The User Experience (UX) Lab is a specialist laboratory used for usability testing and interaction research located at the University’s innovation precinct, Melbourne Connect. It supports a variety of activities concerning the design and evaluation of interactive technologies, including user-based testing, heuristic evaluations, cognitive walkthroughs, brainstorming sessions, participatory design workshops and focus group studies.
While the UX Lab is used for basic research by postgraduate students and staff, we welcome others making use of the facility as well. The lab can be hired by companies and individuals on a full-day or half-day basis. If you are interested in hiring the lab, please contact the Lab Manager.
The UX Lab consists of four observation rooms (for study participants) and a control room (for usability engineers) which has been refreshed with sophisticated audio-visual equipment and usability testing tools. An elaborate patch system allows video cameras to be located anywhere in an observation room, including on the ceiling rig or on tripods. Typically, three cameras are used for each session. A 360-degree mic array with noise cancellation is also installed in each room to capture high quality audio of participants’ communications and utterances.
The observation rooms are highly configurable to suit different experiments and use-cases. Each room is suitable for individual usability sessions, each set up with a single computer desk. Observation rooms 1A and 1B can be combined to create a larger space that is suitable for focus groups or participatory design workshops or can be used as a meeting room or training space for large groups. The lab can be used to conduct a traditional usability session (i.e. a single evaluation), or to support up to four concurrent usability sessions. Each room is fitted with one-way mirrors for direct monitoring from the control room.
The control room enables the monitoring of one or simultaneous usability sessions. This configuration is ideal when several groups of participants must simultaneously access the lab. It is also useful when investigating distributed technologies, such as those used by people interacting over a distance (eg, pervasive communication technologies). The lab allows the investigator to simultaneously observe both interactions.
The UX Lab is also equipped with state-of-the-art eye-tracking equipment (wearable and remote) and analysis software (eg, Tobii Pro Labs, Tobii Pro Glasses Analyzer) for the recording of on-screen to real-world user interactions. These enable the collection of highly accurate eye-tracking data for in-depth analysis and real-world insights. We also offer other usability testing tools (eg, Morae) and can set up live streaming for observation between the rooms.