Tecan Assay Editor Tablet

Intuitive interface for life science assay automation

From life science lab instructions to automated assays in a few clicks

With Tecan Assay Editor, life science lab workflow instructions for assays can be translated into automated assays in an intuitive interface. Tecan Assay Editor maps these complex technical processes to fit the mental models of highly skilled laboratory staff. This allows lab technicians without programming experience to automate the assay processes easily, quickly and independently.

Laboratory sampling

The project and its challenges

With the Assay Editor, Tecan wanted to enable more people, also on the customer side, to automate life science lab automation assays very easily. In this way, Tecan wants to ensure that there is no need to train programming experts, either on the customer side or at Tecan itself, and that all sides can continue to focus on their strengths.

To do this, it was necessary to adapt the technical complexity of automating an assay to the mental models of the users, most of whom have little or no programming knowledge. For this, an intuitive interface and excellent usability were particularly important.

Reagent Samples Laboratory

Adapted to mental models

With the Assay Editor, Tecan and Centigrade worked together to develop an approach that takes the users' mental models as the status quo. The result is an interface that reflects the structure of the life science lab automation workflow instructions for assays, rather than the technically complex automation. This ensures that laboratory experts who are familiar with the processes and assays are picked up and can create automated assays from their domain of expertise.

The Assay Editor

Tecan Assay Editor

The workflow works intuitively and simply by drag and drop. The elements shown in the editor correspond exactly to what is written in the process instructions for the assays. Lab staff simply assemble the desired assays from these elements. The finished assay with all steps is visually mapped on the screen.
At the same time, the software translates the created process into an XML format in the background, just as the instruments need it.

Our UX process:
Inspect and Adapt

In the Tecan Assay Editor project, we were able to make full use of our strengths in the area of agile software development. Together with the Tecan team, which have strongly internalized the agile mindset, we helped establish clean processes and agile mindsets throughout the team and worked closely together in project management. This way, the team was always able to react very well to changes in requirements. We are convinced that this is the only right approach to bring a project of this complexity and these organizational structures to success with as little risk as possible.

Tecan Assay Editor Desktop

Project progress and outlook

The project started at the end of 2020 with a prototyping phase in which we gathered feedback from experts. We are currently working with Tecan on further features and optimizations.
Tecan is already using the Assay Editor internally. The next step is to enable Tecan's customers to independently create test automations with the Assay Editor.

Andrew Vessey, Senior Software<br>Project Manager,<br>Tecan AG
Andrew Vessey
Senior Software
Project Manager,
Tecan AG

Working with the Centigrade team has been an amazing experience. They’ve provided a wide range of expertise and sage advice in user research, concept design and visual design and finally worked with us to bring all this advice to fruition in a product we are extremely happy with! It has been especially refreshing to work with a group that truly invested the time to understand our complex and evolving problem domain, users and technical requirements.

Did we attract your attention? We would be happy to explain our services face-to-face in a personal and non-binding context. We look forward to hearing from you.

Senior UX Manager
+49 681 959 3110

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