Posts Tagged ‘FloorPlanner’

Having worked on a do-it-yourself home renovation tool with Armstrong, I was curious to check out Autodesk’s Project Dragonfly after reading Ashlee Vance’s review in the New York Times.  I wanted to see how the site handles issues that we faced on Design My Room, like color, perspective, sizing and the intricacies of placing objects in a room exactly where you want them.

Once you get beyond the big homepage headline–“Feedback? Hey we just started this thing. Really and we need you to tell us what to add or fix to create the killer app for you, seriously, it’ll only help us to give you what you want!” –you’ll quickly see that the app is very basic but potentially useful for people who want to get a feel for how furniture and bathroom fixtures fit in a room. There is no ability to change wall colors or accessories or place your own objects in rooms.

Here’s what I experienced: I started a project based on a template. The default view is 2D or plan view and allows you to see all the rooms in a home at once, zoom into any room and click on walls to check dimensions. You can also toggle to 3D and “fly through” the rooms, which is pretty cool. From what I can see you can only work with placement in 2D. For example, you can click a piece of furniture and delete it, rotate it or “enable/disable content rules” (not sure what that was) and the pop-up that appeared when I clicked that button was completely confusing.

Other frustrations I experienced included:

  • Having to toggle back and forth between a product’s thumbnail and its description on a separate screen. A simple dialogue box upon hover would have solved this rather than forcing users to pogostick between the products and the details.
  • Inability to tweak color–on the walls and in simple accessories, like an area rug.

I’ve heard terrific things about similar sites, like FloorPlanner and Google’s Sketchup. The new web-based Design My Room allows users to create moodboard-like collages with a menu of products, then link to the manufacturers’ sites for more information. It’s apparent that the development team worked directly with interior designers. Their collage-based tool models how many designers play with different looks and share them with clients. Fun stuff. Now if I could only find the time to re-paint my bathroom.