Rainin Pippets

Industrial Design / Engineering / Experience Design / User Research
product design agency
The Client

Rainin is a maker of the world’s most advanced electronic and manual medical pipettes products that are ubiquitous in labs and health facilities around the globe. 

“Expertise in liquid handling. Feel the difference.”
-Rainin

The Product

The E4 XLS: A next-generation electronic pipette, the E4 XLS is extraordinarily well balanced, requires extremely light operating forces, and can be used with either hand. The advanced stepper motor provides convenient, configurable liquid measurements that are highly precise and accurate.

The Lite XLS Pipette: One of the most ergonomic manual pipettes on the market, it has proven accuracy and precision. Its sure-fit handle, light springs, and “stiction-less” sealing technology ensure light and smooth operation and significantly reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

The Challenge

Rainin sought Speck as a partner to create two next-generation manual pipettes: the E4 XLS and the PipetLite XLS. The primary challenge was developing an ergonomic design suited for non-stop, repetitive use during an 8-hour workday. The devices also need to be accessible to both right and left-handed users and those with small or large hands. The new medical technologies added to the product required a clamshell design which presented a challenge to the overall cost-effectiveness. Finally, the products would need to have distinctive brand identities with a visual language to set them apart.

The process

The ergonomics stood out right away to the Speck team as the focal point of our human-centered approach. Through research, user analysis, and engaging with Rainin, we discovered pipettes are often used repetitively all day, many times by women with small hands. This led us to seek a universal yet complex ergonomic fit for all users while still advancing the pipettes’ design. We purposefully emphasized visual language and materials throughout the design process to influence user perceptions of quality and offset any cost increase. Using injection-molded plastic rather than cast allowed us to achieve a sturdier, smoother, more dynamic design while leveraging previous pipette ergonomics.

the outcome

The Speck team ideated a successful brand identity for Rainin that reflected their core attributes of precision, quality, ergonomics, and technological innovation, while still being cost-effective to produce. The result is a brand-distinct, high-tech pipette instrument with features that deliver precise performance and a pleasant user experience. The new pipette assembly was the project’s most notable innovation since it required a complete rethinking of how to work with the devices’ internal parts. The resulting redesign elevated the Rainin pipettes above typical lab equipment styling and marked them as the next generation of medical device products. The new design language resulted in two visually dynamic products that provide comfort for all hand sizes with no loss of precision. These design decisions, borne out in the marketplace as the E4 XLS and PipetLite XLS, have become Rainin’s best-selling medical products. Rainin won a series of awards for their E4 XLS, including the Laboratory Equipment Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award and a Red Dot Honorable mention.

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product design agency San Jose
product design agency San Francisco
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