Elevating liquid handling with intuitive software

27/03/2024

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At SPT Labtech, our commitment to innovation extends beyond hardware; our software plays a crucial role in making automation accessible for all. Michelle Barnett, a SoftwareMichelle Engineer on the firefly® team, shares her insights on the significance of developing user-friendly software for liquid handling applications. 

Michelle brings over a decade of experience in UI development, having previously worked in the landscape of the inkjet printing industry. Her role demanded software that could easily configure to diverse industrial applications, from 3D printing to large scale textiles. Her knowledge and skill set align with firefly’s ethos of versatility and ease of use.

“In my previous experience, I learned the importance of enabling users to configure powerful systems effortlessly. This principle directly applies to our work with firefly, which boasts a lot of capabilities in a single instrument. As part of the software team, our goal is to make it as simple as possible for users to tailor firefly to their specific needs.” 

Michelle’s passion lies in translating complex physical actions into intuitive software interfaces. She finds fulfillment in creating software that not only functions well, but also resonates with users on a human level.

“It’s interesting to put yourself in the user’s head and translate their needs into software processes. Our brains are wired to relate to machines as we would to humans, so it's important to cultivate a user-friendly experience. The aim is to simplify complexity and prioritize usability, to ensure that software enhances rather than impedes the user's workflow." 

firefly: Prioritizing software excellence all-in-one-launch

Automation is no longer just a luxury for labs but is increasingly becoming a necessity, especially for those looking to optimize throughput and minimize turnaround times. It’s our mission to democratize this technology and grant the power of automation to all researchers.  

firefly sets a new standard in liquid handling software, by making usability a priority. Protocol development and execution is made simple through its visual intuitive interface. Michelle is dedicated to designing software that maximizes the instrument's potential while minimizing the learning curve for users. 

“Software can have all the capabilities in the world, but if its operation isn’t clear to users, then it quickly becomes an expensive paper weight. It’s obvious to me that firefly software has been developed by people who care about the user base. It’s software that I’m proud to work on.”

Delivering true innovation together 

A customer-centric approach is paramount to the SPT Labtech product strategy. Feedback from current users and application leaders feeds into our development pipelines, to ensure that we are solving real-world liquid handling challenges. We also make the most of the collective expertise within the SPT Labtech team, with scientists, engineers and business innovators collaborating to deliver a truly pioneering solution. 

“Our software team works closely with the R&D team to ensure that we’re aligned and that we deliver a cohesive instrument. We also work closely with our applications teams to share ideas and ensure that firefly software is set up to successfully deliver what we set out to do.”