For an upcoming customer project, I will be dealing with control center UI, including visualization on-screen software, but also hardware control panels and dashboards.
The project emphasizes on evaluating and redesigning both software and hardware interfaces including hi-fi and lo-fi prototyping. There are plenty of tools available for software UI wifreframing, but not so much for hardware UIs.
All physical interfaces already exist. The plan is to evaluate it and give suggestions for improvements.
What is the best practices for designing hardware UIs like control panels with different, but recurring control elements like buttons, sliders or handles? Existing tools like pen&paper, Balsamiq or Photoshop are limited in terms of hardware wireframing. Aside from higl-level tools like AutoCAD, what tools and approaches are there for hardware prototyping?