Micromeritics SediGraph IV
The Micromeritics SediGraph IV X-ray particle analyzer is a redesign of the current model, featuring improved usability and an enhanced visual brand language for greater brand representation. This was a sponsored project.
Team member: Ben Hammer
My role: Research, concept development, form development, CAD, rendering
Re-design the Micromeritics SediGraph III Plus for greater usability and brand representation.
Micromeritics: A Leader in Particle Characterization
In their 58 years of operation, Micromeritics have made a name for themselves by providing accurate, high-quality, reliable instruments to a global customer base. However, without a user-centered approach to design, their products lack emotional connection and brand communication.
Original SediGraph III
The original SediGraph III Plus is a function-driven design. Visually, it consists of simple geometric shapes. Color is used arbitrarily. There is little sense of visual hierarchy. Some elements have branding potential, however, such as the signature blue line found on most Micromeritics products.
What We Found
Though the original design comes with a front cover panel, it is never used.
Access to the testing chamber is limited and awkward.
Buttons and labels are over-complicated and inconsistent, resulting in a confusing UI.
1. Evolve a new visual brand language through more consistent form and color, while still referencing current branding elements
2. Integrate a front cover panel which conceals components yet still allows for easy access.
3. Improve the access and visibility to the testing cell.
4. Simplify the control interface to be less distracting yet still easy to read.
5. Design for sheet metal fabrication and internal space allocation.
Quick thumbnail sketches helped us to quickly ideate solutions. We later presented our refined concepts to the Micromeritics team for feedback.
Compared with its competitors, the Micromeritics SediGraph III Plus falls short in its visual design. Micromeritics' visual language should represent their position as an industry leader.
We created an inspiration board of products which use sheet metal in visual interesting ways, to analyze how other designers were successful with the material. We saw how layering, bending, and color blocking were all intentionally utilized to create compositional hierarchy, directing the user's eye to what is important.
I worked with Ben to create a 1:1 scale foam core model to validate the sheet metal construction.
A Redefined Visual Brand Language
The new visual brand language of the SediGraph IV is an evolution of the original, introducing more dynamic and contemporary shape, form, and line.
Improved User Experience
The new design of the SediGraph IV integrates a drawer to house the most often accessed components. This allows for the same functionality of the original, while maintaining a clean and professional appearance.
The redesigned control panel simplifies interaction by eliminating unnecessary buttons and graphics with the inclusion of an LCD screen and LED status light.