Our Downtown San Diego Usability Labs Are Open for Business

Written by

Seth Hill

San Diego User Research Study

We just completed construction of two state-of-the-art usability labs in our downtown San Diego studio. The new labs provide an improved experience for our researchers, participants, and clients such as ServiceNow, Amazon, Facebook, Atari, Oculus, and USAA.

Our studio is a wonderful space, flooded with natural light and stylish furnishings, which inspires creativity. Visitors often comment on the industrial vibe which includes exposed elements, sealed concrete floors, sandblasted brick walls and 35-foot wood truss ceilings. We also enjoy the benefits of a full kitchen, an outdoor patio, and lounge areas for participants and clients.

Constructing user research labs inside our historic building was no easy feat. We partnered with two local firms to design and construct our new labs. Mark Bausback, our architect, has a long history with the building and helped shape our vision for soundproof labs built from shipping containers. CLTVT was our general contractor who managed to construct the labs while our studio stayed open for business.

Flexible, dynamic spaces for any type of study

We can configure our San Diego usability labs to evoke professional office spaces, medical exam rooms, cozy living rooms, or anything in between. We have found that testing products in simulated environments leads to more accurate findings. Considering the way the lab is arranged is a part of our study design process so we stock an assortment of furnishings to create the user research environments our clients need. We also keep a virtual reality headset and testing kit on-site to conduct studies in VR and AR.

Popular types of user research studies:

  • - One-on-one interviews/testing
  • - Mobile device and application testing
  • - Paper prototype testing
  • - Focus group studies
  • - Medical device studies
  • - In-home simulations

Better data through technology

Each of our two usability labs are 18’ x 20’ and offer access to state-of-the-art technology. Sessions held in our labs can be streamed to our on-site observation suites or across the internet to authenticated observers anywhere in the world. Recordings of sessions are also available.

As needed, we leverage SaaS products to facilitate the research process. We often use InVision for prototyping, Zoom for remote conference calls, and Mural for collaborative note-taking and journey mapping. We also have an incredible setup in terms of hardware, including a variety of camera types, booms, microphones, and eye tracking systems.

Each of our user research labs can include:

  • - Desktop or laptop and your choice of browser and plug-ins
  • - Multiple cameras with pan-tilt-zoom capabilities
  • - On-screen, mobile, product, living room, and kiosk capabilities
  • - High-speed wireless internet connection
  • - Tobii T60 for eye tracking
The waiting area of the Blink San Diego design studio has comfortable seating, fiddle leaf fig trees, and very high ceilings.

Creature comforts

As soon as clients or research participants arrive, they are greeted by a friendly face at the door. We have a great lounge area that has comfy seating and a stocked fridge. Early bird visitors will love exploring the local art that is on display, too. Otherwise we have a smooth and efficient check-in process and can get participants set up in no time.

Each research observation suite has a private entrance from the street, conference room furniture, and a restroom. Observation rooms are equipped with whiteboards for notes and brainstorming and refreshments are provided throughout the day. Our studio is ADA compliant.

Our clients enjoy unmatched hospitality in our observation suites—we can arrange catering, transportation, lodging, or anything else you may need.

Each of our observation rooms has:

  • - Two large TVs
  • - High resolution picture-in-picture display
  • - Easy restroom access
  • - Comfortable lounge seating
  • - Collaboration amenities
Three clients record collaborate while watching a user research participant use an interactive prototype.

Study coordination is a breeze

Studies held at our usability labs are a worry-free experience. Blink manages recruiting for local, national, and international projects as part of our end-to-end user experience research service. We handle the recruiting, scheduling, and incentives for all participants.

Our clients arrive the day of testing to observe sessions in a comfortable environment designed for collaboration. They don’t need to fuss with all of the logistical and technical headaches that can accompany a rigorous research process.

A world-class team of UX experts

Blink offers exceptional UX research, strategy, design, and engineering services. Great companies hire us to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Our team is supported by in-house participant recruiting and can tap into the hive mind of more than 150 UX consultants across our five studios.

After nearly two decades in business we have worked across many industries and numerous types of hardware, software, and applications. Our massive portfolio enables us to take on complex and demanding projects with confidence.

Come see for yourself

We would love to show you and your team our new labs. Get in touch to book a private tour.

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