Blog @ Illumina
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Documents on a Diet

Henri Kester, Ph.D.
| Nov 06, 2013
create your personalized workflows with custom docs

At Illumina, we have many kits, instruments, and workflows, and we need to provide documentation for their use. We need to tell you, our customer, exactly what you can do with each instrument, what the properties are for all our kits, and what software tools enable what types of analyses.

However, you don't always need all that information. If you run a DNA-based assay, you don’t need to know about RNA-Seq. If you always do paired-end sequencing, you don’t need to know how to perform single-read runs. We recognized that and built a solution for you: the Custom Protocol Selector. The Custom Protocol Selector enables you to generate your own user guide, personalized to the products and workflow you use.

The way it works: All of our current documentation is written in the form of discrete topics. We ask you a few questions, like what instrument you have, what sample prep you use, what analysis you are performing, then use that information to build a personalized protocol for you, inserting just the topics for the workflow that you run. The topics come from the same source as our product documentation and go through the same internal review process.

The results are staggering. Before the Custom Protocol Selector, you would have to browse as many as 400 pages across eight documents to complete a full workflow. After the Custom Protocol Selector, we give you a 50-page (or less) document containing all the information you need for your experiment, with the unnecessary information stripped out.

So in short, Illumina’s documentation is losing weight. Now, you can generate your own lean workflows using the Custom Protocol Selector. Go to and give it a try. We hope you like it!