We spent the holidays working on a ton of small improvements and fixes to make Kinship easier and more intuitive than ever.

It’s been a busy start to the year for our product team at Kinship. In fact, it was a busy holiday season as well. As things in the AEC industry tend to go quiet from mid-December to mid-January, we took advantage of the downtime to do a massive amount of small improvements and fixes that had built up in our backlog over the course of 2021.

We pushed all of these updates earlier this week, and you can find a complete list of changes in the latest release notes on our help site. Below is a summary of what’s new, including some behind-the-scenes changes that will help us move more quickly and effectively in the future.

We noticed a number of small inconsistencies and deficiencies had crept into different page menus, dialogs and text elements as we developed various features on the website over the past 12-24 months. We took the opportunity of the quiet holiday period to squash a ton of those. Some examples include:

  • an improved filter menu for content in the library and collections
  • new sorting options for families
  • improved display of long texts and dates
  • simpler dialogs for creating and deleting things like lists and collections.

While no single change is that noteworthy on its own, the cumulative effect is significant. The website looks cleaner, fresher and more consistent than ever before, and using it feels noticeably easier and more intuitive.

If this was all we managed to accomplish over the holidays, we would have been satisfied. However we managed to sneak in a handful of new features as well!

See Content with Nested Elements

You can now filter your library and collections to see which content has nested elements. You access this from the new “Contains” filter, which has replaced the “Warnings” filter and also includes specific options for content with non-native geometry or images. In the near future, you’ll be able to see the specifics of what those nested elements are from within a family’s detail page.

Library filtered to show Revit content containing nested elements.
Library filtered to show content containing nested elements.

Lengths for Pipes, Ducts and Cable Trays

When in the detailed view of your library or collections, Kinship shows columns for “Projects”, “Instances” and “Modified” to indicate how your content has been used across your team’s projects. While a count of “Instances” makes sense for component Revit families like doors, windows or mechanical equipment, that measurement doesn’t translate to Revit systems like pipes, ducts, walls or floors.

For systems that are measured in lengths, such as pipes, ducts and cable trays, we now display the total length used across your projects. The length is displayed in metric or imperial units depending on your user locale setting, and units are scaled appropriately to match the total length of each family.

Revit pipe types showing total length (in Imperial units) placed across projects.
Pipe types showing total length (in Imperial units) placed across projects.

In a future update, we’ll be adding area measurements for systems like walls, floors and ceilings, and changing the “Instances” label to something more appropriate for different kinds of quantities.

Manually Add Tracked Instances

The “Project Instances” page for each family shows you where that particular piece of content has been used in your projects. The page is divided into sections for Tracked Instances and Other Related Instances. The Tracked Instances section shows model content that we know came from the family you are viewing, because it was loaded into the Revit model using Kinship.

The Other Related Instances section shows other model families with the same name and category, but which were loaded using another method (e.g. the traditional Load Family button in the Revit ribbon, another add-in, etc.). Because these instances were loaded outside of Kinship, we can’t be 100% sure they came from the family being viewed, and therefore we don’t count them as “tracked”.

Project Instances page showing Tracked Instances (top) and Other Related Instances (bottom).
Project Instances page showing Tracked Instances (top) and Other Related Instances (bottom).

Some customers pointed that they know when “Other Related Instances” did in fact come from the family being viewed – for example they know that someone downloaded it from Kinship and then manually inserted it using the default “Load Family” button. In such situations, you can now manually change “Other Related Instances” to “Tracked Instances” in order to gain more accurate reporting on your content usage.

"More" button on Other Related Instance showing new option to "Set as Tracked Instance".
Click the "More" button on any Other Related Instance to access the new option to "Set as Tracked Instance".

Duplicate a List

If you want to use an existing list as the basis for a new list, there is now an option to duplicate the list with all of its current content included. This makes it easier to work with lists when you want to have the same content on multiple lists.

"More" button for lists showing new option to duplicate the list.
Click the "More" button on any list to access the new option to duplicate the list.

Faster Development Cycles

Peeling back the curtain a bit, we also made a few changes that will allow us to develop more quickly in the future. On the code side of things, we refactored a ton of our frontend code (HTML, CSS, JS) to streamline how we update the web interface and improve stability when making changes. We’ve also modified our overall code management so that it’s easier to release updates to the product on a more frequent basis (think weekly instead of monthly).

On the team side of things, we expanded our product team last November, and of course it’s true that many hands make light work. But just as importantly, we’ve modified our development processes based on reflections from the past year. As a result, we’re already seeing our product team move more efficiently and effectively through development cycles. We’re excited to see the impact this will have over the course of the year ahead – for our team, the product, and most of all for our customers and users around the world.