4 Strategies for Simplifying the Pre-Design Phase

Gathering information in the early days of a project usually means a lot of back and forth via email, spreadsheets, and documents. Not anymore.

Here are a 4 simple ways Layer can improve the Pre-Design phase to save you hours of time down the road in SD, DD, CD, and even in to CA. The key to all of these strategies is to capture data accurately and to capture it only once.

The added bonus, is that you can connect to and view everything in your Revit model whenever its ready.

1. Initial Client Interview

Up until now, a potential client has seen your website and is ready to interview designers. Sounding confident and organized is always going to make a good first impression. Layer helps make this happen.

Rather than taking notes on whatever you have at hand, use Layer to create a standard client interview form to capture all of the information you need consistently. There are two ways to organize Initial Client Interviews:

1A. Create the form within its own Layer Project to keep the information handy for everyone during the entire project.

1B. Store all of your client interviews in one Layer Project to see trends in new client calls.


2. Client Questionnaires & User Surveys

Architects and designers conduct Client Questionnaires to understand their client’s wish lists, requirements, and pain points. For larger projects, this may entail taking numerous User Surveys with stakeholder groups like Nurses at a Hospital or Teachers at a School. But, where do you capture and organize all of this information to reference later? (Rhetorical question!)

Like the Initial Client Interview, Layer’s robust form fields can be configured into any kind of survey form. Here are three ways to capture this kind of data:

2A. If you’re interviewing a user in person, you can input directly into the form during the interview. Tag rooms, equipment, and even people to assign them tasks right within the notes field.

2B. Alternatively, if you need to to capture a large number of interviews remotely, create a public URL to have users complete the survey.

2C. If privacy is not an issue, invite clients or user groups as free Project Collaborators to complete the survey. Note that you can invite anyone to view and fill out form fields as a free Project Collaborator. Just be aware that anyone with this status can see everything in the Project, not just their individual questionnaire or survey.

3. Project Directory

How many times do you need to dig through an email to get the phone number of a client, consultant, or contractor? That time adds up. If you’re organized, you may have all of this information stored in a spreadsheet that may be shareable, but most likely isn’t. How do you keep this information up to date and accessible?

Layer is at its core a database. A home base in which to organize your building’s data, including your project team’s contact information.

Use Layer’s Saved Views feature to create quick snapshots of only the data you need, like names, titles, and phone numbers.


4. Meeting Minutes

Client meetings can make or break a project. Decisions of all sizes are made during meetings and it’s vital that these meeting notes capture everything you need to move a project forward.

Using Layer for meeting minutes can help you keep everyone accountable to their decisions and make it easy to communicate changes from the meeting to team members not attendance.

Track decisions from meeting to meeting with all of your meetings in one category. The power of Layer is that you can tag rooms while you’re capturing answers, creating a direct link to the spaces you’re discussing.

It’s surprising how much time we spend searching for or recreating data we need to do our work.

Data can come in all forms at anytime of the day. It’s imperative to be intentional about where we capture and store this data to be truly efficient. The added bonus of using Layer is that once this information is captured, you can connect it all to Revit. This makes it even easier to access everything you need to make your project happen.

Simplify your Pre-Design Phase process. Schedule a demo of Layer👇