Case Study - Tektronix TBS Oscilloscope

2016-19

Overview

Tektronix is a Test and Measurement company. They are world leaders in oscilloscopes and Pioneers in Test and Measurement industry. They make a wide range of products for the Test and Measurement industry, like Oscilloscopes & probes, signal generators, analyzers, and many others. I was part of the Tektronix team in Bangalore from 2012 to 2019. I worked on several software projects. But the most notable one which I worked on is Tektronix TBS oscilloscopes. I started working on TBS scopes in 2014 and was part of the team till I left Tektronix in 2019

My Role

My role in the Tektronix TBS Oscilloscope team was that of a Product Designer. TBS Oscilloscope needed a revamp. It has been like that for more than a decade. There was an ask from the market to redo the design, add new functionalities, and make it more contemporary. Other than that there was also a requirement to add new features and functionality to otherwise the oscilloscope which has not been changed for almost A decade now.
I worked closely with the product owners to understand the requirement. I closely worked with the engineering team from sprint to sprint. I coordinated with the testing team and work closely with them with UX and usability testing.

Problem Statement

There was a very clear asked from the Product Owner and the market and I was assigned the task to

  • Understand the market requirement after speaking to the target audience
  • Look at the Information architecture existing Application
  • Plan the new information architecture
  • Accommodate new features that is being asked by the product owners and the market
  • Drastically improve the User experience
  • Revamp the complete user interface

Challenges

There were several challenges that I faced when I started walking on TBS Oscilloscopes. And one of the biggest challenges was working with the team which is geographically located across the globe. However, as things moved, it’s settled down. We started coordinating well and the work across teams and across the globe was well streamlined. The next big challenge that I had to deal with was the Information Architecture of the TBS Scope. I have never seen such a complicated information architecture. It took me some time to figure out the whole information architecture, first on a paper and later in an IA tool. Once the information architecture of the existing application was sorted out, the next challenge was waiting in line. And that was to accommodate the new features that have been asked by the product owner and the market into the existing Information Architecture. That was several months of work.

Research

TBS Oscilloscopes are targeted around educational institutions, embedded designers, and the maker community. It is “equipped with special features that make learning easier, so educators can focus on teaching engineering fundamentals, rather than teaching how to use the oscilloscope.” While working on TBS oscilloscopes, I visited a couple of colleges in Bangalore. I spoke to a lot of students and professors in order to understand their requirements, their challenges, and their asks. I also spoke with many experts from the Test and Measurement industry to understand what they think about this instrument and how it can be taken to the next level.

User Profiles

Attached is the User Profile that we considered. We wanted to make sure that we’re not missing any kind of user. That is why we created this exhaustive user profile. This does not show the complete data as I am not authorized to publish the complete profile data. 

Information Architecture

I have never seen such a complicated information architecture. It took me some time to figure out the whole information architecture, first on a paper and later into an IA tool. I used X-mind for it. I cannot publish the detailed Information Architecture. But here is the high level of it.

Design

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Final Words