The Study of Clicks

Previously, we spoke about how virtual reality (VR) will be limited to the passive viewing of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) information if we don’t create better tools. Notably, we pointed out that mouse clicks demonstrate how constrained we are to the desktop environment. Clicking the mouse is difficult to do in a VR environment and most of our tools require lots of clicking.

In an effort to quantify this a bit more, we teamed up with ViaTechnik, a Chicago based BIM consulting firm with expertise in high-tech, multi-family residential and healthcare. Together, we ran a quick study of the click habits of building information modeling (BIM) users. We observed five users who were doing the same task – modeling mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems in Autodesk Revit – using a helper program to quantify three things: mouse clicks, feet traveled by the mouse cursor over the screen, and keystrokes. The five users were working on the same project, doing the same tasks, on the same day, over the course of one hour.

Here are the results of the study:

When plotted on a chart, it looks like this:

What is the takeaway from this data? It’s simple: The way we currently work isn't efficient. Using a mouse to click once every three seconds for one hour, on average, demonstrates a huge inefficiency in our current processes. If you want to look at your own data, download this helper app to run a study. We think you’ll be surprised.  

Tags: BIM Architecture and Planning Virtual Reality

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