Scientific ToolBox Consulting

Summary

After working as a freelance agent for Scientific ToolBox Consulting, I was invited for a partnership and became actively engaged in this project. My main role was to develop a spirit of design thinking in the creation of Scientific ToolBox’s digital products.

Problem to solve

When we analised the market of clinical trials, we can conclude that many companies contract services that include the use of dedicated software. The solutions found in the market could be improved, and didn’t address to all the market niches.

Solution

Develop a solution that could solve the problems identified in the market that the company wanted to address, based in the functional knowledge that the team members had in different areas (service area, software development area, and user experience area).

Example of some documentation that I did

Detail of Documentation

  • » Task analysis and definition;
  • » Market research and competitive analysis;
  • » User research and definition;
  • » Personas creation;
  • » Workshop and survey implementation for the definition of functional requirements;
  • » Work roles research and definition;
  • » Ecosystems creation;
  • » Information architecture;
  • » Wireframes creation and workflows (task analysis);
  • » User interface design.

Overview

I started to work in this (startup) company to make digital services. Sometimes clients need to contract some type of services that require design expertise (as develop communication supports, develop websites for some study…). At the same time I was the responsible to create all the branding to our company, as well as our website (in wordpress). The most importante work that I had was to study the area of clinical trials, to gain knowledge that could be usefull to the software that Scientific ToolBox wanted to build.

Company card

Training brochure

Company website


Software development

When we analyzed the clinical trial market, we have identified some gaps, and some entry points that indicated that there was a possibility to develop software suitable to this market.

The biggest problems that we found in other softwares that are used in clinical trials were:

  • » Usability
    •   » Difficult to use
    •   » Software isn’t intuitive
    •   » Poor performance in the daily tasks
    •   » Long learning curve
  • » Funcionality
    •   » Lack of some features that we considered important
    •   » The majority of our clients had some other needs that the softwares didn’t address
  • » Cost
    •   » The cost of good softwares is prohibitive to most of our clients

As I had access to clients that worked with our company and to my colleagues, that were alocated to the service area, I had access to information (I could understand the terminology used, the different problems that they had in daily tasks, pain points, stakeholders…). However, due to regulamentation and norms, there was a lot of information that I couldn’t access. I couldn’t see, or use, or ask questions about proprietary software used by our company, and couldn’t have access to the information of several clinical trials.

Fortunately there exists software open source that is used in this market and that I instaled in my computer. That way, I could study the funcionalities, some interactions, tasks, organization of menus, workflows…

Before I start thinking in analize softwares, I started to do some research (literature, and internet), in order to understand the surrounding context from this area. As I had access to clients and colleagues from work, I could develop some workshops and other research activities (as interviews, direct observation…) to understand what were their motivations, their pain points, as well as tasks that they do in a daily basis. That research allow me to collect information and some materials that are used in this area. I also created some documentation (like, personas, tasks flow, work roles) that would inform the software development.

Detail from my notes to make a task flow

Software features analysis

I ended up producing documentation that could guide the software development process. This is a very complex area, with a lot of regulamentation, so I focus more in understand the social context, the interactions between the diferent stakeholders, the type of tasks that different work roles were supose to do. I also analize some open source softwares collecting information form the people that work with them.

Unfortunately, although I have made some wireframes and some prototypes to start defining and test some design concepts, the company change direction and started to center their core business in the services area, and this project was terminated.

Scientific ToolBox Consulting is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) that provides a wide variety of scientiic consulting services for desiging, implementing, conducting, managing, analysing and reporting clinical research.

ClientScientific TollBox ConsultingSectorScientific AdviceYear2013 - 2016Linkwww.scientifictoolbox.com