Case Studies

Self Check-in Station

At SIGMADESIGN, we provide innovative product development solutions from concept through production. As a product development firm working on many innovative products that we cannot share because of client confidentiality, we’d like to share a product that we developed for our own use in response to COVID-19: an automated check-in system.


This custom system ensures the safety of hundreds of employees entering our facilities every day. Since we require screening and tracking of each individual entering any of our various locations, we wanted a system that would automate the process and reduce resources.

Similar to how we develop products for our clients, we assembled a team of adept professionals to create a custom solution to fit our needs. The system simplifies and automates the screening process, which was previously administered by personnel.


By leveraging off-the-shelf hardware and using in-house expertise in software development and industrial design, the team created a custom self-check-in system which includes a user-friendly interface, badge scanner, and temperature reader. Not only does this system make our check in process easy, it also improves features for managing the data in our check-in database.

Here's How We Did It

With our small and efficient, cross-functional team assembled, we began by collecting information from stakeholders. We also asked a lot of questions in order to understand the following:
  • What are the main pain points?
  • What is the desired schedule and budget for the solution?
  • What constraints or concerns do we need to consider?


Next, we began to evaluate the requirements:

  • The team refined the requirements according to our needs. We had an understanding from doing some initial research that there was not a system we could purchase that would be a perfect fit, so we developed requirements which included:
    • Writing use cases to represent the desired usability and functions
    • Reviewing the requirements with our stakeholders and selected users
    • And requirements that addressed the testability of the product.

User Interface

We also talked a lot about the User Interface:

  • For any system with a User Interface, involving a design expert is essential. Our industrial designers used Adobe XD to develop simple wireframe mockups that progressed into the fully developed interactive UI design.
  • Since many of us are currently working remotely, we reviewed the UI design in virtual meetings. Design revisions happened quickly. We had multiple sessions of updating, and re-evaluating the UI until we were happy with the final approved design. Using Adobe XD made the transition from UI design to development seamless.

User Experience

During the development of the User Interface, our designers thought a lot about the entire User Experience.

  • What would the station itself look like?
  • How could branding and iconic supportive GUI elements help the user understand what is being asked of them?
  • What ADA considerations could make this station universally accessible?
  • And finally, what design and arrangements would make the system ergonomic and easy to use and interact with?

A lot of thought was put in to each step to make the entire user experience as simple and efficient as possible. The colors, fonts, and graphics for the screen were carefully chosen to match both branding needs and visual accessibility for all types of users.

Evaluation, Integration

Now let’s take a moment to understand how we evaluate hardware, perform integration and bring it all together.

Evaluating off-the-shelf hardware required understanding the system architecture needs. We knew we wanted an Android tablet for this system. Therefore, we needed a badge reader and thermometer that allowed for communication with Android, as well as integration with our application and database.

The integration process required research, down-selection and experimentation. The team researched the hardware options and then down-selected to a few options that would work best according to the requirements. More specifically, the hardware needed to accommodate our needs:

  • The thermometer has a USB connection which is more secure and viable in data transfer.
  • The badge scanner we selected can communicate with the Android tablet via wired or wireless communication.
  • We also found a USB C hub with power delivery so we are able to maintain 2 USB connections (both the thermometer and the scanner) while providing enough power for the tablet and the thermometer.
We went through two cycles of hardware selection and experimentation in order to find the equipment that worked best. Finally, we were ready to bring everything together including the hardware, software, network, and user experience.

Mobile App Design

Mobile app design is an area of expertise for our software engineers, who built the app and database to support the solution. The app enables the following:

  • Scan employee badge and get employee data from the server
  • Capture employee temperature via the thermometer
  • Present users with COVID-19 screening questions
  • Gather all user input data and send it to a managed secure server database.
Our IT team created a remote-managed solution to enable the application updates to occur with limited resources or overhead using Microsoft InTune. It also ensures that the tablet is used only for this specific purpose.
We built a secure network infrastructure to support a multi-site solution, bringing up a server to centrally store all data. The system enables integration between the application and existing employee badge access system, and allows badge scanning to be used for employee login at the check-in-station.

Testing & Validation

After bringing everything together, we needed to do Testing and Validation to ensure that everything was working as intended, so we:

  • Tested against test cases and validated experiences against requirements and use cases
  • Used a limited release to gather user feedback, then put the check-in system into use and observed and learned
  • Adapted and iterated to increase usability and overall system performance
  • And finally, at the product release, we monitored and responded to confirm system stability and meet expectations in real-world use.

Prior to multiple installations at all of our locations, we also created an instructional video to demonstrate how to properly use the self-check in station.

We’re happy with the ease of use this system offers. It has greatly improved the efficiency with which we are able to track and monitor the safety of hundreds of our employees.

Mobile App Design

  • Scan Employee Badge and get employee data from the server
  • Capture Employee temperature via the thermometer
  • Present users with COVID-19 screening questions
  • Gather all user input data and send it to our managed secure server database.
All Case Studies

Testing & Validation

  • Test against test cases and validate experiences against requirements and use cases.
  • Use a limited release to gather user feedback, then put the check-in system into use and observe and learn
  • Adapt and iterate to increase usability and overall system performance
  • At the product release, monitor and respond to confirm system stability and meet expectations in real-world use.