Usability testing lab overview

Direct usability testing is generally seen as the most important single method available to capture usability problems as users experience them. Testing with real users within the actual environment of use also provides the optimal approach to carrying out this analysis. Unfortunately, this is often difficult for practical reasons. This means that User Vision have to be flexible in order to accommodate needs.

Usability testing labs

Our new, state of the art offices feature two brand new usability testing labs and offer viewing through a one-way mirror for up to 8 people. We test a wide range of sites, software and products like keyboards and mobile phones, and our labs are set up to handle any of these scenarios.

Photograph of someone observing a usability test through a one way mirror In all test situations, we can offer digital or analogue recording of each test onto DVD, and create a picture-in-picture image of each session so you can see both the subject and the screens they are viewing, and all key behaviours and comments are captured. Our powerful data recording software tracks the times of actions during the tests, making it easy to review selected portions of the sessions on the DVDs. Test observers can immediately play back test sessions for workshop discussions immediately after the tests if desired.

There are instances where some of our clients are unable to attend tests in person, and we have catered for this with our new usability test labs, allowing clients to view and hear each test session via a secure connection over the web. With many of our clients being based overseas, this can be a particular benefit and brings the tests to your PC.

For those who can observe in our usability lab, we make your stay as comfortable as possible and offer a fully stocked fridge so you can self serve drinks whilst observing, and we can also organise a variety of catering options.

Portable usability testing lab

To provide flexibility and maintain the highest possible quality service for our clients, we have created a portable usability lab, allowing us to undertake usability testing at our own facilities or at your own offices or other designated site - a great advantage if you are developing software, intranets or prototype websites that are only available on local networks.

Our simple but highly effective system captures all the essential data from any user testing session and is comparable to our actual usability lab set up. We use a video camera to record a 'picture in picture' image of each test and, as with our fixed usability lab set up, our data recording software captures the times of all actions during the tests to enable easy editing and review. User Vision's usability lab, showing the recording of a session with the 'picture in picture' facility. This equipment can be arranged differently with the display monitor in an adjacent room for viewing by several people, or with the test moderator working remotely.

New – secure web streaming

User Vision focus have now teamed up with Stream Team and are now the only viewing facility in Edinburgh to offer secure, high quality web streaming of any of the usability tests , depth interviews or focus groups you may wish to conduct throughout our facility.  This cost effective solution enables our clients to achieve the geographic coverage they need for their research, without having to leave their office. 
The technology we use allows many people to securely log in to the sessions via a secure, broadband connection, to observe the sessions in real-time.  And if you or your colleagues want to watch the sessions again at a later stage, we will store the sessions give you access to observe them anytime you wish within a 20 day period – and all at no extra cost. 
Usability Test in User Vision usability labWe also offer the facility for you to send messages or comments to each other during the sessions you are observing, and even to the moderator themselves for example if you want to alert them to a particular topic to discuss in more detail.
So, if time or budget are considerations for you, speak to us about how our web streaming could benefit your research.

What to do next

To find out how usability testing can benefit your organisation and to receive a no obligation quotation then please contact us.


The cost of a complete site overhaul is roughly thirty times that of incorporating usability testing early on.

Forrester Research Group, Why most web sites fail.