Saturday, October 14, 2006

Inside Microsoft TV's Usability Lab

A usability lab in a living room setting ...

"A psychologist who runs Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - message board)'s TV Usability Lab claims that the "instantaneous channel change" feature developed by the software giant can positively impact viewers' perception of other IPTV applications.

According to Microsoft TV usability director David Sloo, the reaction time of other IPTV features, such as programming guides, can appear to be faster than they really are if a viewer is experiencing highly reactive channel change response times.

... Sloo and his team of about a dozen spend their time watching people watch TV. They record people's responses -- their joys and their frustrations -- to the experience of watching and controlling IPTV.

The Usability Lab is a comfortable living room with a big two-way mirror on the wall. Cameras in the ceiling, in the TV cabinet and in the corner of the room record every move of the viewers on the couch. Behind the two-way mirror is another room with three desk rows where researchers sit and observe the participants on TV monitors and via speakers set up in the "viewing room."    (Continued via Telecom News Analysis)    [Usability Resources]

Microsoft Usability Lab - Usability, User Interface Design

Microsoft Usability Lab

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