By Adam Figman, Editorial Intern
Michigan-based seating leader American Seating has designed two programs, both available at www.americanseating.com, to save the time of busy designers and architects who don’t have all day to deal with product catalogs and the like.
The first, Specification “Spec” Builder, is better for those who think textually. Essentially, the builder lets users roll through a set of seating options – which model, what kind of wood, what kind of cushion, what color, etc. – to arrive at a customized product. After hitting “download specification” at the end of the options, a wordy, but organized, detailed PDF pops up with all of the specifics: quality assurance, description, operation, construction, parts, options, etc.
The seating available through the Spec Builder is ideal for lecture halls, auditoriums and computer laboratories.
The Focus Configurator, meanwhile, designs table/chair combinations for higher education use, such as the average university classroom. The variety of selections includes two tables, three swing-away chair, 10 edge moldings, 36 metal or wood modesty panels, nine metal or wood privacy screens, power/data modules, and plenty of finish options. It’d be hard to ask for much more customization than that.
After selecting which of each you’d like, a very simple picture pops up, showing exactly what you’ve selected. It’s a lot more straightforward than the Spec Builder, showing you exactly what you’re final customized product will resemble with a small amount of text accompanying it. Users can save the PDF given at the end to help facilitate the ordering process.
The moral of the story? The easier to use, the better. And the companies that are the quickest to adapt to this, and incorporate the Web in doing so, will put themselves in the best position moving forward.