Migrating the Classical Pen-and-Paper Based Conceptual Sketching of Architecture Plans Towards Computer Tools - Prototype Design and Evaluation
While computer-based design tools are widely used in architecure during late design phases for creating final floor plans, early design phases usually still take place in a traditional manner, using pen, paper and scissors. At the beginning of these phases, there is often only a rough idea of how a building should look like. Viewing existing floorplans of similar buildings can help an architect in his/her creative work, but searching for those plans manually is very time-consuming. Automated tools for searching similar floor plans could help to lower the amount of time needed for such investigations tremendously. In order to employ such search mechanisms, proper user interfaces are needed that fit to the architect’s working process. These interfaces should be useable easily and naturally, requiring less initial training. They should be capable of creating search requests that can be processed by the attached search mechanism. In this article, we describe two different user interfaces to serve this purpose. We describe their structures and interaction principles. Afterwards we show their general usability and user acceptance by the means of a users study.
KeywordsConceptual design phase Architectural working method Metis webUI TouchTect
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