The Double Diamond Theory that SciSquare utilized for our design process
Design & branding
an innovative new lab management software
Complete product design and branding for a new laboratory management software that aims to streamline communication, consolidate orders, track equipment usage, and analyze experiment progress.
SciSquare aims to create a laboratory management software with a vision to streamline communication, procurement, and track experiment progress.
The goal of this project was to conduct user research to identify innovation opportunities, design the entirety of SciSquare's multi-platform software, and create a unique and modern brand identity.
VP of Design
User Experience Design | User Research | Brand Design | Information Architecture | Product Management
SciSquare is a multi-platform laboratory management platform that aims to allow scientists to streamline communication, schedule equipment usage, track experiment progress, and procure laboratory equipment.
Today’s laboratory managers are cluttered, difficult to use, are filled with usability issues, and make laboratory management difficult and complex. Scientists spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to complete simple tasks, such as scheduling usage of a piece of equipment or check on an experiment's progress. Additionally, laboratories are often forced to hire a full-time employee who is solely in charge of procuring equipment. These issues are a significant bottleneck in the laboratory management process, and at SciSquare we aimed to understand the root cause of these issues and build a product that simplifies the entire laboratory management process- from communication, to experiment management, to procurement technologies.
To better understand the root cause of the pain points that our users faced, we conducted a heavy amount of user research with our prospective users. This took place in the form of everything from casual conversations about a scientist's day-to-day to usability testing, A/B testing, and prototyping. To do so, we asked some guiding questions that allowed us to gain more insights into their experience across various responsibilities:
How do you spend your time on a typical day as a laboratory manager?
What does a typical procurement process look like at your laboratory?
What are your biggest challenges when attempting to visualize experiment progress?
What do you like/dislike about managing inventories within [current laboratory management software]?
At SciSquare, we decided on the Double Diamond Theory for our design process. We utilized and prioritized the key phases of Discovering, Synthesizing, Ideating, Designing, and Implementing.
During the discovery phase, we spoke with our user demographic to understand their pain points, their needs and goals, and their day-to-day.
During the synthesis phase, we compiled our research to identify patterns and innovation opportunities based on the data we gathered during discovery.
During the ideation phase, I sketched out wireframes, designed information architecture, and designed service blueprints before moving on to rough drafts of low-fidelity mockups.
During the design phase, I spent time converting our low-fidelity designs to high-fidelity by defining a visual language and iterating rapidly while conducting usability testing.
Finally, during the implementation phase, I managed SciSquare's team of eight engineers to hand off our designs to development and implement them for alpha and beta testing.
High-Fidelity User Interface
After the discovery, synthesis, and ideation phases, I shifted my attention to SciSquare Procurement's Hi-Fi design. Drawing on modern UI trends, I defined a visual style and designed a user interface that contrasts other lab management software. Users complained that competing design is dated and hard-to-use, motivating us to do differently with our designs.
Our final design reflects the learnings that we achieved during our discovery and synthesis phases. Users wanted a more modern and beautiful system, and our design reflects that need
By removing unnecessary features and improving the user interface and information architecture, we were able to improve the user success rate and efficiency (tested during quantitative A/B testing)
Hi-Fi UI: Experiments
After the discovery, synthesis, and ideation phases, I shifted my attention to the "Experiments" feature's high fidelity user interface design. Designing a new "Card" view, scientists and laboratory managers are now able to visualize experiment and project progress more efficiently. This method contrasts drastically from existing laboratory management software, with a radically different UI that solves
By re-inventing the user interface and information architecture of this feature, I was able to significantly improve the user success rate and efficiency (tested during quantitative A/B testing) when conducting experiment management tasks
Hi-Fi UI: Inventory Management
After the discovery, synthesis, and ideation phases, I shifted my attention to the Inventory Management feature's high fidelity user interface design. Modernizing the user interface and improving the usability of inventory management, SciSquare's prospective users strongly preferred SciSquare's Inventory Management to competing software.
By modernizing the user interface and adjusting information architecture to improve usability issues, I was able to significantly improve the user success rate and efficiency (tested during quantitative A/B testing) when carrying out inventory management-related tasks.
Hi-Fi UI: Equipment Scheduling
After the discovery, synthesis, and ideation phases, I shifted my attention to the Equipment Scheduling feature's high fidelity user interface design. By creating immense ease-of-use with the equipment scheduling process, scientists can easily visualize available and booked equipment, streamlining the scheduling process.
By addressing usability concerns and modernizing the user interface, I was able to improve the user success rate and efficiency (tested during quantitative A/B testing) when carrying out equipment-scheduling tasks. Scientists strongly preferred SciSquare's Equipment Scheduler to equivalent features in competing software.
Crafting a Brand Identity
I combined a variety of shades of verdigris, green, and blue to represent SciSquare's brand. We aimed to convey professionalism and minimalism with a hint of curiosity.
When designing SciSquare's landing pages, I designed a collection of gradients and swooshes to maintain an exploratory and playful feel, yet again contrasting with competing software.
For typography, I utilized a bold and experimental typeface, New York Extra Large, for marketing headers. Within SciSquare's software, the font Avenir was used for both headers and body text. This allows for a cleaner, more modern feel than competing softwares, which utilize dated typography.
SciSquare's Landing Pages & Website
I designed SciSquare's website with a more experimental feel, tying in our modern and playful aesthetic to create a unique marketing visual language. As accents, floating test tubes and beakers were added.
Learning & Takeaways
This project took nearly a year to ideate, design, test, and implement. Many features weren't displayed in this case study, including SciSquare's Manage and SciChat features. There were hundreds and hundreds of screens and designs, innumerable iterations, hundreds of hours of user testing, and copious amounts of caffeine :) This project was a huge learning experience for me and the entire SciSquare team. The private beta of SciSquare's product is in use by multiple top laboratories and will be released commercially soon. Thanks for reading!