The pros and cons of an in-house UX lab
What you need to consider when setting up your own in-house UX Lab
Having a private in-house usability lab is attractive for many companies, but it also entails some disadvantages. In this blog we explain what these advantages and disadvantages are and what you need to consider when you set up your own lab.
Lower threshold for research
With an in-house lab it is easy to do research yourself. It does not matter whether it is an extensive investigation or a quick validation; book the rooms and talk to your customers.
Invite all involved
Have all interested parties visit the research easily. Because you’re all under one roof, it is easy for colleagues to ‘just’ step in and watch a few of the sessions.
No travel time
You do not have to travel to an external location to do research. This saves a lot of time for the entire team. When the last session has ended you can possibly finish the day behind your desk.
Invite customers to your office
Customers come to your location and see how awesome your office is. After the research you can ask additional questions or it makes it easy to combine appointments.
One-time purchase costs
By setting up your own lab you only have one high cost. After that, you can carry out any research virtually ‘free’ at no additional cost.
Build a larger Lab to ensure that it is multi-deployable. In this way, in addition to the UX setup, you can also invite focus groups or take non-digital 1-on-1 interviews in an informal setting. It pays off to think about this in advance.
Cons & tips
Your office, your brand name
Respondents know that the test is about your website or app before they go to the location. It is possible that they therefore start investigating in advance, in order to give the “correct” answers.
Tip: Saying that ‘you are external’ and ‘did not make the design’ works in a single case, but is less credible when the research is at your office.
The issues of the day
If you have your own lab, you are in the environment that you’re already familiar with. Do not let yourself be distracted too much, but make sure you can focus on the research.
Tip: Have lunch delivered to the viewing room and make sure that you really separate yourself from the rest of the organization during the test day. During the investigation, limit jammers such as mail and telephone calls. Focus on the research!
Technology stands for nothing
We often see that the technology in an ‘average’ Lab is not sufficient for testing websites and apps. If the technique in the rooms is sufficient, then it should also be regularly updated. Of course you do not want to screw up research due to problems with the technique.
Tip: Ensure that someone is responsible and aware of the operation and can solve (last minute) problems. Does the UX’er want to take on this task or do you have to make someone else responsible? Also think about setting up ‘exotic setups’ with, for example, a touchscreen or check-in counter.
No dedicated space / UX Lab
You have found a space for your UX Lab and observation room, but it must be multi-usable. The room was formerly a meeting room and can still be booked that way. Material must be set up at a time and is therefore more susceptible to interference.
Tip: Make sure you have the highest priority for booking the rooms. Also take the construction and dismantling of the materials you need into account. If possible, leave the materials assembled and connected. Make it ‘Plug and play’.
Cameras, computers, devices and an eyetrackers. The costs for purchasing your own UX Lab can pile up considerably. Do not forget to estimate the furniture and the installation of the technique.
Tip: Ask yourself if you are making enough use of the lab to take out costs. Also include costs for maintaining and keeping the materials up to date in your consideration.
Respondents must be able to find your office easily and have to be taken care of. If your building is located on an industrial estate, it is not easy for everyone to reach.
Tip: Make clear directions and ensure that respondents can park (easily). Also check whether you need to register guests at your reception at the reception. Also think of entrance passes if there are gates that you can not just walk through.
Happy Labs takes care of everything
No hassle with technology
Our UX Lab is equipped for UX Research. The technique is ready and easy to use. Devices and eyetracker are easy to connect. Also recordings are made in no time. Tech support is always ready for questions. Or if you have pressed the wrong button..
Watch live or remotely
Take a look from our observation room or allow people who stay at home to watch via the livestream. If you are with us, we will ensure that you can focus on the research; we create a pleasant environment in which the preconditions are regulated.
Independent space, easily accessible
Customers have no idea that the research is about you. A white-label survey allows respondents to participate in the study without prejudice. Our locations are also easily accessible for both you and your customers.
We see it as our responsibility to find the right respondents. And we are good at that! With our own panel, which has more than 7,000 people, we ensure super sharp selections.
No maintenance costs and updates. We ensure that we always have up-to-date equipment in-house. We love round prices and no unexpected costs. Do you come to us more often? Then your discount can even rise to 15% on the daily rate.