In this article we examine ways to improve daily processes to create user-friendly spaces in facilities through Modelspace.
We have been solving different challenges in the construction industry, by creating new innovative services and solutions. Over these years we have gained understanding of user-centricity through our expertise in BIM and software development. For this article, we collected five essential tips that you should keep in mind when developing your internal design processes.
Before you start gathering any information from the users of your buildings, make sure that all the designers get access to the information. The most common mistake is to start asking with enthusiasm, what the users need, but then afterwards lose track of the data in endless emails. In the worst scenario, the designers go forward with their planning trusting vague memories, but the user feels disappointed, because he did not get what he asked for.
There are many solutions to share and collect all this data, but few of them are actually designed for the needs of the construction sector. We suggest, that you choose to collect user requirements in a web-based solution, which all the designers can easily access, and where from you can send questions to users, attaching the relevant spaces or requirements to your queries. We use our own solution Modelspace Space Management.
You are inspired and enthusiastic to gather data from users, and that is great news for your construction project! But try to inspire the users and encourage them to write down their requirement – because only a superhero can remember after six months, what hopes were said in which meetings. Recognize your teams strengths and opinions and make use of them as part of your process.
Sometimes the requirements are so obvious to the end user, that they do not see the need to write them down – or requirements feel out of place to the designers. For example, in one project, chemists, that were to use the laboratory, did not require that the floors and surfaces of a laboratory were chemical proof – it was obvious for them. Luckily, they had instead written down, which chemicals were to be used in there. By using this data, the architect could choose the right surfaces materials for furniture and surfaces – because strong acids, bases and solvents require totally different things from materials. So, when you gather requirements, ask specifying questions. Or if you want to make that work easy for you, create a blank sheet, where users can fill out what is done in different spaces and with what equipment. This will save tens of hours of meeting and confusion.
When the design iteration rounds have proceeded to their twentieth round, the requirements of users may have gone missing under all the changes. Be sure to share the changes with the users! Provide the opportunity for them to check the spaces designed for them, because they are experts in finding the uncomfortable solutions than have ended up in the plans. Also be sure to make the checking and approving of plans easy for the users.
We know, that this headline sounds scary. But you know yourself, that development requires change in the way of thinking. These steps mentioned above, can all be done the hard or easy way. The hard way is to do it like in the 90’s: you send emails, call people and write that information down in Excel (or worse, on sticky notes). You will be using simple tools, but you are overworking yourself. And unfortunately, when the pressure starts to build up, all the laborious work get left out – i.e. listening to users. The easy way is to encourage users and designers to write down their requirements and work on a single platform, where to all parties have an easy access and where the data gets updated.
Of course this easy way requires encouragement to use a new platform, but when the pressure has built up all parties save time and requirements are surely found. When Modelspace is taken into use in the first phases of the project, then all parties have easier time to get accustomed to a new processes, which saves time in the critical times of the project. Modelspace is an platform, where it is easy to collect requirement information, and which is easily adjustable to the needs of the users – and which is specifically made to suit the special needs of the construction sector.
Read more of Modelspaces Space Management from the links below and contact us for more information!