Overall, I would say that the Field Trip we had on Thursday was rather helpful in showing us how the knowledge acquired in I300 class could be used in practice.
First of all, although small, the lab itself was well-equipped and had a good software istalled on its computer. The room had no redundancies – only a camera, put above the door; a window, which allowed the researchers observe the person working in the lab without disturbing him; and a computer, that could both record the person working on it and provide various statistics afterwards. Moreover, the software could be installed on a laptop, so this makes the whole process of conducting user-experience and website-usability experiments portable.
The lab as a whole is relevant to our group project (Google Maps) because it deals with usability of Web applications. However, I am not sure whether the UITS Usability Lab will be useful to us in practice (because of the costs associated with the services of the lab).
In conclusion, I’d like to add that the team working in the lab seemed amiable, helpful, and, most importantly, knowledgeable. It is a shame that most of their advices are not taken into account by clients.