Our facilities

The User Centre

The User Centre is a place where groups of computer users and learners of varying skills meet to learn and help each other in a relaxed and friendly environment. Funded initially by the Mathew Trust, which provided equipment, the Centre aims to offer a relaxed and lively computer learning experience for people. The main User Centre group is for older computer users, over 50 years of age, but we also coordinate:

  • the Straight Talking Group for adults who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • the Tap and Talk Group for adults with aphasia


The analysis of a 45 minute debate can take a professional analyst between one and two weeks to fully analyse. The Argument Analysis Wall (ARG-Wall) is a 3.2m x 2.4m touchscreen interface which has been designed help carry out real-time argument analysis. This is designed as a multi-user interface where several users can collaborate on the deconstruction and tagging of arguments. 

Wolfson Theatre

Although it looks like a conventional lecture theatre with 55 seats, closer inspection shows that the Wolfson Theatre is actually a unique research facility. It was designed primarily to support the gathering of user requirements, especially through the use of drama. Mini-plays demonstrating the use of proposed software can be performed on the stage area, and stakeholders in the seating area can comment on the researchers' understanding of the domain and real users. The theatre is equipped with numerous cameras and microphones which can record proceedings (both on the stage and in the audience) at the press of a button.

UX Observation Lab

Modern UX Labs use a number of different devices to capture human interaction with technology. Our purpose-built UX Observation lab is designed to record these interactions in a controlled lab based setting and is equipped with three network-controlled cameras to assist with this. These can be used to capture video of experiments that take place within the lab and are controlled from a ‘Virtual Control Room’. This equipment is complemented by our state of the art eye-tracking equipment that can be used to examine how participants engage with multiple pieces of technology and provide insights into how future interactions can be developed.