Services

Services

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The IE Lab offers services in the following categories.

 

The IE Lab closely works with the client during the evaluation, following the outline below

  1. Assess Project

    Our process begins with an assessment of the client’s needs. After that, the client and the IE Lab agree upon the scope, timing of work and fees. The IE Lab manager assumes responsibility for the client study with a team of graduate researchers.

  2. Design Study

    In collaboration with the client, IE Lab team determines the most appropriate testing methods: those suitable to the particular product and development phase. IE Lab then organizes the experts, resources and test participants as required to conduct the study.

  3. Conduct Evaluation

    Next, the usability study is conducted by IE Lab staff in some combination of methods which may include expert review, user observations, and interviews. The data collected during the study is then analyzed and a report prepared.

  4. Deliver Results

    During a presentation of our report to the client, we provide recommendations on:

    • How to improve the usability of existing applications or hardware
    • Best practices of new or redesigned applications or hardware

Tools: Technology and Equipment

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Our tools

Usability Testing Software: Morae

Dr. Isa Jahnke, the director of the IE Lab, is instructing Sara, a doctoral student, how to use Morae

Dr. Isa Jahnke, the director of the IE Lab, is instructing Sara, a doctoral student, how to use Morae

Our lab is equipped with one of the best recognized user testing software available on the market, Morae, to conduct usability testing for our clients. Morae allows us to perform usability testing sessions by recording and remotely observing the user’s interaction, incorporate surveys and efficiently analyze and edit the final results.

 

Eyetracking (X2-60 & Tobii Pro Glasses 2)

Eyetracking devices

IE lab is also equipped with Tobii Pro X2-60, a screen-based eye tracker, and Tobii Pro Glasses 2, a wearable eye tracker, to accommodate for a wide array of human behavior research. These devices allow us capture exactly where the participant is looking, timing, as well as fixations in a research lab or in a non-lab setting.

 

Qualtrics Survey Tool

Developing surveys with Qualtrics

IE Lab utilizes Qualtrics Survey Tool to conduct online data collection and analysis for our research projects. Through the use of Qualtrics, our team can track email invites and reminder emails, instantly share our survey data and results, graphically visualize data, and download data into popular stats platforms for further research.

 

Prototyping tools including Axure and Balsamiq

Prototyping with Axure

Our team holds expertise in designing and developing sitemaps and digital prototypes, using popular tools on the market like Axure and Balsamiq. Prototyping can help translate an idea into a basic working version of a system and allow usability evaluation and redesign for the enhancement of precision, effectiveness, and usefulness of the system before the system is actually built.

 

Optimal Workshop

IE lab team also uses Optimal Workshop’s tools to conduct card sorting and tree testing. Based on heatmaps generated by tools like Chalkmark, Treejack etc., we can identify usability related issues of a system like issues in navigation and information architecture.

 

Zoom web-conferencing tool

Our IE Lab uses Zoom as the web-conferencing tool to meet with clients and participants. With Zoom, we can observe and analyze the users’ interaction with the system under evaluation and deliver high quality audio and video recordings to our clients.

 

Other technologies

Besides the aforementioned technologies, IE Lab is also equipped with other technologies like 360 video camera, smart glasses like Ricon Jet & Google Glasses, and smart watches like Android smartwatch and Apple watch to stay current with the latest technology trends, explore, and utilize their possibilities in doing innovative research and usability testing.

 

Our facilities

The laboratory provides a flexible environment for conducting a variety of usability studies.

Control Room

The control room allows us to monitor and record user activity remotely using Morae. As the users interact with the tested technology, our lab can watch and record patterns that arise during the test in real time.

 

Experience Room

The experience room is an area where users can interact with the technology in an informal setting. This environment provides an arena where the user can provide our team with authentic valuable insight about how to enhance the usability of the application and/or technology in a situation that is comfortable for our users.

 

Focus Group Areas

The lab also contains a focus group area that allows multiple users to congregate and discuss how to improve the technology. The multiple user aspect allows our lab to facilitate meaningful discussion among the participants and work together to uncover opportunities for improvement.

