Imagine you are training the next generation of UI designers and UX experts at a university, and the department just gave you a big pile of money to spend. How does the ideal testing lab look? (I gladly take literature recommendations, of course.)
The room(s) would be primarily intended for practical teaching, but may be used for actual research, too (both by computer science, engineering, psychology and linguistics staff). You would want to do many different kinds of user tests and experiments there. Some require a table for several people to sit around and chat, probably also a whiteboard. Others need a computer on a desk or a handheld device, all remotely monitored digitally and directly. You would even want to simulate familiar settings sometimes, e.g. a workplace, cockpit or kitchen.
I am thinking of four rooms:
- preparation/waiting area
- test room
- observation/tech room
- prop storage room
I have no good idea how big they should be, though. The test room would be accessed from the waiting area (which could also be used for group sessions and theory teaching) and there would be a one-way mirror at the sound-proof wall next to the observation room. At least two walls in the test room would be used as projection screens edge-to-edge to create immersive scenarios. Everything could be recorded automatically, of course. The waiting area might have a tea kitchen and a shower.