The Problem

Do Not Taunt Graduate Students This sign welcomes visitors to Allen Hunt's Research Lab at the Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building, University of Michigan. The lab houses 7 different research groups.

At this time, bench level researchers do not have access to a well-implemented set of software tools to aid them in the nitty-gritty details of their most repetitive and accuracy-dependent tasks. Several factors contribute to this situation, and among them is that most of the tools available for these tasks are not professionally developed. Since these researchers are slow to adopt new software, a key ingredient in a successful product is the development of a highly intuitive interface with a short learning time. A second difficulty from the business perspective is that this is a niche market with no existing product, resulting in difficult market research conditions. Typically in such a situation, a company would develop a prototype and test the market. Even though this prototype is primarily directed at getting the best tools to attract the largest audience, the user-interface must be excellent from the outset, or those asked to test the tools will not engage with the software and may form an initial negative opinion that would prevent their later adoption of the finished product.

The Solution: A Beginning

The project goal for this semester is the development of an intuitive interface for the prototype tool which will be hosted on a typical PC or Mac. Considerations will also be made for future movement towards mobile components.

The Stakeholders

This project has many different stakeholders in different areas. With regards to this class, the team members and their cohert have an interest in its success. Weber Innovations is interested in how the outcomes of the course project will contribute to a marketable product. The final product will be marketed to researchers & scientests in many fields.