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Building a Device Lab

Lara Hogan (Etsy), Destiny Montague (Etsy)
Mobile
Location: 124/125 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ****.
(4.25, 4 ratings)

THIS TUTORIAL HAS REQUIREMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS LISTED BELOW

Creating a device testing lab of any size can be a challenge. Whether you have three devices or 30, you still have to deal with:

  • Choosing which devices to use: whether they are used or new, and which give the most bang for your buck.
  • Organization: such as cabling, stands, labels, access to power, and ease of use.
  • Power: finding the right USB hub and power supply solutions, discovering which devices are faulting or overdrawing power, and monitoring energy consumption.
  • Setup: base imaging each device and having a standard, consistent config across the board for devices
  • User experience of the lab: ensuring your users plug things back in correctly, return them in a timely manner, have access to development environments and a default email app, and are able to check devices in/out so you know where the devices are.

At Etsy, we’ve built a device lab with 30+ devices and iterated upon the lab as we learned more about how developers and designers use it. We approached building it like a product for internal users, and are eager to help others build out their labs so we can learn from each other.

TUTORIAL REQUIREMENTS AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR ATTENDEES

Attendees should look at their visitor data ahead of time (such as traffic in Google Analytics) and find what devices visitors are using to access their site (such as iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc.).

We will be walking through this data to help determine which devices would be useful to purchase for your device lab.

QUESTIONS for the speaker?: Use the “Leave a Comment or Question” section at the bottom to address them.

Photo of Lara Hogan

Lara Hogan

Etsy

Lara Hogan is a senior engineering manager at Etsy and the author of Designing for Performance. She champions performance as a part of the overall user experience, striking a balance between aesthetics and speed and building performance into company culture.

Photo of Destiny Montague

Destiny Montague

Etsy

Cthulhu