The Usability Laboratory at the HNU
Created by the initiative of students, the HNU Usability Laboratory has been built and steadily developed over the past five years.
As a result of these efforts, students, professors and interested people from outside the HNU have access to technical resources that enable all current data collection methods on usability to be deployed and complex user experience processes to be mapped.
Besides technical aids such as remotely controlled high-resolution ceiling cameras and boundary microphones, great attention was paid to setting up a broad-ranging deployment scenario at the laboratory; for this reason, it has been equipped with three eye-tracking systems from TOBII and Pupil Labs. Together with partners from the business sectors, it allows BA or MA students writing theses or people writing study projects to assess products for usability.
The Centre for Media & User Experience provides expert support for students in the form of lectures and workshops.
Methods of Usability Evaluation
All formative and summative data collection methods can be used at the HNU. Products can be evaluated as they are developed, for example as individual development milestones are attained, or at the end of the development process when the product is completed.
Over and beyond the aspect of the timing of evaluation, testing can also be carried out in the form of empirical studies – with the participation of target group representatives or analysis by the laboratory head.
Equipment at the Usability Laboratory
What makes the laboratory special is its three cutting-edge eye-tracking systems that record eye fixations and saccades (movements). This enables all products to be tested using the eyetracking method. Screen-based applications (websites, software, etc.) can be analysed using the TOBII T60 stationary system.
For applications on smartphones and tablets, the TOBII X60 mobile device eye-tracker is used. In addition to this, the TOBII Glasses headmounted system and the eye-tracker from Pupil Labs offers great flexibility; they are mobile systems which can be used in any environment. This opens up numerous possibilities for testing different kinds of devices (game consoles, navigation systems, etc.) in uncontrolled, natural test situations.
However, the eye-tracking resources can also be used for other purposes than assessing usability criteria – for example, for evaluating marketing measures (perception of advertising measures, billboards, sales shelves, etc.), or in any area where analysis of eye movement is relevant.
Booking the Usability Laboratory
Anyone who is interested in working with the eyetracking systems in the Usability Laboratory may use it for their thesis or for commercial or non-commercial projects.
It can be booked for Students by enroling in the eLearning course of the Usability Lab. In this course you can find further information about the process.
For external requests please contact Michael Fürsich, who will be glad to answer any questions you may have.