In the usability lab, users are asked to perform a few tasks (functions) with the product being evaluated. There are the people who are actual users of the product. All their actions are directly observed and captured – video recorded for detailed analysis later.
The lab is equipped to support the systematic observation and analysis of human-computer interaction. The lab has three sections:
– Test section
– Control section
– Observation section
Test Section: Here, an actual or representative user interacts with the product. A camera records the user’s body language and hand movements on the keyboard, mouse and manuals. The screen interactions are captured live via a scan converter.
Control Section: Here, a remote control unit is used to control the camera angle and zoom, ensuring that all data of interest is captured even if the user moves. Also, outputs from the camera and scan converter are monitored and mixed as required, using a video mixer.
Observation section: Usability engineers watch the test through a one-way glass on a large TV monitor on which they can see the screen details. The usability team consists of people from various disciplines. They come from diverse fields such as from computer engineering, human psychology, technical writing etc. This set of test engineers work as a team to understand and provide solutions.
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