Carnegie Mellon University

User Experience Lab

UEL lab

English faculty and graduate students, working with colleagues in psychology and design, pioneered user-centered document design in the early 1980's. Today, we continue the tradition with focused curricula (Planning & Testing, Web Design, Writing for Multimedia) and a state of the art User Experience Lab (UEL).

The UEL is a two-room facility (FMS 314 and FMS 315), with both rooms running Morae, a suite of video, audio, and computing equipment that facilitates observing, recording, and editing of data from usability and other types of observation sessions. Each room can be used for testing, observation, or editing. 

In the User Experience Lab, students and faculty can:

  • Test documents and paper prototypes
  • Interview participants
  • Conduct focus groups
  • Conduct software or web usability tests
  • Test hardware of mobile devices

Who can use the lab?

The lab is available to English Department undergraduate and graduate students who have been given an orientation to the lab in English 271/871: Intro to Professional and Technical Writing or in other coursework. School of Design graduate students who have taken Design 51-744: Research Methods for Human Centered Design and received a lab orientation are also eligible. Non-majors enrolled in English Department courses who receive a lab orientation as part of the course may also use the labs during the semester that they are enrolled in the course.

More about Morae:

Morae is a software suite enabling students and faculty to record, code, analyze, edit, and present study data. Morae consists of three components:

  1. Recorder allows users to capture video and audio data including video and audio of study participants, onscreen activity, and mouse and keyboard activity.
  2. Observer allows one or multiple computers to observe the real-time audio and video data being recorded in Recorder. Markers and tasks can be logged, automatically saving the data with the accompanying video and audio streams.
  3. Manager is the heart of the Morae suite. Studies and interviews are organized and analyzed within Manager, allowing users to analyze, graph, and share results.

  • Morae Recorder
  • Morae Observer
  • Morae Manager

  • 2 Dell PCs running Windows 7 Professional
  • Panasonic HD Camera (stored in Room 314)
  • Pinnacle Studio Box Converter (stored in Room 314)
  • Two Logitech Webcams
  • Two Logitech Microphones