On a Tuesday in February, about fifty first year students in the bachelor programme of Communication Science are working in the DesignLab.
At one of the tables, four students are observing their group member who is wearing a virtual reality headset and who is experiencing a bumpy ride in a roller coaster. Next to them, five other students are trying to find out how to make pictures using a 360 degrees camera.
Two others are leaving the DesignLab to walk around outside, to test a couple of GPS trackers. At the same time, their group members are interviewing a master student about his experiences with using the GPS Trackers for a study she just finished.
These students are participating in the module “User Experience”. The core of this module is a project in which students have to design and test user documentation for one of the products of the BMSLab. When students or staff would like to use these products in a study, they can find user documentation (information about the functionalities, instructions) on the internet or on the website of the BMSLab, but at this moment there is no concise quick start guide available for them. The students in this module are asked to design this information. After they have designed this information, they have to do a couple of user tests to see if the indented users are able to work with the product and the accompanying information.
In April, when the module ends, the students will have learned a lot about designing information for a specific user group and about the possibilities for doing research using the products of the BMSLab. And, hopefully, the BMSLab will have some usable quick start guides to give to the researchers who are going to use the devices.
As the module coordinator, I’m very happy with this fruitful collaboration between the BMSLab and the program of Communication Science.