Indesign’s 26th Anniversary

February 28, 2023 | Blog
The Indesign, LLC team gathered in February to celebrate and raise a toast to 26 years of engineering excellence. In a shimmering conference room, under a ceiling of draped balloons, we enjoyed lunch together, some games, many laughs, gifts, and a recap of the year. (more…)
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Indesign’s Las Vegas Return: CES 2023

January 31, 2023 | Blog
Indesign, LLC will be celebrating its 26th anniversary in February. And for nearly all of those 26 years, we have attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I say “nearly” only because the pandemic ruined that, too, as we didn’t attend in 2021 or 2022. But things are feeling more and more back to normal, as Indesign and thousands of other companies returned to CES in 2023, which clocked in a respectable 115,000 attendees (compared to last year’s measly 45,000). This year’s show was especially awesome for myself and, electrical engineer, Matt Streicher, as it was our first-ever trip to the iconic event. Contrast that with the roughly 30 years of CES attendance by our fearless leader Ron Kern, and you can imagine how often he felt like a tour guide. Face-to-Face Connections Our Indesign trio enjoyed a productive and impactful few days. Though we regularly interact with clients and partners virtually, nothing beats face-to-face conversations. We met with many of our wonderful semiconductor and manufacturing partners to discuss the latest trends and technologies. We explored the vast show floors filled with gadgets, gizmos, and immersive exhibits (like LG’s phenomenal display in the video below). And most importantly, we spent time connecting with clients, often over a meal in one of the many fantastic restaurants that Vegas offers. Your browser does not support the video tag. Outside the Comfort Zone CES 2023 even offered us engineers an opportunity to explore outside of our comfort zones. If you asked us on a normal day, “Where’s a place you’re unlikely to ever be spotted?”, a perfectly valid answer would be, “In a nightclub.” But when we received an invitation to a party at the OMNIA Nightclub in Caesars Palace from our friends at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), we figured that might just be the kind of nightclub party that we’d fit in at. So we went, we didn’t dance, and we had a blast. We even found some Nordic friends there (the semiconductor kind; not the kind from Norway). Though it’s a year away, we’re already looking forward to CES 2024. We hope to see you there! About Indesign Indesign, LLC is a multi-discipline engineering design firm that provides full turnkey electronic product development to allow clients to get their new product ideas into the market quickly. We offer complete product development capabilities, starting with a product concept and finishing with a ready-to-manufacture design. To learn more about us and our services, contact us at (317) 377-5450 today!
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Thanksgiving and Community

November 22, 2022 | Blog
One of the lesser-known facts about Indesign, LLC is that within our team, we have many wonderful cooks. They won’t ever say so, but when given the mission to team up and create the year’s best lunch for Thanksgiving, our employees understand the mission and have never missed the target. It seems the Indesign drive for excellence spans beyond the borders of engineering. (more…)
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Fall Festival 2022

October 31, 2022 | Blog
A tradition that goes back to the beginning years of Indesign, LLC is the annual Fall Festival. An event created to include Indesign families, the Fall Festival gives us a glimpse at the other hats that Indesigners wear. For an afternoon, within the Indesign walls, our team gets the opportunity to pause and set down their work “hats”. Some put on the proud parent "hat" as they walk through with their little unicorns, superheroes, and princesses. If we’re being honest, they probably chase more so than walk. (more…)
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Company Picnic 2022

September 28, 2022 | Blog
It may be true the only constant in life is change, but I think there’s one more constant we can add to the list. A picnic on a sunny summer day is always a good thing! The Indesign, LLC team did just that on a warm August day with blue skies and a slight breeze. We rented a pavilion at Fort Harrison State Park, ordered Chick-Fil-A, served ice cream, laid out several yard games (and decks of cards for those who prefer shade), and had a picnic. (more…)
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The Requirements Process

