Remodeler: Jonathan Ward

Company: Jonathan Ward, Durham, N.C.

Product: Design Intuition CAD software,

Jonathan Ward describes himself as a “boutique contractor.” “I do small-scale remodeling, and everything from repairs to custom architectural detailing.” As such, he didn't have much use for a lot of the CAD software he saw on the market.

“My biggest problem with CAD software is that it's needlessly complex. I don't want to have to have a degree in draftsmanship in order to use it.”

He saw Gizmolab's Design Intuition software reviewed in MacWorld and was so impressed with its 4.5 out of 5 score that he had to try it.

He's glad he did. “It's automated to the degree that you can draw 3-D objects with a tool and they're dimensioned already,” he says. And it comes complete with a library of “smart objects,” which makes it easy to start drawing a number of common projects. “There's a 2x4 stud wall already there; you just drag it from the library.”

Ward thinks Design Intuition is perfect for “It's great for somebody who's not ... a full-time, professional CAD operator.” smaller remodelers. “It's great for somebody who's not interested in becoming a full-time, professional CAD operator. I looked at a lot of other stuff, I've owned other CAD software, and there's too much there. I don't have time to become an expert. Conversely, if you're used to a great big, fully featured architectural CAD program, this won't be sophisticated enough.”

He was also impressed with Gizmolab's one-man operation. “The company is very cool and very friendly and helpful.” Gizmolab, who put the software on Ward's G4 and his laptop for just one licensing charge, sells Design Intuition (only available for Macs) through its Web site.

Design Intuition has made an impact on client satisfaction in the short time Ward has been using it. “I've already run about a half dozen reasonably complex designs through it. It's invaluable, because I can describe [a project] in words, but when you can give [clients] a good, detailed drawing, it's just perfect.”