Welcome to Ozlab
Welcome to Ozlab
Karlstad University’s user lab are used by different disciplines and also in collaboration with external parties. Within the research group for usability studies, there is also the development of methodologies for interaction design, especially around Ozlab which is a GUI experimental web service developed to admit easy testing, even improvisation, of ideas for interactive products. It admits non-programmers to become concept developers and interactivity testers. For a skilled interaction designer, it is a very useful tool.
The university admits internal as well as external partners to perform experiments with multimedia user interfaces. The Ozlab technique is adapted for development of interactivity on different units. Testing is vital in interaction design - it is not enough if the interaction developer has certain knowledge in the area usability. However, testing would be expensive if interactivity has to be programmed. The web-based Ozlab lets the designer test with real users in real situations before programming takes place.
Ozlab is an excellent tool for professional user interface designers and interaction designers to easily improvise and test a variety of alternative interactive ideas, and, not to be forgotten, Ozlab is also useful for discussing interaction design with stakeholders and for demonstrating behaviour for implementers (programmers).
2023-09-21--28 Maths students try vector manipulation in augmented reality
Masters student Linus Geewe designed last spring a virtual reality prototype for vector manipulation in the see-through head-mounted Meta Quest Pro display and its hand controllers. This autumn, several groups of students from course MAGA44 were invited to try out this before the lectures on vectors started. At course end, some students answered how the felt this (almost) hands-on experience with vectors influenced their perception of the concept of vectors. The study will be deepened in spring 2024, when Linus Geewe works on his Master’s thesis. This is a collaboration with mathematician Mirela Vinerea-Bernhoff, who seeks experience-rich forms for teaching vector algebra, and his teachers Ala Sarah Alaqra and John Sören Pettersson at the Information Systems department. The equipment has been lent by the Computer Science dept.
2023-09-14 Usability testing course excites both students and colleagues
When the semester open for the autumn, third-year undergraduate student have performed their first experiments in usability testing. This year we started by an assignment to evaluate the Climate Adaptation Game - a web based game that will help high schoolers and older to realise the interdependecies between town planning, risks, and budget constraints. It is developed and hosted by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, who now collaborates with Karlstad University's Risklab for the development of this and other learning resources. Risklab is happy to see the results from the many student teams analysing the game from a usability perspective.
The ISGC16 Usability Testing, Prototyping an Evaluation course runs with a record number of students as we trial to also include some students from the distance programme which induces some extra efforts by the lab staff for one of the assignments, the eyetracking-based evaluation because this will include remote testing but the test participants will have to show up at Karlstad University's usability lab. Otherwise, remote supervised testing works fine, and is practiced not only by the teams drawing students from the distance programme but also practiced by some of the campus student teams as well, which we have experienced before; see the article "Usability Testing of Interactive Systems Conducted by University Students During a Pandemic".
2023-06-12 ECIS workshop "Experiences of remote user participation"
We wish to express our thanks to the participants for an interesting day in Norway! Some unregistered vistors who chose to attend out of sheer curiosity shared their valuable experiences and insights; and papers were shared among the participants. (Previous call: Call for working papers to the ECIS 2023 workshop "Experiences of remote user participation" June 12. Deadline: March 14th 2023 or write us a letter if this cannot be met, and outline your idea).
2023-02-24 Updates to the Ozlab system
The web is a fluid medium, and web-based systems need ever so often to be updated to keep all their functions functioning properly. During the pandemic we have lagged somewhat behind but this week we have had, aided by Motillo, a bug-fixing round where the forgetful session memory has been mended. Shell designers no more have to use hidden fields to keep user inputs in place when the test leaders moves back and forth between scenes. We also had Motillo to add a function whereby our sysadmins easily can change the list of alternatives for pre-defined scene sizes.
2023-01-16 New interns in the lab
This years' exchange students from Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart are Lukas Richter and Felix Widmann. During the first 10 weeks of our 20-week spring semester, they help us with testing, checking the Ozlab manual, demos, editing.
2022-12-11 Prof. Pettersson presented KAU's usability testing course at SIGED 2022
AIS's Special Interest Group in Education runs a pre-conference to the global ICIS conference every year. At Sunday the 11th of December, the SIGED gathered in one of the seminar rooms of Bella Center in Copenhagen for a long day with many interesting topics. Among the presenters was John Sören Pettersson presenting his, Gunnar Olsson's and Henrik Andersson's "Usability Testing of Interactive Systems Conducted by University Students During a Pandemic" (paper 10 in the proceedings).
2022-12-08 Ozlab used in work to design a new intranet for KAU
Work is underway for designing a new intranet for employees as Karlstad University. Elin Nilsson has performed Ozlab-based tests in which employees at Karlstad University have participated as co-designers. The work was conducted in the usability lab.
