We have already told you where our inspiration for v3 came from in a previous blog so now we are going to focus in on the individual features and how we came to improving them or designing brand new ones.


When we started to look at the features we wanted to improve I think it is fair to say we were all apprehensive as to how to change them, if we improved one thing how would it affect another customer? I can tell you that we heard the “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” adage several times, but then as we started to develop the ideas we realised it was more about moving the software forward and improving the processes and making the system easier for you to work with. As with most of our new features or updates to existing features, we took the feedback many of you have supplied over the last years and incorporated them into our latest release.

So the first feature that is brand new is the Grid view, this is definitely becoming a personal favourite, being able to see all your samples in an exact replica of your box with the sample number under the green dot. Grid view was our most popular request from our current end users.  The ability to print this off, take it to the freezer and check all the samples are in the correct location using a graphical representation rather than just a list just makes life so much easier. You can now easily see when a box is full or empty and drag and drop your samples in the correct location with in the box, helping reduce errors and streamlining your auditing. I have been demoing this to current users for the last few weeks and it always gets a “wow” or “that’s perfect, that’s just what we asked for”. Wow is something you always hope to get when showing your software but not always something you will hear! From the feedback we have received so far I think we can take it this feature has been a great hit.


Using feedback from our 100+ existing users we decided to change how you can edit samples. Instead of just being able to edit a single sample your feedback clearly showed us that you needed the ability to edit multiple samples in one go, I’m sure you can imagine the time savings this gives when you have a couple of hundred samples to edit! The feedback from everyone so far has just confirmed that improving the edit sample feature was very important for day to day tracking. Whilst editing has always been available, I think it took a better understanding of how different Labs approach their workflow to truly understand that you needed to be able to edit multiples samples. The past 5 years of experience, along with closer relationships with our current users, has built up a much greater understanding of how you work allowing us to build an off the shelf package that offers flexibility whilst maintaining a sensible price.


MySamples is another one of our completely new features; In my experience when working with samples I don’t want to have to search for the same ones several times a day, the ability to have them all stored in a quick view panel is exactly what I would want to help speed up data entry and that is exactly what the MySamples feature does. It allows you to access your own personal collection of samples quickly and easily without having to search for them and this is proving very popular. The samples remain in their actual stored location but appear in a list view within MySamples. We have designed this so it is done per user, It’s a feature that we designed more to help with improving the user experience. We are always hearing how it’s great to have a tracking system but how do we get users to use it? This is one of those features that we hope helps to increase user participation, the easier something is to do the more likely it is that people will do it.


The final feature I am looking in to today is the user definable fields by project; this is probably one of the biggest changes we have made to Pro-curo. Current users will remember previously that this had to be decided site wide, and always caused interesting debates when setting up the system and I remember, in about 70% of my demonstrations, hearing “I wish we could define the user fields for each of our different departments”. With this in mind we decided during our design process that we needed to change this to help improve our system so that it would work in a more fluid manor for our current and new site wide users. So now you can have 20 user definable fields available per project (this is especially helpful for our larger installs who use the system in many different departments). We also combined this with the function that where we can choose which fields to display on the list view and also which fields are seen in the Add and Edit sample forms, meaning that the user is not confused by seeing all the available user fields just the ones that have been setup and are available for use.


I think for me the biggest thing that stands out in all the development that we did for v3 is how much customer feedback we used to help improve the system. This is a mistake so many companies make when improving their software, they get tunnel vision as to how they think the software should work, or how they want it to work rather than putting themselves in the Labs and using their best resource, their current customers, to help improve the software for the future.


So now you can see how your ideas and comments find their way into new features, so be sure to let us know your thoughts and feelings, via website, LinkedIn and our support forum you never know v4 may feature them......