How's this DC Door?


#1

I work for a door association and our plan is to develop about 30 variations of dynamic commercial steel door models for architects to use. We thought it would be a good idea to run our first one by you guys to make sure it’s built to be as useful as possible.

What do you think of this draft?

Single Steel Doors.skp (221.0 KB)


#2

It would be nice if a user could enter widths etc. in the units that they work in.

Other than Width, Height and Thickness the other labels are too cryptic. I suggest more meaningful labels.


#3

Thank you for the reply gkernan. Anyone else?


#4

I fully agree that the parameter labels are completely unintelligible to a lay person (like me - I’m not an architect or involved in the construction industry), though perhaps an architect could take a good guess.

And the model opens in an angled view in parallel projection, not perspective, and looks pretty unnatural as a result.

I’d change the saved Camera type to Perspective
[Second thought: is that my most recent SU setting, or derived from the model? From the model, I think, but am not quite sure. The previous window I had open was parallel, but it isn’t my default, so probably in the model.]

And while you can enter dimensions in other units that Sketchup understands (e.g., cm or mm, or even feet and inches), they don’t display back that way, but get converted to amounts in inches. There are options in DC’s to use the user’s model units, but you have to be very careful - they aren’t used consistently, and you need to check whether you are using a length, or a number that happens to be in inches (which are always used internally).

If you intend marketing outside the USA that wouldn’t go down well.

You might want to put some range checking on the dimensions input. It will accept ridiculously large values, extremely small values, and negative values. Doesn’t create visible problems in the model like overlaps or gaps, but manufacturing might be difficult!

If I answer No to all the options that are Yes/No the door disappears. So now I have no door to select, so I can’t see how to get one back to change things back to normal.

And dragging one out of the component browser doesn’t work either - it’s visible as I drag it, but disappears as soon as I let go of the mouse button. Had to reload the model to see anything again.

If I say ‘Yes’ to all the options, the glazing disappears, and only two of the four bounding edges are visible from any viewpoint - though WHICH two varies by viewing direction. Probably overlapping faces causing z-fighting.

If some of the Yes/No options are mutually exclusive, you need the equivalent of radio buttons - can’t remember if DCs offer that option?

Or if you can have only one ‘Yes’ out of all the options, a single list would be an alternative, with more meaningful names or intelligible abbreviations.

Again, if marketing outside the USA, you might want to consider offering different language versions. I don’t think it’s easy, and may not be possible, to use different languages in one component, so you might need separate ones that differ mainly in the language presented in the user interface.

A few suggestions to take back to the metaphorical drawing board. Hope that’s helpful.

PS. Instead of a text box, should you be offering a drop down list of available sizes instead? I imagine you have a standard range - or do you also make custom sizes?


#5

Awesome reply! Thanks a million, John.


#6

Glad it’s helpful. When I reread it, I feared it might have sounded critical - it was meant as constructive comment.