The Usability Center of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, at SCE Ashdod, is unique in the landscape of academic institutions in Israel. The Center is a dedicated environment for development and testing of interactive computerized technologies. Researchers and students in the Center can develop and test user interfaces of computerized systems by various and varied methods, using advanced technological tools. The Center has networked cameras that monitor user actions while employing advanced devices such as an eye tracker and software to record all user actions during engagement with the interfaces. The equipment and systems are synchronized to provide an optimal combination of parameters that enable reliable testing of whether the systems to be developed are efficient and useful. In addition, the center contains a meeting area for focus groups and meetings with end-users; workstations with dedicated software for designing system prototypes (e.g. Axure); and more.
Today, all organizations rely critically on computerized technologies for their success, which depends on how well such systems support business processes in achieving each organization’s goals. Consequenty, there is a need to develop systems and technologies which match the priorities of the organization, its processes, the knowledge accumulated in it, the types of users of the systems and the tasks to be performed by means of these systems.
The Usability Center implements the powerful concept of User-Centered Design (UCD), known from the field of interactive technology design. This design approach, which is focused on organizations and end-users, ensures that user needs and organizational expectations are at the heart of the technological development process from its very earliest stages. The Usability Center reflects the strong emphasis given by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at SCE Ashdod on adapting computerized solutions and systems to organizations and their activities.
The establishment of the Usability Center is an important step toward realization of the vision for building a multidisciplinary center for development, applied research and teaching in the fields of interactive computer technologies.
The director of the Center is Dr. Adi Katz, who is also head of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. The Center’s laboratory engineer is Yana Sofia.
Dr. Adi Katz
Email: [email protected]