Real-time decisions: are you responsive to stakeholder input?
Stakeholders can be customers, clients, team members, project managers, or anyone with a say in the direction or refinement of a design. Some stakeholders matter more than others, but all want to be listened to. Even if you think the suggestion is a bad idea, perhaps exploring it with them immediately can save you problems down the road. What benefit would a visualization process that supports engagement with stakeholders and allows ad hoc exploration of designs at a sufficient fidelity to drive meaningful decisions have for your business and processes?
Neoscape uses Unreal in real-time sessions with stakeholders. Within the Unreal Editor, they have both visual quality and the ability to change anything in the scene.
Since change and iteration are an inevitable part of the design process, how your process deals with feedback is an important question to look at. Does your process allow you to respond to unexpected design changes or explorations while you have the attention of stakeholders? Are stakeholders more invested in your design by being more involved in it?
NVIDIA has incorporated Unreal Engine into their experimental Holodeck project - allowing multiple people to collaborate while viewing real CAD data.
If you find yourself responding to sudden design exploration with something like, “come back next week and we’ll show you an updated visualization with that new material design,” you might have missed an opportunity to impress the stakeholder by going “real-time” with them. By interacting with the stakeholder in the real-time visual exploration of an idea or issue, you have an opportunity to connect the stakeholder with the experience of the design. This is near impossible with static images that take minutes and hours to produce.
It’s not just about pretty pixels, HNTB uses Unreal Engine to communicate the construction process in a real-time experience - getting stakeholders involved in the process.
In many design scenarios, you’re competing with either other internal ideas or external efforts. Your ability to engage stakeholders in a more collaborative experience of the design, and to pivot and adapt to their input in real-time, can differentiate your proposal. With steep competition in the design space, keeping up with clients’ needs is everything when your reputation depends on it.
This might look like a photograph, but Benoit Dereau created this real-time experience, allowing his client to step inside the picture and explore the surroundings.
The ability to design at the speed of thought with Unreal Engine and Datasmith gives you the power and flexibility to make the changes your clients want and adapt far faster than more traditional design technologies. We’re not talking about replacing your existing CAD or BIM tools, but about giving you a platform for creating the kinds of experiences your stakeholders will value. Within these experiences lie the power of real-time collaborative design. Step into the experience of the structure or inspect the design of the new vehicle while still allowing for customization and configuration. Decisions made within such a collaborative environment can be later fed back into the CAD or BIM process.
But why is this so critical?
1) Clients don’t want to hear “NO”
The last thing you want to have to tell your client is “No, we don’t have time to look at that.” Inflexibility can be a deal-breaker, and having the ability to explore proposed changes or show high quality alternative design options is invaluable during the review process. Unreal Engine puts an arsenal of effective solutions within your reach, offering tools and capabilities to let you tackle even the trickiest design requests.
2) Multiple options and customization is vital
Sometimes clients don’t know exactly what they want until they see it, and being able to visualize and interact with designs on-the-spot can help lead to faster decision making. Real-time technology makes swapping visual elements, color palettes, lighting, and other important design components a breeze without having to re-render everything again. It also significantly cuts down on the work needed to make more complex changes. Being able to fully customize the experience of your design for your clients is a game-changer for selling your ideas.
3) Balancing speed with quality is always a factor
Unreal Engine is tuned for delivering maximum visual fidelity, but its tools also allow faster iteration that can shave precious time off your production cycle. For architectural engineering and product design, Unreal Datasmith also puts real-time design within reach by streamlining and speeding up the process of bringing design data into Unreal Engine. Together, they make it possible to turn around design changes with lightning speed without sacrificing quality.
4) If you can’t keep up, clients will go with other designers who can.
Modern technology is raising the bar both in terms of production capabilities and customer expectations. Competition can be fierce, which means the ability to pivot and continue to impress client is integral to staying afloat in the industry. Bottom line: if you can’t consistently deliver your best work quickly while staying locked on-target with your client’s requests, they’ll find another design team who can. Real-time design makes it easier to keep ahead of production schedules, freeing up more time to refine and enhance your designs to ensure your clients stay happy.
By adopting real-time technology now, you’ll be able to keep pace with ever-growing design needs across many diverse industries. Don’t fall behind!
Try Unreal Engine for free and join the free Unreal Studio beta (which includes Datasmith) today to unlock next-level speed for real-time design!