Part of my job here is to ensure that all of the users have what they need to be productive. Maybe you have a similar role in your company also, but have you ever thought that something basic in the content that you provide could actually hinder the performance of your users? This first of a series of explorations into different families. In this instance, we will examine the simple downlight since it is in just about every project in every office. What is a downlight but a hole in the ceiling, trim on the surface, a box behind and the light source. There is nothing that could be improved... or is there?
I have always questioned to myself and to others about whether the hole in the ceiling is necessary or if it could possibly create performance issues. Think about how many times you place a light, the fact that it is a curved surface within the cut and that every time you move it needs to regen the relationship between the elements. To test this theory, I created a benchmark journal test that included placing 1,500 downlights, modifying the size of the downlight opening and moving the entire set of downlights. I had (2) downlights that I used for the test, one had a hole cut in the ceiling and the other had no hole cut but another solid extrusion to add a material on the surface of the ceiling where the hole should be.
The results were interesting:
Placing 1,500 downlights - Without the hole cut, the downlights were placed 18% faster.
Modifying the downlights - The downlight tests were about equal
Move 1,500 downlights 6" - Without the hole cut, the downlights were moved 35% faster.
FYI - The results are based on the average of multiple runs after different restarts.
So maybe you think that the millisecond delays within your work do not make a difference but if you have enough of those maybe it will make a significant difference. Lets say that you actually did have a 35% inefficiency because of slower downlight movement. That would mean that you had 2.8 hours that you lost in a 8 hour day if all you were editing were downlights. That's pretty amazing. But if you have 50 users each loosing 35% productivity then you lost 140 hours worth of work in one day.
This issue alone is one of the reasons I am so cautious about letting outside content from external websites to populate our projects. Why risk the multitude of possible issues that can result of downloaded content to save an hour.
If you have an idea or a family that you would like see explored for my next post please let me know through comment or email. Even send me a family that you think is built for speed and I will see if it can be improved.