Mark Apperley, Bill Rogers, Kirsten Thomson
The University of Waikato Usability Laboratory is an environment where researchers are able to study and access the usability of products while being used by their intended users. It allows for flexible configuration, and in particular can accommodate studies involving collaborating users.
Our focus is the application of usability practices in IT development. Our main goals are to promote and facilitate the use of usability practices through the provision of usability testing facilities, resources and services.
The Laboratory offers two testing rooms, a viewing room, an overview room and a reception area. The first of the user testing rooms is a single-user room, ideally suited for testing one or two users at a time. The second of the user testing rooms is a group user room, which can easily hold up to twenty people. The two testing rooms can be used together in a single study or independently for two simultaneous studies. The viewing room provides a range of video, audio and computer equipment and tools to record proceedings. Digital video is used, and all the equipment is under computer control and can be configured from a computer. Large one-way windows provide direct viewing into each testing room. The Laboratory provides some of the most comprehensive usability facilities available. It has been designed to be flexible, so as to cover as many different applications as possible.
Further information about this project can be found at: http://usability.cs.waikato.ac.nz.
Craig Box, Jeremy Greenfield