UsabilityLab

Department für Wissens- und Kommunikationsmanagement

Usability as the key to understanding complex information and technology

Usability and User Experience are the key factors for the design of systems. The quality of products is defined among other things by their simple and intuitive usability and comprehensibility, be it information itself, (graphical) user interfaces, technical devices or specific services. The ISO 9241 standard defines "usability" as support for users:

  • Effectiveness: Can the task be solved? Is the result satisfactory?
  • Efficiency: How much time does it take to complete a task, is the result in the right measure?
  • Satisfaction: Is it fun to work with the system? Does the product improve the "user experience"?

Equipment and Infrastructure

The UsabilityLab of the Danube University Krems consists of two areas: A test room with 35 m² and an adjoining observation room. A one-way mirror enables the continuous monitoring of the test execution from the observation room. The test room can be flexibly equipped and allows the installation of various concrete test arrangements. The measurement and observation data converge in the observation room where they are analysed and evaluated by software. A mobile laboratory is available for investigations and analyses in the field.

Technical equipment of the laboratory

Eyetracker

In addition, the laboratory has a system for recording eye movements, the so-called "eye tracker". This device makes it possible to measure and make visible the exact path of the eye movements as well as the duration of the gaze at individual points. The eye tracking system can be used both in the laboratory and in the field.

Biofeedback system

Using a biofeedback system, additional biometric data of the test subjects (heartbeat, skin resistance, etc.) can be collected. For software analyses and examinations involving the use of a computer, the image and sound of the test monitor are transferred from the test room to the observation room. Every action of the test person on the computer (mouse movements, keyboard entries, etc.) can be observed in real time and recorded for further analysis.

Video and Audio system

The test room is equipped with continuously swivelling cameras and an audio system. This allows all experimental processes to be observed in detail from the observation room and recorded in image and sound.

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