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Usability Lab

Usability and user experience (UX) are decisive factors for the success of products.

This applies to software and programs, such as websites and apps, as well as physical products, including coffee machines, measuring devices and their associated usage information. The ZHAW usability lab supports people-centred product development in the areas of research, business services, teaching and continuing education.

Do you have questions about usability (testing) or user-centred design? We have the expertise to answer your queries and will be happy to advise and support you with customised offers.

What we offer

For companies

We offer companies and start-ups a broad range of opportunities for collaboration, be this in the area of research and development or in connection with business service projects. If you would like individual advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

What we offer:

  • Innosuisse projects: we offer you support in preparing applications and realising preliminary studies and projects.
  • Usability testing: we test your prototypes or existing products with real users.
  • Expert evaluation: we provide you with access to our expertise, evaluate your mock-ups and support you in further developing your products.
  • Design thinking: we work with you to develop new product ideas.
  • Student projects and Bachelor’s theses: our students tackle your questions in the areas of technical communication, information design or usability testing as part of group projects or in Bachelor’s theses. Submit a topic proposal
  • Rent our lab: we make our premises and infrastructure available to you to work on your ideas.

For researchers

Do you have a project idea for which you need usability expertise? We perform research in the fields of technical communication, human-machine interaction, usability testing and user experience as well as in connection with the use of augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Drawing on this expertise, we support you during your research projects in designing usability tests and in collecting and analysing data. We are especially interested in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration.

For students, lecturers and employees

Would you like to use the usability lab for a student or employee project? Or perhaps in connection with a Bachelor's or Master's thesis? The infrastructure and services of the usability lab are available to all ZHAW students and employees.

We would be happy to show you our infrastructure and services or, if required, to introduce our usability lab as part of a course or for project groups, employee teams or events.

Our infrastructure

Thanks to its spacious size, the usability lab can also be used for workshops or teaching units with larger groups. The usability lab can be accessed by lift, which means that it is accessible to everyone.

Test room

The soundproof test room can be used to carry out usability tests or other studies with individual test subjects. All processes can be recorded via the modern audio and video system. A one-way mirror between the test room and the observation room means it is possible to follow the processes in the test room live without distracting the test subjects.

Observation room

All the data from the test and focus rooms is collated in the observation room, where it is recorded and prepared for analysis. The audio system allows for communication between the test and observation rooms.

Focus room

The focus room is particularly suitable for group discussions and workshops. As in the test room, the focus room is home to two dome cameras and two boundary microphones, which can be used to follow and record all activities from the observation room.


Our eye-tracking systems make it possible to capture eye movements when viewing software, applications or interfaces on the screen as well as when interacting with physical products and/or usage information. The eye-tracking method can also be used in combination with a usability test. For example, the test subject's eye movements are followed live from the observation room and recorded at the same time.

In addition to the stationary eye tracker, mobile eye tracking glasses are also available for field studies and projects conducted on site.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is becoming ever more important in the field of technical communication. The usability lab therefore has state-of-the-art AR glasses, which can be used to test and evaluate potential AR application scenarios.


You can find an overview of ongoing and completed research and business service projects involving the usability lab here.