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Posted 22 June 2023 by
Toon Van Den Bergh
Senior Product Owner for Binocs Technology

Binocs updates (July 2023): user-informed user experience

We have some fantastic news: the Binocs team has been hard at work to introduce more functionality enhancements that will take user experience to the next level. We’re ready to supercharge lab productivity with these snazzy new features introduced in our latest product updates (July 2023).

In a rush? Here are the 3 key takeaways

  1. 👉 Feature updates: new personalized home pages for analysts & schedulers presenting key actionable information at login, as well as redesigned Scenario management functionality
  2. 👉 Performance updates: speed and stability updates, streamlining Baseline recalculation and Campaign Management, and improvements to pivot chart analysis
  3. 👉 All Binocs updates are informed by direct feedback and collaboration with users, and from analysis of user behaviors to ensure the experience is always optimized

Personalized landing page

First up, let’s talk about the Binocs homepage. Historically, users have been presented with a collection of graphs and charts that, while useful, aren’t  necessarily high value for everyone. Well, Binocs is proudly a user-informed solution and we heard your feedback: our UX team and engineers have been working with key stakeholders to ensure that the first thing users see when logging is a personalized landing page presenting key information. Think of it like a bespoke command center, allowing users to see, at-a-glance, how many tasks they need to prioritize that day, with handy shortcuts to the most relevant features right at their fingertips.

We’re all about making life easier, so we’ve tailored the landing page to suit different roles—first off, we’ve developed interfaces for analysts and schedulers but more personas will be added in subsequent releases!

Laboratory analysts

For analysts, we’ve personalized the landing page to provide a clear snapshot of daily tasks and activities. This means that lab analysts, technicians and chemists will have a graphical overview of their planned activities, so they can see that work is planned and easily navigate to the Schedule to view the relevant task details. We know that tasks are sometimes running late or maybe even users have completed them but have forgotten to mark them as “done” in Binocs—no problem, we’ve also included an alert message to highlight unexecuted activities and help busy lab staff stay on top of priorities with minimal stress.

Laboratory schedulers

For the lab schedulers in the audience, we haven’t forgotten about you! We know how important visual management is to the modern lean lab, so the scheduler landing page is packed with graphical features to streamline coordination and productivity. These include an overview of scheduled tasks and a summary of unexecuted activities across all relevant teams, as well as nifty graphs to visually track what needs to be scheduled over the coming 14 days. It’s all about giving schedulers more time to concentrate on what matters by minimizing the time needed to find the information they need!

Scenario management

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about the revamped Scenarios feature. What-if scenario analysis (WISA) has been a mainstay of Binocs since way back in 2016 but, by monitoring user interaction analytics, we’ve noticed that people don’t always find it to be intuitive or easy-to-find. That’s why we wanted to take another look at the functionality and improve its accessibility and usability, making managing scenarios and navigating between them a piece of cake. The Scenario overview page can now be found where it should be: directly in the “Analyze” menu, making scenario management and analysis a click away at any time.

And that Scenario management view? It’s been given a fresh makeover too. We’ve retained the handy parts—including the switch to a different background color to keep it crystal clear whether you’re in Baseline mode or working on a Scenario—but we’ve also redesigned the general interface so that, when you’re focused on a Scenario, only the Binocs menu items that directly affect the present analysis will be accessible. (Don’t worry: once users switch back to the Baseline, all menu options are available again!) This way, users always know that the changes they make will be reflected in the results, but it also means less clutter and a more streamlined experience.

Performance enhancements

Last (but far from least), we couldn’t resist making some platform improvements. We’ve fine-tuned Binocs to enhance its speed and stability, and to pave the way for exciting future developments. Updating the Baseline and calculating campaigns in the Campaign Manager is now a breeze—smoother and faster than ever before. We’ve also beefed-up the pivot reports feature in Explore: the technology behind it has received a major upgrade, allowing deep-diving users to add calculated values in all pivot reports. It’s all about giving our customers that extra flexibility and control over their data.

So, there you have it folks! We’ve leveled up again, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share these Binocs updates with you. A personalized landing page, revamped Scenarios, and the platform improvements are here to supercharge productivity and give users the optimal experience. Myself and the rest of the Product team constantly strive to deliver enhancements based on feedback and analysis of user behaviors, and we’re committed to making the Binocs experience smooth, efficient, and (we hope) intuitive.

Ready to dive in? Knowledge Base users can head over to our full product release page for details and stay tuned for more exciting updates coming your way in a few months.

Not already a Binocs user? Why not reach out for a personal product exhibition and let’s see if we can change that together!

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Toon Van Den Bergh

Toon is a Product Owner for Binocs.