIM360. They often had comments like "can you just do what BlueBeam does." Thus making us consider how we can build more parity.

2) Complexity is a issue with the old markup experiences. Customers are often having to make markups in a hurry and therefore need quick interactions to get thoughts down and move on.

3) Markups are mostly used for communication purposes. Such as to higher ups or to other teams. Having more communication mechanisms baked in will help teams.


After conducting initial audits of our various platforms, and a initial round of research we then moved to start exploring what a unified experience could be that brings the best of PlanGrid and BIM360 together.

Viewer framework



Defining shapes

Early on we made a list of all markup shapes and actions we want in our new unified experience. From there we listed out how each would look and behave. This making it easy for engineering to adjust the system to support current complexity and future complexity.

Markup management

As we began exploring we began to see new things needing to be addressed such as managing large amount of markups, being able to use markups for progress tracking, and more. As a result we revisited our IA and build a more robust framework to handle how to navigate through markups, and edit markups.


After several rounds of research, design sprints and months of engineering refactoring we finally came to a solid experience that got us unified and well ahead of any other tool on the market.

Accomplishments & Learnings

- Unified 2 separate markup experiences into one service
- Led redesign of markup types in order to improve legibility and interaction
- Helped set direction for a unified viewer framework alongside 2 other designers
- Designed a framework for future feature work adoption such as for tracking construction progress through markups and interacting with assets on a blueprint sheet.

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