I took a fantastic tour of the UX (user experience) lab at 4orce Digital courtesy of Danielle Cooley, User Experience Director. Danielle won the Scan MD and Win contest and I was there to deliver her prize: an autographed book and coffee to pick my brain about marketing.
Actually I was the one that did the brain picking. I have been intrigued by the discipline of user experience since attending a week long training with Jakob Nielsen a couple of years ago. I have been trying to incorporate good user experience design and educate myself on the topic ever since. I took advantage of the opportunity and asked Danielle a lot of questions, which she patiently answered.
This is the first time I have seen a real usability lab in person. I've done some impromptu testing inside a retail store and in conference rooms, but this was the real deal. A dedicated computer, microphones, and cameras with high powered zooms surrounded the room. All of these gadgets work together to help Danielle determine if the websites they are launching are providing a good experience for the end user.
I was impressed the minute I walked in door. There is a huge wall with the 4orce logo and a cool modern pattern in black, red and white in the lobby (photo above). Even the restrooms have a cool design on the doors. But the best part of the trip was getting some delicious venison summer sausage made by Mr. Cooley. Yum!
Here are a few of the pictures I snapped. You can see the rest in the gallery.
See more pictures.