Interior Design Specification Templates: Why You Should Move Away from Spreadsheets
ProgramaHQ, 7 Mar 2023
Interior designers can bring out emotions and anticipate needs through their craft. But to do that, they need to be able to work with up-to-date software to meet the needs of their clients efficiently. Spreadsheets and specification templates have been largely used in the past but can prove to be quite unreliable. Therefore, designers need to start using a more reliable tool for interior design templates.
It's time to leave these in the past.
Why Don’t Spreadsheets Suit The Needs Of Interior Designers?
Interior Designers Have Complex Needs
Spreadsheets are not user-friendly. Interior designers need to handle a lot of data, making spreadsheets cumbersome. Designers deal with hundreds of items, including cabinet handles, taps, paint, door stoppers, etc. With so many products, you must store hundreds or even thousands of columns and rows on a typical spreadsheet. This means that there is a high chance of errors, from data entry mistakes to corrupted files. This can lead to lost hours of work or an incorrectly installed product, costing designers both time and money.
A Lack of Version Control
One of the biggest challenges in using spreadsheets for specification is that multiple versions could be floating around a studio or between stakeholders. Each time a change is made to the master spreadsheet, every stakeholder needs to be delivered the new version. Until this is done, the edits will not be visible to the rest of the team. A lack of updates leads to many versions of a single spreadsheet with different data, so it is difficult to know whether you are working with the latest schedule version. A mistake in an update has costly repercussions. This inaccuracy of spreadsheets raises the need for built-for-purpose interior design schedule templates & software.
Presentations Can Be Time-Consuming
Spreadsheets are designed for accountants rather than creatives, making building presentations time-consuming and potentially ugly. The formatting is off, and being an interior designer, image is important. With spreadsheets, gathering any form of data visualisation is frustrating and time-consuming. Most spreadsheet users skip the visuals altogether, which is unrealistic for an interior designer. Programa has been built with a design-first mindset allowing branded, beautiful and easily shareable presentations to be created from specifications in a click.
A Programa material & finishes schedule
Programa features several specification templates for interior designers, architects and decorators. On top of allowing your team to get started quickly, Programa’s templates offer a flexible and reliable option for managing specification data, which is crucial in the interior design industry where mistakes can be costly. With cloud-based access, clear and precise presentations, and a product library for easy management, interior designers can save time and avoid stress.
Cloud-Based and Always Up-to-Date.
Data loss is a major risk when using spreadsheets. Without proper backup, hundreds of hours of work can be lost in case of an incident. Programa is a cloud-based solution that ensures all your specifications are safe and accessible to your team, no matter where they are. This also enables multiple team members to work on a project simultaneously, unlike spreadsheets which can make collaboration difficult.
Clear and Precise Presentations
Unlike interior design spreadsheets, the Programa Schedule allows designers easily choose what they want their clients to see. You do not have to go through rows and rows of data to get to your point. It makes it easier for you and the client at the end of the day. With control over what is shown to stakeholders (for example, you may want to show your markup prices and hide the product’s RRP), Programa offers easy client communications and a full project template to help designers get started quickly and keep their studio and projects organised.
Share specifications with clients in a click
Clear and Precise Presentations
Unlike interior design spreadsheets, the Programa Schedule allows designers easily choose what they want their clients to see. You do not have to go through rows and rows of data to get to your point. Programa’s live, one-click sharing makes this process easier for you and the client. With control over what is shown to stakeholders (for example, you may want to show your markup prices and hide product RRP), Programa offers easy client communications and a full project template to help designers get started quickly and keep their studio and projects organised.
Easier Management of Data
The Programa Product Library means you only need to specify a product once, with the ability to specify it again with a click. This saves time and energy spent on reviewing and updating data. Which, in turn, increases the efficiency of your studio, opening up the door to a more complex or a greater number of projects. Knowing that interior designers have to deal with textiles, colour, sustainability, materials, and space planning, there is a need to have proper interior design specifications, templates and tools to make data management as easy as possible.
Exports That Work The Way You Do
As well as creating easily shareable online presentations, you can export your specification data to PDF, Excel or individual tear sheets.
Spreadsheets weren’t built for interior design: Programa is.
Start free today and access our specification templates for interior designers & stylists.