Ball State University’s Centre for Media Design (CMD) has partnered with WPP-owned digital agency Schematic to open an eye-tracking and usability studies facility in the agency’s New York offices.

Mike BloxhamDirector of CMD’s Insight & Research Mike Bloxham said that the centre was responding to demand from industry partners who want its expertise. ‘Not only will our partners have access to research we are doing in Indianapolis and Muncie, but we can now add additional data to the mix by accessing people from the New York market.’

CMD is part of the $20 million Digital Exchange initiative funded by Lilly Endowment to enhance the university’s education offer in digital technology. Bloxham added that the new research facility will provide students with immersive learning opportunities.

Schematic’s Chief Creative Officer Dale Herigstad, who is also a CMD Industry Fellow said that the centre will allows the partners to collect quantitative data on how users interact with an interface or product.

The new centre has a family room and home office, and is the third in a network of custom-designed environments for desktop and television-based eye-tracking research. Ball State has a full-house setting with family room, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, gym and office; while a facility at the Ball State Indianapolis Centre includes a family room and home office.

Schematic CEO Trevor Kaufman said that his firm’s partnership with CMD brings ‘tremendous credibility’ to the venture.

Schematic develops solutions for the web, mobile devices, television, digital environments and emerging platforms and is online at CMD is on the web at