Providing support: With online tools, support via e-mails and call centers is becoming a thing from the past. Users need to be provided with constant support, preferably inside the tool itself so there is no need to spend additional time on finding the assistance. Good example: Platforms should include webinars, trainings and how-to videos on their content libraries, available at hand. A great method for providing support is also Live Chat, where users can have a direct dialogue with experts in the chat box.
Intuitive to use: User interface should be designed with focus on simplicity and guidance of the user in each step of the selection. Good example: Guiding the user during calculation process with minimum and maximum possible values for a given application parameter and at the same time informing the user on the impact of his inputs.
Contains all needed information at one place: A selection tool needs to comprise of different configurators for various products and standardized solutions with an easy access to the documentation. Additionaly, the product portfolio range needs to be as wide as possible, and then the interaction between different products can be taken into account.
WHAT IS COMING NEXT? Designers will in the future opt for tools that are relevant and save their time. It means full integration with Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems or at least outputs in compatible formats. As design phase is getting more and more integrated with installation phase and operation/maintainance phase it will be key for success ability to offer the consistent solutions during the whole life cycle of the product, including service and replacement of the product. In this relation we foresee the bigger need of selection tools on mobile platforms, with the use of new technologies like Virtual reality or Augmented reality. Another aspect is the natural language recognition where user interface will move from keyboard to voice. Voice (audio) interaction with the tool will become one of the most interesting features of selection tools in the future. Inspite the fact that new, state-of-the-art selection tools will make user's job more flexible and self-efficient, the online collaboration within community and vendors will become more and more important. Therefore, the vendors who will be able to offer collaboration platforms enabling their customers to efficently exchange relevant informations and at the same time get quick and expert support, will have higher probability of success.
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Integrated to support the whole design process: To enable a simplified experience for designers, the selection tool needs to cover the complete journey, including integration with Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools. Installers, on the other hand, will appreciate the possibility of asking for quote or placing an order inside the tool itself. Trustworthy: Users need to understand the principles behind the suggested solutions and be able to rely on the tool algorithms. Good example: At the end of a selection process, the tool will indicate the technical suitability by validation of selected performance criteria.
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