Technology Enhancement Center
Usability testing is a critical step in the production of mobile apps, websites, and virtual reality tools. By applying rigorous and repeated instrumented testing in a controlled environment, usability testing is the most effective way to be certain that users will understand, interact with, and benefit from technology as designed.
T2’s new Technology Enhancement Center (TEC) enhances our development of accessible and effective technologies targeting PTSD, traumatic brain injury as well as suicide reporting and prevention within the military community.
The TEC allows testing and evaluation at every stage of the development lifecycle and helps developers optimize the user experience through input from representative end-users. In this way, technology development is more efficient and the end product is more useful to the Warrior and Veteran populations we support.
Optimizing Next-Generation Technologies
T2 consulted with some of the industry’s most accomplished design engineers to ensure the utility, flexibility and longevity of the new facility. The result is a state-of-the-art facility encompassing 4,260 square feet of testing, observation, and monitoring facilities, as well as meeting rooms, kitchen space and offices for the comfort of participants and visiting observers. Through this service, T2 is delivering technological solutions using industry-standard best practices.
Testing and observation rooms are equipped with a wide array of technologies to allow developers and other observer-stakeholders to track and record virtually every aspect of user interaction:
Multiple remote-controlled video cameras capture user actions and reactions from all angles.
Eye-tracking hardware pinpoints precise areas of users’ focus as they review websites and other applications.
Usability software records and combines user website or mobile screen activity, the audio/video of the testing session, as well as usability specialists observational comments about testing into an indexed reviewing and reporting file allowing for statistical analysis of testing sessions.
Testing across a wide range of commercially available and prototype user interface devices and most popular operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii.
Push-to-talk and passive intercom systems facilitate communication between participants and usability specialists.
- Sound attenuating construction to allow observers to converse without distracting or influencing test subjects.
What to Expect when Participating in a TEC Test
If you are participating in a usability test session at T2’s TEC, you will be greeted by TEC staff, including the usability specialist you will be working with, in the reception area and guide to a testing room.
Testing rooms accommodate one to 15 participants, depending on the technology to be tested. Testing will generally involve reviewing websites or mobile applications either individually or in groups.
Testing typically consists of “trying out” an app or website on an instrumented mobile device or computer that tracks and records how you navigate the screens. While reviewing this technology, a usability specialist will ask you questions about your experience with the technology tested. The total time spent in a test session is typically one to two hours.
You may also participate in a “focus group,” or guided discussion about your experience with technology in general. Developers use focus groups to guide them in creating new technologies or making changes to existing technologies.