Over the last year or so since my first introduction to Second Life, I have found myself trying to think of ways that this technology can improve or prevent problems or issues that I have at work. As I blogged about the other day, we had a terrible problem with the design/builder of our water plant reconstruction project – they completely failed to listen to our design requirements and ended up designing something that we do not want at all.
So as we work through the solution that I have come up with to resolve the design problem, I keep trying to think of how the use of Second Life may have prevented this. I don’t think it comes as any surprise that problems with the design usually arise during construction. This is really the first time that someone other than the designer takes a good look at what he or she has created. Also, design problems are hard to ignore as they are turned into “bricks and mortar.”
So how does SL help? Well, if customers/clients required a Second Life build of a design as a deliverable for each job, then the problems that would have arisen during construction may come up during the SL build process. I realize that this would probably only be true if the process followed more closely that of a RL build. (Wouldn’t it be cool if someone designed a tool in SL that actually knew if the build would fail in RL?)
Also, after the build is up, the designer should have to “walk” with the client through the build showing them what they are getting and how it will work (using scripting here). The build could stay up during the construction process so the client could continue to refer to it if questions arose.
Second Life has many possibilities and terrific usefulness in the design/construction industry. However, some people will only use tools if forced to do so. If we as the client push our designers to deliver a SL build as part of the project, perhaps the industry will finally catch on to what many of us have already discovered.