There is a wide array of technical equipment and devices available for student research and other projects – ranging from various SmartPhones, notebooks and tablets through multi-touch tables and 3D-TV sets to Kinect sensors, the HCI Master has everything the student heart desires. The range isn’t just limited to development systems either –audio-recorders, cameras and analysis software for user tests and field research are also provided.
As one of only very few German universities, we have direct access to a Fab Lab (an inter-disciplinary high-tech workshop which enables the realization of almost any project). The Fab Lab in Siegen was set up by an HCI student and allows access to several 3D printers, a CNC milling machine, a laser cutter, Arduinos, soldering stations, both hand and power tools as well as innumerable other pieces of equipment and materials which can be used to construct all kinds of prototypes.
The X-Lab (short for user-experience lab) is a laboratory designed to look like a living room. Far less artificial than conventional laboratories, the relaxed atmosphere of the X-Lab is ideal for conducting user tests, workshops and focus groups etc. This helps to deflect the focus away from artificial lab experiments and onto the situated understanding of our users instead. Essentially, this makes it as close to real context situations as possible.
Our studio – often referred to as the ‘UX-Lounge’ or ‘CIP-Pool’ – is the main room where courses take place. A good number of courses and seminars are held here, in particular mandatory subjects as well as subjects from the ‘Special Aspects of HCI’-series (see order of study). In addition to providing precious work space, the room is also equipped with various whiteboards, flipcharts, creative material and a sofa, which makes it a favorite location for project work.