See a Usability Lab in Use

Date:
Wednesday 17 March 2010

Time:
Between 10.00am and 1.00pm

Venue:
Room RM317, Herbert Colins Building, Southampton Solent University, SO14 0RD | Directions and maps at www.solent.ac.uk

Joint with the BCS Hampshire Branch and Southampton Solent University

This event is free, open to all but prior registration is required via David Cox at  david.cox@solent.ac.uk, as space is limited. Please book a time if you wish to have a demonstration via david.cox@solent.ac.uk.  Having pre-registered, all visitors should contact the University's main reception by the entrance in East Park Terrace,  to be given directions to the Usability lab.

Come and see the Usability Laboratory at Southampton Solent University. It is being used by our students to evaluate software based products for usability and also for related research projects. We have also been involved with the evaluation of web products for local design and financial services companies. We have software recording, monitoring and eye tracking facilities.

Why is Usability Important?

Usability allows people who use a product (interface) to accomplish their own tasks quickly and easily.  We have paraphrased Dumas and Redish's (1999, A Practical Guide to Usability Testing.) definition of usability and although it is over 10 years old, product usability continues to be an even bigger issue with many systems and web sites failing to address users' needs and objectives.  People are now spending more time on the web than watching television so good usable web interfaces are particularly important if a developer wishes to capture an immediate and substantial user group.

The growing importance of usability evaluation for product and interface design in industry has seen an increase in environments where digital products can be tested and evaluated. One of the main areas for such evaluation has been the usability laboratory, usually consisting of an area where participants represent potential users in the evaluation process, and an observation area which allows viewing and possible recording of a participant/participants engaged in such evaluation. Our lab has software recording and monitoring equipment which will also tracks the movement of the user's eyes and provides detailed analysis and feedback.