Category Archives: uxlab

Market Research: Code of Ethics

The spectrum of research topics we see in this industry is broad, covering all of the intricate niches of consumer products that fall in between the bookends. Clients work hard to determine what type of consumer best matches their brand profile, typically based on statistical data collected over time and evaluated prior to conducting research. So, when it comes time to test the market, it only makes sense that the strongest feedback will come from those participants with specifications that match the clients consumer base. Research firms are then given a set of criterion from which to draw against through … Continue reading

As more of our clients develop sites and apps for mobile devices, we have seen an increased need to conduct usability testing on tablets and smartphones. Finding the right recording solution has been challenging, especially when compared to recording desktop usability sessions. For desktop usability, there are many different applications that allow us to capture screen interactions along with a picture-in-picture view of a participant’s face. When trying to apply this to mobile device testing, it’s particularly difficult to capture an accurate and clear video recording of the session. Although clients typically want to see the participant’s face, often it’s more … Continue reading

GMU Takes a Tour of the ‘Barn

Last evening, we had the privilege of hosting the GMU Human Factors Students for some refreshments, a tour of our facility, and an engaging discussion about all things User Experience. It was a true pleasure for us to talk to the students about topics ranging from the usefulness of Google Glass, to sharing stories of our awkward college moments! Somehow we even found time to discuss user research methodologies, using discretion in social media when looking for a job, and the overall direction the UX field is taking. The clients we had in the office for a focus group surprised … Continue reading

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

We are excited to announce that Mediabarn has partnered with FocusVision, the leading focus group streaming service. This allows us to become part of the largest network of remote viewable focus group facilities. In doing so, our clients are able to view live video streams from our modern facility, reliably and securely. These video transmissions promise to deliver the highest audio and video quality, available globally wherever you can connect to the Internet. Mediabarn adds FocusVision to its line of capabilities, which also include in-person qualitative research, focus group facility rentals, usability lab rentals, remote usability testing, eye tracking, 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

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, “” 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. is a popular site that regards itself as “the fastest, cheapest way to find out why users leave your site.” 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

Not sure how many people can say that they love their job, but I truly love what I do – helping to uncover the ways people interact with products and suggesting how to make things easier to use. As a researcher who focuses primarily on usability, I am constantly amazed at what I learn from respondents.  At the start of each project, I spend time reviewing the stimulus (e.g., website, app, device, etc.) to become familiar with it and to develop the tasks and discussion guide I will use in the research interviews.  A natural part of that process is … Continue reading