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Contech Tip: Put The User Experience First

Without the right user experience and governance structure, even the most robust solution can fall short of its potential. In order to effectively utilize the information in AEC projects, it is crucial to have the capability to consolidate data from various systems. However, without a user-friendly interface to interact with this data, its full potential may remain untapped.

During a recent podcast, Joe Giegerich, ProjectReady CEO, and Shaili Modi-Oza, Head of Development, explored the concept: “the user experience is the new middleware.” Learn important lessons from the podcast, like how focusing on user experience is crucial in AEC technology. This industry operates in many separate groups that must collaborate.

Connecting the Dots

Before diving into the user experience, we have to define what middleware traditionally represents. Middleware is software that bridges the gap between different applications, enabling them to communicate and share data. In essence, it acts as the glue that connects disparate systems. However, in the AEC industry, the role of middleware has evolved beyond data connectivity.

User Experience Takes Center Stage

Although middleware continues to be an essential element, the user experience is just as, if not more, vital. Good data connections are useless without an easy-to-use interface and smooth workflows that people will use. After all, without user adoption, there is no way for a solution to succeed.

Let’s take a closer look at why the user experience matters in AEC technology:

    1. Bringing Data to Life: Middleware helps systems share data, but it’s the user experience that makes the data useful. Without an intuitive interface, users struggle to access, understand, and act upon the information provided.
    2. Collaboration and Governance: Effective collaboration and governance are vital in AEC projects. Middleware needs a user experience layer for seamless collaboration and data governance in enabling processes.
    3. Metadata Mapping: Metadata, the backbone of data integration, plays a pivotal role in middleware. Mapping metadata effectively allows for a smooth flow of information between systems, ultimately enhancing the user experience.

Middleware and the user experience intersect to create a holistic AEC technology solution. For example, the user experience of a middleware-driven content cart in ProjectReady simplifies the process of accessing documents stored in different systems, regardless of where they originate.

In selecting AEC technology solutions, consider these strategic aspects:

    1. Choose Cloud-Based Solutions: Cloud technology simplifies data integration and makes it easier to deliver a consistent user experience.
    2. User-Centric Approach: Prioritize user experience when designing or implementing construction management technology. It’s not just beneficial; it’s essential for user adoption and data quality.
    3. Iterative Development: Continuously gather user feedback and iterate on your technology solutions to ensure they meet user needs effectively.
    4. Off-the-Shelf vs. Custom Solutions: Off-the-shelf solutions like ProjectReady have more experience in various companies and industries. This gives them an advantage over custom solutions.

In the AEC industry, the user experience is no longer an afterthought but a fundamental component of successful technology implementations. Middleware may facilitate data connectivity, but the user experience is the bridge that turns data into actionable insights. AEC professionals can improve project efficiency, collaboration, and decision-making by focusing on users and choosing the right technology. Middleware can be used for this purpose.

To learn more about user experience and why it is considered the new middleware, listen to the podcast. The podcast provides a comprehensive discussion on this topic. You can also contact us anytime with any questions you may have, and we will be sure to quickly respond.

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