Software application for a spectrometer: user-friendly and ultra-precise

Business context 

The client developed an analytical device – a spectrometer – comprised of a laser and multiple analog to digital optical converters for identifying chemical elements in a material sample. 

But the end-to-end experience our partner was looking to offer their customers could be completed only with a software application complementary to the device, fully tailored to the spectrometer’s capabilities. 

Project goal 

A universal platform application (desktop, tablet) for displaying, storing and analyzing the data recorded from a spectrometer, based on a user defined analysis method. 

Solution 

Ingredients for a powerful device-application duo 

A couple of aspects were significant for the journey we were about to embark on: 

  • The application developed by Accesa should provide ultra-precise information and high-quality data interpretation. Having had previous experiences working with scientific and analytical instruments, we knew that accuracy is a major factor for the science industry. We understood that the end-user of the tool and application duo has to be able to replicate their work with the exact same precision every single time.  
  • Making our client’s app touch-based was a must. The UI and UX of the app had to be designed according to the use case that proved most important: people working in factories, at very high temperatures. Whether operating the app from a tablet or a standing PC, this software had to be just as easy to use. 
  • Another project objective was the ability of the software user to create customized analysis methods, specifically tailored to their needs and the materials they work with. To this end, Accesa should build an editor within the app. These analysis methods can be reused whenever, freeing up resources and speeding up the process. We believe in working smart and efficient – and so does our partner.  
  • Better yet, these analysis methods can be sold thanks to the advanced licensing methods we developed. In order to generate the best results, our client’s devices are highly customizable. The device user has to manually ensure the right alignment of the optical systems of the device, so that precision standards are upheld, regardless of material or activity conditions. As a result, our partner develops and sells analysis methods their clients can use to their advantage. 

Not a challenge big enough for scientific innovation 

Our partner’s innovative ideas and their strong desire to make them come to life helped them overcome any business challenges that may have come up along the way: 

  • Engineering the hardware of the spectrometer and developing the application accompanying the device had to happen simultaneously, which certainly highlighted the importance and the benefits of agile product development.  
  • Decision regarding resources and investments had to be very well thought through. 
  • Given their profound focus on the spectrometer, the client company was in need of an agile software development partner to innovate with. 

When app development is the question, agile is the answer 

It was Accesa’s agile approach to product development that helped turn development challenges into wins: 

  • Since the development of the prototype for the spectrometer and the development of the software accompanying the device had to happen simultaneously, every sprint within the app development process had to be very carefully planned out, while still maintaining a dynamic approach. 
  • This aspect also resulted in frequent requirement changes the Accesa team could quickly adapt to given their agile approach to product development. 
  • More so, the single existing prototype was mostly available off-site to Accesa.
  • Being in the prototyping stage, the hardware of the spectrometer was continuously upgraded from one sprint to another; again, Accesa’s agile product development practices enabled them to quickly adapt. 
  • Development was facing a big workload for the proposed timeline on both sides, needing to focus on the most critical aspects in short release cycles. 
  • The partnership we were about to enter is a truly complementary one: while the client team is highly skilled in developing the spectrometer, the Accesa team is the one to find the best technical solutions to their device. 

Business impact 

Accesa’s contribution

Our technical know-how and our agile approach to software development have contributed greatly to fulfilling our client’s project objectives. We: 

  • Helped in planning the development stages of the application in accordance with the development of the spectrometer, as well as our partner’s business objectives. 
  • Helped in planning the product development sprints in accordance with the client’s business objectives, while ensuring focus on the most critical aspects, no matter how short the release cycle. 
  • Ensured the same level of speed, adaptability, and quality throughout the entire product development process by working according to the agile development principles. 
  • Figured out the logic on which the spectrometer and the application should work together in order to provide a fruitful user experience. 
  • Provided the technical solutions to how the partnering team envisioned the device and software to work together. 
  • Developed hardware controllers in time for every development stage of the spectrometer, allowing our client’s team to interact with the device, making for better informed decisions. 
  • Designed a simple, intuitive, user-friendly user experience for the app and a user interface to match, in order for the application to stand out from the design we’ve come to expect from software for scientific devices. 
  • Helped the customer make a difference in the chosen market and secure income by designing and developing the editor used to create customized analysis methods, as well as the advanced licensing app. 

We were a true agile development partner to our partner in that we put our strategy, UI/UX design, app development, and QA capabilities to good use by developing the right software to accompany a spectrometer: precise, reliable, and intuitive. 

Client gains 

The partnership with Accesa resulted in: 

  • An intuitive, user-friendly, and accurate universal platform application to accompany our partner’s spectrometer, generating a powerful duo. 
  • An application that gets positive feedback not only for the precise way in which it’s working, but also for the UI/UX design that makes it stand out from the crowd. 
  • A valuable differentiating factor for the customer – the advanced licensing method, which is an app in itself, connected to and dependent of the device; our client can rent out their spectrometer-application package in a pay-per-usage manner. 
  • A time to market fitting our partner’s business objectives and needs, given the high flexibility offered by the Accesa’s team. 

Collaboration details 

Services 

  • Product development strategy 
  • UI/UX design 
  • Desktop app development 
  • Testing & Quality Assurance 

Competences 

UWP, .NET, UI/UX 

Methodologies 

Agile methodology