User Experience Design (UX) and Usability Lab

Usability evaluations of websites and other interfaces in order to identify and provide the optimal user experience (UX).

Also known as User Experience, UX, Usability, Usability Lab, Usability Testing, User Centered-Design (UCD), UXD, Human Computer Interaction (HCI) or Accessibility.

CUIT offers usability assessment services to help Columbia create easy-to-use, efficient, and attractive websites and systems. Ideally user experience design services will be contracted at the early outset of website/system being developed to allow the end-user research and testing to have maximum impact on the project’s success. Usability measures projects against five parameters:

Depending on your needs or where you are in your project, you can select one or more of the following user experience (UX) components.


Usability services are billable tasks and are charged back to the customer’s chartstring at a rate of $100/hour.

Once a request is submitted via ticket, CUIT will create a resource plan and the amount of effort will be assessed based on SOW draft review, which will include the specific services required, and the effort and duration for the UX Designer participation. If you approve of this estimated cost, please respond with your chartstring and have your project manager or business analyst reach out the UX Lead for project planning and execution. User experience design and usability lab requests are billed directly through ServiceNow once the usability design or report is delivered by CUIT.


Yes, though depending on how far along you are, the service scope might be narrowed. Please have your project manager submit a ticket to consult with CUIT’s Web Services group for recommendations on what services are suggested at the time of the requested effort.  

Usability and User Experience (UX) is all about the end user. You may have discussed this in depth with stakeholders or business owners of the user interface because these individuals have significant and valuable input as to their experience with the system, however there are still minutia of feedback that needs to be addressed with the actual day-to-day or sporadic users. The goal is to remove phrases such as "We believe we can assume that..." from the vocabulary of User Interface (UI) deployment.

UAT is the testing of the application, interface or system directly based on the functional business requirements of the project. This testing is not required to be conducted by actual end users and is a functional test to ensure that the application, interface or system meets minimum functional requirements for completion. Usability testing is focused solely on evaluating the end user experience.

At the beginning of every project, CUIT will ask the stakeholders for the required deadlines for go-live of the project. We work closely with the project manager (PM) to ensure usability milestones can occur in parallel as much as possible with ongoing deliverables. With that said, usability services do lengthen the project. The return on investment (ROI) for the lengthened schedule is a more successful launch of that product to its end users and less need for post-launch iterations based on poor user feedback. The scope may be adjusted only if enough of the end users bring to a light a requirement or set of requirements that were not previously considered by the stakeholders. If such feedback is brought to light, it will be brought to the attention of the group with a recommendation from the UX Designer.