A Day in the life in the Usability Labs

Kristin Travis has been working in high tech as an interaction designer and usability engineer for more than 15 years. She is part of the xDesign team based in Menlo Park, California.


Have you wondered what's it is like doing someone else's job? Well,
I've decided it's challenging, interesting, and educational all at once.

As a user interface designer, I'm used to dealing with design challenges
and project issues, but what is it like to shift focus and walk a mile
in someone else's work shoes? I recently was given the chance to
find out, while our very competent Usability Labs Manager was out on
maternity leave.

In contemplating the quickly passing days (and some not so quickly
passing nights), my work life has definitely been different over the
last few weeks. In a nutshell, I've :

  • helped with the creation of a number of recruiting screeners
  • brought a new recruiting firm on board
  • become overly familiar with some financial processes: POs, invoices, gift checks
  • helped to provide primary or secondary logistical support for multiple lab studies

Here is what it's felt like most days:


Lab activities



Has it been worth it? You bet. In addition to seeing our Usability
Labs being used frequently by dedicated designers and
development team members, seeing how our customers use our products
remains a critical part of the design landscape.

Thanks to everyone who uses or supports the Labs in some way or another.

Kristin






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