Handheld instrument design
Hach partnered with two other leaders in the field of chemical analysis to create a brand new platform of devices for measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, and other electrochemical properties. This radical upgrade to a core product required careful analysis and iterative design to achieve.
One of the main goals was to make a system that could be used by people all over the world. I designed a keyboard suitable for worldwide audiences, and chose a graphic display that can present any character set.
To make sure our designs were usable and efficient, I created a state machine driven, multi-language Flash prototype. This prototype very accurately represented what we could do with the ultimate design, and helped us answer hundreds if not thousands of questions about the specific behavior that should be developed.
I modeled all of the key interactions to provide direction to development, such as initial startup sequence, calibration, operation, and setup functions. I introduced a layer of abstraction so that all text labels are presented in the language selected by the user. These efforts helped confirm that we had chosen the right resolution for the display, and that my design for the keyboard would give people what they needed to successfully navigate the system.
In order to validate and optimize the design, I presented it to users in three countries - the United States, Germany and France - and measured task success, satisfaction and other variables. This helped us localize the user interface while we flushed out any remaining problems.
In the end, this work led to a successful product that has been in the market for nearly 10 years so far. This kind of longevity is a testament to the hard work we put in to build a superior instrumentation system.
benchtop instrument design research
These two pages from an exploratory design research effort helped identify some of the challenges of operating scientific equipment in municipal labs in Germany.
The next three images are from a report modeling the workflow and data flow for a commercial laboratory. They helped me understand the data flow needs and identify opportunities for integrating automated data capture from scientific instruments.