A new breed of an interior designer has spawned from the mobile revolution of the 21st century. Armed with just a smartphone or a tablet the “Mobile Designer” is born. Agile and always on the go, they are ready for action any time of the day and on short notice.
“To be a Mobile Designer, you should have the tools at your disposal anytime you will need them.”
Their Mobile Designers Toolkit
Who would have thought the time will come when you can do a quick ID work from virtually everywhere, specifically on a handheld device.
It all started when the Palm pilots started keeping notes, contacts, and simple applications while the Blackberry’s initiated pushing emails to make you so attached to your phone that you can’t leave home without it.
15 years later the transformation from simple tasks has evolved into full functioning applications that can do virtually everything to perform some basic interior designers’ task on the go.
“I took a screen capture of a typical mobile designers phone to share how it has been organized to perform all the necessary functions to run some simple ID tasks away from the office”
The first screen is where all the basics are, It is the most commonly accessed interface where all the action takes place.
Here are the contents and where you can download them on both iTunes for IOS and Google Play for Android;
Autocad Mobile; The most important app in a designers’ toolbox, it allows you to open a cad file and do some simple task like edit, modify, draw and markup it comes in handy if you can access your work files from the cloud while on the go.
Office Renovation Calculator; A free and easy to use app that can come up with a precisely estimated budget of an office renovation on the spot without having to speculate or wait for days and weeks for contractors or designers to come up with an actual quotation.
Unit Plus; A convenient unit conversion tool for almost all measurement application required by a designer from the length, area, and volume.
Skitch; The sketch and markup tool from Evernote. It aides in giving instructions to the team before anyone forgets it.
Magic Plan; An app that allows a designer to create a floorplan within seconds, it also creates quotes and estimate materials on the fly. Thou this app has not yet been fully tested. It may come in handy when needed.
Colour Visualizer; I love this app! Thou isn’t perfect, most of the time it works especially on simple discussions with a client. Just snap a photo of the wall and apply your proposed color from the palette, problem solved.
Tape Measure; This app is good enough in measuring furniture and smaller items just in case you have no meter tape on hand.
PLNAR free; A good back-up to Magic Plan, it almost has the same function but claims to have a more advanced feature especially with the PRO version.
Level; This app is very helpful when doing ocular inspection and site visit to check if an object is straight or properly leveled.
The next screen is more inclined to design reference, drawing ideas and office basics.
Houzz; This global app has finally found its way to Singapore! Discover Design Ideas, Find other professionals and look for products from their collection. Ideally meant for the homeowner it can also be a useful tool for interior designers.
Qanvast; A homegrown app that rivals Houzz in more ways than one. It understands the Singapore market by focusing more on HDB and Condos rather than landed properties. They also have a built-in renovation calculator and price indicators in their images to give the viewer an idea of the cost.
Kluje; This unique app is based on the concept of crowdsourcing. Which allows a user to post the job to find a contractor interested in a project. Thou most jobs are fairly small sized but it can come in handy for minor addition and alteration works.
BTU Calculator; This app is great in estimating the required aircon capacity for a particular room or area. We don’t recommend this as an accurate professional tool but it is good enough for a quick reference calculation for the clients.
Microsoft Applications; These apps need no further introduction. They are helpful for general office applications.
The rest are just utility apps for general purposes. It has very little need for the designer except for opening pdf files, computing for percentage and getting proper orientation for the sun.
What is in store for the Future of Mobile Designing
There are still other useful apps that qualify on this list. LUX Meter, and applications that integrate augmented reality by placing furniture in view like the ones from IKEAwith their try before you buy campaign.
Lastly, the mobile space has seen significant growth and continues to get better. Enterprise apps like PLNAR Pro have pushed the boundaries of an interactive real-time application on Mobile with mixed reality and enterprise cloud as part of their workflow.
In the future, the mobile designer will no longer be just a trend but a necessity.
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