Bnet Business Network http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2007_Oct_30/ai_n27425368
Research Facility Deploys Innovative Eye-Tracking Technology to Enhance Effectiveness and Usability of Web, Television and Mobile Media
LOS ANGELES — Schematic, a WPP Digital company, and the Center for Media Design at Ball State University today announced that they have opened a Media Insight Center (MIC), a research and development facility for eye-tracking and usability, at Schematic’s New York City offices.
“Much of the research we’ve done in the past has relied almost completely on qualitative data gleaned from interviews with users,” says Dale Herigstad, Schematic’s Chief Creative Officer. “This center allows us to collect quantitative data on how users interact with an interface or product. We are fortunate to have an in-house testing facility that will allow us to factor this information directly into the design process.”
At the Schematic-based center, researchers use continually evolving and innovative eye-tracking and usability research methods for interfaces, devices and content across platforms. The center is among the very few facilities anywhere equipped to conduct eye-tracking research in the 2-foot (computer), 10-foot (TV) and mobile (outdoor, location specific, in-car, etc.) settings.
“With the accelerating proliferation of media devices, capabilities and content formats, there is a parallel acceleration in the need for cross-platform usability research that takes these new developments into account,” states Mike Bloxham, Director of Insight and Research at Ball State’s Center for Media Design. “Working closely with Schematic allows us to integrate research and design processes more closely, yielding improved products that have benefited from user feedback at different stages of development.”
The recently opened facility in New York, which features a family room and home office, is the third in a network of custom-designed naturalistic environments for desktop and TV-based eye-tracking and usability research. Ball State’s Muncie, IN, facility is a full house setting, including family room, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, home gym and home office. The Indianapolis facility includes a family room and home office. Research design can include data collection in several or all of these locations if cross-market comparisons are desired.
Trevor Kaufman, Schematic’s CEO, states: “User testing is an integral part of our process, and we’re excited to be able to offer this next-generation testing capability to Schematic’s clients. Our partnership with Ball State brings tremendous credibility and research expertise to this venture, and we’re looking forward to cooperating with them on commercializing more research technologies in the future.”
Schematic, a WPP Digital company, deploys and develops solutions for the Web, mobile devices, television, digital environments and emerging platforms. Schematic offers complete strategic, creative, marketing and technology services to Fortune 1000 companies, including Disney, Target, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Conde Nast and Turner.
For more information, please visit http://www.schematic.com.
About The Center for Media Design
Ball State’s Center for Media Design (CMD) is part of the $20 million Digital Exchange initiative funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. to enhance the university’s innovative, immersive, educational experiences for students in digital technology.
CMD administers four institutes: the News Research Institute (NRI), the Institute for Digital Entertainment and Education (IDEE), the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA) and the Institute for Digital Fabrication (IDF).
For more information, please visit http://www.bsu.edu/cmd/
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