Research in User eXperience Lab (RUX)
The Research in User eXperience (RUX) lab investigates issues related to user experience and usability of software, products, and processes.
The lab conducts research and provides consulting services to industry in the following areas:
- Usability testing
- Expert/heuristic review
- Out-of-the-box experience evaluation
- Competitive product analysis
- Requirements gathering (online surveys, interviews, focus groups)
- Video Game Satisfaction (GUESS)
- Tobii X60 Eye Tracker
- Tobii Glasses2
- HoloLens Mixed Reality Headset
- Computing equipment (PCs, laptops, tablets)
We examine product ease-of-use from the users’ perspective. Using a systematic and empirical approach, we gather the following to assess usability and make design recommendations:
- Task success
- Time to complete tasks
- Efficiency (clicks/taps/keystrokes)
- User perceptions
- Intent to use/recommend
Experts from the lab will evaluate website/product usability using our own set of heuristics and checklists, customized to the product domain. This provides an overview of potential product pitfalls as well as areas of delight to prospective users. This activity, when coupled with usability testing, provides a comprehensive review of usability from both the expert and end user perspective.
Examining WHERE users look on a web page helps designers understand user expectations and the impact of color, layout, and imagery on user search strategies.
Using the Tobii X2 eye tracker, we gather data regarding the number of fixations, fixation duration, and order of fixations by Area of Interest. We also have the Tobii Glasses 2 which allow us to understand eye movements in mobile product environments.
First impressions are lasting impressions, which is why the Out-of-the-Box Experience (OOBE) is important. We track users’ experiences from receiving and unboxing a product to the point where they start to use it. We identify roadblocks, common questions, and usability issues encountered through the process. Optimizing the OOBE can increase sales, user satisfaction, and customer loyalty.
Knowing where your product stands against your competitors is critical. We ask users to compare and contrast products to one another in a systematic and empirical manner. In addition to usability testing metrics, we gather user input on preference, delights, and frustrations with all products. Sometimes it is better to know what features do not work for a product as much as those that do.
Understanding your users and how they use your product is extremely important when optimizing their user experience. This can be done through interviews, focus groups, online surveys, or simply observation. We employ a variety of methods to capture user needs, capabilities, desires, frustrations, and requirements.
The Game User Experience Satisfaction Scale (GUESS) is a recently validated survey that breaks down overall satisfaction into nine dimensions. An analysis of over 450 different video games with 1,300 participants resulted in the determination of the nine factors that contribute to video game satisfaction. The GUESS was created following best practices of scale development and provides a comprehensive measure of video game satisfaction.
- Applications of the GUESS: The GUESS has been used to evaluate satisfaction across visual platforms, namely VR and non-VR for the video game Defense Grid 2. Constructs like creative freedom, engrossment, enjoyment, visual aesthetics, and audio aesthetics aspects of the game were rated higher when played in VR than in non-VR on a PC.
- Comparing Games with the GUESS: Comparing the overall and subscales scores the GUESS can provide insight into identifying strengths and weaknesses in video games. For example, an examination of Destiny, a first-person shooter game, scored higher in dimensions like visual aesthetics, audio aesthetics, and social connectivity than dimensions like creative freedom and narrative. Candy Crush, on the other hand, showed higher scores in usability, visual aesthetics, and personal gratification than dimensions like social connectivity, and audio aesthetics.