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  • Starscanner

Scan. Save. Share. Revolutionising the scanning, digitisation and sharing of data

Client: Kodak
Brand: Kodak Alaris

Else collaborated with Kodak Alaris in Rochester New York, to design a service for a connected smart scanner aimed at small and medium businesses and the freelance market.

Smart Scanner was created to facilitate the digitisation, filing, indexing and sharing of documents such as invoices, receipts, contracts and business cards.

Research had shown that small businesses around the world submit, on average 100-300 documents per week into key online SaaS services (Quickbook Online, Dropbox etc).

This meant there was a large target market that had a clear need for a document imaging solution consisting of an intelligent scanner with cloud services integration.

By using text recognition technology (OCR) the aim was to enable physically and digitally ingested documents to be easily archived, located and shared. In other words we needed data hidden deep in documents to be turned into usable information.

This technology allowed users to make more meaningful searches. Such as:

  • Show me all my receipts for lunches for the last month.
  • Show me all processed invoices created for client X
  • Search all email attachments with the Keyword ‘Kodak Alaris'
  • Search all documents that mention ‘Else’ and 'Kodak' that I have shared with my workgroup.

The key component of the service was the added value given to the users by allowing them to share scanned data with widely used third party services.

Scanned documents shouldn't simply sit within a folder in someones computer. There are always actions attached to them post ingestion. Whether it's for sharing with clients, sending an invoice, recording an expense, or simply record keeping, users scan for a reason. Our aim was to facilitate these workflows and streamline these processes. Think IFTT for scanning.

With more and more businesses using online business process applications, we worked with an understanding that pretty much any service, from Dropbox to Quicken, LinkedIn to Evernote could be a potential partner and be part of a business workflow. The possibilities were endless and very exciting from both a logic and visual design standpoint.

This brief was particularly exciting as we had two interfaces to design, two interfaces that had to work seamlessly together. Else had to work with both product and software design teams to help develop the physical Scanners touchscreen UI alongside the web user interface that would control the scanner and its processes.

This was hugely exciting as it gave us the opportunity to shape the product’s technical requirements by starting with the desired user experience.

We began by thoroughly getting under the skin of the challenges faced by end users in small business environments. This included an assessment of our own needs. As a small business we faced many of the same challenges that the project was aimed at tackling.

We wrote detailed use cases that helped us understand the complex logical flows that this project required us to understand. As well as multiple Kodak interfaces, we had to understand how we would integrate with 3rd part services as part of each scanning process.

When it came to bring the project to life visually we took the foundation of our approach from the interaction design language we developed as part of our previous work with Kodak on their Moments app – so it felt part of the family.

The end result was a design system that could be developed out by Kodak's in-house development teams seamlessly across a responsive website and physical scanner UI. 


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