Team collaboration software is on the rise. For employees, there is the appeal of being a ‘digital nomad’ and enjoying the perks of working from anywhere in the world. For designers who work in a location where most of their clients are residents part-time, or frequently travel, they love using virtual tools to facilitate design collaboration.
Homeowners designing their dream vacation getaway benefit by using virtual software provided by their design team to save time by making the process easy and efficient. They can work from anywhere, and on their own time, eliminating the need to be present on the island, from the initial planning stages, to the final touches.
There are so many online collaboration tools which help clients and their design team connect, plan projects, assign tasks, and work on virtual drawing boards to incorporate feedback without face-to-face meets, or even picking up the phone. It’s not all emails either.
It’s basically Skype, but for the professional world. When clients work with their design team, often communication is not possible in person, and emails or even phone calls are not enough to clearly understand each other. Virtual meetings are a popular tool in all industries, and video-conferencing softwares allow the attendees to access the virtual meetings without a fee or signing up for accounts.
One of the most popular video-conferencing tools, GoToMeeting allows you to schedule meetings and share-screens. It’s quick and easy for clients to access the program, in order to connect with their design team.
Very similar to GoToMeeting, Zoom offers the same scheduling tools, and top-notch video communication.
“We love to use Zoom for our ‘Strategy Sessions’, which is an online service where we meet virtually with the client for two hours and they get to pick our brain on anything design related. They then get a recording of the session so they can review it later if needed. We can get TON of info covered in two hours.”Tiffany Cassidy, Lagnappe Custom Interiors
Zoom is convenient, as the recording is available instantly, and through the same link they used to log in for the meeting originally.
Space planning and Visualizing in 3D
Commonly known as CAD, Computer-Aided Design is a technology for design and technical documentation, used by designers, architects, and engineers. It allows users to replace manual drafting with an automated, and sharable process.
In the design industry, Sketchup Pro is a popular choice as it offers a simple and customizable interface, and tools to create 2D and 3D designs. While this software isn’t usually used by clients, it is the program which allows interior designers to connect with the architects who work on the home. The benefit of this program for clients is that they receive a 3D model of the space that shows the details and layout of their home.
Sketchup pro allows these future homeowners to view features such as the tiles on the walls, color choice, where fixtures will be located, and walk through the newly remodeled space before it even breaks ground.
“It allows them to give us their feedback and say things like ‘I’d like that doorway to be larger’, or ‘The TV isn’t big enough.’ In the virtual world it’s super easy to change and costs nothing! When I get on a video call with a client and give them a tour of the space as I imagine it, we can drag, drop, resize, add, and subtract various elements in live time. This creates a level of understanding that is very important to being happy with the finished product,” says Tiffany.
Lagnappe Custom Interiors offers their clients online access to play around with these models themselves on their laptops or iPads. This service is enjoyed by all clients, but has worked especially well for families with kids who can play around and visualize their new home so that they are comfortable and familiar with the space before they move. For couples debating a color choice or furniture selection, they can see a mock-up the room in multiple ways to see what works best.
“I love proving this for my clients. It’s a service where design and tech meet, and people really light up for that visual experience.”Tiffany Cassidy, Lagnappe Custom Interiors
Sharing Content and Organizing Design Documents
“We utilize Dropbox for all our design plan documentation and specifications so the client, contractor, architects, and any subcontractors will all have access to the latest revisions of the plan.”Tiffany Cassidy, Lagnappe Custom Interiors
If they don’t already have one, clients can easily create a Basic Dropbox account for free. It is very user-friendly, has automatic organization and backup, and can be used on all devices.
“Using Dropbox helps us to be sure everyone on the team has access to all the info that may be needed anytime day or night. If I’m not in the office, you can still review your kitchen specs,” Tiffany explains.Tiffany Cassidy, Lagnappe Custom Interiors
Project Management Software
Lagnappe uses a unique software specifically for interior designers called Studio Designer. The program’s most notable feature is the Client Portal. Clients receive a web link to their own personal project page. This tools allow the homeowners to log in at any time from anywhere and view updated information on estimated ship dates, payments that have been received, and items that are proposed for their project.
This software allows the designers to quickly generate quotes, complete with item specs and pictures for increased clarity.
The design team will put together a proposal with pricing that includes all the items needed to complete the clients’ interior design plan. This proposal includes images, costs, quantities and specs for everything all in one place.
“Our project management software is quite robust and enables us to coordinate thousands of moving pieces with relatively few hiccups. We love Studio webware.”Tiffany Cassidy, Lagnappe Custom Interiors
Technology has drastically improved so that those designing their dream vacation rental can rest assured the process will be smooth and enjoyable. The stresses of coordinating times to meet and miscommunication have been replaced with easy, user-friendly softwares, such as the one’s used when you work with design teams like Lagnappe Custom Interiors.
About Lagnappe Custom Interiors
Lagnappe Custom Interiors is a full-service interior design firm, specializing in bringing the small niceties to a home or commercial space that make it memorable, functional and yours. Based out of St. Thomas, Lagnappe [LAN-YAP] is led by Tiffany Cassidy who enjoys working with clients to create a home that reflects their style and needs. Tiffany marries her artistic and scientific sides together to bring the residents of the Virgin Islands and continental U.S. an interior decorating service that manages the complex and turns it into beauty. Her goal is to not only make a home prettier, but in doing so, make your life better. Visit www.Lagnappe.com for more information.