Human Factors & User Experience

User Experience Research Laboratories (URL)

We provide bespoke, turnkey user experience (UX) research support based on scientific methods and decades of failure analysis experience, enabling clients to make fact-based, defensible product decisions.

Our experts deliver an unparalleled leverage of your resources in UX, human factors, or ergonomics research needs.

Our experts are academically trained in foundational scientific research and possess deep industry experience with many varied products across different sectors. We efficiently deliver university-grade research and actionable insights that translate directly into product-related decisions. Unlike other UX researchers, we leverage insights from our experience in litigation support and as expert witnesses in product-related litigation to continually enhance our research methods to hold up to scientific scrutiny and defensibility in a legal context.

Our UX Research Services
  • A/B Testing
  • Accessibility Assessment
  • Card Sorting
  • Cognitive Workload Assessment
  • Competitive Analysis & Benchmarking
  • Contextual Inquiry
  • CPSC Letter of Advice Support
  • Diary Studies
  • Ergonomics
  • Ethnography
  • Expert Witness Services & Litigation Support
  • Eye Tracking & Pupillometry
  • Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • FDA CAPA Support
  • FDA Deficiency Letter Support
  • Formative & Validation / Summative Medical Device Testing
  • Hardware, Software & User Interface (UI) Consulting
  • Health & Safety Assessments
  • Heuristic Evaluation & Expert Review
  • Instructions & Warnings Comprehension Testing & Design
  • Interaction Design Concepts
  • Literature Review
  • Market & Pricing Research
  • Market Gap Analysis
  • MaxDiff Analyses
  • Meta Analyses
  • Motion Capture/IMUs
  • Needs & Motivation Analysis
  • Participatory Design
  • PMA/510(k)/De Novo Regulatory Submission Support
  • Product Recall Support
  • Physiological Data Recording (EEG, EMG, EKG)
  • Remote Testing
  • Review of Large-Scale Databases
  • Risk Analysis & Communication
  • Survey & Questionnaire Design & Analysis
  • Task Analyses
  • Time & Motion Studies
  • Tree Tests
  • Unmoderated User Testing
  • Usability Testing
  • User Journeys
  • User Requirements Engineering
  • Workflow Analysis
J.S. Held’s Scientific User Research Labs (URL)

J.S. Held operates an ever-expanding network of state-of-the-art user research labs across the country, with current locations in Phoenix, AZ and New York, NY.

The Phoenix location boasts six usability lab suites with advanced audio and video recording and streaming capabilities, various physiological data recording capabilities, such as electrodermal activity (EDA) or GSR (Galvanic Skin Response), EMG, EKG, and eye tracking, as well as large 40’ x 30’ flexible lab space for conducting motion capture.

The Phoenix labs were built specifically to escape local tech bubbles and industrial espionage, recruit a diverse population of participants, and include study participants more representative of the U.S. population than those in other locales. The Phoenix labs also house the equipment and props necessary to conduct simulated medical use testing.

In turn, the Manhattan lab was developed to tap into the participant base in this sprawling, diverse, sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and outspokenly critical metropolis, with its resident financial industries, foreign consumer tech headquarters, and proximity to Europe.

Both sites, as well as future locations, have access to in-house recruitment, screening, and J.S. Held’s in-house institutional review board (IRB).

J.S. Held’s User Experience Research Expertise

Scale Research Rapidly with Demand
An organization’s user experience research needs are often transient. Our researchers can be added ad hoc without the need for time-intensive and cost-intensive interviewing, hiring, onboarding, or training of dedicated internal staff, allowing clients to scale rapidly in response to surges in research demand.

Access to Cross-Product & Cross-Industry Experience
We work with many clients across different industries, allowing clients to leverage cross-product and cross-industry experience to ensure products are best-in-class and embody state-of-the-science.

Reduce Capital Investment
By engaging our experts for proactive user experience research, clients gain access to capital equipment owned by the researchers without having to make a capital investment themselves, as well as to the highly specialized experts from disparate fields who are well-versed in the use of the equipment, be it an eye tracker, an EMG recording device, or motion capture cameras, for example.

Improve Team Efficiency
Our research team allows clients to offload bandwidth-sapping tasks from internal core teams, so they can continue to focus on their assigned responsibilities, thereby gaining better leverage from the internal teams and expediting product development timelines, as no one is pulled from their assigned tasks.

Gain High-Quality, Reliable Insights
Our clients gain impartial results from a neutral third party, receive an outsider perspective unaffected by institutionalized mental models, and have the option of collecting data under attorney-client privilege.

Benefits of J.S. Held’s User Experience Research

Along with meeting regulatory requirements, our user experience research can help companies to:

  • Develop safer products
  • Differentiate their products in the market
  • Increase market share
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Make informed, data-driven decisions
  • Earn legal defensibility in case of future legal action

Our user experience research can be conducted quickly and at a comparatively modest cost to university research, thus mitigating the risk of testing the viability of a new product by launching it into the market unvetted.

It is a widely documented finding that the cost of design changes goes up by orders of magnitude as the product gets closer to release, and the feature space becomes increasingly constrained. By engaging our experts early in the product development lifecycle, our proactive research helps to avoid these additional costs, as well as the negative reputational damage, product recalls, or litigation that may arise from releasing an untested product or service into the market.

Our Subject Matter Experts
  • Accident Reconstruction Consultants
  • Biomechanical Experts
  • Certified Hazardous Materials Managers
  • Certified Industrial Hygienists
  • Certified Safety Professionals
  • Cognitive Psychologists
  • Computer Vision Scientists
  • Data Scientists
  • Developmental Psychologists
  • Environmental Scientists
  • Epidemiologists
  • Equipment Consultants
  • Food Forensics & Safety Experts
  • Human Factors Psychologists
  • Infectious Disease Experts
  • Kinesiologists
  • Metallurgists & Materials Scientists
  • Perception Scientists
  • Product Liability Experts
  • Professional Engineers
  • Regulatory Compliance Experts
  • Statisticians
  • Toxicologists
  • Transportation Psychologists
  • Workplace Safety Experts
Industries We Serve
  • Aerospace & Aviation
  • Appliances
  • Automotive
  • Consumer Products & Services
  • Cyber
  • Education
  • Extended Reality Products (VR, AR, MR)
  • Financial Services
  • Fitness Equipment
  • Food & Beverage
  • Government
  • Healthcare and Medical Devices
  • Industrial & Manufacturing
  • Mobile Devices
  • Pharma Products
  • Retail, Restaurant & Hospitality
  • Social Media
  • Technology, Media & Telecommunications
  • Wearable Technology
  • Web Products & Services

J.S. Held’s
User Research Labs (URL)

Our experts have advanced degrees in various scientific fields from prestigious institutions, authored peer-reviewed publications in academic journals, and have extensively tested products and evaluated the user experience.

We deliver work products suitable for scientific publication, distilling and effectively communicating key insights to industry stakeholders on timelines compatible with the fast pace of the product development lifecycle that efficiently and impactfully uses financial resources. Unlike some university researchers, we are not invested in owning the intellectual property generated by our research or incentivized to publish our research, which in both scenarios have the potential to generate tension between business interests and motivators that propel researchers.

Expertise Across the Product & Service Development Lifecycle

We provide human factors and user experience support along the entire product lifecycle, from ideation to product retirement. Unlike other user experience agencies, we spend a significant amount of time on the post-product launch phase of the lifecycle, which allows us to leverage insights gained from product failures and product litigation into the earlier phases of the lifecycle.

image slide 1
image slide 2
Keep up with the latest research and announcements from our team.
Our Experts