Usability in Scientific Applications

Scientific applications provide a challenging field for engineering smooth user interfaces. Examples of these challenges are:

  • Large amount of data, since at the time of measurement it may not be foreseeable what is relevant and what not. A strong focus hereby lies on safe storage and processing of the data to avoid repetition of experiments.
  • Explorative workflows, because the direction and optimal methods of processing the data may not be defined yet.
  • Vast amounts of configuration settings and parameters, as scientific instrumentation often is configurable to an extent that would be well hidden in consumer or industrial applications.

PIXFAB brings more than a decade of experience in designing and engineering scientific applications that can be used to remote control laboratory equipment or be embedded directly into the instruments.

Example of a PIXFAB UI concept for a remote controlled NIR spectrometer.

PIXFAB UI implementations rely on a flexible and scalable architecture that allows for asynchronous processing and realtime storage of valuable experimentation data in the backend.

The frontend is defined by a clear design language and a strong hierachical abstraction that provides intelligent guidance in the forrest of possible configurations, workflows and processing steps.

In order to come up with a solutions that fits our clients application we work through the following process:

  • Requirements engineering, where we sit down and analyse the current and desired state of the equipments usability concept.
  • Concept design, the creative process in which the desired features are brought into shape.
  • User and usability testing, many pitfalls can be avoided through our experience, however early testing allows us to further refine our understanding of the specific application.
  • Implementation, the actual work in making instrument, backend and front end play together nicely.

Contact us for any questions you might have on how to improve the user experience and usability of you scientific instruments.