Matrak’s Interactive Drawings with Head of Product, Alexandra Hubbard [Q&A]

Hana Block

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Matrak’s interactive drawings allow everyone to visualise site progress and improve productivity on the job site. And provides all teams involved access to the latest revisions to easily collaborate in a centralised location.

We sat down with Matrak’s Head of Product, Alexandra Hubbard to understand the development and thought process that went behind creating this core function of Matrak.

How do drawings work in Matrak?

Every project in Matrak will have its drawings made interactive and digital.

At the start of your project, a digital record is created for every material involved, so that key information can be stored, tracked, and reported on. They are then linked to the floor plans and made interactive, so materials and tasks can be updated and tracked visually off of project drawings. 

Once digital, you can select between different materials on your drawings overlays and update or view their status. You can filter the drawings and select different levels or parts of the building. And if you’re working on your mobile phone or your tablet, you also have the ability to access the drawings and update your work from the mobile app. 

What problems does Matrak’s drawings solve?

Matrak’s drawings increase control for project managers with the ability to plan and alter schedules with information visible in real-time. They offer a really quick oversight of project progress to help reduce risk of additional costs, project delays and penalties. 

At the team’s level, the drawings help subcontractors understand what trade or work is up next. At the project level, the drawings give a holistic view of the state of the project and if it’s progressing to schedule.

Last but not least,Also because the drawings are incredibly easy to use, it reduces the friction of having to learn a lot of different products, which is direct feedback we gathered from our customers. We really wanted to empower themour customers so we built a tool that reflects the way that they’ve been working their entire careers. Because it fits into the existing processes, Matraks interactive drawings allow people to work fast. They’re really intuitive. 

Why were the interactive drawings built in the first place?

That’s actually a fun story that involves Matrak and our co-founders, Shane and Brett.

The interactive drawings were created because when co-founders Brett and Shane started building the first version of Matrak, they did what we’ve seen other people in this solution space do: they created a list of products that listed where your materials are.

It updated the status when materials were delivered and installed on site or marked defective. It was their father, who was a facade installer, who took a look at their prototype and said, “This is absolutely useless. Where are the drawings? I need the drawings. I’m a visual person.”

So in a way, our drawings have been with us from the beginning and they’re such a core part of how and where our customers and materials all come together. 

Why are interactive drawings needed?

Interactive drawings are absolutely essential to how real people work on site. It comes from the fact that we saw a gap where there are so many software solutions for managing work on site, but none of them actually mimics the way that people have traditionally worked.

Construction drawings and the revisions are essential for every project — they show you where the materials go and what jobs or trades are up next.

They also give you a really quick and accurate oversight of your project which is vital to being able to work effectively. 

Who gains benefit from the drawings?

The drawings were designed to be the most essential part of Marak’s product because we know our customers are referring to their drawings everyday. They’re very easy for anyone along the construction supply chain to use and gain benefit from.

It’s not just made for project managers who want a holistic view of the job’s progress to help with scheduling trades. It’s also made for subcontractors and site teams who are able to see and update work they need to complete.

It’s even useful for site coordinators in helping to visually understand what materials are needed for which parts of the job and when. 

What updates can users expect to see in the Drawings? 

The product team here at Matrak have been listening to our customers and users and decided to make some pretty key improvements to our drawings.

  • Users can now select and deselect multiple revisions, or select all revisions to make quicker and easier updates
  • Tablet Support for better support for tablet and touch devices, enables pinch zoom and panning using gestures
  • Update the status of materials directly from the drawings. Selecting a material brings up the status bar, where you can quickly update to any status available
  • Filter the drawings by a specific search status to understand the state of all materials and progress for any part of your drawings 

What is one thing you think users should definitely have a play with on their drawings?

I personally see customers get a lot of joy and satisfaction from updating statuses on the drawings. Something about being able to mark something off as installed or complete kind of mimics that feeling you used to get when you mark it off with a marker on a physical drawing.

About Matrak

Matrak was founded in 2017 and provides innovative mobile-first end to end supply chain tracking software solutions to the construction industry. Our app is available on all iOS, Android and Windows devices and has helped more than 157 projects in over 5 countries to enable the power of supply chain transparency.Get started for free

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