 

Information Experience Process

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Evaluation: Usability Services

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The IE Lab provides evaluation services for all phases of technology development.

The IE Lab is a university-based usability lab that provides services to companies and organizations. Since the IE Lab is used as a teaching and research facility, our pricing is very competitive, and our services are research based.

IE Lab services are available on the MU Campus or at any client-selected location. These services include:


  • Expert Evaluation by IE Lab staff to assess compliance of a website or software application with accepted usability standards.
  • User Interviews with current or potential users in focus group or individual settings.
    user_interview

  • User Observations collecting all computer interface data in real-time including cursor movement and facial expressions.

Training: Workshops and Academic Courses

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The IE Lab hosts usability workshops

Workshop Summary:

IE Lab workshops are customizable based on your needs and experiences. Workshops can be provided at your place of business or at the IE Lab on the MU campus.  Faculty and student practitioners share their knowledge on conducting a usability studies. Plus, you’ll get hands-on training to see how these studies are conducted in real settings.

What you’ll learn:

Our workshops deal with the “big picture” of usability and its importance in our lives. We cover a variety of usability methods including Think Aloud, Task Analysis and Information Horizons. You’ll learn how to design your own studies and get hands-on training with usability software.

Sample Workshop

IE Lab Workshop PhotoThis one day usability workshop includes:
•    Application of usability software in user studies
•    Task analysis
•    In-depth interviewing with Think Aloud protocol
•    Focus group data collection
•    Review of advanced research designs

Sign me up!

Please contact Neeley Current at (573) 884-2986 if you would like us
to conduct a usability workshop for your organization.


IE Lab faculty offer usability related courses

Human Computer Interaction: 9410

School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri

This course focuses on the use and adaptation of existing Human-computer Interaction theories and research to a range of problems that an interface designer may face. Human-computer interaction is a discipline concerned with the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use and with the study of major phenomena surrounding these systems. HCI is an evolving science and the course points the way to acquiring continuing information on the field and also provides groundwork for understanding future applied research papers in the field. The course surveys the techniques available in the discipline, demonstrates where and when they are applicable, and proceeds to demonstrate via a combination of scientific theory understanding and modeling. The course investigates a wide range of psychological theories beginning with organizational behavior approaches to understanding work and workflow within organizations. It also covers new design methods and techniques available and the new conceptual mechanisms used in HCI such as metaphors for describing user interaction.

Course instructor: Dr. Joi Moore

When: Spring Semesters

Interaction Design: 9461

School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri

Students will learn the basic concepts of interaction design, then focus on usability engineering and prototyping principles to support the design process for learning and performance based technologies.

Course instructor: Dr. Joi Moore

When: Fall Semesters

Inquiry in Information Studies (Human Information Behavior): 9410

School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri

Among the important tasks of information professionals is a need to identify, analyze and model the users of information. In this course the students will be introduced to the theories and techniques of human information behavior that have emerged within the field of library and information science. The students will also learn about how the study of human information behavior relates to other fields, such as education, psychology, decision-making, and communications.

Course instructor: Dr. Sanda Erdelez

When: Spring or Fall Semesters

Inquiry in Information Studies (Information Seeking, Retrieval & Use): 9410

School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri

The students will be introduced to the theories and methods of human information behavior research that have emerged within the field of library and information science. They will also learn about how the study of human information behavior relates to other fields, such as education, psychology, decision-making, and communications. NOTE: The description will change each time someone else teaches this course.

Course instructor: Dr. Sanda Erdelez

When: Spring or Fall Semesters

Usability of Online Information Services: 9410

School of Information Science & Learning Technologies
University of Missouri

This course covers the concepts and methods important for evaluating whether or not library information services and related information systems are created with the users in mind. The course topics are based on Jacob Nielsen’s work on usability engineering and evaluation with an emphasis on web-based information environments. The course is a mix of conceptual and practical aspects.

Course instructor: Dr. Sanda Erdelez

When: Spring or Fall Semesters