Firstly, a massive thank you to our sponsors and everyone who has used the lab! We had 42 bookings in 2016 and enjoyed seeing a bunch of different applications tested across loads of awesome mobile devices!
In order to keep the lab fun to maintain and easy to use we are making a few changes this year that we want to let you know about.
Firstly, we are going to be reducing the size of our device list.
As you may already know, we have over 400 devices in the lab, however, less than 100 of these are ever used in bookings. When these devices arrived in the lab 3 years ago we had no way of knowing what people would actually need to test on, but now we have a very clear picture of how people, including ourselves, test on devices and what kit people need to solve the issues they have.
At the time we grabbed a few headlines with such a big collection, which helped to raise the profile of the lab and Bournemouth on a wider scale. But in the spirit of continuous improvement we want to make sure we’re focusing on devices people need, rather than keeping a stock of devices with proprietary operating systems that folks simply aren’t building for any more. Even though we’ll miss innovations like the pink Barbie flip and the A316 Hello Kitty, we think it’s important that we’re always reviewing relevance as the mobile industry moves ever quickly onwards.
Secondly, to make the Device Lab’s schedule easier to manage we are also making some changes to the way bookings are made.
From today we will be:
- Requiring bookings to be made at least one full day in advance and manually approving bookings so that we can better time manage the Lab.
- Providing one booking slot per day to allow enough time for caretakers to get everything set up, without impacting too much on our own work.
- Limiting bookings to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so we avoid clashes with internal use of the lab space.
Hopefully these changes will keep the lab fun for us to manage and fair for everyone to book and use. This is a Device Lab for everyone, and we welcome your feedback once we have implemented these changes so we can continue to improve.
If you feel you’ve benefitted from the Lab (saving you time, money, or sanity) in 2016, please consider donating a device, ideally something new, to make the Lab even better.