Usability and Experience Design Services

User experience (UX) is a user-centered design process of enhancing usability, accessibility, and ease of use by focusing on having a deep understanding of users’ wants and needs, values, abilities, and limitations.

Also known as User Experience, UX, Usability, Usability Lab, Usability Testing, User Centered-Design (UCD), UXD, Human Computer Interaction (HCI),Accessibility, Center of Excellence for Usability and Experience Design, and Interaction Design.

CUIT’s service offerings go beyond digital property. We offer guidance and support on projects, share UX best practices and make recommendations. Working with strategic partners, we analyze, validate, create and execute the design creation and project direction through consultation and teamwork. We take pride in the ownership of UX across all of Columbia’s campuses and in leading this effort through the Center of Excellence for Usability and Experience Design.

We offer five core UX-based services that can be leveraged individually or collectively

User Experience Design Consulting

You will be working with an experienced designer to collaborate on the project design — from UX strategy, user research, and user testing to visual design for your process, website or application.

Usability Testing

A sample of the targeted audiences will be tested against a series of tasks. Testers will report back on their experience. Usability testing may be performed at the start of the project to establish a benchmark, and again at key milestones where target audience members’ feedback can directly measure the usability of the products. We put the users in front of the computer in a usability lab, where the session is recorded. We then analyze and summarize the findings in a report.

Vendor Usability Evaluation

Prior to the selection of a vendor for a proposed digital solution, a focus group of the target end-users will be demoed the proposed systems. Then they will perform a set of tasks to review each system in a hands-on studio. The focus group will score each proposed vendor based on their experience with each vendor's system interface.

UX Training

We offer UX training to staff and students who are interested in exploring user experience and usability. Classes include basic UX, how to conduct a usability test, how to conduct user research, field studies, and design thinking. We can work with you to create a class or workshop that fit your needs. Email us for more info. 

User Interface Design (Including Visual and Interactive Design)

We turn a functional wireframe or prototype into a visual design following the University design system’s colors, fonts and components. Our focus is to create an attractive interface that’s intuitive, easy to understand and functional.


Usability services are billable tasks and are charged back to the customer’s chartstring. For further inquiries please reach out to [email protected].

Once a request is submitted via ticket, CUIT will create a resource plan and the amount of effort will be assessed based on SOW draft review, which will include the specific services required, and the effort and duration for the UX Designer participation. If you approve of this estimated cost, please respond with your chartstring and have your project manager or business analyst reach out the UX Lead for project planning and execution. User experience design and usability lab requests are billed directly through ServiceNow once the usability design or report is delivered by CUIT.


Schedule a UX consultation when you are working to...

  • Identify new opportunities, innovate with design thinking using empathy
  • Generate a 'big picture' to improve your customer experience through the user journey
  • Begin a new project involving the customers (staff, faculty, students, researchers)
  • Create a holistic view of your product or service. "UX is not about how it looks. It's how it works."
  • Solve a complex and large-impact user and business problems through user research
  • Evaluate your existing product, process, or service through a usability test
  • Evaluate the utility, usability, and ease of use of out-of-box software
  • Redesign or create features or functionality on your application or website

Use the usability heuristic as a checklist for self-assessment for your project

Yes, though depending on how far along you are, the service scope might be narrowed. Please have your project manager submit a ticket to consult with CUIT’s Web Services group for recommendations on what services are suggested at the time of the requested effort.  

Usability and User Experience (UX) is all about the end user. You may have discussed this in depth with stakeholders or business owners of the user interface because these individuals have significant and valuable input as to their experience with the system, however there are still minutia of feedback that needs to be addressed with the actual day-to-day or sporadic users. The goal is to remove phrases such as "We believe we can assume that..." from the vocabulary of User Interface (UI) deployment.

UAT is the testing of the application, interface or system directly based on the functional business requirements of the project. This testing is not required to be conducted by actual end users and is a functional test to ensure that the application, interface or system meets minimum functional requirements for completion. Usability testing is focused solely on evaluating the end user experience.

At the beginning of every project, CUIT will ask the stakeholders for the required deadlines for go-live of the project. We work closely with the project manager (PM) to ensure usability milestones can occur in parallel as much as possible with ongoing deliverables. When usability services are included as part of the project from the beginning, we will adjust the schedule and deliverables accordingly to fit its needs.