We've been helping clients make sense of the user's experience for nearly two decades.
Originally launched in 1994 as part of an IBM Million Dollar Total Quality Management grant, The Usability Center @ Southern Polytechnic has since expanded our space, upgraded our facilities, and focused our services on one thing and one thing only: user experience (UX).
Along the way, we have worked on projects for software, hardware, mobile devices, IRV systems, websites, web applications, documentation, training, elearning, and more.
We're a seasoned team of UX practitioners, who also teach the next generation of UX practitioners. Because we teach usability testing, information design, information architecture, website design, and content strategy courses to graduate students in our Information Design and Communication programs, we keep current in the latest research and we publish articles and books that advance the discipline.
This is a winning combination for you, because we apply research to practical applications for continuous improvement of our UX processes and outcomes.
When you work with us, you always have the full participation of our co-founder and center director, Dr. Carol Barnum, along with senior usability associate, Dr. Laura Palmer. We add other team members as your project requires.
Our seasoned IT staff assists us in setting up and administering the perfect testing situation to meet your needs, whether testing takes place in the lab or remotely.
Our support staff stands ready to greet participants, handle check-in and paperwork, and provide all the refreshments and custom-ordered meals required on lab testing days. We're well known for our great food!
When you do business with the Usability Center @ Southern Polytechnic, you not only get the use of constantly upgraded, state-of-the-art usability lab facilities, but you also get the full services of a technology university—its staff, its faculty, and its resources—to help support your project.
Unlike some testing facilities that conduct external testing for clients and deliver a report, we believe that usability testing has a two-fold function:
(1) to gain results that improve products in development, and
(2) to educate the team about the user-centered design process and the way in which real users interact with their products.
This two-pronged approach means that you get instant results from testing and long-term understanding of the user experience.
For every project, we organize a team that uniquely serves the requirements of the project. Because we have the resources of the entire university to draw upon, we can create the right team of specialists for every project.
Our team members include a Team Lead and one or two other experienced team members to manage the logging/data entry and video recording. Team members also facilitate the planning and development of the test, as well as the debriefing and analysis sessions.
In addition to the Usability Center team members, we work with one or more members from your organization.
Your team members represent the stakeholders for your project. Typical stakeholders come from product development, marketing, user assistance, customer support, training, and quality assurance.
When you are first getting started with usability testing, this team approach provides the added benefit of educating and training your team members so that you can begin to incorporate a user-centered design process into the development of your products.
With our process, you don't just get a report and the session recordings. You get a team--focused on one goal: learning from users and turning that knowledge into action.