The Laboratory for Usability Testing and Evaluation (LUTE) was founded in 1990 as a self-supporting research facility at the University of Washington. LUTE is an interdisiplinary facility funded by the UW Student Technology Fee and by reserch projects funded by companies or organizations. LUTE also supports research projects led by UW faculty and students, and provided training facilities for graduate and undergraduate students who are studying usability engineering. In 2007, LUTE won the ACM SIGDOC Diana Award "… for their long-term contribution to the field of communication design."
As part of our research mission, LUTE faculty support graduate student M.S. theses and Ph.D. dissertations on topics related to empirical validation of usability methods, improvements to usability engineering and user-centered design methods and processes, and other related topics. LUTE faculty work with other researchers at the University of Washington in order to design and apply new and improved methods for usability evaluation and interaction design processes. Additionally, LUTE welcomes visiting researchers from the US and from abroad who do work in this area.
LUTE is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art facilities for University of Washington students who are studying usability engineering, user interface/interaction/experience design, and human-computer interaction. LUTE reserves at least 50% of its time for supporting individual student projects, class projects, and student-initiated pilot studies. LUTE also provides educational tours and short workshops on usability evaluation methods for graduate and undergraduate classes at UW that focus on human-computer interaction, human factors, and user-centered design. As part of our commitment to promoting engineering education to the larger community, LUTE provides educational tours and activities for students in the Seattle-Metro area by participating in the annual UW College of Engineering Discovery Days and other educational outreach events.