A new test facility operated by Harrisburg University students could help them find work after school and provide valuable user experience testing to midstate businesses.
The science and technology university announced on Thursday that it launched a temporary User Experience Center at its Market Street educational center as it prepares a permanent center on Third Street to be finished by late spring.
At the new center, Harrisburg University students can research and test unreleased products from clients to ensure that they will meet the needs of customers and find a foothold in their respective markets.
“The center will play a role in helping to further the university’s mission to train our undergraduate and graduate students for family-sustaining, professional science and tech careers, while bringing world-class user research, usability, and market insight services to HU and the greater central Pennsylvania community,” said Dr. Adams Greenwood-Ericksen, head of the new center and a Game Studies and User Experience Professor at HU.
Students and recent graduates of the college are already working at the temporary center and have worked on a number of unannounced educational video games and a project involving informal assessments in elementary and middle schools.
The center is currently being used by HU’s Human Centered Interaction Design Master’s of Science program as well as by students taking part in a new User Experience Design concentration under HU’s Interactive Media program.
The university plans to grow the program to offer services to a wider array of industries and use more of the school’s faculty and programs in the process, said Greenwood-Ericksen.
“User experience research and testing is a great addition to a lot of the core skills taught in any number of the undergrad and graduate programs on campus,” he said. “We’re looking for opportunities to partner with other groups on campus to bring in student researchers and projects.”