August 31, 2022 | Blog
A good requirements process iterates to produce requirements quality and completeness sufficient to permit design and development work to be carried out with acceptable risk. These are the basic steps: Identify the stakeholders and needs Determine the requirements Analyze the requirements Document, communicate, and get feedback Review and revise the requirements We need to know the stakeholders, who they are, and what they need. Requirements management is a people problem. We could spend months designing and building something perfectly, but it would be for nothing if it’s not what the stakeholders want. They have the final say. It is critical to understand their problems and motivations. We have to adopt their perspective and vision as the reference point for determining and deriving requirements. Determine the Requirements We need to determine the requirements by digging. They may only exist in the mind of the client, and they may be limited. Projects are critically vulnerable at the stage where requirements are poorly defined and sometimes clients need help exploring the details. It can be dramatically cheaper to refine the requirements than to build the wrong thing and fix it. It is always better if the engineers aren’t guessing, and we can’t rely solely on our experience and assume we know what is best because we’ve done something like it before. Invoking curiosity, asking lots of open-ended questions, interviewing, hypothetical “what if” scenarios, user stories, prototypes, diagrams, simulations, and demos can be powerful. It is part art, part science. Analysis of Requirements Analysis and conceptual mastery before making anything will reduce schedule and cost risk. Nothing can replace critical thinking. Our goal is complete and consistent requirements. It is an iterative activity, balanced between “top-down” and “bottom-up” thinking. We need to listen to nagging doubts, and also be aware that we can reach a point of diminishing returns. Analysis paralysis is real, and it takes judgment to know when to stop. Documenting the Requirements Requirements, assumptions, conditions, and constraints should be documented as a basis for conversation and feedback. Words, block diagrams, flow charts, illustrations, and hand sketches count. Expensive or elaborate requirements management tools and processes don’t always produce better outcomes, but a requirements baseline and change-control procedure to identify, track, and communicate changes can be very helpful. We need to tailor the approach based on the people, project, and level of risk involved. Just like requirements analysis, requirements documentation and review can become an endless cycle. At some point, we must start building. Revising the Requirements We should expect requirements to evolve during a project. Proactive review and revision can prevent rework and promote efficiency. Change is inevitable, and incompleteness becomes apparent during implementation. Timely revision, even if it’s just in time, and agreement are key. A lot of change early is much better than change later during development, which can be orders of magnitude more costly in terms of budget and schedule. Requirements should be reviewed individually and as a complete set, often, among the project team and with stakeholders. Revisions and additions can be proposed and approved as needed, tracked, and re-baselined. In Conclusion Iterating through this requirements management process takes discipline and may not feel like progress but the feeling will be much worse if requirements are neglected and the schedule and budget targets are missed due to rework. If we are disciplined early, we may be free from budget and schedule woes later. The results may seem simply miraculous. About Indesign, LLC Indesign, LLC uses a proven process for new product development and electrical engineering to deliver your projects on schedule, with high product quality, and within your budget requirements. Our product development process was designed for complete product development projects, beginning with product concept development & ending with design introduction into manufacture. Contact us at (317) 377-5450 today to get started!
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The Requirements Guide

July 29, 2022 | Blog
Our process improvement initiative on requirements resulted in some updates to our checklists and quality process tools, but some of the things we learned didn’t have an obvious place to go. Some of the things we learned seemed worthy of standing on their own as something new. We created a requirements guide to capture the rest. (more…)
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Central Indiana Top Workplaces 2022 Award

June 24, 2022 | Awards
Indesign, LLC has been named one of the Top Workplaces in 2022 by The Indianapolis Star, for the 12th year in a row. The list is based entirely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 drivers of engaged cultures that are critical to the success of any organization. These include alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few. (more…)
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Improving the Requirements Process at Indesign

May 31, 2022 | Blog
In our previous blog, we made the case for why requirements are so important. Convinced of their importance, we started a process improvement initiative in 2019 within our embedded software team to improve our approach to requirements. As an ISO 9001 certified company, we have a quality management system which includes processes for our engineering disciplines. Our mission was to review and improve our firmware processes and tools related to firmware requirements to promote better outcomes for our company, our engineers, and our clients. (more…)
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Starting with the End in Mind: The Importance of Requirements

April 5, 2022 | Blog
Some people say, “Enjoy the ride; it’s not just about getting to the destination,” or something like that. For some things in life that’s true, and good advice. It’s also true, to a degree, for product development. We enjoy the process of building new systems. Helping our clients solve their problems is what we do, and we have fun doing it. But product development usually has strict expectations for budget and schedule. This isn’t a casual joyride. A product development is a purposeful endeavor, and in some cases we are setting out to do something which has never been done before. (more…)
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