Welcome back. In this lesson, Lana and I are delighted to bring you to the University of Minnesota's Usability Lab, where we're going to get to see the facilities we use and the set of actual tests for doing user tests of software and interfaces. So come join me as we come in. On your right the first room that you're going to see is the room where we actually have subjects using tests. In fact we have Aaron here who's set up for a test that we're going to be filming shortly. Since we're in this room, take a quick look and you will see there's a large mirrored window. That mirror is the other side of a glass wall we're going to see from the other side. We have a set of computers, a computer that Aaron's going to be using and also a computer in the other side were eye tracking occurs. That dot on the screen is actually were Aaron looking on the screen at any given moment. And all of this is stuff we'll be able to record on the other side. Couple of other features of this room as we're here, there's a set of cameras mounted next to the table, on the ceiling and various places around the room so that we can record Aaron's delight or unfortunately, sometimes frustration, as he tries to do the things that we ask him to do. We have a whiteboard so that we can leave messages or instructions. And most importantly, we have aggressively bright lighting, which is what allows us to set up this room in such a way that we can isolate him visually from the rest of our tests. Now that you've seen this room where we actually conduct the tests, come join me as we go into the room where we watch the tests. Welcome to our observation room. So you could see this is a fairly large room, we'll talk more about that in a minute. But I want to start with the biggest feature of the room, and the biggest feature of the room, is the other side of this large one-way glass window. Through here, we can see Aaron. And when we've sealed up the room properly, he cannot only not see us, because all he sees is his own reflection, he can't hear us either. This turns out to be wonderfully useful so that we can observe him, we can bring an entire product development team in here, they can tear their hair out, bang their head against the desk. All wondering, well, why is it that what we designed isn't working, without disturbing the person who's actually trying to use it. Take you to the other main feature of this room and it's this massive panel of equipment. What we have here is a multi-recorder that mixes together a bunch of different inputs, and records them so that we can look at them later. It takes in four inputs, what we're looking at right now is an eye tracking display of the screen. We could also look at the screen without eye tracking if we wanted to, mixed with a front view and a distant view and a keyboard view. If this were something where mouse and keyboard interaction were important, we might want that. There's different things that we can mix in depending on what we're trying to study. This whole front panel area is prime real estate for people who are interested in conducting these studies. You can sit here and move your eyes back and forth between watching our test subject and watching the information that's happening on the screen. We have one station that's devoted specifically to taking notes. In some cases, we'll have people just calling out notes to be taken and that runs software where they can put time stamps on notes so that we can match them up against the recordings later. Two more quick things. We put some large screens here and we put tables also populated by Nick, one of our usability analysts and Lana, who you already know. We use this room with large groups, including classes and including large product development teams. Last thing I'm going to say about the studio and its design is, a lot of work went into making this thing work just right. The lighting is done in a special way to avoid any light going directly to the glass, because that glass isn't inherently one-way. It becomes one way because of putting bright light on one side, and darker no direct light on the other side. The insulation and other things were set up just right. You don't actually need a lab like this to do usability work, but when you have one, it sure makes things a lot nicer. And it allows you to bring in a whole team to watch all at once. So I want to close this lecture with my favorite story of using this lab for a good purpose. You may remember the MovieLens system that we showed in an earlier video on redesigning from an existing design. If you go back a couple of versions of MovieLens we had a very talented scientist who was leading our MovieLens design and development. He was talented but didn't have a great intuition for users. And he had designed a mathematically elegant interface that combined all of our search and browsing into one unified interface that he was fairly certain was the minimal interface, and perfect because it would make things as simple as possible. I'll admit, as soon as I saw it, my reaction was users aren't going to figure this out. But we wanted to give him a chance to figure out if his elegance would really work because he was certain that people would recognize that everything they wanted to do was just a matter of setting the right options and navigating forward. So, we scheduled two days in this lab where we brought in a sequence of users. Experienced MovieLens users, less experienced MovieLens users. And we brought much of the team, including this designer who sat with us behind this glass as he saw five users in a row, each struggle and fail to succeed in trying to use the new interface. The power of that experience changed him, changed the team and changed the product. And it reflects the visceral power of watching somebody use the thing you designed. And it was a power that really only worked because we had a lab like this, where his frustration, his inclination to help or to hint was all hidden away behind the one way silent glass. Where he and the rest of us were helpless as we watched the raw experience of somebody trying to use our system. So I'm glad I've had the opportunity to introduce you to this lab. We're going to have a sequence of additional videos in this lesson where we talk through how you run a usability study, and then we'll run through a series of them with you talking through some of them and giving you the chance to analyze some of them on your own. We'll see you soon.