Sometime ago, I was approached by a businessman. He owned a successful securities trading company. Trading in all sorts of securities like stocks, bonds, commodities, metals. He had recently acquired some commercial office space for a major expansion. My task was to design a floor plan according to their requirements.
I visited the place for inspection. It was a large hall, with dimensions 45′ x 90′. I had to deal with a few existing columns, but it was decent.
I was given a few requirements, but it was still flexible. More requirements were to be added later. The building was already constructed, so external window locations were already fixed.
Basic requirements as laid down by the client were
- Reception and Waiting Lobby
- Trading area with a capacity of upto 50 workstations
- Lounge area for people meeting the CEO
- CEO Cabin
- CEO Rest room with attached bath
- Conference Room for upto 10 people
- Three private cabins for directors
- Three more cabins for managers
- Two discussion rooms for their sales team
- Server Room
- Common toilets
So, I began working on the drawing, and after many hours of hard work, and many revisions, I got my first drawing ready which had to be presented to the client for further deliberation.
It was a good drawing. It was a result of many hours of hard work. The flow was good.
But client wanted more options. He felt it was too complicated. It did not “feel” good enough. So, I was back to the drawing board.
I was also asked to move the server room accessible from the Conference room. I tried to simplify the drawing, improve the free flow in the drawing, and presented my new drawing.
It was good. I was happy with the design. Large cabins, good natural light in the lobby, central access to the trading workstations. But the client was not satisfied. Still too complicated. Upto 80 people could work in that office at a time… Navigating through it was complicated. Plan rejected.
So, I had to start working again and come up with something different. It was an evolution of design, slowly being perfected in every iteration.
I completed and presented my third drawing a few days later.
Here, my objective was quicker, easier access to Trading Workstations. So, I decided it would be better to include two access points to the Trading area. Easier to navigate. More open.
But the client was not satisfied. For one, I was wasting too much space for navigation purposes. And also, CEO Rest room was gone. It was a primary requirement. This drawing would not work either.
I had to combine all the three earlier drafts together, and simplify them… Easier Navigation was important. No puzzles. No wasted action.
Here was my fourth drawing.
This plan was finalized. The client was happy. Good, clean navigation. All requirements fulfilled.
Good Design is a journey, not just a destination. You have to go through different iterations, slowly improving and optimizing, until you reach a point where the design becomes good. You can always continue to improve upon it, but it would give diminishing returns after a point.