The Applied Psychology In User eXperience (APIX) lab is Missouri Western's research laboratory for interactive design and usability testing. Graduate students in the program are encouraged to do studies within their area(s) of interest and assist faculty within the psychology department. They use software that they will use in in their careers. The program began in 2009 by Dr. Brian Cronk and Dr. Jeremiah Still to provide students with educational background and training in the various interaction design and usability testing techniques. The lab has been prosperous with 90% of students earning valuable internships and positions prior to graduation. The Masters of Applied Science in Human Factors and Usability Testing graduate program uses the APIX lab to complete studies in interactive design, usability testing, cognition, and sensation/perception.
Within the lab, our students work in a group completing design projects and compete in the annual Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) student design competition. This is an excellent venue for them to hone and acquire skills necessary in the interactive design industry and is an excellent resume builder.They work through the entire design process from concept to a high fidelity prototype. Work boards like this one allow students to collaborate on conceptual and specific design characteristics as they would in their careers. The hardware and software that the lab has is an eye tracker, Axure, Adobe Creative Suite, Morae video recording software, E-Prime II, and MatLab/SPSS for advanced statistical analysis.
Students have access to a large work room where they can view users interacting with a prototype or device. Cameras within the room allow researchers to zoom in on parts of the device users are interacting with. This data along with microphones allow researchers to record an entire interaction for later analysis.
In addition to design projects and usability testing, our lab offers students the ability to engage in research projects examining aspects of human computer interaction. Students can gather eye tracking, timed trial, and response time data to gain a better understanding of how different technologies can impact an individual's ability to interact with them.