uLab | Participatory Design Associates helps web, software, mobile application, and consumer product developers understand more about their users
to build better products.
We do it with conventional user research:
- Contextual inquiry: Observing and interviewing users while they do activities that a new product will support. It provides detailed data about users
- and about the environments where they use products - that can dramatically improve designs.
- Usability testing: Observing users while they use products or prototypes and identifying obstacles to success.
We also do it with radically efficient Participatory Design methods that make users part of the design team:
- The Bridge: A comprehensive method for designing and testing a graphical
user interface in as little as three days.
The Bridge combines task analysis, project scoping, discovery of users' conceptual models for their activities, hands-on prototyping, and usability testing into a single
continuous process. Interface designers, engineers, and users work together, streamlining communication and accelerating design.
- Participatory task analysis: Working with users to understand their current tasks, identify opportunities for improving them,
and define new tasks that use the opportunities, including opportunities provided by new technologies.
- Participatory prototyping: Working with users to build, test, and refine prototypes for new products.
We help with facilities and video equipment for user research:
- Mobile research labs: We can recommend cost-effective video equipment for usability testing and other user research that can be quickly set up in free
offices or conference rooms. No extra space or construction is needed.
- Research lab consulting: If you plan to build a permanent lab, we can work with you and outside lab vendors to help
you get the most from your budget.
- Selecting video equipment: We provide advice on video equipment for field work, labs, and video editing.
We charge far less for user research and user-centered design than many larger consulting and research firms.
Our mobile video equipment lets us conduct usability tests and other user research at your location, saving facility costs and travel time for observers.
For computer-based products, we can conduct inexpensive remote usability tests from any location
with participants anywhere in the world.
Our methods provide user data when it can do the most to improve designs:
- Before design begins
- During rapid prototyping
- For final validation
We do thorough, careful interviews and observation in our research.
We prepare video highlights of research, which provide important details about users and their needs.
If you hire outside developers, we can provide independent, impartial evaluations of their work.
Our clients include Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent, Applied Biosystems, Charles Schwab, Dun & Bradstreet, Ethnographic Research Inc., Fujitsu, Kodak, The Nielsen Norman Group, Palm, Pfizer, Sony, Stanford University, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Thomson, VeriSign, The Walt Disney Company, Wells Fargo, and Xerox.
Before founding uLab | PDA,
Mitchell Gass was a Director of
Usability Engineering and User Research at the e-business consulting firm Scient.
His more than 20 years of experience in high-technology firms include 11 years at Apple Computer and projects in their
Advanced Technology Group. He has also worked for Lucent Technologies, Tandem Computers, and several Silicon Valley startups. He
engages top freelancers for specific projects.
uLab | PDA
781 Ensenada Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94707-1843
+1 510 525-6864 voice
+1 510 525-4246 fax
Copyright © 2000-2007 uLab | PDA
Last modified: 22 July 2007