As portable technology becomes an integral part of business activity, interior designers and industry creatives are boosting their productivity through the use of design-orientated mobile applications.
Australians are considered “mainstream” users of mobile technology and, as usage steadily increases, it will be important for interior designers to capitalise on this technology, using it to easily access information from their pockets.
While there is no shortage of design applications available, particularly for those looking for inspiration, the following six useful applications are particularly useful for interior designers:
Designed exclusively for the iPad, Moodboard is a clever application that allows users to collect images that inspire them and capture those images in a visual board format.
Users can upload images from a photo library or the web – the application records the website link – and instantly share ideas through social media portals and via email.
Moodboard can support extremely high-resolution images, offers basic photo editing tools and has built in backgrounds and colour palettes to encourage creativity.
The app is perfect for presenting concepts to clients on- site and has an easy to use interface with drag and drop functions to edit on the spot.
It is not free, but its cost is a small price to pay for a design tool that keeps ideas in a user’s pocket.
Palettes is a powerful productivity tool for colour enthusiasts, allowing them to create and maintain colour palettes for their projects.
Users can create their own colour schemes from scratch or capture colours from a photo or website image, with the ability to collect up to five colour models in the free version.
Palettes can be sorted, saved and shared in HTML, RGB, CMYK, HSB and hex formats among others in an easy to use interface which allows easy colour caption and creation for design projects.
There is also a pro version offering up to 25 colours per palette and unlimited combinations.
3. iHandy Level
This application has been around for a while but still deserves a mention. iHandy Level was created by an interior designer and is an indispensable application for wall hanging projects.
The simple yet very effective application is a virtual version of the bubble level ruler and, when rested on top of a frame, can act as a level. It can be used in landscape, portrait or face-up mode to align projects perfectly.
Users can also adjust the “bubble” sensitivity for finer accuracy. Perhaps best of all, the application is free.
4. Sun Seeker: 3D Augmented Reality Viewer
This truly clever application uses an iPhone’s built-in GPS system to determine the direction a user is facing in a room and where the sun rises and sets along with its path and angle throughout the year.
Once a user takes a photo out a room’s window, he or she will see the 3D view and solar path and its hour intervals, followed by a map view showing the solar direction for each daylight hour.
Architects and designers find this application useful to determine allocation of rooms and furniture placement to maximise solar opportunities throughout the year.
5. Home Design 3D
Home Design 3D is an incredibly useful application where users can create and view a floor and interior design plan in 3D or 2D.
With a library filled with more than 200 product images, users can create a floor plan (square or rectangle only) and drag and drop furniture, apply colour to walls and experiment with floor textures to visually capture your ideal room.
The graphics are quite simple in this application but they are very effective for small-scale projects to get a visual idea of a proposed design.
6. Photo Measures
Photo Measures allows users to take a photo of a room and record notes and measurements directly onto the image.
While the application will not measure distances, it can calculate angles by using the zoom tool to hone in on a ceiling corner, for example.
The application holds a five star rating in Apple’s AppStore and its clean and simple to use interface is designed for creative professionals.
Once designers have the room dimensions at hand, shopping for furniture becomes a breeze and allows them to save and share plans with clients, colleagues or an audience on social media.