What's happening in DC

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Clarissa Peterson

Sep 21, 2012, 6:01:43 PM9/21/12
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Device Lab DC (http://www.devicelabdc.com) just started organizing in
August, but things have been happening pretty quickly for us.

Last week we were able to announce that we've secured a location for
our device lab, at a local co-working space, Canvas Co/work. It's a
pretty awesome arrangement. Their front desk person will be taking
care of checking the devices in and out to lab users, so we won't need
to provide our own volunteers for that purpose. They have plenty of
desk/table space, and we can use their wifi, etc.

Many of our potential device lab users are already familiar with
Canvas because they host a lot of events/meetups there, so it's a
natural fit.

We just got our first media coverage: I was interviewed for the tech
column in today's Washington Business Journal. The article is behind a
paywall but you can read the first few paragraphs anyway. The rest of
it is pretty good, although I'm not all that happy about the words
"startup" and "misfit" in the headline.

Our first sort-of-meeting was a discussion session at MobileUXCamp (a
barcamp) last weekend, and we had about 15 people for the discussion.
It brought up a lot of new questions for us. I had been thinking of
our lab in terms of testing web design, since I'm a web designer, but
since the discussion had a lot of UX people, they were wondering about
how they could use the devices for UX testing. For example bringing
users to the lab with them, videotaping, etc. That's probably
something we can think about down the road, but too complicated for
our starting plan.

Right now our main task is getting devices. We have a few promised
already, and I'm trying to enlist volunteers to help with contacting
local meetups, agencies, organizations, etc. I'm also trying to find
people who are more knowledgeable than me about the technical stuff,
who can figure out how the devices work, how to get them on wifi
without data plans, how to wipe them, etc. I'm sure all that
information is not hard to find, but it will take a commitment of time
to track down the info and get everything working.

We intend to "open" as soon as we have enough devices that it seems
worthwhile. Hopefully that will be in a month or two.

Clarissa Peterson
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