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Laboratory for Information Behaviour & Science Communication (i&k-Lab)

Labor für Informationsverhalten & Wissenschaftskommunikation
© Andrea Lakeit

The i&k-Lab of the Department of Information Sciences offers students, lecturers and staff the necessary infrastructure to carry out experimental teaching and research projects in the subject-specific context of information behaviour research and science communication in the laboratory rooms and in the mobile area.

Areas of application

Information behaviour research of individuals or groups in human-technology interaction, e.g. through

  • Evaluation of information systems with regard to their information structuring and usability
  • comparative or specific research into the user experience when dealing with digital or analogue information offerings
  • Cognitive information retrieval

Stationary and mobile eye tracking technology, camera technology and observation rooms are available for this purpose (see section "Technical equipment").

Development of methods and formats for science communication

  • Audiovisual formats
  • Audio formats

Recording equipment and flexibly usable rooms for the production of the formats as well as video editing suites are available for this purpose (see technical equipment).

Spatial and technical infrastructure

The i&k-Lab consists of three functionally differentiated rooms, two of which are connected via a semi-mirrored side.

(building 2/room 214) – The infrastructure enables the observation of individuals interacting with information carriers and information systems, such as websites, apps, databases and books. Observation through the semi-mirrored window to the neighbouring room 215 ("Back-Lab") is also possible. Two large individual workstations are available for the test subjects, which can be equipped depending on the study scenario (e.g. eye-tracking, thinking-aloud study). The i-lab also has eye-tracking technology for mobile use.

The k-lab (building 2/room 213) has a standard set-up for recording static, audiovisual formats of science communication. The available recording technology can be used on the move.

The room is also available for conducting interviews or focus group discussions without media recording. A relaxed interview atmosphere is created by the cosy seating area.

The observation room (building 2/room 215) is separated from laboratory 1 and room 214 by a large semi-mirrored pane, thus enabling non-participatory observation of the test subjects. In addition, the recording technology from the two rooms 213 and 214 can be controlled independently of one another here. Observation protocols can be written at the two workstations in parallel to the recordings.

  • Ceiling camera and ceiling microphone in every lab
  • Sony HDR-CX405 Full HD camcorder with tripod
  • Panasonic HC-V777 camera with tripod
  • Zoom H-1n/220GE audio recording devices
  • LavaLier Go Røde clip-on microphones
  • Logitech BRIO Webcam
  • Meeting conference system Meeting OWL Pro
  • Newline TruTouch X5 Collaboration Touch Screen (55 inch)
  • Stationary eye tracking system SMI RED Professional
  • Smart Eye AI-X mobile eye tracking system
  • Green Screen

Selected teaching-research projects

Innenansicht Labor für Informationsverhalten und Wissenschaftskommunikation
© Andrea Lakeit

Primo study

As part of the B11 Information Behaviour and Sociology of Science module led by Alexandra Claasen, a usability/user experience study of the Primo discovery system at the Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin) was carried out in the summer semester of 2022.

The aim of the study was to analyse the Primo system with regard to its usability or potential usability problems and the existing user experience in order to then improve the potentially problematic elements in a further step. The study design and results were presented at the poster session at BiblioCon 2023 in Hanover.

DIG-Projekt- Website
© Andrea Lakeit

Workshop project – Relaunch of a website using the example of the DGI

As part of the workshop seminar "Relaunching a website using the example of the German Society for Information and Knowledge – DGI" led by Prof. Dr. Günther Neher, a group of 12 students carried out an eye-tracking study. The aim was to document the first impression and orientation or organisation of the website in order to be able to revise and improve it. The results were incorporated into the concept development for the current redesign of the DGI website.


Information workshop management

Scientific management

Prof. Dr. Antje Michel

Prof. Dr. Antje Michel

Professor of Information Didactics and Knowledge Transfer