Author Archives: Jason Pentecost

Jason Pentecost

About Jason

As Principal and Co-Founder of Mediabarn, clients and associates rely heavily on Jason for his breadth of interactive experience and his keen perception of where the industry is heading. He works closely with our key clients and is never too far from anything that goes on at the ‘barn. Jason built the Mediabarn UXLab in 2006 and is the principal lead for the lab.

Always ahead of the curve, Jason has led our teams in the development of new products and web applications and is a champion of emerging technologies including mobile/smartphone UI, interactive television, photography and video. His passion for innovation and diverse background in technology is widely sought after for producing video, print, web, and now with two boys, sidewalk art.

Before co-founding Mediabarn, Jason worked at AOL for nearly 10 years, defining technical design and setting technical standards for the AOL service while managing a team of designers. He was called on by AOL’s most strategic clients including The NFL, The Coca-Cola Company, TiVo, Pfizer, and ABC to help develop successful online properties and was behind some of the network’s groundbreaking firsts, including the first use of animation and incorporating audio on the AOL service.

Jason received a B.A. in History from the University of Arizona, and a J.D from Widener School of Law.

Mediabarn tends to do quite a bit of research in our lab. Whether its usability testing for a new website, conducting a focus group on a product, or testing a mobile app prototype, we’ve done it all and have our thoughts on what we like best. We’ve compiled a list of our top 3 reasons why we enjoy research, giving you plenty of reasons to like it as much as we do. 1. They’re fun.  Here at Mediabarn, we make sure to provide a friendly and comfortable environment, which we find creates a nice atmosphere for both our clients and … Continue reading

Mediabarn is proud to announce that we’ll be partnering with UXPA and hosting a Happy Hour and tour of our Usability Lab, Focus Group suite and Studio during this year’s UXPA International conference here in Washington, DC this July. While enjoying cocktails and light hors d’oeurvres, attendees can tour our Usability Lab and Studio and schmooze with fellow UXPA’ers.  Register soon because seats are limited and will only accommodate the first 40 attendees that register. Transportation for the tour will be provided from the event. We are excited to show off our space while meeting fellow UXPA conference attendees! For more information … Continue reading

Keith Deaven and Heather Gay are preparing to speak to Penn State students during Start Up Week, a week-long celebration showcasing entrepreneurs from around the country.  Hosted by Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, Start Up Week was created to highlight the success of young entrepreneurs and innovators in technology and security, and to showcase the possibilities that exist for enterprising students.  Keith and Heather are honored to be among over two dozen incredible speakers and presenters representing the very best examples of the entrepreneurial spirit, including founders and executives from Weebly, Reddit, Sincerely and Dropbox to name … Continue reading

On March 2, 2013 Mediabarn was honored to be a sponsor for the 2nd annual Uplifting Athletes Gridiron Gala.  A black tie optional affair, the gala was held at Strawberry Square in Harrisburg, PA and had a huge turnout.  The program included the presentation of the 2013 Rare Disease Champion Award to Penn State’s Eric Shrive.  The presentation was made by Andy Hoffman, father of Jack Hoffman whose emotional story can be found here:  http://www.curesearch.org/legacy.aspx?id=10201.  Last year’s winner of the Rare Disease Champion Award was Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead for his work with Team Jack, so it was fitting that Andy … Continue reading

This past weekend, Mediabarn’s principal, Keith Deaven was present at the Penn State vs Indiana football game for an on-field presentation of a check in excess of $110,000 to The Kidney Cancer Association from the Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes. The Kidney Cancer Association’s vice president for public affairs, Carrie Konosky, who  was present to receive the funds remarked, “We’re grateful to the remarkable student athletes on the Penn State Football team for their ongoing support of researchers who are dedicated to the eradication of death and suffering from kidney cancer.”  The Penn State chapter of Uplifting Athletes has … Continue reading

Mediabarn is pleased to announce the launch of the new Wildlife Center of Virginia website. The Wildlife Center is a hospital that provides medical treatment to native Virginia wildlife. Along with providing healthcare, The Wildlife Center teaches children and adults alike the importance of the preservation and protection of native wildlife and the environment.  The relaunch of the site represents a significant initiative, requiring a complete redesign of the site from the ground up. A high degree of teamwork, creativity, and collaboration were key to the success of this project. The Wildlife Center staff and the Mediabarn studio team could … Continue reading

On the surface, remote usability testing can be very appealing. Online assessments are quick, easy and can lead to results similar to traditional lab testing. There are many advantages to online usability testing, with low cost being chief among them.  For example, “Usertesting.com” charges the low rate of only $39 per participant. This price, accompanied by the large recruiting capacity innate with online forums, can multiply the pool of participants tested.  Other advantages to online testing include a more geographically diverse group of respondents who can participate from anywhere in the world. Large data sets translate to statistical significance and … Continue reading

There are numerous websites available that provide online usability testing, eliminating the need to use a usability testing facility. With so many possibilities, it is important to assess the options to make an educated decision on what service would best fulfill your needs. UserTesting.com is a popular site that regards itself as “the fastest, cheapest way to find out why users leave your site.” UserTesting.com allows you to select the participants being tested, select the user tasks, test competitors’ websites, and receive feedback right away. These features stress the control customers will have in their testing. The site allows you … Continue reading

It is always surprising to us here at Mediabarn to hear stories of moderators who conduct usability testing NOT in a professional research facility. Q.      Why should I take 10%-20% of my client’s budget for a test to rent out a facility when I can just conduct the sessions cheaper in a hotel room, community center, Starbuck’s, or in a spare room in the client’s office? After all, those funds could be spent running additional sessions. A.       Yes, those funds could be spent elsewhere, but the return will probably fall short of what you can gain from bringing in new … Continue reading

On the verge of springtime, we had a back to school day yesterday.  We were conducting a research study at the University of Maryland with performing arts students, and at the same time, our placement team was recruiting creative and development students at George Mason University. As we were comparing notes today about the students getting ready to enter the workforce – whether it be for internships or full time jobs – we were surprised that only a small sampling had online portfolios. At GMU, we met some very talented interactive students! However, we were surprised to see that most of them had … Continue reading