Black Forge app icon with a stylized capital letter f in the center Apple’s AppStore Best Apps of 2015 badge

The Perfect Digital Workspace

Hailed as “The perfect digital workspace” by the Apple App Store. Forge empowers creatives to effortlessly generate, iterate, and evaluate their ideas—individually or as a team.

Industrial designers sketches depicting the design development process for a bike helmet executed in the Forge app


Adonit established its name with a successful kickstarter campaign to design and build the best connected iPad stylus for creatives. Adonit’s next natural step was to create their first digital product highlighting the capabilities of connected styluses. The objective was to create an ecosystem exhibiting the full potential of Adonit’s connected products in the digital workspace of the future.

Designer sketching with an Adonit stylus on an iPad at a conference room table Designer at a table pointing out a detail in a sketch to another designer sitting at the table Printed out digital illustration of a man driving a car Hand holding a mobile phone as the user records and sends a voice memo


The team broke into groups and traveled to three regions across North America. Each group conducted several observational research sessions with individuals and teams from a variety of creative disciplines. These sessions focused on understanding the nuances of the creative process.

Informational graphic illustrating the creative process observed from the research sessions


With this new knowledge the team regrouped, debriefed, and started to formulate an outline of the creative process. Numerous conversations and evaluations led to a clear understanding of the users’ needs and the largest opportunity space for a new product. The team agreed users' needs were unique to their discipline for the ‘Inspire’ and ‘Refine’ phases. Additionally, the ‘Refine’ phase was a saturated market. The opportunity for Adonit was to address users’ needs in the ‘Develop’ phase of the creative process.


We knew the product would have to address the users' need to effortlessly curate and organize ideas. The team sketched, refined, and prototyped several solutions and interaction models for this problem.

Brainstorming sketch of rectangles organized in rows Brainstorming sketch contrasting rectangles organized in rows versus rows and columns Brainstorming sketch of variable grouping methods Brainstorming sketch of rectangle getting moved between two other rectangles grouped in a row Brainstorming sketch of multiple rectangles getting moved by a users multi touch gesture Brainstorming sketch of row of rectangles hint to extending into columns Brainstorming sketch of row of rectangles extended into columns Brainstorming sketch of two dimensional layout grid Brainstorming sketch of rectangles snapping to points on other rectangles Brainstorming sketch defining a rectangles snap points for other rectangles Brainstorming sketch of a stylus used to multi select a group of rectangles Brainstorming sketch of a stylus used to handwrite a name for a group of rectangles Brainstorming sketch of stylus used to draw dividing line between groups of rectangles Brainstorming sketch of rectangle getting dragged into empty space to extend the layout Brainstorming sketch of multi touch gesture to access HUD options for rectangle Brainstorming sketch of rectangles organized into scenes and shots Brainstorming sketch of stylus buttons being used to color code rectangles Brainstorming sketch of green and red progress or voting bars above each rectangle Brainstorming sketch of a mini viewer to assist in navigation Brainstorming sketch of a mini viewer expanded to assist in navigation

Test & Iterate

Prototypes did not always need to be complex. Some of the prototypes the team learned the most from were simple colored squares we had users sort and group. These tests led to a solid understanding of user expectations around drag-and-drop, grouping, and auto reordering interactions.

Man using prototype on an iPad to sort and group brightly colored squares on the screen


These quick learnings directly influenced the products requirements, interactions, and design.

Forge UI of sketch floating as the user drags it over other sketches as background lines animate to indicate drop zones
Forge documentation consisting of diagrams and descriptions for how items will move and regroup based on the users input

Launch & Impact

Apple’s AppStore Best Apps of 2015 badge

Forge was recognized by the Apple App Store as one of the best apps of 2015.

Stylized 250k graphic for Forges 250,000th download

The Forge app was downloaded one quarter of a million times in the first two weeks.

Apple’s AppStore Editors’ Choice badge from 2015

Editors' Choice

In 2015 Forge received the Apple Editors' Choice recognition.

Brainstorm ideas and fuel your creativity with this powerful sketching tool that offers the perfect digital workspace. Forge lets you import photos for inspiration, draw and doodle to your heart’s content, and merge layers with a pinch or copy them to take your idea in a new direction. And with Forge’s Project Wall, you can view all your drawings at once, arrange them in collections, and toss your least favorite drafts to the side. It’s a fantastic way to iterate on a concept and work toward an amazing final product.

—Apple App Store Editors’ Notes

Brainstorm sketch created in the Forge app depicting how Forge will grow to support remote collaboration

What's Next...

With the successful launch of Forge the team has a solid foundation and growing userbase to build the next phase of Forge—remote collaboration—right within the Forge app itself!