2022-08-17 Malin Wik presented mobile co-design at the IRIS conference
The Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia (IRIS) is an annual seminar for Information Systems researchers established in 1978. The 45th IRIS was held in conjunction with the 13th Scandinavian Conference of Information Systems (SCIS). The theme of the seminar and conference was Workforce Leadership in the Age of Digital Transformation. The event was hosted in Helsinge, Denmark, from August 14th to 17th 2022. Research student Malin Wik discussed a paper on co-design in schools:
"Digital competence and programming have been part of the Swedish school curricula since 2018. This paper demonstrates how co-design design activities can be conducted as a way to provide digital competence education from a socio-technical perspective. Such activities were conducted with novice designers in three sessions, each with two school classes, from a Swedish engineering upper secondary school program in 2019. The students gained hands-on experience with interaction design and co-design as they designed a mobile application using a Wizard-of-Oz prototyping system and evaluated the prototype with users. This trial is used to argue that time allocation for socio-technical perspectives on digital competence in the Swedish school curricula can be expanded to be able to provide students with a more holistic view of digitization beyond technical issues."
Her paper were included in the "Selected Papers of the IRIS" published in December.
2022-02-15 Internship Ozlab work and accessibility work in the usability lab
Exchange students Mats Thiele and Linus Andrzejczak from Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart working as internships in the lab have made suggestion for revision for the Ozlab manual and also for the Ozlab system. Karlstad student Seemaa Alabdali also takes an internship course where she helps accessibility course teachers Elin Nilsson and Gunnar Olsson with various things.
2022-01-17 New course on Accessibility of Digital Services and Documents
Today starts a new course on undergraduate level on accessibility of digital services. After a trial last year we are now ready to launch a specially designed course on this topic, ISGB34 (may be given in English in coming years). https://www.kau.se/en/education/programmes-and-courses/courses/ISGB34
2021-11-18 Useful user-centered tips on LMS design for crisis management training
When the final conference for the CriseIT 2 project was held in Arvika today a 120-page report was released which targets practitioners who want to further the use of digital exercises in their organisations (written in Norwegian and Swedish: Digitalisering av krisövning - Erfarenheter från CriseIT-projekten).
2021-09-27 Study provides answers on how users can contribute to digital hospital guide
How can users contribute to developing an app from the ground up - in a real environment? A new study provides guidance on whether a digital tool can help visitors to the Central Hospital in Karlstad to find the right one. Read the whole article (Swedish only)
2021-09-11 Teaching conference with usability course presentations
When Karlstad University’s unit for university pedagogy held its annual autumn conference, this year under the theme REDEFINING LEARNING SPACES as a reflection of the social distancing requirements, the lab people presented Corona effects on two usability/accessibility courses and how we and our students solved usability testing on distance (ISGC16 autumn 2020, and ISGC17 test run with a focus on accessibility issues spring 2021 for a forthcoming course on digital accessibility).
2021-06-30 Student work
Several student projects have been completed during the spring semester 2021, including master's theses by Egide and Mikaela (eyetracking), bachelor's thesis by Alex on evaluation of chat function for CriseIT exercises at a distance, and Henrik with a master's thesis on the GUI-ii method for participatory design.
2021-05-19 Course in accessibility
The material for an upcoming course in accessibility was tested in the c-course Future Web Standards. Gunnar Olsson and prof. John Sören Pettersson led the course and had very good help from the bachelor thesis students Alexandra and Elinor who each designed their own workshop. We now have materials and experience for a permanent course in digital accessibility (ISGB34) that will take place in the spring semesters at B-level.
2021-04-01 PAPAYA ends
PAPAY - the project on integrity-preserving cloud calculations - is now entering the final turn. Several focus groups have been conducted remotely during the spring of 2021 by Ala Sarah Alaqra in the form of walkthroughs + workshops. Expert evaluations have been carried out by colleagues in computer science and informatics. A couple of deliverables are underway during the summer of 2021.
2020-12-09 Another doctoral thesis about Usable Privacy
Farzaneh Karegar defended her PhD thesis "The Lord of Their Data Under the GDPR? Empowering Users Through Usable Transparency, Intervenability, and Consent". The opponent was the previous Ozlab internship holder Sameer Patil, today associate professor at Indiana University. Farzaneh has been supervised by Simone Fischer-Hübner and John Sören Pettersson.Her work has been carried out mainly within the EU project CREDENTIAL.
2020-01-30 PhD thesis about Usable Privacy
Ala Sarah Alaqra defended her PhD thesis "Tinkering the Wicked Problem of Privacy – Design Challenges and Opportunities for Crypto-based Solutions", with Steven Furnell as opponent. Supervisors have been Simone Fischer-Hübner and Erik Wästlund. The research have been financed by PrismaCloud and PAPAYA.
2019-12-06 Breakthrough for research in real environments within Digitalwell
Is an app the right way to guide visitors to the Central Hospital in Karlstad? A new research study will hopefully provide answers to this. The study represents a breakthrough for research into real-world environments within DigitalWell. Read more
2019-04-08 Full speed ahead in user lab
During the spring, Ozlab has been used extensively, including for various eyetrecking examinations, updating of the manual and the introductory films. Read more